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Baroque Temporalities: Form and Afterlives

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Organizer: Nicholas Fenech

Co-Organizer: Chloé MacKinnon

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The purpose of this seminar is to develop new insights into the Baroque from the perspective of how it casts temporality. This is a critical dimension of what we now refer to as the historical Baroque, with early conceptualizations emphasizing its internal ruptures across time. For Heinrich Wölfflin writing in the 19th century, “Beginning and end have little resemblance to each other and it is difficult to distinguish any continuity.” The problem of temporality not only haunts 17th-century modes of expression but is central to the questions that the Baroque asks, ranging from problems of form, including the disjuncture between the whole and its parts, linearity and digression; the period’s own belatedness and relation to the past, including humanism and antiquity; and its potential as a cyclical, transhistorical concept that troubles and undoes our understanding of periodization. As such, the Baroque transforms early modernity into a site of latency, of afterlives both real and yet-to-be discovered.

The seminar seeks, therefore, a conversation that addresses Baroque temporalities from both formal and historical perspectives and explores the relations between the two. We welcome papers that explore Baroque temporalities across archives and aesthetic, literary, musical, architectural, and philosophical forms, from early modernists as well as from those pursuing these questions in the Neo-baroque and elsewhere.

Please submit a paper abstract as well as a short bio by September 23. Contact Nicholas Fenech ( or Chloé Brault MacKinnon ( for inquiries.

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