CFP: Attending to Women, 1100-1800: Performance

Attending to Women, 1100-1800: Performance
September 30-October 1, 2022
Call for Workshop Proposals


In 2018, “Attending” asked how Early Modern women’s action and agency shaped their lives and world. In 2022, we will turn to performance, asking how women’s performance of power, gender, and art before 1800 provide key paths towards understanding their lives and our own today. The conference will ask such questions as: How do medieval, early modern, and Indigenous women draw on various forms of power, from the racial to the religious, to perform different roles? How was the category of “woman” itself contested, reinforced, and complicated through the performance of gender? What did women choose to perform through music, dance, and visual art? Lastly, what responsibilities and possibilities do we have as scholars who teach and share our work with the public?

The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote dialogue, augmented by a keynote lecture and a plenary panel on each of the four conference topics: power, gender, art, and public humanities/pedagogy.

Organized by the Center for Renaissance Studies and the Attending 2022 organizing committee: Julie Campbell (Illinois State University), Daisy Delogu (University of Chicago), Theresa Gross-Diaz (Loyola University), Carole Levin (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Silvia Mitchell (Purdue University), Caterina Mongiat Farina (DePaul University), Diana Robin (Newberry Library), Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Keynote speaker: Regina Buccola, Roosevelt University

Roundtable Plenary Sessions:

Women Performing Power

  • Larissa Brewer-Garcia, University of Chicago
  • Carissa Harris, Temple University
  • Carole Levin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Women Performing Gender

  • Patricia Akhimie, Rutgers University
  • Sawyer Kemp, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Eleonora Stoppino, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Women Performing Art

  • Mira Assaf Kafantaris, Butler University
  • Andaleeb Banta, Baltimore Museum of Art
  • VK Preston, Concordia University

Public Humanities and Pedagogy

  • Erika Gaffney, Amsterdam University Press
  • Elizabeth Rodriguez, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Carol Symes, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

We welcome proposals for workshop sessions. These are 90-minute sessions organized by a group of two to four leaders who circulate readings, questions, and other materials in advance through the conference website. Leaders spend no more than twenty minutes framing the issues and opening up the conversation, then facilitate active participation and focused discussion. The best workshops are often comparative and interdisciplinary, and all allow participants to share information, pass on knowledge, ask advice, and learn something new. All workshop organizers are expected to register for, attend, and participate in the entire conference, not just their workshop.

Workshops that consider performance in relation to the following themes are welcome:

  • Performing Power
  • Performing Gender
  • Performing Art
  • Performing Pedagogy and/or Public Humanities

We cannot accept individual proposals, but those who have an idea for a workshop need to locate at least one other organizer and send a short paragraph with your ideas in this submission module. We will post these regularly on this website, on the link “Workshop Ideas.” Check that link if you are looking for workshop possibilities, and contact the individuals directly if your interests fit together. Once you have enough people to organize a workshop, submit a proposal following the directions below, and we will remove your tentative idea from the website.

All proposals must be submitted here by March 15 and include the following:

1. Name of one organizer who will act as the contact person. This organizer must provide their institutional affiliation, department, email address, telephone number, pronouns, and bio (100 words max).

2. Name, institutional affiliation, department, email address, pronouns, and 100-word bio for each organizer.

3. Title of workshop.

4. Conference theme that best fits the workshop (Performing Power, Performing Gender, Performing Art, or Performing Pedagogy and/or Public Humanities)

5. A two-to-three sentence summary of its focus and its relevance to a particular conference theme or themes.

6. 800-1000 word description of the workshop, including the key questions to be posed to participants, how the pre-circulated readings (or other materials such as pictures, slides, recordings, films, or dramatic presentations) will facilitate discussion, and how the organizerswill foster other means of interaction. Organizers should indicate how the workshop will help us think in new ways about important issues and/or raise new questions about one or more of the conference themes, and how the workshop will facilitate conversations across academic disciplines, national cultures, or eras.

7. A preliminary list of readings (readings should total no more than 15-20 pages, or 30 minutes reading per workshop) with the number of pages or other materials for prior circulation indicated, if applicable. You may include a list of additional suggested readings.Please note that you will need to provide copies of the readings for your workshop participants in advance of the conference.

If your workshop is accepted, the workshop description and reading list will be posted on the conference website. Readings will also be posted in a password-protected space; workshop organizers must provide either the hard copy of their readings or the electronic text by June 15, 2022.

For questions please contact



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