Romanticism and the Peripheries


Bartolomeu dos Santos, Landscape with houses and figures in profile against a full moon, 1999, aquatint with a second sheet in color collaged before printing, British Museum.


Romanticism and the Peripheries. An International and Interdisciplinary Conference

Lisbon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, December 5–7, 2016
Deadline: July 30, 2016

“The Romantic phenomenon seems to defy analysis, not only because its
exuberant diversity resists any attempt to reduce it to a common
denominator but also and especially because of its fabulously
contradictory character” (Michael Löwy and Robert Sayre, Romanticism
against the Tide of Modernity, trans. by Catherine Porter,
Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2001). In an attempt to
accommodate both its diversity and contradictory character, Löwy and
Sayre defined Romanticism as “a worldview constituted as a specific
form of criticism of ‘modernity'” and expanded the term beyond artistic
and literary phenomena to encompass a wide range of fields such as
religion, political theory, philosophy, etc. Even though Löwy and Sayre
may offer a guiding principle outside the interpretative confusion
often generated by the term, their analysis is still mostly, if not
exclusively, concerned with the definition of the phenomenon as it
manifested in the principal centers of Europe (namely England, France,
and Germany).

This 3-day conference, organized on the occasion of the bicentenary of
Fernando II’s birth, the Portuguese king responsible for the
edification of what is widely considered the hallmark of Romantic
Portuguese architecture, seeks to focus on Romanticism in the
peripheries, both European and non-European, and explore the validity
of the concept for the analysis of artistic and cultural forms that,
for the most part, originated outside the centers of bourgeois
industrial civilization. Taking as its starting point the definition
proposed by Löwy and Sayre, the conference invites participations on a
number of issues including, but not limited to:

1. When Was Romanticism? Attempts at Periodization and Definition.
2. Sublime matters: Romanticism and Material Culture.
3. Transfers and Cross-Sections: Literature, Theater and the Visual
4. The Romantic Traveler: Drawings, Prints and Souvenirs.
5. Artistic Education. Academy versus Nature?
6. Romantic Landscape, Gardens and Architecture.
7. Romantic Nationalism – Romantic Imperialism? The Politics of Style.

Abstracts (of no more than 300 words), accompanied by a short bio
(appr. two paragraphs) should be sent to the members of the organizing
committee, at by July 30, 2016.
Speakers will be notified by the end of August, and the conference
program will be published in mid-September. The languages of the
conference are English and Portuguese.

A selection of papers from the conference will be published as a
special number of the Revista de História da Arte, an annual
peer-reviewed journal, and a second publication, in the form of a book,
is also being contemplated by the organizers.

For all questions regarding administration and practical matters, as
well as the payment of the conference inscription, please contact
Mariana Gonçalves and Inês Cristóvão (

Conference inscription:
50,00 euros – Speakers
40,00 euros – Participants
20,00 euros – Students

Organizing committee:

António Nunes Pereira (Palácio Nacional da Pena/Parques de Sintra − Monte da Lua, SA); Foteini Vlachou (Instituto de História Contemporânea, FCSH/NOVA); Maria João Neto (ARTIS – Instituto de História da Arte/FLUL); Raquel Henriques da Silva (Instituto de História da Arte, FCSH/NOVA)

Scientific committee:

Bénédicte Savoy (Technische Universität Berlin); France Nerlich (Université François-Rabelais Tours); Javier Barón (Museo Nacional del Prado)

Executive committee:

Inês Cristóvão (ARTIS – Instituto de História da Arte/FLUL); Mariana Gonçalves (Instituto de História da Arte, FCSH/NOVA)

Sponsored by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and supported by FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology national funds.