Rewriting and Adapting Classical Women in the Italian Renaissance (RSA 2019)
From compendia of “illustrious women” modelled on Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris, to Machiavelli’s Lucrezia in the Mandragola, to Giambattista Gelli’s (male-driven) philosophical dialogue La Circe, women from the classical tradition are resurrected in many forms and to many ends over the course of the Italian Renaissance. This panel seeks to investigate how authors and intellectuals rewrote, revised, and (in some cases) reclaimed classical women in Renaissance Italian discourse and literature.
Topics, authors, and questions that papers might address include, but are not limited to:
- How do discussions or representations of classical women in philosophical or didactic genres like dialogues, treatises, and compendia of “illustrious women” engage with the ancient past? How are classical women recast or reframed to argue contemporary issues, such as the debate surrounding the querelle des femmes?
- How do Italian Renaissance women writers like Gaspara Stampa, Lucrezia Marinella, or Moderata Fonte recall, rewrite, or reclaim narratives of classical women in their textual production and/or in their authorial personae?
- How were classical women reimagined or emulated in Italian Renaissance drama? This might include women’s roles as heroines or antiheroines in comedies like Machiavelli’s Mandragola and tragedies like Trissino’s Sophonisba, or the legacy of the cult of Diana in the pastoral.
- How do exempla of classical women compare to discussions of contemporary women? What function do classical women fill in light of new female regents and their emerging presence on the European stage? (e.g. Tasso’s Discorso della virtù femminile e donnesca or Serdonati’s Donne illustri)
Please send questions and/or abstracts (150 words) with a brief biography, A/V requests, and keywords to Victoria Fanti at email@example.com by July 25, 2018.