CFP: Broken Bodies: Representing Pain in Early Modern Visual Art
Pain exemplifies an intersensorial phenomenon, one that utilizes all of the senses to articulate the physiological, mental, and emotional responses to stress and injury, both physical and psychological. Like pleasure, pain is an interior sensation whose external articulation can stimulate both sympathetic and empathetic reactions. Italian Renaissance and Baroque artists attempted to simulate those sensations by bridging the fissure between the internal experience of pain and its outward expressions. Contemporary interest in pain and its place in early modern culture has catalyzed a wide array of scholarly contributions. This panel seeks to bring together scholars exploring the phenomenon of pain in early modern culture and its representation – and repression – in visual art in a critical reassessment of the state of this topic in current scholarship. Together with Sensuous Suffering: the Early Modern Experience of Pain, a proposed multi-disciplinary roundtable discussion examining the topic of pain in the Early Modern context, this series of papers will examine the body as a multisensory medium that was used in depictions of such phenomena as martyrdom, passion, and plague. How did artists use the body to communicate the intersensorial experience of pain? What is the relationship between suffering and theologies of the body? What is the function of bodily torment in early modern visual culture? How does the performance of pain relate to identity construction and what role did the visual arts play in this performance? Please submit a 250 word abstract and a one-page CV to: Tiffany L. Hunt and Heather Graham by March 31, 2014.

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