Category Archives: Newsletter

March 2020 Newsletter

Dear colleagues,

I write to share news and updates about the Renaissance Conference of Southern California. During my tenure as an Officer and RCSC Executive Committee member for the past four years, I have seen the RCSC develop in new and exciting ways. We have reinvigorated our Membership program with new opportunities and events, sponsored stimulating interdisciplinary conferences, addressed important topics including pedagogy, race, and interdisciplinary study through our Plenary Roundtables, and revived our relationship with the Renaissance Society of America. I look forward to seeing the RCSC continue to grow and serve as a valuable scholarly association for Southern California scholars and beyond. This is my final year with the RCSC, and we are actively seeking a new board member. I encourage you to consider serving as an RCSC officer (see below).

64th Annual RCSC Conference: March 21, 2020
We hope that you will be able to join us at our 64th Annual Conference at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA on March 21, 2020. The program includes eleven fascinating panels, a presentation by Steve Hindle (W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research at the Huntington Library), as well as a Plenary Roundtable: “Interdisciplinary Research and the Renaissance: How to Do It.” Our roundtable participants include leading local early modern scholars, Amy Buono (Art History, Chapman University) and Martine van Elk (English, CSU, Long Beach). Registration for the event may be found on our website, or you may register here.

RCSC Sponsored Panels at RSA 2020
The RCSC is proud to be sponsoring a five-panel series, “Reconsidering Raphael,” at the upcoming Renaissance Society of America Conference in Philadelphia during April 2-4, 2020. April 6, 2020 will mark the quincentenary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio (1483-1520), one of the most brilliant and consequential artists in the western tradition. Praised during his lifetime as “Prince of Painters (pictorum princeps),” a description rendered indelible by Giorgio Vasari, this characterization has long served to obscure Raphael’s artistic achievements in other modes. He was in reality an impresario in many media: revered in his own day as Rome’s chief architect, Raphael was also an urbanist and a designer of sculpture, silver, prints, tapestries, and landscapes. These sessions dedicated to Raphael bring together established and emerging scholars to assess current approaches to his astonishingly innovative and influential works, to present new research, and to chart directions for further study.

The RCSC welcomes our members to propose panels for sponsorship at the 2021 RSA conference, to be held in Dublin, Ireland 7-10 April, 2021. Our call will go out in late May with a deadline of July 1, 2020.

Member Events
On February 7, 2020 RCSC Members enjoyed a Special Collections Curatorial Tour and discussion of print history, art history, and the strengths of the Getty Research Institute’s Prints and Drawings Collection led by curator, Naoko Takahatake.

Membership not only helps to ensure the fiscal health of the RCSC, enabling us to continue to host the Annual Conference at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens while keeping registration fees affordable for all, it also comes with added benefits.

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

Membership is just a minimal fee, 15$ (Regular) 10$ (Student), and rolls over on January 1st each year. Please consider supporting our scholarly community by joining today

Opportunity to Serve: RCSC Officer Needed
Please consider serving as an Officer and Executive Committee member of the RCSC. Members of the RCSC Executive Committee serve for four years, rotating through the various offices from Treasurer to President.

All officers are responsible for the following:

  • Meeting (online or in-person) at least twice a year
  • Reading and voting on all submissions for the annual conference
  • Helping to form cohesive panels for the annual conference
  • Attending the annual conference and chairing panels as needed

For additional information on officer duties, please see our website.

If you would like to be considered as an RCSC officer, term beginning Spring 2020-Spring 2024, please submit the following to the in-coming 2020-2021 RCSC President, Barbara Mello, by April 30, 2020 at: [email protected]:

  • Short Statement of Interest
  • Current CV

Many thanks,
Heather Graham
RCSC President, 2019-2020

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


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 (

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