This collection seeks to open the closely related notions of time and self in Early Modern European culture to new, interdisciplinary and cross-national scrutiny. Time is a constantly changing entity and people’s perceptions of it are fluid and relative; the study of historical time, therefore, can reveal much about the political, religious and cultural experiences of people from all levels of society during the medieval and Early Modern periods. As part of this focus, the collection will explore how scholars from different disciplines encounter and overcome the obstacles of studying time in the Early Modern period with its problematic dating and chronology conventions.

The collection will also include a study into the performance of self during the Early Modern period, in particular the existence of anxiety surrounding internal truth and external covering. This concept will be explored in specifically literary sources as well as non-literary ones. The anxiety of self-representation speaks directly to our own moment in time during which, one could argue, the rapid development of social media has triggered an equivalent crisis over the performance of identity. People’s everyday performance of self in Early Modern Europe therefore invites close scholarly attention, especially international comparisons which highlight the construct of selfhood as a signifier of cultural relativity.

In uniting the study of these two concepts, both of which are particularly relative cultural constructs, the collection aims to provide a unique and more sophisticated understanding of early modern world-views of people at all levels of society across Europe.

Potential themes may include but are not limited to:

  • politics and leadership gender and perception of time and/or identity
    community and domestic life
  • authorship and self-identity
  • popular media fame and celebrity
  • reformation of religion
  • dress, codes of conduct
  • uses of place and space
  • arts and material culture
  • law and personal identity
  • times of national or communal conflict

We welcome submissions from early career researchers and distinguished colleagues in history and literature, art history, archaeology, language and translation studies, political, cultural and gay studies, music, psychology, sociology and philosophy. Authors may wish to present a comparative study. The focus of this volume will be European and interdisciplinary, and will aim to reflect on recent trends in cultural perspectives. The book will be edited by Nadia van Pelt (University of Leiden) and Clare Egan (University of Huddersfield), and has been encouraged by the Ashgate Society for Renaissance Studies Monograph Series.

Chapter proposals should be 250-500 words in length, give a proposed title and outline the key premise/argument of the chapter. Please also provide a short biography, including research interests and not exceeding 250 words.

Please email your proposals to the editors at n.t.van.pelt@hum.leidenuniv.nl and C.Egan@hud.ac.uk by 1 February 2016. If accepted, final contributions would be between 8,000 and 10,000 words (including notes and bibliography), although shorter pieces will be considered, and would be due on 1 December 2016. An approximate publication date is Autumn or Winter 2017.

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