CFP: "Science Learning and Censorship" - The Italian Academies, 1525-1700 - London, 27 June 2011 - Deadline: Jan. 31, 2011


A collaborative research project between the British Library, Royal
Holloway University of London and the University of Reading, funded by the
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Interdisciplinary one-day conference
London - Monday June 27th 2011

A one-day conference on this theme will be held on Monday June 27th 2011 in
the central London premises of Royal Holloway University of London (11
Bedford Square). The conference forms part of the AHRC funded research
project The Italian Academies 1525-1700: the first intellectual networks of
early modern Europe. This conference will build on the successful workshop
Cultural Institutions in Early Modern Italy and Europe held in Reading in
July 2008.

Academies represent a vital and characteristic dimension of early modern
culture. There were ca. 600 Academies in Italy in the period 1525-1700.
Frequently international in membership, and in correspondence with scholars
across Europe, they were fundamental to the development of the intellectual
networks later defined as the 'R?publique des Lettres', and to the
dissemination of ideas in early modern Europe. Their membership included
pioneering scientists, writers, artists, political thinkers, and
representatives of both sexes and all social classes. The interests of the
Academies ranged from the humanities, to the figurative and performance
arts, natural sciences and medicine; many were interdisciplinary in their
outlook and activities. However, the social and cultural phenomenon of the
Italian Academies has hitherto attracted relatively little research due in
part to the wide range of their interests and difficulties in accessing
relevant information.

Following the successful development of the Italian Academies Themed
Collection database (, which
covered academies in the cities of Padua, Bologna, Naples and Siena, the
new phase of the project is now incorporating information on academies in
Rome, Venice, Mantua, Ferrara and Sicily. Alongside this continuing
development, we are promoting the development and dissemination of new
research on the Italian learned Academies in the early modern period.

The one-day conference aims to explore research questions raised by the
activities of Academies in this period, in particular those relating to
links between the developments of science, broadly understood, and book
production and circulation in early modern Europe (to ca 1700). Among the
most cogent research questions raised by the activities of Academies in
this period and in these cities are:

?What is the place of Academies in counter-reformation culture? ?Did the
Academies play a role in protecting 'sensitive' texts and authors 'at risk'
from the censors? ?What role did academies play in the development of
secular and scientific culture in the seventeenth century? How did they
contribute to the development of international intellectual networks? ?How
far was print publication used by Academies or Academicians to disseminate
scientific developments?

Proposals for papers (20 minutes in length) addressing these and similar
topics relating to the publishing of scientific discoveries and
experiments, the operation of censorship in early modern Italy, and the
impact of this on the development of science and intellectual endeavour in
the period are now invited. Please send proposals together with a short
abstract by Monday January 31st 2011.

The keynote lecture will be given by Professor Paula Findlen, Ubaldo
Pierotti Professor in Italian History, University of Stanford, CA. The
workshop will conclude with a round table discussion hosted by Professor
Brian Richardson, Professor of Italian Language, University of Leeds.

A limited number of bursaries are available for postgraduate students.

For further information and to submit proposals for papers (title and
abstract) please contact Professor Jane E.Everson - email: