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CFP: Elevation: Flying in Print & Sculpture (RSA, Philadelphia, 2–4 Apr 2020)

During the early modern period, notions of flying, floating, or elevation appear in natural philosophy and literature as well as the mechanical and visual arts, and are generally connected to ideas of mobility, gravity/weightlessness or the magical and mystical. To broaden our understanding of such concepts, this panel aims to investigate how early modern artists conveyed elevation in art works that are not primarily connected to vivid applications of color (i. e. print) or whose materialities emphasize the presence of gravity (i. e. sculpture). In what ways were artists able to manipulate the characteristics of certain materials in order to elevate their representations? Do such visual representations of mobility connect to or even compensate for ideas of portability and mobility of the artworks themselves?

In order to approach the topic, we are looking for proposals which deal with the representation of flying in print or sculpture in the early modern period. Topics may range from iconography to materiality, natural philosophy and the history of science or theoretical approaches which concentrate on the depiction of elevation – either literally, e. g. its inventio or figures in the act of flying, or as an abstract concept which may also include the application of aerial perspectives.

If interested, please send the title of your presentation (15 words maximum), an abstract (150 words maximum), a CV (max. 5 pages, including PhD completion date if applicable), and keywords to Ivo Raband ( and Mandy Richter ( by July 30, 2019. Submissions and presentations must be in English.

Please visit the 'External Link' below for more information. Note: a current RSA membership will be required to enter the submission website.

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