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

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
NEMLA 2023a
contact email: 

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