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CFP: Serial Images in Early Modern Print Culture (RSA, Philadelphia, PA, 2–4 Apr 2020)

Historians have examined copying through the lens of copyright, piracy, and plagiarism. But those terms do not apply well to printed images because copying was part and parcel of artistic training; it could also stimulate creativity via, for example, technical or iconographic innovations. Engraved or etched images were constantly re-used. In practice, a publisher’s heirs may recycle and alter the copper-plates from the shop; artists may freely reproduce or transfer an impression onto a new plate, changing it as they pleased; or only sections may be copied. Original names (authors or sellers) disappeared and new signatures, if any, were inserted. When a composition was repeated with modifications over decades or centuries, a series emerged. Engravings and etchings of conclaves, funerals, or solemn entries are a case in point. This session examines seriality, or the practice of recycling, reinterpreting, and modifying an image over a long period of time. What are the best terms to use to discuss this process? What changes in a serial iteration of prints over time? How did viewers approach familiar-looking pictures? Who produced, sold, or bought them?

We welcome papers that tackle the meanings of iconographic reproduction in the longue durée, including questions of appropriation (a term that remains to be defined), rhythm (temporal aspects), manipulation, and geography (making/distribution).

Chair: Evelyn Lincoln (Brown University)
Organizer: Pascale Rihouet, (RISD)

By August 1, 2019, please send an abstract (ca. 150 words) and a brief CV to:

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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