CFP Jun 4, 2023

Ambivalent Harmonies. Representing Peace in Time of Conflict

Deadline: Jun 29, 2023

Maria Vittoria Spissu

Call for proposal for the edited volume: "Ambivalent Harmonies: Representing Peace in Time of Conflict in the Early Modern Catholic Iberian Habsburg Worlds".

Images and texts praising a merciful Catholic Church and a triumphant Habsburg Empire have propagated a fictitious projection of reality. Views of ideal communities committed to sharing instrumental virtues clashed with potentially disruptive factors: a planetary empire, political enemies, religious Otherness, and competitive sovereignties. Whereas the social and moral models promoted were under the banner of peace, concord, and perfection, the promise of public happiness entailed a forced and centralizing pacification of conflicts. This volume aims to bring together images and texts that can recount these tensions and discontinuities.

What images and objects were favored to captivate souls, soothe disparities, and uplift consciences? What words and practices were applied to propose a sense of belonging, legitimize power and authority, or question the appropriateness of wars in Europe and beyond? The volume intends to analyze how religious orders, confraternities, political rulers, images, books, and objects articulated, challenged and exchanged views regarding society and morality throughout the Habsburg Monarchy and its spaces/networks of allegiance/interference. What images and texts united the Iberian worlds? What, in the proximity granted by a newly expanded circulation, was transformed, omitted, and over-emphasized, and why?

This volume seeks interdisciplinary contributions that explore the nuances of optimistic or critical representations of salvation and peace in the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, the Netherlands, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It further questions the roles of evangelizing projects, moralizing ideas, weaponizing emotions, and mobilizing cults in fostering and championing imposed hierarchies, a sense of belonging, and consensus strategies in the early modern Iberian Worlds.

Disciplines and approaches included: art history, literature, history, global studies, religious studies, book history, and print culture.
Keywords: peace, pacification, war, religious and social conflicts, moral virtues and emotions, Habsburgs, Iberian Worlds, Empire, Catholic Church.

Contributions may concern:
• early modern illustrated printed books, such as spiritual and political treatises, being used to propagate ideas about new communities;
• cults and iconographic models displayed in different places within the Iberian Worlds and promoting systems of inclusion and exclusion;
• images or texts used to legitimize social policies or delegitimize political and religious enemies; 
• visual and textual conceptualizations designed to offer targeted views of the community, the church, the nation, the empire, and the sovereignty;
• patronage of works and actions linked to the creation of a sense of belonging to a social and religious group, affiliation, and allegiance; 
• saints and heroes, appointed to defend the virtues recommended in the evangelizing programs and in the Iberian Habsburg Empire;
• accounts or representations of missionary or military campaigns, festivals, processions, canonizations, miracles, and conversions, aimed at fostering fear, enthusiasm, reverence, and awe;
• surveys charting the preferences for specific models and the voyages of agents and works between the several centers of the Iberian Worlds (such as the Iberian Union, Habsburg Netherlands, Spanish Italy, Mediterranean Islands, New Spain, Peru, Brazil, the Caribbean, Canary Islands, African colonies, Goa, and the Philippines).

We invite proposals for contributions related to these issues from the aforementioned fields of early modern studies.

Marta Albalá Pelegrín, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and Maria Vittoria Spissu, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

To submit a proposal for a chapter in this volume, please send a Word or PDF document to: Maria Vittoria Spissu [] & Marta Albalá Pelegrín []

Deadline for sending the proposal: Thursday, June 29, 2023

Please ensure that the document includes:
• a tentative title for your chapter;
• an abstract (250 words);
• a short bio or two pages CV stating your name, contacts, affiliation, more relevant publications (enlightening your lines of research);
• five keywords (optional); 
• one or more images or a brief list of sources/printed books you want to write about (optional)

You will receive a response concerning the present selection by the end of July 2023.
As far as length is concerned, we will ask you to write a chapter of around 8.000 words, including footnotes.
All the authors will send their contributions for the volume by January 31, 2024.

CFP: Ambivalent Harmonies. Representing Peace in Time of Conflict. In:, Jun 4, 2023 (accessed Sep 29, 2023), <>.