Mathematics and Poiesis in the Long Renaissance

Travis Williams's picture

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Call for Papers
August 15, 2018
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Humanities, Intellectual History, Literature
Paper abstracts are invited for the seminar "Mathematics and Poiesis in the Long Renaissance," to be held at the 17-19 March 2019 Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in Toronto.
This seminar seeks papers that explore, develop, and theorize, in historically grounded ways, how the creative imagination connects mathematics and the poietic arts across the European Renaissance. From the introduction to Europe of Islamic mathematics such as algebra in the 12th century, through myriad reconceptions of magnitude and number, to the development of the calculus, the European Renaissance experienced revolutions in the form, technique, and philosophy of quantification. Recent work on these developments has shown that mathematics was a creative practice, a “making” similar to poietic creation long familiar from literary study. Whether or not we correlate mathematics specifically with literary art, the historical study of mathematics now profitably includes consideration of theories of language, reference, presentation and representation, and of discursive play that challenges traditional views of mathematics as a rigidly rule-bound science. If appropriate, please include with your abstract some relevant suggested readings for the seminar audience.
The deadline for abstract submissions is 15 August 2018. Proposers must be members of the RSA to access the submissions portal. Required information includes:
--seminar session selection
--paper title (15-word maximum)
--abstract (150-word maximum)
--curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc/.docx upload)
--PhD completion date (past or expected)
--discipline area
Acceptance decisions will be delivered by email in early September. Paper proposals not selected for inclusion by seminar organizers roll over to the general submissions pool for review by the full Program Committee.
Final papers of approximately 4000 words will be due at a time TBD before arrival in Toronto, and pre-circulated among seminar participants and auditors.
Seminar organizers:
Travis D. Williams, Department of English, University of Rhode Island,
Valerie Allen, Department of English, John Jay College, CUNY,