Suzanne Scanlan (Lecturer, History of Art + Visual Culture) gave a paper entitled Holy Recovery! Reclaiming the Body of Santa Francesca Romana at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America held in Boston. Her work was in-part funded by a grant from the RISD Professional Development Fund.
Scanlan’s paper addressed the symbolic reshaping of the catholic saint Francesca dei Ponziani (1384-1440) through text, images, and works created commissioned by the community of religious women she founded named the Oblates of Francesca Romana.
In 1608 Pope Paul V canonized Francesca dei Ponziani as an exemplar of female piety for the Reformed Catholic Church. Yet, during the rush to shape the symbolic identity for the saint the church sidelined the Oblates of Francesca Romana. Scanlan sought to show how the Oblates responded to the changing persona of their founder both in response to the church, but also as a way of reclaiming her image as their own.
More information on Suzanne Scanlan can be found here