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The Courtesan's Arts
Chicago, April 2002

The Courtesan's Arts
April 5-7, 2002
Franke Institute for the Humanities of The University of Chicago and
Center for Renaissance Studies at The Newberry Library

Conference Organizers:
Martha Feldman (The University of Chicago)
Bonnie Gordon (SUNY at Stony Brook and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced

This conference will promote cross-cultural collaboration among scholars
working on courtesan cultures in different times and places including
Ancient Greece, the Far East, South Asia, modern Japan, and Renaissance
Italy.  The conference will include paper presentations and a concluding
round-table discussion. Integrating performance and scholarship, the
conference will involve live performance of courtesans' music from
Renaissance Italy by the world renowned Newberry Consort.

Questions about courtesans have often been restricted to a limited number
of disciplinary fields, or simply left to languish by through neglect. In
recent years, scholars from a number of disciplines have begun exploring
the cultural production and history of courtesans in particular contexts,
without the dialogues between them that might reveal something of the
underlying conditions under which courtesan cultures have thrived and the
ways in which they have transformed. This conference asks why courtesan
cultures have repeatedly emerged and thrived over time, how courtesans
have mobilized social change to negotiate their position in transforming
worlds,and where the courtesans arts of verse, dance, music, painting and
magic have been situated in these changing landscapes.

For more information contact Meredith Ray (This web page is still under