September 2019 Newsletter

Dear colleagues,

The RCSC is entering our 64th year, making us one of the longest running academic conferences in the Southern California region. We owe the continuing success of our Annual Conference to the many scholars who have generously given their time, energy, and expertise throughout the years. We thank you for your commitment to our community and to furthering the study of the early modern world.

I write to share news about our recent activities and exciting new developments underway in 2019–2020. The 2019 conference, held March 9 at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, included twenty-five scholarly papers covering a breadth of topics as well as a rich array of additional programming. Vanessa Wilkie, Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and British History at the Huntington, gave a highly informative presentation on the Huntington’s vast Renaissance holdings, including an overview of new directions in collecting and digital endeavors currently underway. Dr. Wilkie’s presentation was followed by a Workshop on Digital Humanities led by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank and Sophia McCabe. Attendees were introduced to Digital Humanities practices and were able to engage in an interactive dialogue about DH and its many possibilities for early modern scholarship. The day concluded with a Plenary Roundtable, Teaching Race and the Renaissance. A lively discussion was held between leading Southern California scholars: Ambereen Dadabhoy (Literature, Harvey Mudd College), Danielle Terrazas Williams (History, Huntington Fellow (2018–19) and Oberlin College), and Liesder Mayea (Spanish, University of Redlands). We are grateful to these wonderful scholars for their constructive dialogue and guidance in developing innovative pedagogy. Special thanks is also owed to our out-going President, Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank (Pepperdine University), for her tireless efforts in making the 2019 conference a success.

We have recently announced our Call for Papers for the 2020 Annual Conference, to be held March 21, once again at the Huntington Library. The call for participants closes on November 1, 2019; please see our website for details if you would like to submit a paper. The highlights of that event will include the Plenary Roundtable: Interdisciplinarity and the Renaissance: How to do It. We are excited to have Amy Buono (Art History, Chapman University), Katherine Powers (Music, California State University, Fullerton), Martine van Elk (English, California State University, Long Beach) as participants in what promises to be a wonderful discussion.

New to the RCSC President’s Newsletter is the inclusion of RCSC Member contributions. We want to build upon the constructive and open dialogue we enjoy at our yearly conference by inviting scholars to share short contributions on their recent research and activities. We are thrilled to have two wonderful contributions to share with you: Bruce Smith (English, USC) writing on his recent work exploring Renaissance color and Danielle Terrazas Williams (History, Oberlin College) sharing her insightful afterthoughts on the 2019 RCSC Conference and Plenary Roundtable. Please follow the links above to access these contributions.

Lastly, I wish to remind you all of the benefits of RCSC Membership. Membership helps to ensure the fiscal health of the RCSC, enabling us to continue to host the Annual Conference at the exceptional Huntington Library while keeping registration fees affordable for all. More importantly, Membership contributes to the continued growth of our shared scholarly community.

Members are able to:

  • Submit short texts for publication in our twice-yearly Newsletter
  • Participate in the Annual Conference as session Chairs and/or respondents
  • Propose panels for RCSC Sponsorship at the Renaissance Society of America’s Annual Conference
  • Participate in Members Only events

We hope that you join the RCSC as an official member, information on how to do so is available on our website. We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 conference, and as always, welcome your ideas and suggestions for how to keep the RCSC moving continuously forward.

Thank you,

Heather Graham, President

The RCSC Executive Committee