Future Events

Syrithe Pugh • “Mountains, Missives and Mental Travel: Seneca and the Renaissance”

Themes, imagery and ideas from Seneca's moral philosophy infuse the writing of Petrarch and Boccaccio, helping to shape not only their moral views, but also their attitude towards the literature of the past and sense of their own role. Syrithe Pugh will trace Senecan ideas about literature as transcending geographical and temporal boundaries in the two trecento writers, and see how tensions between such transcendence and more mundane concerns and political realities play out in each. The journey will reveal telling differences between the two Italians, and destabilize some dichotomies master/disciple, Classical/Christian, Medieval/Renaissance which tend to inform scholarly treatments of them and of the period.

Syrithe Pugh is a Reader in English at the University of Aberdeen, specializing in classical reception in Renaissance literature. She has published three monographs Spenser and Ovid (2005), Herrick, Fanshawe and the Politics of Intertextuality (2010), and Spenser and Virgil: The Pastoral Poems (2016), which was awarded the Isabel MacCaffrey Award in 2017. Other publications include two forthcoming edited volumes Conversations: Classical and Renaissance Intertextuality (Manchester University Press) and Euhemerism and its Uses: The Mortal Gods (Routledge).



Keith Sidwell • “Intellectual Immigration? Epic and the Case Against Border Walls for Early Modern Literary Disciplines”

It has been argued that heroic poetry on martial themes disappeared in the seventeenth century because it could not accommodate technological changes in warfare. This lecture explores the history of European epic in both in Latin and in vernacular languages, in order to show that focus on one at the expense of the other can lead to perilous historical and literary-historical distortions.

Keith Sidwell, Emeritus Professor, University College Cork and Adjunct Professor, University of Calgary, Canada, has also taught at in Cambridge and Lancaster in the UK, and in the Republic of Ireland at NUI Maynooth and University College, Cork where he was the Professor of Latin and Greek and Head of Department. His research interests range from Greek tragedy and comedy to the influence of Lucian on Renaissance Latin literature, and Irish early modern Latin. He has published widely and his books include: Lucian: Chattering Courtesans and Other Sardonic Sketches, (Penguin, 2004); Aristophanes the Democrat, (Cambridge University Press, 2009); Making Ireland Roman: Irish Latin Writers and the Republic of Letters (Cork, 2009), with Jason Harris; The Tipperary Hero: Dermot O Meara's Ormonius (1615) (Brepols, 2011), with David Edwards; and (with P. Lenihan) Poema de Hibernia: A Jacobite Epic on the Williamite War (1689-91) (Irish MSS Commission, 2018).


Jeanne Britton and Zoe Langer • "Mapping the Book: The Digital Piranesi"

The Digital Piranesi aims to provide an enhanced digital edition of the works of Italian illustrator Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), an innovative graphic artist most known for his architectural studies of Rome and imaginary prisons. By digitally illuminating and enacting many of the graphic features of his designs, this project will provide new ways of seeing this rare and complex historical material. Alternatively historical and imaginative, Piranesi's representations of ruins are exercises in rigorous archeological investigation just as much as they are fanciful experiments in urban imagination. Pushing against the limits not only of the printed page but also of the bound book, his multi-plate engravings become elaborate foldouts in bound volumes, and the references in his maps and indices direct users between different publications. This seminar will offer a hands-on exploration of volumes from the set of Piranesi's Opere held at the John Hay Library and demonstrate the elaborate interaction with print that Piranesi asks of his beholders through his maps, views, keys, and indices. Key concerns will include word-image relationships, digital humanities, cartography, the history of printmaking, and art historical historiography.

This hands-on workshop for graduate students will be held by:
- Dr. Jeanne Britton, Curator
- Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina and
- Dr. Zoe Langer, NEH Postdoctoral Fellow, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina