The Comic Renaissance in Italy
The Comic Renaissance in Italy is a conference hosted by Modern Languages and Classics' within the College of Arts and Sciences. It will be held on The University of Alabama campus February 28-29, 2020 at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.
Please join us for a two-day conference on comic culture in Renaissance Italy.
What, we will ask, were the perimeters of the comic in this period, and how and when
did these lines expand, bend, or break? This conference will explore the ways in which
humor, parody, play, and farce challenged or loosened conventional boundaries—of genre,
discipline, language, gender, dogma, social identity, and medium—contributing to what
might be roughly called an unorthodox culture or, alternatively, productively giving
rise to new entries into an established cultural climate. We will weigh whether the
comic is always a parody of official and high genres, or whether ‘elite’ culture may
be considered a response and adaptation to issues brought forward by comic or irregular
culture. We will also examine opposing efforts during the Renaissance to scale back
or more heavily delimit the terrain of the comic. This interdisciplinary event will
focus especially on intersections in the fields of literature, theater, music, art
history, philosophy, and history. Over two days of presentations and dialogue, we
will trace the multifarious forms and meanings of comedic material in the verse, the
sketch, the refrain, the staff, the punchline, and the square of early modern Italy. This
conference will allow us to reassess the meaning and the value traditionally assigned
to the comic, paving the way for a redefinition of it as inherently interdisciplinary.