Frauds, Charlatans, and Impostors in the Early Modern World
CfP for Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Dublin, 30 March 2022-2 April 2022
Inspired by our ongoing preoccupation with fake news in the present, recent scholarship has done much to elucidate the manufacture and discovery of fakes and forgeries in the early modern period. However, it was not only the identities of texts and objects that were constantly re-created at this time. People too practiced dissimulation and imposture, whether out of religious conviction, a desire for economic gain, or the simple need to survive. The means of detecting imposture developed in tandem with its practice, helping to shape the new state and ecclesiastical bureaucracies of the early modern period.
Yet despite its inherent interest and historical significance, there is still much more that we have to learn about this topic. We therefore invite papers which explore any aspect of the theory and practice of dissimulation, imposture, or their detection in the early modern world. This set of panels will feature a presentation by Miriam Eliav-Feldon, whose Renaissance Impostors and Proofs of Identity continues to set the agenda for studies in this field.
Co-organised by Stefan Bauer (Warwick) and Sam Kennerley (Princeton)