Appel à communication « Gardens and Academies in Early Modern Europe – RSA 2021 »

The objective of this session or series of sessions of the RSA 2021 Annual Meetings (Dubin) is to explore the place and role of gardens in early modern academies. Although research on academies has expanded considerably in recent decades (Vagenheim et al., 2008), little has been written about the places where they met, including gardens, with the possible exception of the Bosco Parrasio in Rome (Grant, 2018). How did an academy choose its setting and why? How have literary and scientific activities and debates influenced the architectural, artistic and/or horticultural qualities of the chosen venue? In other words, can the iconography of gardens be linked to academic activities?  What role, for example, did the memory of Plato’s Academy and Greek academies in general play in the development of early modern gardens (Ribouillault, 2018)? These questions demand that the garden be considered as a place of performance and require a multidisciplinary and intermedial approach. Articles on the use of gardens in scientific academies are particularly welcome.

  • Katrina Grant, «The Bosco Parrasio as a Site of Pleasure and of Sadness», Histoire culturelle de l’Europe, no 3, 2018, <>.
  • Denis Ribouillault, « Hortus academicus : les académies de la renaissance et le jardin », in Michael Jakob (ed.), Des jardins et des livres, Genève, Mètis Press, 2018, p. 23-34, <>.
  • Ginette Vagenheim et al. (éd.), Les Académies dans l’Europe humaniste. Idéaux et pratiques, Genève, Droz, 2008.

Proposals of no more than 300 words with a title and a short bio (300 words max.) should be sent to and before July, 31, 2020. Please indicate « RSA 2021 » in the subject line.

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