CFP: COSIMO I

by Webmaster on January 10, 2014

CFP: COSIMO DI GIOVANNI DE’ MEDICI (MAGNUS ETRURIAE DUX)
29-30 May. Archivio di Stato di Firenze. Much has been written about the institutional, economic, and cultural politics of Cosimo I de’ Medici’s duchy during the nearly four decades of his rule. However, only in recent years have scholars begun to assess Cosimo I’s more personal sphere, largely thanks to work on the correspondence in the Medici Grand Ducal Archive (Mediceo del Principato), housed at the Archivio di Stato in Florence. Thousands of letters written by and about the duke paint portraits as intimate and revelatory as those painted by Agnolo Bronzino. Details about his personality and his relationship with family members are constantly emerging. These letters also record his physical maladies and psychological distress, his cynicism, his humor, and his compassion. They speak of his aesthetic tenets, intellectual curiosity, military values, and culinary predilections. Letters address his obsession with his enemies, his conflicting relationships with foreign regents, and his dynastic ambitions. Most importantly, they shed light on the intricate mechanism of court culture, which saw Cosimo I at the epicenter of his rule. In an effort to retrace Cosimo I’s personal dimensions, the Medici Archive Project and the Archivio di Stato of Florence are organizing a two-day conference. In addition to the topics mentioned above, the following themes will be addressed during this conference: • education and humanism • self-representation and identity • family and diplomatic networks • communication and information • collections and decorum • health and religion • decadence and domesticity • self-preservation and self-indulgence. Those interested in presenting papers should submit 1) a paper title 2) a 250-word abstract in English or Italian 3) a short curriculum vitae via email to Maurizio Arfaioli and Samuel M. Gallacher. Partial travel funding may become available. Preference will be given to scholars whose papers incorporate the documentary material housed in BIA, the Medici Archive Project’s on-line digital platform sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. A state-of-the-art scholarly online resource, BIA contains an ever-growing number of documents; as of December 2013, over 22,000 letters from and to the Medici court have been entered. While BIA’s scope will eventually extend to the entire grand duchy (1537-1743), its current coverage favors the period of Cosimo I. Deadline 1 March 2014.

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