Tag Archives: Renaissance

CFP: Allusion, Indirection, Enigma: Flirting with Early Modern Uncertainty

Posted by Bret Rothstein

Call for papers: Allusion, Indirection, Enigma: Flirting with Early Modern Uncertainty

Renaissance Society of America (Boston, March 31–April 2, 2016) #RSA16

Session organized by Bret Rothstein, Indiana University – Bloomington

Please send an abstract (up to 150 words) and a 300-word vita by May 31, 2015 to brothste@indiana.edu

Augustine may have believed in validity in interpretation, but the history of early modern Europe is thick with texts, objects, and ideas that seem to move in a very different direction. A striking number of images, texts, behaviors, musical scores, buildings, and even naturally-occurring objects seem designed, in a sense, to send the mind in any direction but the supposedly “right” one. (The matter becomes especially interesting with respect to “jokes of nature,” which might speak to a kind of divine mischief.) But why might this be the case? What was the value of getting things – very loosely conceived – wrong? In an attempt to begin answering such questions, this session is dedicated to the study of interpretive challenges, from theatrical productions to mathematical treatises, and from art works to naturally occurring objects. Its purpose is to promote conversation among scholars from across a range of disciplines about the social and cultural value of interpretation’s ugly stepchildren (confusion, misperception, ambivalence, and incomprehension, among others).


Bret Rothstein teaches in the Department of the History of Art at Indiana University, Bloomington, and is the editor for Ashgate’s Cultures of Play series.

New book prize from the Society of Renaissance Studies

Posted by Martha McKenna, Marketing Manager

The Society of Renaissance Studies has announced it will be instituting a new book prize competition. In 2012, the Society will award the SRS Book Prize to the author of the best monograph in Renaissance Studies, published between January 2010 and December 2011.

More details on the prize and the nomination process

Reflections on Renaissance Society of America: A Personal Anniversary

Posted by Erika Gaffney, Publishing Manager

March in Montreal!  Chilly though the weather was, the 57th annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) was for me an occasion for warm feelings and happy memories.  This iteration of the conference marked the 15th anniversary of my first attendance in 1996, when the organization convened in Bloomington, Indiana.  In that year the conference drew about 400 attendees; fifteen years on, the meeting was 1400 strong!  The conference program has grown from a slender pamphlet to almost the size of the Manhattan phone directory.

In that same time period, the growth of Ashgate’s early modern studies list has mirrored that of the RSA.  In Indiana, the size of the Ashgate book display did not exceed the square footage of a single table top, and consisted almost exclusively of history titles.  Now, a decade and a half later, four tables was barely enough to contain the early modern books—not only in history but also in literary, religious and music studies as well as art and art history—published in just the last twelve months!

It was heartwarming to hear the compliments from book browsers about the quality of scholarship and production values, both, in Ashgate publications. Even more than that, it was affirming to hear positive feedback about the process of working with Ashgate. It is not a surprise but still a delight to know that Ashgate authors find our staff—from the first contact with the commissioning editor, through the desk editorial and production processes, to the marketing and distribution stage—to be responsive, dedicated, reliable, and consumately professional. 

Congratulations to the RSA and to Ashgate—we’ve come a long way, and long may we continue to grow together!

Renaissance Society of America – annual meeting 2011, Montreal

Erika Gaffney will be attending the Renaissance Society of America meeting in Montreal later this month for Ashgate. If you are going to be there, do drop by to say Hello! As usual, we’ll have a good range of books on display.

For a look at our new and recent books, why not take a look at our Renaissance Studies 2011 catalogue?

Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama reviewed in the TLS

Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama

Anthony Ellis’s book Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama: Comic elders on the Italian and Shakespearean stage was recently reviewed (21st January) in the TLS by Ruth Morse.

From the review:

Anthony Ellis’s comparative study of the way old age is depicted in Italian and English Renaissance comedy has the merits of solid scholarship, linguistic mastery, wide historical and literary reading, and fertile juxtapositions…

…Ellis’s detailed comparisons do the important work of recovering context and variety, and he calls into question some commonly accepted generalizations about Italian comedy, that supposed source of London city comedy. His commedia dell’arte is more complex than has been imagined. He shows the latitude the Italian stage offered its authors, and is especially acute in his juxtaposition of the Florentine political plays by Machiavelli and Gianotti. When he then looks at Venetian comedy, he restores the social circumstances in which plays address the particularities of local politics. This is a book likely to be used for its essays on individual authors, but its success is greater than the sum of its parts.

More information about Old Age, Masculinity, and Early Modern Drama

About the Author: Anthony Ellis is an associate professor of English at Western Michigan University, USA

5 Outstanding Academic Title awards from Choice. 5: Philosophy of Religion in the Renaissance

Five of Ashgate’s 2010 books have received Outstanding Academic Title awards from Choice magazine this year. We’re Thrilled!

This week we’ve been profiling one of the five award-winning titles each day, and today’s book is Paul Richard Blum’s Philosophy of Religion in the Renaissance.

Philosophy of Religion in the Renaissance

What Choice said:

Blum offers a meticulous yet invigorating study… arguably the finest book-length treatment of its subject currently available

About the Author: Paul Richard Blum is T. J. Higgins, S.J., Chair in Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland, USA

About the book: explores the continuity of philosophy of religion from late medieval thinkers through humanists to late Renaissance philosophers, explaining the growth of the tensions between the philosophical and theological views. Covering the work of Renaissance authors, including Lull, Salutati, Raimundus Sabundus, Plethon, Cusanus, Valla, Ficino, Pico, Bruno, Suárez, and Campanella, this book offers an important understanding of the current philosophy/religion and faith/reason debates and fills the gap between medieval and early modern philosophy and theology.