Sidney and the Sidney Circle at SCSC 2020 (3 panels)

deadline for submissions: 
March 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
International Sidney Society
contact email: 


October 29-November 1, 2020, Baltimore, MD

The International Sidney Society will sponsor three panels at the 2020 Sixteenth-Century Society Conference and invites paper proposals related to Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert, Lady Mary Wroth, the Sidney Family or the Sidney Circle generally.

I.  Post-critical Reading and the Sidney Circle

Advocates of "post-critical" reading have argued recently that the time has come "to acknowledge that our being in the world is formed and patterned along certain lines and that aesthetic experience can modify or redraw such patterns" (Rita Felski, The Limits of Interpretation 176) and to “stress attachment as well as detachment, [to] engage the vicissitudes of feeling as well as thought, and [to] acknowledge the dynamism of artworks rather than treating them as objects to be deciphered and dissected” (Rita Felski, “Postcritical Reading” 4). To what extent should the study of early modern literature and culture embrace such a post-critical turn? What might such a pivot entail, and how might the works and lives of the Sidney Circle enrich such a move?

Please note: This panel will take the form of SCSC’s “Workshop C: Examination of a big issue or question with brief comments from presenters and lively audience participation. These are similar to round tables but with more audience engagement. (Limit of 4 participants)” 

 II. Interdisciplinary Sidneys

In addition to papers considering how the Sidneys engaged with the world via various disciplines—such as literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and history—this panel seeks to understand the Sidneys and Sidney Circle by applying disciplinary conventions to their works and lives.  For instance, what might the practices of ethnographies of space, the discipline of architecture, or analysis of material culture tell us about their world and experience?  What happens if we look at the Sidneys and their circle through the lens of traditional or behavioral economics?  How do the disciplines of art and art history inform our understandings of these patrons and producers of art?  How could the disciplines of mathematics or science help illuminate the works and lives of the Sidney Circle?  Is “interdisciplinarity” the best approach, or should we consider moving toward a “post-disciplinary” method of analysis?

III. Sidney and the Sidney Circle

This open session eagerly invites papers on any and all topics related to Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert, Lady Mary Wroth, the Sidney Family or the Sidney Circle generally.  That Circle is conceived broadly, and hence we would welcome papers not only about Fulke Greville, Samuel Daniel, and William Herbert,  but also papers about Alberico Gentili,  Veronica Franco, Vittoria Colonna, George Buchanan, Philippe Duplessis-Mornay,  Étienne de La Boétie, Giordano Bruno, Justus Lipsius, and any number of figures in the Circle’s large cosmopolitan network.

As always, we encourage submissions by graduate students, independent scholars, and by established scholars of all ranks. Please submit abstracts as email attachments. On the abstract, please include your name, affiliation or status as independent scholar, and email address. Within the e-mail, indicate whether you need equipment and what kind (e.g., a projector for PowerPoint).  Abstracts should be between 150 and 300 words.  Reading time for the completed paper should not exceed 20 minutes. 

Abstract deadline is March 31st.  Please direct abstracts and questions to: Kathryn DeZur,

For complete conference Call for Papers, see: