Attending to Women, 1100-1800: Performance

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 performances of power, gender, and art before 1800 provide powerful 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:

Elizabeth Gerlach (University of Chicago), Julie Campbell (Eastern Illinois 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), and Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).


Keynote Speaker

Regina Buccola, Roosevelt University

Roundtable Plenaries

Women Performing Power
Larissa Brewer-García, University of Chicago
Carissa Harris, Temple University
Carole Levin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Women Performing Gender
Patricia Akhimie, Rutgers University-Newark
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

Call For Proposals

We welcome proposals for workshop sessions on the following themes: Women Performing Power, Women Performing Gender, Women Performing Art, and Public Humanities and Pedagogy.

Workshops 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. Please note that we cannot accept full proposals from individual organizers. The best workshops are often comparative and interdisciplinary, and all allow participants to share information, pass on knowledge, ask advice, and learn something new.

For more information about submitting a workshop proposal, see the full call here. To submit a proposal, please use this online submission module. The submission deadline is Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

Cost and Registration Information 

​There will be a modest registration fee for this conference. Center for Renaissance Studies consortium members may be eligible to apply for travel funds (including the conference registration fee) to attend Attending 2022 at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines and some may limit eligibility to certain colleges or departments. Be sure to contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

The event is finished.


Sep 30 2022 - Oct 01 2022


09:30 - 16:00


The Newberry
60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610


Center for Renaissance Studies Programs

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