The EMIT Society intends to advance the study of images and texts in the Early Modern Period, as well as the theory and praxis that unite the visual and the textual in the creative process of artists.

EMIT Society fosters collaborative opportunities between members in the form of bi-annual international, conferences, books, and special issue journals.

Emit Society Constitution  


Conference "Theater under the Ming and the Habsburgs:Angelica in and out of the Cathay", in Hong Kong, co-organized by Arizona State University and the University of Chicago"


The EMIT Society was formed in 2004 to provide valuable scholarly research in the field of ekphrasis and to contribute to the growing understanding of connections between text and image. To that end, this society organizes a bi-annual conference on the topic, and publishes the best of the papers in a volume. Our conferences seek to provide a forum where art historians, literary critics, and film specialists can exchange their work about the early modern global world. We provide a strong transatlantic approach to Renaissance and Baroque cultures, and favor interdisciplinary connections between European and colonial art history, literatures, and film studies. The EMIT Society is formed by innovative scholars and provides a tremendous source of inspiration and productivity for the study of the early modern world.


The EMIT Society has held a number of conferences to date, and is organizing its next 2018 conference at Hong Kong. From those conferences, the EMIT has published several volumes of papers. The success of the conferences and publications led to the decision by its original officers, Ana Laguna, Benjamin Nelson, John Slater, Frédéric Conrod, and Juan Pablo Gil-Osle, to expand the scope of EMIT in 2009, and to become a scholarly society. In 2010 alone, the membership grew from the original seminar participants to 47, and its growth continues. In 2011, the EMIT Society became an associated member of the Renaissance Society of America; as a result, it will regularly be hosting panels on early modern image and text in the RSA annual meetings. In 2016, we have started to have a strong presence in the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance annual conference, and EMIT panels will be organized in future ACMRS conferences.