CFP Jul 23, 2005

Intersections vols. 8/9


CALL FOR PAPERS - Intersections vol. 8 and 9

Vol. 8: Traffic and transportation in the Early Modern Period
Vol. 9: Spirits Unseen: The Representation of Subtle Bodies in Early
Modern European Culture [please scroll down]

Intersection brings together new material on well considered themes within
the wide area of Early Modern Studies. Contributions may come from any of
the disciplines within the humanities: history, art history, literary
history, book history, church history, social history, history of the
humanities, of the theatre, of cultural life and institutions. The themes
are carefully selected on the basis of a number of criteria, the most
important of which are that they should address issues about which there
is a lively and ongoing debate within the international community of
scholars and that they should be of interest to a variety of disciplines.

Volumes published to date are:
vol. 1 (2001) Karl Enenkel et alii, Recreating Ancient History. […].
vol. 2 (2002) Toon van Houdt et alii, On the Edge of Truth and Honesty.
Principles and Strategies of Fraud and Deceit in the Early Modern Period.
vol. 3 (2003) Arie-Jan Gelderblom et alii, The Low Countries as a
crossroads of Religious Beliefs
vol. 4 (2004) Karl Enenkel and Wolfgang Neuber, Cognition and the Book.
Typologies of Formal Organisation of Knowledge in the Printed Book of the
Early Modern Period.
vol. 5 Alister Hamilton et alii, The Republic of Letters and the Levant
vol. 6, Karl Enenkel and Jan Papy, Petrarch and his Readers in the
Renaissance will appear in 2005.

Call for Papers --- Intersections vol. 8

Traffic and transportation in the Early
Modern Period

One of the distinctive aspects of the Early Modern Period in Western
Europe is the organisational improvement as well as the increase of
traffic and transportation. Not only were contacts established with ‘new’
countries and continents, but at the same time an intensification of
contacts occurred between the various countries of Western Europe and
between the cities within these countries. This expansion and increase of
contacts were a result of and gave rise to new developments in knowledge,
technology, and patterns of consumption of food, luxury articles and
services (such as travelling).

Essay topics might include:
The development of new means of transportation: by what necessity were
they created, what were their consequences in the short and in the longer
term, and what new needs and knowledge did they generate?
How far did the cultural, political and social consequences of the
increasing mobility reach? Did it lead to the opening up of new areas or
rather to the improvement and expansion of existing routes to known
places? Did it lead to new contacts and connections, or only to a more
intensive use of already existing routes? Was there an increase in
travelling, or did people just travel faster and more conveniently?
Who used the new means of transportation, and who profited most from
them? Did they give rise to new social classes or different social
What were the consequences of the increasing mobility on intellectual
fields? Was there a concomitant increase in mail and correspondence, and
consequently a faster and wider exchange of news, information, ideas and
How were the new developments of traffic and transportation
represented and assessed in the arts and literature? Did they give rise to
new ideas and genres, such as landscape painting, travel literature and
utopian themes?
Did the new means of transportation and the increasing mobility have
consequences for the infrastructure of Western Europe? Did they affect
city planning and the design of buildings, for instance due to the need
for parking space for new and bigger vehicles?

Proposals are invited for contributions discussing these and other aspects
relating to the increasing mobility in the Early Modern Period, such as
the consequences for warfare, diplomacy and trade. Proposals of maximum
300 words should be sent by e-mail to the secretary of the editorial board of
Intersections, Dr. Jan L. de Jong,,
before 1 October 2005. The authors of the proposals that have been
accepted will be invited to write a paper of 6.000 words (including notes)
before 1 september 2006. The final decision on the acceptance of any paper
will be made by the editors following receipt of the complete text.

Call for Papers --- Intersections vol. 9:

Spirits Unseen: The Representation of Subtle Bodies in Early Modern
European Culture

Spirits – gaseous, vaporous, volatile “subtle bodies” (corpora subtilia) –
occupied a prominent place in early modern thought. The terms “spiritus”
or “corpora subtilia” may refer to angels, demons and souls as well as
those immaterial or corpuscular energies, virtues and small atomic
particles that regulated natural phenomena and psycho-physiological
functions, in fact the whole universe and its laws. Early modern notions
of spirits and subtle bodies often combined observation, empirical
evidence and religious doctrine.

Despite increasing interest in early modern cosmologies, little attention
has been paid to problems of the representation of spirits. For this
reason, volume 9 of Intersections seeks to initiate a discussion on the
ways in which ethereal or subtle bodies were imagined, described and
represented in early modern philosophical, scientific, religious, moral
and artistic discourse. What qualities were associated with energies and
subtle substances in early modern literary, poetic and scientific texts?
How were spirits and invisible bodies depicted in the visual arts or
staged in the theatre? In which respects do representational codes and
conventions change over time and differ according to social and cultural
contexts and conditions?

In particular, contributions are encouraged that discuss descriptions,
depictions and meanings of spirits across various disciplines and cultural
practices, or that consider competing representations in different visual
and textual media over a broader period of time. Papers may focus on such
aspects of early modern natural philosophy, medicine and magic as the
origin of fossils, crystals and rocks; the phenomena of light, heat,
gravity and electromagnetism; the properties of the air; the substance
dreams were made of; the effects of music on the animal spirits of the
body. Contributions on experiments, projects and executed works that
(re)define models of vision and sensory perception are also welcome. Early
modern optics offers a particularly rich field for further research: the
fascination with catoptrical machines and other devices of visual
deception; the uses and functions of mirrors and magnifying lenses in
science, warfare and religious practice.

As unseen and invisible bodies spirits aroused artistic fantasy and
imagination. Possible topics include the iconography of sounds and sights
(in painting, the emblem literature and other literary and pictorial
genres) and the role of spirits and ghosts as literary motifs and
personae. The religious disputes of the sixteenth century led to
conflicting views in Protestant and Catholic culture concerning ghosts and
other apparitions as well as the physics of the transubstantiation.
Liturgical and devotional practices provide another fruitful area of
research: the construction of monstrances and other receptacles for the
exhibition of the host and relics; the use of talismans and amulets.

The volume is scheduled to appear in 2007. Proposals, about 300 words,
should be sent (preferably electronically) no later than October 1st 2005 to:
Christine Göttler
Division of Art History, University of Washington
Box 353440
Seattle, WA 98195-3440

For more information on this volume please contact Christine Göttler.


J.L. de Jong,
Institute for the History of Art and Architecture,
Groningen University,
P.O. Box 716,
9700 AS Groningen,
The Netherlands,
tel. (+31) 50 - 3636091, fax: (+31) 50 - 3637362

CFP: Intersections vols. 8/9. In:, Jul 23, 2005 (accessed Apr 21, 2024), <>.