Call for Papers

(Please scroll down to see all three of our current call for papers)



Esoteric Traditions and Their Impact on Early Modern Art

Zephyrus Scholarly Publications, LLC is seeking papers for an upcoming anthology on the impact of esotericism on the art produced during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, though papers on slightly earlier or later works will also be considered. Subjects may include but are not limited to Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, Kabbalah, Prophetism, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Alchemy, magic, and the occult.  Please send a 300 word abstract by March 31, 2017 to Lilian H. Zirpolo via email at


Epistolary Discourse: Letters and Letter-Writing in Early Modern Art

While cultural historians have recently published a number of studies on letters and letter-writing in Early Modern Europe, the subject has not been sufficiently explored from an art historical perspective. Though some texts on Early Modern private life offer insight on the prominence of the theme in art, a more exhaustive analysis is in order, especially since letters and letter-writing are depicted in art in other contexts besides the domestic realm. Indeed Early Modern epistolary discourse falls into both private and public categories. In the private sector, the Early Modern period saw a significant increase in literacy, especially among women, mainly due to the development of the printing press and the subsequent proliferation of texts. Women no longer dictated their letters to others, but wrote them themselves. As letter-writers, they could now take on intimate roles, such as that of mothers, lovers, or travelers, without the intrusion of a writing assistant. In the public sector, members of the papal curia exchanged letters to publicize new statutes, while spiritual leaders in general often corresponded to offer religious instruction and guidance. Travelers wrote letters to inform of their experiences abroad, and merchants used the rhetorical form to exchange information on financial events or to issue letters of credit and other financial instruments. Further, the renewed interest in antiquity during the Renaissance revealed the epistolary discourse of Pliny, Cicero, Seneca, and others, resulting in the revival of humanistic epistles, such as those composed by Erasmus of Rotterdam. For the learned, letters could be a form of rhetorical self-fashioning, as often these were made public, revealing the friendships and patronage they enjoyed from powerful individuals. No less significant is the fact that a new literary genre emerged at this time: the novel written in epistolary form. Examples include Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s La nouvelle Héloise (1661) and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela or Virtue Rewarded (1740). Zephyrus Scholarly Publications LLC is seeking papers for an upcoming anthology on letters and letter-writing in Early Modern art. Papers dealing with any aspect of this theme will be considered. Please send a 300 word abstract by July 1, 2017 to Lilian H. Zirpolo at (deadline extended).



The Femme Philosophe in Early Modern Art

Women were incorporated into the history of philosophy only in 1981 when Mary Ellen Waithe published her groundbreaking A History of Women Philosophers. At the time she identified approximately sixteen female philosophers from the classical era, seventeen from 500 to 1600, and thirty from 1600 to 1900. Among the names revealed were Mary Wollstonecraft, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Anne Finch, Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Catherine Trotter Cockburn, and Margaret Cavendish, all intellectual luminaries who lived during the Early Modern Era. That these were highly educated women meant that they were also highly cultured and, therefore, they often collected, commissioned, or even produced art. Christina of Sweden, for example, was a student of Descartes and held academies in her home where the latest intellectual debates were the norm. Her art collection, which included a significant number of works from the ancient era, became the backdrop for these events and served to recreate the glory of the ancient past and provide philosophical inspiration. Anna Maria van Schurman, who corresponded with scholars from the university of Leiden and who completed her Dissertatio de ingenii mulieribus ad doctrinam on the aptitude of the female mind for science and letters in 1639, was an accomplished portraitist and engraver. Yet, the subject of the femme philosophe in the history of art has not been explored sufficiently and requires inquiry that goes beyond acknowledgment of their existence and the cursory mention of the art objects produced due to their intervention in one form or another. Zephyrus Scholarly Publications LLC seeks to publish an anthology comprised of papers that analyze the contributions of Early Modern femmes philosophes to the history of art, with particular emphasis on the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when a high level of philosophical activity took place. Of particular interest are papers on Carthesian female philosophers, though women with other philosophical inclinations will also be considered. Please send a 300 word abstract to Lilian H. Zirpolo at by October 1, 2017 (deadline extended).

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