Call for Papers: Uncovering the Animal

Uncovering the Animal: Skin, Fur, Feathers 1450-1700

This Call for Papers is now closed

This half-day workshop at King's College London will reflect on the multiple ways in which animal skin and the by-products of the evacuation of humoreal excreta (hair, fur, feathers) were conceptualised and used between 1450 and 1700. Combining different historiographical approaches and sources (textual, material, and visual), the workshop aims to open the field up to a wider audience, strengthen the need to consider animals compared to similar work on human skin and hair, and facilitate an interdisciplinary conversation, from natural history to material culture, on animal skin in a globalised world.

Confirmed speakers are Stefan Hanß (Cambridge) on feather-work, Patricia Lurati (Zürich) on fur in Renaissance art, and Thomas Rusbridge (Birmingham) on shagreen. We welcome proposals that complement these topics, in particular those that address shells, scales, and animal skin, hair, and fur in natural history texts, but we will consider papers that fall outside of these areas. Presentations will be followed by ample time for discussion and reflection, and so we are happy for works in progress.

Proposals (up to 250 words) for 20-minute papers should be sent to Kathleen Walker-Meikle at by 15 March 2018. We may be able to provide speakers with reasonable accommodation and travel costs. Please indicate when you apply if you will require reimbursements of expenses.

@RenSkinKCL #uncoveringanimals

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Image: Detail of Albrecht Dürer, The Rhinoceros, 1515, woodcut. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 19.73.159. Gift of Junius Spencer Morgan, 1919 (view original)