CFP: [Renaissance] Looking Before and After: Cultural Exchange and the Inheritance of Ideas (13 June 2009)

full name / name of organization: 
Kavita Mudan

‘Looking Before and After’: Cultural Exchange and the Inheritance of Ideas c.1200-c.1700

Saturday 13th June 2009
University of Oxford

In collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London, and
University College London

Keynote Speakers:
Dr Nicola Gardini (Oxford)
Professor Evelyn Welch (Queen Mary, University of London)

Drawing on classical ideas of reason and man’s power to contemplate both past and future,
Hamlet’s ‘looking before and after’ demonstrates a Renaissance version of cultural exchange
that this conference seeks to promote. Aiming to encourage interdisciplinary study of text and
other cultural artefacts in the medieval and early modern periods, the focus will be on the
relationship of the ‘object’ under analysis to pre-existing literary, cultural, social historical
codes, and the way in which that relationship shapes linguistic and cultural legacies for future

This conference seeks to reshape the sense of where boundaries fall between periods and
genres, and to open up new perspectives on what establishes as well as what transgresses these
boundaries. It is envisaged that a forum for discussion of transferrable approaches and methods
will provide new insights for future research. Scholars working in any related discipline are
invited to participate and present papers that examine the creative cross-fertilisation between
different media and genres, such as written and oral narratives, images and texts, and the visual

Cultural inheritances from any part of the world may be considered, from the medieval age to
the end of the seventeenth century. Speakers may wish to consider, among other issues:

• The processes by which ideas are inherited; are borrowings active or passive, deliberate or
• Expressions of cross-cultural references; are these debts or legacies, precursors,
forerunners or successors?
• The idea of the past as a need or a rule
• How intellectual debts and legacies change over time; reappropriation of or distancing from
inherited models
• The ‘influential imagination’; the construction of literary and cultural memory
• Is the assimilation of ideas and ideologies individually or culturally determined?
• Hermeneutics and the nature of interpretation; the reworking of sources in the light of
contemporary discourses
• Constructing the idea of the ‘individual’ over time

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers from scholars in any related discipline. Proposals
of no more than 300 words should be emailed to the organising committee at the address below
by Friday, 27 February 2009. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and contact

Tamara Atkin
Anne Hultzsch
Freyja Cox Jensen
Francesca Magnabosco
Kavita Mudan
Hilary Powell
Francesca Southerden

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Received on Mon Dec 15 2008 - 13:48:27 EST