November 2020 – Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing and the Desire for In-person Contact

Adriana (Guarro) Romero for the SSEMWG Blog

“In-person contact is like a drug,” I texted my brother after a successful socially distanced dinner with my parents in late April. It was the first time I had seen anyone besides my husband since California instated a stay-at-home order in mid-March to curb the spread of COVID-19. My husband and I brought over a pizza, and in the middle of the long driveway leading up to my parents’ townhouse, we set up chairs ten feet apart from each other, wore masks, and talked for two hours. Although we had previously communicated with my parents over a dozen times through phone calls and Zoom, no virtual communication could satisfy what I (and everyone else) had been craving for months—live social interaction.

On the drive home, I drifted into thought and began to think about the dissertation I had recently completed on women’s friendship in Renaissance Italy, a topic often overlooked in scholarship due to the androcentric discourse that has overwhelmed philosophies and ideas about friendship since the classical period. Whereas the thought of my dissertation had caused me stress during the last months of writing—usually a shameful reminder that I hadn’t been working on it enough—this time was different. I felt reenergized and connected to its contents in a real, tangible way. In particular, I was struck anew by one of the discoveries I had made while examining the correspondence between Elisabetta Gonzaga (1471–1526), duchess of Urbino, and Isabella d’Este (1474–1539), marchesa of Mantua—close friends who prioritized live social interaction. When researching Renaissance women’s letter writing as a grad student, I quickly learned that early modern women had a keen awareness of the intimacy that could be re-created through correspondence in order to bridge geographical and temporal gaps between friends and family. Though it seems obvious in hindsight, I did not immediately realize that letters could only bridge those gaps for so long. As Elisabetta and Isabella’s exchanges attest, a longing for in-person social interaction was a constant in their correspondence. And I believe they expressed and returned intimacy by implementing language in their correspondence that encouraged and even accelerated future meetups. Nearly five hundred years later amid a pandemic, I personally related to their yearning for face-to-face interaction and their desire to find ways to advance it.

In contrast to Elisabetta Gonzaga, Isabella d’Este has been a household name since the Italian Renaissance. Today, historians continue to pore over Isabella’s letters to trace her ambitious activities as an art collector, patron, and consort. Though Elisabetta’s correspondence remains largely unexamined, many people are familiar with her fictional persona as the model courtly lady in Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier (1528). Isabella and Elisabetta were each responsible for establishing their respective courts of Mantua and Urbino as prestigious cultural centers, hosting and patronizing notable artists, writers, and intellectuals such as Mario Equicola, Andrea Mantegna, and Pietro Bembo. Like many noblewomen of the time, Elisabetta and Isabella were also avid letter writers. Their epistolary record forms part of a larger corpus of women’s writing in early modern Italy that, as Judith Bryce writes, “provided the principal vehicle in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries for women’s introduction into the world of written communication.”[1] In contrast to letters curated for publication—such as humanist letters or vernacular letterbooks like those of Pietro Aretino—their missives were directed to single addressees and existed first and foremost as a means of communication between sender and recipient. Aristocratic Renaissance women were trained in letter writing, using it as a means to gather and report news, conduct administrative business, and, most importantly, keep in contact with family, friends, and allies. Over the course of their lives, Elisabetta and Isabella exchanged hundreds of letters from 1490—the year Isabella married Elisabetta’s brother Francesco I Gonzaga—to 1526, the year of Elisabetta’s death. The state archive in Mantua houses a large corpus of their correspondence totaling 670 missives; of these, 482 letters were written by Elisabetta and 188 by Isabella.[2] Isabella’s letters survive mostly in the form of copialettere (bound copy books) and Elisabetta’s as originals, since they were incoming mail. Through original archival research and analysis, my dissertation and present research considers how these two Renaissance princesses used letter writing as a crucial communicative tool to express and reciprocate intimacy, especially during the early years of their friendship.[3]

Isabella and Elisabetta first met in 1488 when, en route to Urbino, Elisabetta stopped in Ferrara, Isabella’s hometown, to celebrate her upcoming marriage to Guidobaldo da Montefeltro. Their true friendship began two years later when Isabella arrived at the court of Mantua. Their warm exchanges from this period show that the two women grew close quickly; beyond their familial tie as sisters-in-law, they became dear friends. At the time, both women were transitioning into their new homes in Mantua and Urbino: Isabella was coping with feelings of homesickness for Ferrara, and Elisabetta likewise had trouble adjusting to Urbino.[4] They looked to each other for support during this difficult period, planning occasions to meet in order to spend quality time together. For instance, their exchanges from the end of 1492 to the spring of 1493 illustrate their numerous attempts to see each other. In 1492, Elisabetta was to come to Mantua for an extended period of time, but ill health prevented her from traveling that year. Frustration about being apart builds in their correspondence. On 15 January 1493, Isabella wrote the following to Elisabetta after hearing that the duchess was too sick to come to Mantua for Carnival:

I received your letter, which informed me that your departure has been postponed due to your stomach illness which requires you to seek treatment at the baths in Poreta. The displeasure I felt upon hearing this news, and with respect to Your Ladyship who feels badly . . . is extremely great . . . Now I don’t know what could induce me to have fun this carnival, since I am sure that all the things we would have done because you were coming have gone to the wind. The time that I would have spent with you in happiness and solace will now be spent in solitude, leaving me in my studiolo to grieve your adverse state.[5]

To express her disappointment, Isabella paints an image of herself as distressed and alone in her study.[6] While she opens the letter by acknowledging Elisabetta’s illness, she then uses guilt-ridden language to express the effect that the duchess’s absence has on her. This tactic may seem melodramatic—drawing attention to Isabella and not to Elisabetta who is sick—but it more so illustrates the human desire to be near close friends and family in addition to the isolation and utter disappointment felt when that was not possible.

Four months later, Elisabetta and Isabella tried to meet again. In early May, the doge of Venice invited Isabella to celebrate the city’s extravagant festivities in honor of Ascension Day, including a maritime ceremony where the city marries the sea. Isabella wrote to Elisabetta in awe of all the wonderful things she saw and of the warm hospitality she received as the wife of Venice’s army captain general.[7] On 18 May, Elisabetta replied, writing that she was happy Isabella’s trip was going well, but that she also wished to be in her friend’s company: “I often find myself between two great desires: on the one hand, I would like to continue to hear that you find yourself in triumph, happiness, and with worthy honors, and on the other, I would like to continue to enjoy your sweet conversation. I also hope that you will return so that our conversation can be whole again, without which I confess I do not know how to take pleasure in anything.”[8] Elisabetta sent another letter on 23 May, reiterating her desire to see Isabella:

It is with great pleasure that I have heard that Your Ladyship has departed [from Venice] to return to the place where I expect you with great desire. I will not give thanks to you nor to the notices you are sending me every hour, instead I will only engage in encouraging you to come back as quickly as possible because without you it doesn’t seem that I know how to live, and I desire you with so much zeal that I cannot wait until I may embrace you again. And even though it makes me happy to hear about these honors and pleasures that have been shown to you, I am still unsettled by the great desire I have to see you, so I will not write anything else other than to tell you to hasten your return for our mutual satisfaction.[9]

In the first letter, Elisabetta evokes a classical and humanist ideal of perfect friendship that the friend is representative of the self’s other half in order to convey that she misses conversing with Isabella. In contrast, she adopts an urgent, impatient tone to communicate her desire to see and embrace Isabella in her second missive. Elisabetta’s hyperbolic language is likely not a fully genuine reflection of her inner-most sentiments; after all, unpublished letters, like their published counterparts, were also carefully crafted with a specific goal or intention in mind. Her hyperbolic rhetoric therefore functions as a tool to not only underscore her desire to see Isabella but also to promote physically seeing each her. Her tactic worked. In a letter also dated 23 May, Isabella replied to the duchess with an invitation to take a girls’ trip to Porto Mantovano, a town just outside Mantua where Isabella had a summer palace:

I am thinking of arriving at our palazzo in Porto on Sunday by way of Castiglione Mantovano and staying there. I pray Your Ladyship consider coming there too that day, or even earlier if you like. Then we can savor that fresh air together; and we will enjoy ourselves by telling each other all that has happened to us while we have been apart.[10]

In this way, Isabella provides a solution to their joint wish to see each other, clearly illustrating how letters worked to advance in-person contact. She notes that they will be able to properly catch up, perhaps hinting at the idea that stories and experiences are best shared by mouth rather than penned in a letter. Luckily for the two friends, Elisabetta was able to accept Isabella’s invitation, and the women spent the following six weeks together in Porto, reading, singing, and enjoying the comfort of each other’s presence.[11]

As I re-read these letters, the women’s mutual dependence on and longing for in-person contact became even more apparent to me. Repeatedly, they mention what is gained through face-to-face interaction: physical affection (e.g., embraces), shared experiences, and most importantly, lively conversation. All of this, of course, demonstrates that while Renaissance gender norms positioned friendship as masculine, the cultural reality did not match that ideal. By unveiling the female experience of friendship, Elisabetta and Isabella’s exchanges therefore offer a more complete portrait of early modern bonds. While we live in notably different times and circumstances, I often think about how their desire to be with each other, and the imbedded implication that letter writing could not solely sustain their friendship, mirror our current need for human interaction in the age of Coronavirus. I think we all agree that Zoom and other video-conferencing platforms temporarily help minimize the effects of social isolation. But as Elisabetta and Isabella’s missives teach us, communication tools—whether they be letters, text messages, or Zoom meetings—will never replace the intimacy created when we are together. If anything, these tools only heighten our awareness of their own insufficiency and consequently increase our desire for in-person contact.

[1] Judith Bryce, “Introduction,” in Letters to Her Sons (1447–1470) (Toronto: Iter Academic Press, 2016), 3. For more on women’s unpublished letters during the early modern period see Adriana Chemello, ed., Alla lettera. Teorie e pratiche epistolari dai Greci al Novecento (Milan: Angelo Guerini, 1998); Karen Cherewatuk and Ulrike Weithaus, eds., Dear Sister: Medieval Women and the Epistolary Genre (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); James Daybell, ed., Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1400–1700 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001); Maria Luisa Doglio, L’arte delle lettere. Idea e pratica della scrittura epistolare tra Quattro e Seicento (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2000).

[2] The imbalance in their correspondence can be attributed to various factors including the fact that a substantial amount of Isabella’s correspondence was not copied, leaving part of her epistolary production unaccounted for; other letters they exchanged may be spread out among archives outside of Mantua.

[3] To my knowledge, there is only one other extensive study that looks at Elisabetta and Isabella’s friendship. However, the study in question, Alessandro Luzio and Rodolfo Renier, Mantova e Urbino, Isabella d’Este ed Elisabetta Gonzaga nelle relazioni famigliari e nelle vicende politiche (Rome: Arnaldo Forni, 1893), is dated and provides a historical sketch of their relationship without engaging in close textual analysis of their letters.

[4] See Elisabetta’s letters to Francesco that detail her longing for Mantua as described in Luzio and Renier, 47. Regarding Isabella’s homesickness in the early years of her marriage, see Carolyn James, “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Dynastic Politics and Motherhood in the Letters of Eleonora of Aragon and Her Daughters,” Women’s History Review 24, no. 4 (2015): 536.

[5] 15 January 1493, Mantua, busta 2991, libro 3, carte 2v–3r, Archivio Gonzaga (AG), Archivio di Stato di Mantova (ASMn), IDEA. Transcriptions and translations are my own unless otherwise indicated.

[6] Isabella’s studiolo acted as a space where she could confront her passions, and in this letter, she states she will do just that. See Stephen J. Campbell, The Cabinet of Eros: Renaissance Mythological Painting and the Studiolo of Isabella d’Este (New Haven: Yale, 2004), 59–86.

[7] See Isabella’s detailed account of her visit to Venice in Isabella d’Este, Isabella d’Este: Selected Letters, ed. and trans. Deanna Shemek (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2017), 57–58.

[8] 18 May 1493, Mantua, b. 1066, c. 358, AG, ASMn.

[9] 23 May 1493, Mantua, b. 1066, c. 360, AG, ASMn.

[10] d’Este, Isabella d’Este: Selected Letters, 58–59.

[11] Julia Cartwright, Isabella d’Este, Marchioness of Mantua, 1474–1539: A Study of the Renaissance, vol. 1 (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1903), 102.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Anderson, Penelope. Friendship’s Shadows: Women’s Friendship and the Politics of Betrayal in England, 1640–1705. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012.

Couchman, Jane, and Ann Crabb. “Introduction: Form and Persuasion in Women’s Letters, 1400–1700.” In Women’s Letters Across Europe, 1400–1700, 3–18. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

Daybell, James, ed. Early Modern Women’s Letter Writing, 1400–1700. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.

Este, Isabella d’. Isabella d’Este: Selected Letters. Edited and translated by Deanna Shemek. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Press, 2017.

Guarro [Romero], Adriana. “Ties That Bind: Women and Friendship in Early Modern Italy.” PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2020.

Herbert, Amanda E. Female Alliances: Gender, Identity, and Friendship in Early Modern Britain. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.

IDEA  Letter/e, IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive, accessed September 7, 2020, http://idealetters.web.unc.edu/letters-platform/.

Legault, Marianne. Female Intimacies in Seventeenth-Century French Literature. Farnham: Ashgate, 2012.

Lochman, Daniel T., Maritere López, and Lorna Hutson, eds. Discourses and Representations of Friendship in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1700. New York: Routledge, 2011.

McCue Gill, Amyrose, and Sarah Rolfe Prodan, eds. Friendship and Sociability in Premodern Europe: Contexts, Concepts, and Expressions. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014.

Moran, Megan. “Female Letter Writing and the Preservation of Family Memory in Early Modern Italy.” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6 (Fall 2011): 195–201.

Najemy, John M. Between Friends: Discourses of Power and Desire in the Machiavelli-Vettori Letters of 1513–1515. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Shemek, Deanna. “In Continuous Expectation: Isabella d’Este’s Epistolary Desire.” In Phaethon’s Children: The Este Court and Its Culture in Early Modern Ferrara. Edited by Deanna Shemek and Dennis Looney, 269–300. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Press, 2005.

About the Author

Adriana (Guarro) Romero received her PhD in Italian studies from UCLA in 2020. Her research focuses on friendship in Renaissance Italy, early modern and modern Italian women writers, literary history, and the relationship between gender and genre. Putting her humanist skills to work, she recently started a new position as an Associate Fact Checker at Spotify for a division of their non-fiction and story-driven podcasts. Email: aguarro@ucla.edu

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72 Days of Heptameron

The Marguerite de Navarre Society/La Société Marguerite de Navarre is pleased to announce the 72 Days of Heptameron virtual reading and discussion project.

Grab a copy (print or digital) of Marguerite de Navarre’s lively collection of tales from Renaissance France, read her short Prologue, and get ready to discuss a story a day beginning on Sunday, November 1.

Discussion will take place on the 72 Days of Heptameron website and on the 72 Days of Heptameron Facebook group — feel free to participate in either or both!

For information on English-language editions of the Heptameron, visit 72daysofheptameron.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

For background on the author and an introduction to the Prologue, visit 72daysofheptameron.com/prologue/.

Take refuge from the floodwaters swirling around us … find yourself a peaceful meadow (or a kitchen table or a closet or a spot underneath the couch or a pile of leaves or snow) … and make time for a story … as we build bridges from speakers to listeners, from a writer to readers, from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, and from a pandemic to whatever lies ahead.

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PhD opportunity in early modern women’s writing

*With apologies for cross-posting*
Professor Rosalind Smith is looking for a PhD student to work with her at ANU on the future fellowship project Marginalia and the Early Modern Woman Writer. The PhD candidate will work under Professor Smith’s supervision in a small team with two ECR research assistants (Dr Julie Robarts and Jake Arthur), and the scholarship includes a $5k per annum top up and funding to visit archives, go to conferences and build international networks. Please circulate to your networks and encourage anyone interested to get in touch with Ros: https://cass.anu.edu.au/study/scholarships/phd/marginalia-and-early-modern-woman-writer

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EMWJ CFP

Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Volume 16.1 (Fall 2021) will feature a forum on “Early Modern Women and Epidemics”

As Covid-19 has swept the world, early modern scholars have become acutely aware of the ways that its manifestations and the public’s reactions to them have resonated with outbreaks of disease in the premodern world. Social boundaries change and class mobility is brought into sharp focus—who can stay home; who must work, who can escape “hot spots”; who cannot; who cares for the sick and how. Moreover, epidemics provoke plagues of fear, grief, and other emotions. How were people’s reactions to epidemic disease informed by gender and gender expectations? For this forum, we are interested in the myriad ways that gender is evoked in times of epidemics. We seek essays that examine but are not limited to:

● Epidemics and misogyny, including witchcraft
● Women’s expressions of grief, fear, and other emotions in reaction to epidemics
● Epidemics and caregiving
● Epidemics as portrayed in literary works by female authors
● Social and economic opportunities for women in the context of epidemic disease
● Epidemics as portrayed in works of art by women
● Epidemics, gender, and the history of early modern science
● Women and the material culture of epidemics

Please send abstracts of 600 words to the editors (emwj@umw.edu) by 1 September 2020. Completed essays of 3500 words will be due on 30 January 2021.

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Job Opening in Ancient and Medieval Literature

Lecturer of English in Ancient and Medieval Literature: Job ID 604929

The Northern Arizona University Department of English seeks applicants for the position of lecturer in Ancient and Medieval Literature. Duties include teaching four courses per semester such as Ancient and Medieval literature, British literature surveys, comparative literature, digital humanities, poetry, or other literature courses. Additional professional development, research, and service expectations will be determined in consultation with the Chair of English. The successful applicant is expected to teach on-campus and also develop and teach courses for web delivery. This is a non-tenure track, benefit-eligible lecturer position in the English Department, located on the Flagstaff, AZ campus. Review of applications will begin on April 7, 2020.

https://hr.peoplesoft.nau.edu/psp/ph92prta/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=2&JobOpeningId=604929&PostingSeq=1

Lecturer of English in Ancient and Medieval Literature

Minimum Qualifications

PhD in Literature or related field
Experience as instructor of record teaching literature at college level
Graduate Coursework in Ancient or Medieval Literature

Preferred Qualifications

Teaching excellence in Ancient and Medieval Literature
Expertise in a secondary field such as comparative literature, digital humanities, poetry, or other
Online course development and teaching experience
Record of scholarship and publication in Ancient or Medieval literature
Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations

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Shakespeare Studies Job Opening

Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies

The Northern Arizona University Department of English seeks applicants for the position of Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies. Duties include teaching four courses per semester including surveys, Shakespeare, and other literature courses such as poetry or drama. Additional professional development, research, and service expectations will be determined in consultation with the Chair of English. The successful applicant is expected to teach on-campus and also develop courses for web delivery. This is a non-tenure track, benefit-eligible lecturer position in the English Department, located on the Flagstaff, AZ campus. Review of applications will begin on April 7, 2020.
Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. in Literature or related field by August 17, 2020
Experience as instructor of record teaching literature at the college level
Graduate coursework in Shakespeare studies

Preferred Qualifications

Teaching excellence in Shakespeare studies
Expertise in a secondary field such as poetry or drama
Online course development and teaching experience
A record of scholarship and publication in Shakespeare studies
Demonstrated commitment to working with diverse populations

https://hr.peoplesoft.nau.edu/psp/ph92prta/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_APP_SCHJOB.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=2&JobOpeningId=604937&PostingSeq=1

Northern Arizona University has a student population of 31,073, including approximately 23,000 on its main campus in Flagstaff and the remainder at more than 20 locations statewide and online. While our emphasis is undergraduate education, we offer a wide range of graduate programs and research. Our institution has carefully integrated on-campus education with distance learning, forming seamless avenues for students to earn degrees. Flagstaff has a population of about 70,000, rich in cultural diversity. Located at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff is 140 miles north of Phoenix at intersection of Interstate 17 and Interstate 40. The university is committed to a diverse and civil working and learning environment.

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Three-year position in early modern art at DePauw University

The Department of Art and Art History at DePauw University invites applications for a three-year non-tenure-track position in early modern art (1400–1750) with a transnational focus, beginning August 2020. The successful candidate may have expertise in colonial and/or diasporic histories and/or Islamic, African, or Latin American art. Applicants with a PhD (or ABD) in Art History, African Diaspora Studies, Latin American Studies, Religious Studies or other related areas with an emphasis on art history or visual culture are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will join the department, in partnership with our accredited gallery program, in our ongoing commitment to shifting the discourse of art history to be responsive to a diverse student body and global society.

Teaching responsibilities include introductory and upper-level courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. A commitment to teaching undergraduates in a liberal arts setting and evidence of effective and inclusive pedagogy are essential. The position includes a six-course teaching assignment (3/3), employment benefits, faculty development funding, presentation opportunities, and mentoring.

DePauw University is a leading, nationally recognized, liberal arts college dedicated to educating 2,100 highly talented, motivated, and diverse students from across the country and around the globe. Connected to the liberal arts college is one of the nation’s first Schools of Music. For more than 175 years, DePauw has created an atmosphere of intellectual challenge and social engagement that prepares students for lifelong success. Located in Greencastle, Indiana, about a 45-minute drive west of Indianapolis, DePauw is a member of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, a consortium affording excellent opportunities for faculty development and collaboration.
Application Instructions

Candidates should submit the following materials through Interfolio [https://apply.interfolio.com/74246%5C]: a cover letter summarizing qualifications, teaching philosophy, and research interests; a curriculum vitae; and three confidential letters of reference. Additional supporting documents may be requested after an initial application review (e.g., a writing sample and evidence of effective teaching, such as sample syllabi or course evaluations). Review of applications will begin March 30, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. Applicants may direct questions to the Search Committee Chair, Meredith Brickell, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, meredithbrickell@depauw.edu.

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Job Posting

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

School of Art & Design – College of Creative Arts

Position Announcement

TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ART HISTORY

The School of Art & Design in the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University invites applications for the position of Teaching Assistant Professor of Art History, with a specialization in pre-1300. The position is a full time, nine-month, non-tenure track appointment commencing August 14, 2020. Opportunities for promotion are available. Appointment is 80% teaching, 10% research, 10% service.

Responsibilities:
Teach a 4/4 load of courses including: Art History Survey 1 course (pre-1300) for Art and Art History majors; period topic courses for undergraduate and graduate students; and art history seminars in areas of expertise/interest.
Mentor undergraduate and graduate students and assist with attracting and retaining students.

Qualifications:
• Ph.D. by date of appointment
• University-level teaching experience
• Evidence of scholarly publication or potential

Application: For a complete application, interested candidates should submit the following:
• Cover letter
• Curriculum vitae
• Statement of teaching philosophy
• At least one publication sample or research paper
• Names and full contact information for three (3) references

Interested candidates should apply online at: http://employmentservices.hr.wvu.edu/wvu_jobs

Deadline: Review of applications will begin January 31, 2020 and continue until the position is filled.

Additional Opportunities:

Global Positioning Studies-GPS is an initiative of the School of Art and Design that positions students at the crossroads between a local sense of place and a global understanding of that place in the world. Through direct experience, GPS courses encourage students to engage the world as a fertile ground for art making and critical research. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to the initiative or develop new courses, depending on their interests. For further information, visit artanddesign.wvu.edu/gps.

BA in Technical Art History- In addition to offering the only accredited BA and MA Art History degrees in the state, the School of Art & Design now offers the only degree in the country in Technical Art History. The technical art history major emphasizes the scientific study of structures of art and objects, within art historical contexts, and values hands-on experience in preventative art conservation, conservation of artifacts, and reconstruction techniques. Students will conduct research on the physical nature of art and its making through interdisciplinary studies in art history, art, science, anthropology, and more depending on their areas of interest. Through our affiliation with San Gemini Preservation Studies, this program offers the ideal hands-on study abroad program for a technical art history major. Students can take a series of professional place-based field courses in conservation, preservation, and restoration of cultural heritage in San Gemini, Umbria, Italy.

——————————————————–
The School of Art and Design (art.ccarts.wvu.edu) is a dynamic program with a growing reputation whose mission is to contribute to the greater good of art, education and culture. 270 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students are currently enrolled. The School has 20 full-time and 17 part-time faculty. West Virginia University is the only institution in the state that offers professionally-accredited (NASAD) programs. The degrees offered in the School of Art & Design include: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education, Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Design for Media, Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Bachelor of Arts in Technical Art History, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts in Art History, Master of Arts in Art Education, and a graduate certificate in Visual Arts Therapy.

The College of Creative Arts (ccarts.wvu.edu), one of 13 colleges within the university, includes the Schools of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Art & Design, and offers the state’s premiere training in the visual and performing arts. Each of these units has a national profile of excellence and all programs are nationally accredited (NAST, NASM, and NASAD). The College of Creative Arts is housed in WVU’s Creative Arts Center and has 85 full-time faculty and 25 professional staff whose mission is to educate succeeding generations of artists, teachers, and scholars through an experiential student-centered approach to learning. The College advocates the Arts as a medium through which the diversity of human experience is understood and valued. Exemplifying excellence and innovation in performance, exhibition, scholarship, and creative research, the College offers artistic and cultural opportunities for the citizens of West Virginia and the global community.

West Virginia University (wvu.edu) is classified as a Doctoral/Research University-Extensive and is the state’s only comprehensive doctoral-granting, land grant institution. The institution holds the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. WVU has a current enrollment of approximately 28,000 undergraduate students and 5,500 graduate students enrolled in more than 184 graduate and undergraduate programs. The university community is committed to student-centered priorities, academic excellence, research, creative activity, and service to the state. Morgantown, has received a number of national rankings, including “No. 1 Small City in America” by BizJournals.com for its quality of life. Other city rankings have included: One of the “Best Sports Cities” by Sporting News; 5th “Best Small Metro” by Forbes; 12th overall “Hottest Small City by Inc.; one of “50 Smartest Places to Live” by Kiplinger’s; one of the “Best Cities for Jobs” by MSN Careers; one of the 50 best places to launch a small business by CNNMoney.com; and the second-ranking “Best College Town for Jobs” by Forbes.

WVU is an AA/EO/ADA institution committed to cultural diversity. Women, minorities, veterans and protected-class individuals are encouraged to apply.

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Six Essays on a Monumental Venetian Painting Series Celebrating the 1468 Wedding of Caterina Corner with the King of Cyprus

Five monumental spalliere are identified as commissioned in celebration of the Venetian wedding of Caterina Corner and the King of Cyprus in 1468, a wedding that would have enormous implications for Caterina, the Corner family, but also for Venetian territorial aspirations. In fact, this is the only known monumental commission for a Venetian domestic palace from the 1400s. The Walters Art Museum’s series on the Abduction of Helen, central to this commission, is the focus of six essays gathered in the Journal of the Walters Art Museum (74, 2019, now open source), led off by that of Joaneath Spicer proposing the new interpretation, attribution to Dario di Giovanni (described by Vasari as a rival of the young Andrea Mantegna in Padua), and the surprising relationship of the paintings to theatricals performed as part of Venetian weddings. Other essays present discoveries on the challenges of becoming a blond and the techniques introduced in creating paintings for such an extraordinary wedding. https://journal.thewalters.org/volume/74/essay/the-abduction-of-helen-venetian-spalliere-celebrating-the-wedding-of-catarina-corner-1468/

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Mulheres da realeza ibérica mediadoras políticas e culturais – Mujeres de la realeza Ibérica mediadoras políticas y culturales

In this book, part of the texts were presented at the seminar Mujeres de la realeza Ibérica como mediadoras políticas y culturales held in Instituto Cervantes de Lisboa with the support of CHAM FCSH / NOVA-UAç and the FCT.
Starting from the collective strategic project “Borders” of the CHAM, this book gathers a set of articles by historians and art historians that analyzes the limits of the diplomacy of royalty women of the Iberian Peninsula and its different forms of political and cultural mediation from the 16th to the 18th century. The book pays particular attention to various aspects of the mediation of royal women such as diplomatic relations between monarchies and the signing of peace; the negotiation of marriage contracts for children and family members, the articulation of networks as a variable of the increase of their influence and power. Another main thematic core is that of devotion, which is analyzed as a profound constituent element of the identity of these women. Finally, a multidisciplinary analysis of the cultural exchanges that occur thanks to them is approached.

Llorente, M. & Epifânio, R. & del Puerto. G. (eds.), Mulheres da realeza ibérica mediadoras políticas e culturais – Mujeres de la realeza Ibérica mediadoras políticas y culturales, MIL & Instituto Cervantes, Lisboa, 2019. (ISBN 978-989-54464-3-8).

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