The Many Fortunes of the Courtier: The Resilience of Castiglione’s Cortegiano

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
contact email: 


54th Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Annual Convention

at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, New York

Special Discussion Panel:


The Many Fortunes of the Courtier:

The Resilience of Castiglione’s Cortegiano

March 23-26, 2023


Learning of Castiglione’s death in 1529, Charles V declared “one of the finest gentlemen in the world has just died.” The Spanish emperor’s praise is evidence of the depth and scope of the influence of Il Cortegiano during the sixteenth century, appearing in Spanish translation by Juan Boscán in 1534 and in an Elizabethan translation by Thomas Hoby in 1561. Yet Castiglione’s Courtier­­­—read at times as a book of manners, and other times as representative of Renaissance ideals—continued to influence writers, poets, and literary critics well into the seventeenth century and for long after. Whether interested in sprezzatura, the art of conversation, the persistence of Ancient Greek and Roman classics, courtly ideals of deportment and conduct, Castiglione’s Courtier holds a different appeal for every subsequent age.

We invite presentations and papers from across disciplines and any time period that explore the relationship between the Courtier and literature, philosophy, art, critical theory, film, television, and society. Possible questions this panel will address include, but are not limited to:


• How does the Courtier influence literatures of other languages?

• What is the relationship of Baroque ideas of disillusion, desengaño, and transience to

  Castiglione’s book? What are the philosophical ramifications?

• How does sprezzatura relate to speech, language, appearance, philosophy, aesthetics,

  and how does this inform modern notions of the self and self-fashioning?

• How do the Classics inform the composition of and play a role in the evolving

  reception of the Courtier?

• Amid contemporary disintegration of social codes at all levels of society, does the

  Courtier allow us to re-envision or re-cast social norms?

• What connections can be drawn between Castiglione and modern and contemporary writers

  such as James Joyce, Samuel Johnson, W.B. Yeats, Jane Austen or André Aciman?



•Abstracts should be in English, and are to be submitted online to the following address (details located on the University of Buffalo NeMLA Homepage):

•For further information about the panel, please contact Andrés Orejuela and/or

Michael K. Predmore at and/or