Organizer: Ari Friedlander (Volkswagen Fellow at the Dahlem Humanities Center)
This conference draws inspiration from Michel Foucault’s recently published late lectures on the “Abnormal,” which trace the invention of the concept of normality to the prior development of the notion of the abnormal subject. Gathering scholars of sexual, anatomical, and social deviance under the rubric of the “Abnormal Renaissance,” the conference asks: How does considering abnormality as conceptually prior to normality change how we think about Renaissance order and disorder? How can early modern figures of disorder – the lecherous, disabled, and roguish – help us historicize what it means to be abnormal in the Renaissance? How do different discursive domains and disciplinary schemas formulate their own notions of normality and abnormality? Is the early modern period a privileged site for interrogating the concept of abnormality? That is, did abnormality have a Renaissance?
In cooperation with: