See message for IASECS member Clorinda Donato below:
I hope you are all well. I am looking for a few more speakers for my roundtable on castrati. Remember, you can give a paper, and present in a roundtable. Here is the description:
Castrati: Science, Surgery, and Sexuality
The vocal mystique of the castrati, immortalized in the celebrity of Farinelli, has been the subject of important monographs by Martha Feldman, as well as novels, such as Helen Berry’s The Castrato and His Wife. Throughout Europe, the talents of the castrati were praised to the same degree that the means of achieving their vocal excellence were decried. These decried means and their outcomes in terms of sexuality and gender identity constitute the topic of this roundtable, which seeks short presentations on the science and surgery of castration in the interest of shedding new light on this form of sexual surgery and its outcomes related to the castrato’s sexuality, identity, and gender. The presentations may also engage the topic transnationally to discover whether the loci of surgery were always Italian, and whether young boys from outside of Italy were sent to Italy for surgery, including how those trips were arranged and negotiated. Treatises on the science and surgery of castration as well as existing translations and their reception might also be addressed in this session. Topics exploring how the science of sexuality in the twenty-first century informs our understanding of castrati in the eighteenth century are also sought for this roundtable.
Looking forward to hearing from you!