Call for Papers


The call-for-papers for the June 2017 conference has been released, and we will now be receiving proposals for presentations next year. The CFP follows below; the above poster can also be downloaded as a PDF here.


This international conference explores the substantial influence on artistic culture and aesthetics made by the scientist, mystic, and theologian Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). In what will be the first gathering of its kind, we are inviting scholars who work in religious studies, literature and literary theory, art history and visual culture, the history of ideas, and other cognates in the humanities for paper proposals that would situate Swedenborg’s place in the history of the arts, broadly-defined.

As “one of the mastodons” of world literature, in the words of the American Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was “not to be measured by whole colleges of ordinary scholars,” Swedenborg’s ideas have affected an astonishing variety of painting, music, sculpture, novels, short stories, poetry, architecture, film, and performing arts, from the end of the eighteenth century and continuing up until the present day. We are interested in paper proposals that do more than simply trace the historical dimensions of such influence around particular figure(s), but also explore the dynamics of exchange, the movement between the religious and the aesthetic. What can the case of Swedenborg in the arts tell us about broader constitutive relationships between esotericism, spirituality, and culture?

We invite abstracts that explore any artist(s) or writer(s) who have engaged with Swedenborgian ideas in light of some of the issues outlined in this call. Interested participants should read the longer conference description here to further understand the kinds of questions we are keen to investigate.

To be considered as a speaker at the conference, please send us 1) a paper title, 2) an abstract (no more than 400 words) of your proposed paper, and 3) a short paragraph detailing your professional C.V. Complete proposals can be emailed to:


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