June 2018 Newsletter

Dear colleagues,

I write to share some exciting developments of the Renaissance Conference of Southern California. The RCSC executive committee has been creating new types of programming, considering new ways to grow our membership, and working to strengthen our ties to local and national organizations.

During my tenure on the executive committee (2015–present), we have held stimulating interdisciplinary conferences at the Huntington Museum and Library. Our distinguished keynote speakers, including Teófilo Ruiz (History, UCLA), Carolyn Dean (Art History, UCSC), and Bruce Smith (English, USC), have presented fascinating new directions in their respective fields of specialization. Each of these talks has sparked lively and thought-provoking interchanges among our conference attendees. Moreover, the consistently high caliber papers delivered at the annual conference speak to the diverse manner in which scholars and students continue to push our understanding of what constitutes “The Renaissance.” Papers on topics as broad-ranging as phenomenological approaches to English literature and European exchanges with Islam to GIS mapping of Italian Inquisition cases and the visual culture of the Spanish Americas point to the diverse array of topics, as well as theories and methods, that have energized the field of Renaissance studies.

At our 2018 conference we held a pedagogy roundtable (with Bronwen Wilson, UCLA; Jonathan Burton, Whittier College; Julia Lupton, UC Irvine; and Clorinda Donato, CSULB) on teaching the Renaissance, which was met with great excitement among conference attendees. For our 2019 conference, we will have a plenary roundtable on the subject of Race and the Renaissance, and are planning to offer a workshop on some aspect of the Digital Humanities that we believe will interest those of us focused on the early modern world. Our hope is to continue to offer a space that supports energetic dialogue about the Renaissance world, broadly conceived, between 1300–1700.

We are also making a few changes to our organization’s setup. To begin, we have decided that it is important to reinstate membership dues as a way to grow and maintain the RCSC as well as to provide better programming and services to RCSC members. Membership dues will allow us to

  • create an official listserv for members to use,
  • permit members to celebrate their achievements and share important news in a biannual newsletter,
  • and apply for sponsored panels at the RSA conference.

In recent years, our official affiliation with the Renaissance Society of America had lapsed. We have decided to rejoin the RSA as an Associate Organization. Each year we are now able to sponsor up to four panels at the annual RSA conference (Toronto, 17–19 March 2019). Details about how to apply follow this email. There will be two membership categories for the RCSC, regular ($15) and student ($10). You can become a member by visiting this link or by visiting out website (rcsconline.org).

In the coming weeks, we will be sending out a short survey to gather information from you about the types of programming you feel would benefit members (beyond what has been described here) and your thoughts on what role the RCSC could play as a local organization. We hope you will join the RCSC as an official member and work with us to grow the organization in exciting new directions. Should you have any suggestions for the conference or other types of programming, please don’t hesitate to contact us


Many thanks,


Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank, President


The RCSC Executive Committee




As an Associate Organization of the Renaissance Society of America, will be sponsoring up to four panels at next year’s RSA conference in Toronto (17–19 March 2019). We seek proposals for complete panels on any subject of the Renaissance world. Please see the details below about what is expected to propose a panel or consult the RSA website. Per RSA rules, graduate students are permitted on panels, but they must be within 1-2 years of defending their dissertations (see here for more information from RSA). The deadline for consideration is August 1, 2018. Please send your submission (the panel proposal and the information about each paper presenter) to the current RCSC president ([email protected]).


For a Panel proposal, you will need:

  • panel title (15-word maximum)
  • panel keywords
  • a/v requests
  • panel chair
  • respondent (optional)
  • general discipline area (History, Art History, Literature, or other)

Each paper presenter must provide:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc upload)
  • PhD completion date (past or expected)
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address