CFP Aug 16, 2001

Early Modern Passions (Wolfenbuettel 2.-5.4.2003)

U.J. Schneider


X-Post H-Soz-u-Kult,

The Passions in the Early Modern Period

11th Tri-annual meeting of the Wolfenbuetteler Arbeitskreises fuer
Barockforschung Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbuettel

2nd to 5th April 2003

Organising Committee
Conference chair:Johann Anselm Steiger (Hamburg)
Co-organizers: Barbara Bauer (Bern), Guillaume van Gemert
(Nijmegen), Carsten-Peter Warncke (Goettingen)

Conference Description

Wolfenbuettel Baroque Conferences have always aimed to promote the
study of Early Modern topics by encouraging cross-disciplinary
discussion in historical fields. At the 2003 conference scholars in
cultural and literary history, historical theology, music history,
medical history, art history and the history of science will be given
an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary discussion on the
connections between suffering, emotion and passion.

One of the major themes will be the treatment of the Passion of Christ in
sacred poetry, in sermons, in rhetorica sacra, devotions, songs and hymns,
emblems, and the tradition of the Baroque Passion, both before and after
J.S. Bach. A focus of interest will be the common and specific features of
the arousal of "affectus fidei" (compassion/grief, hope/joy etc.) within
the multimedia characteristic of the era - i.e. through the medium of
language, via rhetoric, homiletics, and poetic strategies as well as in the
use of new methods of hermeneutics in music. The increase in exchange
between scholars of literature, historical theology and music over the past
decade will certainly facilitate this discussion.

In addition we shall be focussing on the stimulation of emotions and
the role of passion in the pictorial media, in art, in school and
court drama, and opera, broadening the scope to a European dimension
including French and Italian sources and their intercultural
influences. Court festivities will be of particular interest here. The
aim will be to channel new insights from recent research and to focus
on the following questions: was it considered particularly desirable
in analogy to the stylistic ideal of argutia to find a special and
individual mode of expressing feelings? And vice-versa does the
stylistic ideal of brevitas correspond to the neo-stoical ideal of
dissimulatio of emotions? Are there indications which show that there
was a positive evaluation and a cultivation of emotions during the
Baroque era or do techniques of sublimation predominate for emotions
considered potentially uncontrollable? How do societies and
institutions cope with emotions and how is the cultivation of emotions
portrayed in the various arts? What levels of style correspond with
what moods? How are levels of style mixed in order to evoke certain
moods and emotions? What themes are associated with which emotions?
How do theme, content and artistic execution relate to one another? As
in the first section, particular attention will be paid to the
connection between picture and imagination, depiction and performance,
imagination and reception.

Beyond this, and underlying all other thematic concerns, we want to
highlight the philosophical,aesthetic, medical, and scientific
treatment of the topic of "emotion and passion". How did science and
the arts react to signs of changes in modes of expression of emotions?
How were the physiology of the emotions and the interaction between
the senses and the brain described in the early modern physiology of
the senses and in theories of sense perception? What gender
attributions were employed? On which anthropological-philosophical and
medical premises are early modern theories of style, art and music

Despite the diversity of its themes the main aim of the conference is
to focus on unknown or little-used sources and to encourage innovative
aspects of enquiry which will forge trans-disciplinary links in the
study of Baroque culture and highlight both its many perspectives and
its international nature.

The following thematic sessions have been planned. It is hoped to
solicit papers on the relationship between theory and practice in
rhetoric, poetics, the physiology of the senses, psychology, medicine,
etc. which will be spread over all four sessions and provide an extra
link between the four main themes. Session I The passions in
theology, sermons, rhetoric, devotions and sacred poetry. Session II
The musical Passion tradition of the Baroque. Session III The passions
in theatre, opera, ballet and festival culture. Session IV The
passions: theoretical, historical and gender constructions (examples
from the pictorial arts, secular poetry and literature, architecture

Call for papers

Previous planning which has already taken place for Sessions I and II
means that our call for papers relates to the following:

1. Sessions III and IV
2. contributions dealing with the underlying historical framework of
philosophy, psychology, anthropology, physiology, medical history and
aesthetics. Please submit a proposal (max. one page A4, with your
name, affiliation and your probable point of departure to the
conference). The deadline is 15th October 2001.

Send your proposal to:
Geschaeftsstelle des Wolfenbuetteler Arbeitskreises fuer Barockforschung,
Dr. Jill Bepler, Herzog August Bibliothek, Postfach 1364, D-38299
Wolfenbuettel, Germany or by email to:

PD Dr. Ulrich Johannes Schneider
Herzog August Bibliothek
Postfach 1364, D-38299 Wolfenbuettel
Tel +49 5331 808 -246, Fax -277

CFP: Early Modern Passions (Wolfenbuettel 2.-5.4.2003). In:, Aug 16, 2001 (accessed Dec 5, 2023), <>.