CFP The Rhetoric of Violence- The Renaissance Society of America

Cahiers n°5 – The Rhetoric of Violence in the Early Modern Era
We invite submissions for the 2011 issue of Cahiers Shakespeare en devenir-Shakespearean Afterlives. These might include essays (6000-7000 words including notes) for the issue proper, and review-essays (2-3000 words) or reviews of plays or exhibitions (1000-1500 words) for the issue’s supplement L’Oeil du spectateur. 

The 2011 issue of the journal is dedicated to interdisciplinary and monodisciplinary approaches to the theme of violence against body and soul in literature and the arts, from the Renaissance to the Long Eighteenth Century. Focusing on the theme of the tormented body, this issue will offer a different insight on verbal and visual representations of violence in both theoretical and practical terms. It will concentrate on the analysis of how violence was presented to the early modern public and also on the iconoclastic consequences of both violence and its representations: “Of course violence at once shocked and repelled people by its brutality. But it also fascinated many because it so contradicted religious precepts and social norms” (Ruff, 2001: 28). Violence needs to be considered as a means of constraint, and as a form of political and aesthetic subversion and resistance to the excessive forms of regulation of which it was the instrument.
We will consider papers on Shakespeare and/or his contemporaries (literature and performance studies), on early modern literature and the arts in England, Europe, The East and the New World, on the paragone of violence in Early Modern works of art, and on the representations of Renaissance violence and violent topics in subsequent eras.
Targeted disciplines: English Literature, Comparative Literature, Theatre studies, Performance studies, Cinema studies, History of Ideas, History of Arts, Philology.
Topics might include (non exclusive list):
  • the aesthetic views and interpretations of pain in literature and / or the arts
  • martyrology and its avatars: the representations of martyrdom in literature and visual arts, the politics of martyrdom
  • the suffering body: the symbolic of wounds, scars socially, theologically and aesthetically
  • anatomy: scientific and aesthetic implications, the evolution of the representation of the anatomized body
  • exorcism and catharsis: violence as punishment and purification
  • torture: political, theological and aesthetic impacts and representations
  • the treatment and the use of violent mythological and biblical episodes in political and literary writings and in visual arts
  • the poetics of violence: the language of violence in pamphlet literature, satirical writings, revenge plays
  • violence in dramatic genres: the redefinition of dramatic genres through violence
  • the representation of violent episodes in Shakespearean texts in 18th and 19th century paintings
  • the use of violence in stage productions and / or film adaptations of early modern plays,
  • Reviews of plays, of exhibitions related to the topic.

Please send abstracts between 300 and 500 words to the editors : Pascale Drouet ( and Nathalie Rivere de Carles ( by 10th December . Notifications of acceptance will be sent by15th December 2010 and completed essays or reviews (with a short note on contributor and bibliography) will be due by 30th April 2011.
Cahiers Shakespeare en devenir- Shakespearean Afterlives is a peer-reviewed journal (part of Les Cahiers de la Licorne) aiming at promoting the current international scholarship on the Early Modern period and its reverberations throughout the centuries. Its purpose is to offer both a disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and to see Renaissance drama in its contemporary and subsequent geographical and aesthetic contexts. ;
About Steve Mentz 1264 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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