CFP: Organizing the World Beyond Europe in the Early Modern Print

RSA, San Diego, April 4-6, 2013, May 14 - June 1, 2012
Deadline: May 25, 2012


This session seeks to expand on recent scholarly inquiries into the role of prints in both mediating and organizing knowledge in the early modern period. Current interdisciplinary interventions among art historians and historians of science, such as the Fogg Museum’s 2011 exhibition Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, have secured the place of print in the formalization of new disciplines and technologies.

Many printed genres of the early modern period asserted their informational properties and presented their contents as data; this panel will inspect the organization of that data into visual formats. Prints produced by artists in the age of expansion embraced, craftily adjusted, or outright rejected an engagement with naturalism to suit the demands of conveying unfamiliar material. The frameworks of visualization that accommodated extra-European material often tread a tightrope between descriptive and normative ends, frequently producing hybrids to ratify claims of empirical experience. Here we will examine how information was recorded and formalized in the methods that early modern artists used to filter, organize, and familiarize strange new material with which they came into contact. We invite papers that consider this phenomenon in cosmographies, natural histories, travel compendia, botanicals, costume books, physiognomies and other genres that explore things of the world in relation to the lay of the land.

Please send a 150-word abstract and an abbreviated c.v. to both Stephanie Leitch ( and Ashley West ( by May 25, using the subject heading "RSA 2013."

CFP: Organizing the World Beyond Europe in the Early Modern Print. In:, May 15, 2012 (accessed Jan 28, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Stephanie Leitch, Florida State University

Contribution published: May 15, 2012

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