Confraternities In Public and In Private

Event Date: 
22 Mar 2018 to 24 Mar 2018

The Society for Confraternity Studies will sponsor a number of sessions at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (22 - 24 March 2018) in New Orleans, USA. We invite proposals for papers on the following theme:




Confraternities In Public and In Private


The term “Janus faced” has been employed to describe the sometimes incongruous nature of confraternal patronage and membership. While confraternities’ public and private life might have contrasted sharply, this did not always end in dissonance. Medieval and Renaissance lay companies the world over routinely consolidated public and private spheres (either consciously or unconsciously) to ensure the continuance of their various operations.  We invite papers that explore the balance and coherence between facets that were seemingly diametrically opposed. Papers might focus on:



Visible Activities and Output

  • Cultural productions (artworks, drama, poetry, music, architecture, regalia).
  • Festive nature (pageants, processions, feasting, theatrical tableau, field sports).
  • Use of shared urban spaces for ritual or devotion.
  • Philanthropic relationships with humankind (conspicuous acts of charity, artistic patronage and social auspice).



Clandestine Activities

  • Record keeping and other archival practices.
  • Private prayers, meals, meetings, voting and rituals.
  • Inconspicuous acts of charity.



Papers must concentrate on confraternal activities between 1400 and 1750 CE and may deal with groups of any race, denomination or faith in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East or Asia. We are particularly interested in papers dealing with Franco-American, Luso-American, Meso-American and slave confraternities.



Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation, postal address, email, telephone, the paper title (no longer than 15 words), the abstract of the paper (no longer than 150 words), a brief academic C.V. (not longer than 300 words), and a series of key-words that suit the presentation. Please be sure all nine (9) categories of information are clearly provided.


Please submit your proposal to Dr Samantha J.C. Hughes-Johnson at by 1 June 2017.

Submission date for papers: 
01 Jun 2017