Fourth ILSF Conference – 28 to 30 October 2021 in Palazzo Du Mesnil, Naples

Fourth International Laurence Sterne Foundation Conference, Naples 2021
Palazzo Du Mesnil – Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 October 2021

Sterne and the Grand Tour: Places, Postures, Portraits
 … and here I am, as happy as a king after all, growing fat, sleek, and well-liking —not improving in stature, but in breadth. We have a jolly carnival of it — nothing but opera-punchinelloes-festinos and masquerades —
(Letters, 269, to John Hall Stevenson, Naples, 5 February 1766) 

Sterne’s eccentric Grand Tour through Italy culminated in Naples, where he arrived ‘Shandaically’ enough just in time for the pre-Lenten festivities in February 1766. As the epigraph makes clear, he seemed utterly in tune with the intoxicating festive mood pervading the town and was impressed by the local celebrations, especially the renowned fêtes and masquerades given by Eleonora Borghese, Principessa Francavilla, at the gorgeous Palazzo Cellamare with its luxuriant gardens. 

For the Fourth Conference in Naples the ILSF warmly welcomes proposals that focus on Sterne’s artful investment in all aspects related to the Grand Tour. Topics may include the following: 

  • The Grand Tour in the eighteenth century and Sterne’s narrative ’detours’
  • Sterne in Italy between antique and modern arts
  • Sterne and learned wit 
  • The metaphor of writing as travelling and Sterne’s travesties and postures
  • Sterne’s authorial masks and the festive repertoire of the carnivalesque

We also welcome proposals for themed panels.

Abstracts (max 300 words) should be sent to Peter de Voogd ( and to Maria Laudando ( The deadline is 31 July 2021.

Conference fee
Before 10 August: €80 – non-waged €60
After 10 August: €100 – non-waged €80
Conference dinner: €30

in Euro by bank transfer: made payable to St. Int. Sterne Foundation
IBAN: NL92 INGB 0006252439 – Bic/Swift: INGBNL2A
in Euro via PayPal: account name:

To register
Please email to stating your name, affiliation, and payment details.

Where & when
We do hope to be able to host the Conference “live” in Naples at Palazzo Du Mesnil (Via Partenope 10/A, with access in Via Chiatamone 61/62) from 28 to 30 October 2021. In case of persisting restrictions due to the ongoing global pandemic, the event will be postponed to March 2022.