Back to Opportunities

CFP: Illustrated Album Amicorum (RSA, Philadelphia, PA, 2–4 Apr 2020)

The illustrated album amicorum (album of friends) is a singular visual example of early-modern travelers’ fascination with swiftly-changing fashions, regional customs, family lineage, and mercantile exchange. The coexistence of drawings, prints, emblems, icons, costume plates, verses, mottoes and autographs on its pages attest to the fluidity of the genre. Brightly-colored, hand-painted miniatures in watercolor and gouache decorate university students and pre-Grand Tour travelers’ albums. They register the importance of textiles, dyes, and luxurious accessories in the ever-expanding world economy of mid to late-sixteenth century Europe while reflecting simultaneously on philosophical questions about scientific advancements, friendship and the meaning of an education. They also speak to the evolution of cultural tourism in northern Europe and Italy; major changes in fashionable and luxurious clothing; social hierarchies and gender differences; and behaviors and customs associated with work and entertainment, modes of transportation, festivals, games, education, and civic rituals. It is an extraordinary resource for charting fashion changes and for understanding how groups and individuals from specific cities and regions personalized their dress. Since travelers and students decorated and customized their albums on nearly a yearly basis, they provide detailed information about the evolution of fashion from the last decades of the sixteenth through to the beginning of the seventeenth century. This panel invites papers that will broaden our understanding about the multiple and varied uses of the illustrated album amicorum during the early-modern period.

Chair: Margaret Rosenthal, University of Southern California (Dept. of French and Italian)

Please submit a short abstract (200 words max.) and brief CV (one page) by August 1, 2019 to Prof. Margaret Rosenthal at

-Name, affiliation (if applicable), and PhD completion date (past or expected)
-CV (if presenter is a graduate student, it must include the dissertation title and date of expected completion)
-Paper title and abstract (abstract should be limited to 200 words)
-AV requirements
-4-5 keywords

Note: Presenters must (per RSA rules) be within two years of completing their PhD (and present on their dissertation) or have a completed PhD.

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

Leave a Reply