CFP: Embodying Value (RSA, Toronto, 17-19 Mar 19)

CFP:  Panel at RSA 2019 (Toronto, 17-19 Mar 19)

Embodying Value: Representing Money in the Early Modern Period

Deadline: July 16, 2018

Joanna Woodall and Natasha Seaman, co-organizers

As media of exchange, coins were essential to trade and economic development in the early modern period. Their double-sided form and the precious materials from which they were made had deep resonance in European culture and beyond. The efficacy of coins depended on faith in their inherent value, yet they were subject to debasement and counterfeiting.  This session seeks papers that explore the signifying potential of money in works of art and how abstract concepts of value intersect with and are figured in material and monetary forms. While the art market may have some relevance to this subject, papers selected will have as their primary focus the particular character of coins and other means of exchange as physical and semiotic entities, money as it appears within images and texts, and how concepts of money and currency can inform our understanding of works of art in this period.

This is a continuation our 2017 sessions on the same topic. Abstracts submitted will also be considered for inclusion in an edited volume.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to

  • Depictions of coins in exchange, gifts, or theft
  • Represented coins in still lifes and kunstkammers
  • Coins as metaphors in literature
  • Coins and the production of knowledge
  • Counterfeiting and debasement in works of art
  • Coins in relation to portrait medals, seals, or pilgrimage badges
  • Coins and the Eucharist and/or Incarnation
  • The materiality, design, and production of coins in relation to their value and use
  • Assertions of value in bills of exchange
  • Coins and the material mechanisms of exchange with the New World

Please send proposals to Natasha Seaman ( and Joanna Woodall ( by Monday, July 16, 2018.

As per RSA guidelines, proposals should include the following: paper title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). See