Previous Events

  • The Center for the Study of the Early Modern World cordially invites you to attend a senior project-performance of William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night by EMW concentrator Zander Blitzer.
    Three performances of her production will take place in the Winnick Chapel at Brown RISD Hillel on:
    Thursday, December 9th at 7 pm
    Saturday, December 11th at 7 pm
    Sunday, December 12th at 7 pm

    Twelfth Night is Shakespeare at his best – comedic, snappy, and even a little bit haunting. With a romantic web, mistaken identity, trickery, and more, Twelfth Night will keep you engaged from beginning to end. Please join us!

    Directed by Zander Blitzer ’22.5
    Assistant Directed by Peter Zubiago ’22
    Stage Managed by Sofia Matos ’24
    Assistant Stage Managed by Lia Ortner ’25
    Poster design: Talia Mermin
  • The Department of Classics presents the 73rd Latin Carol Celebration on December 6th at 8 p.m. This joyful program of readings and songs in the spirit of the season is conducted entirely in Latin (with a bit of ancient Greek and Sanskrit). English translations are provided for those whose Latin is a little (or a lot!) rusty.

    The Latin Carol Celebration is free and open to the public and lasts a little over an hour. This year, the popular event will take place on Brown’s campus, in the Sayles Hall Auditorium, 81 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02912. Additionally, we are requiring registration for this year’s Celebration, since the venue is a bit smaller. Parking on/near Brown’s campus is minimal, so please refer to Brown’s Visitor Parking site for guidance.

     

    If you are unable to join us in-person, feel free to watch Latin Carol Celebration via live stream! Download the program so you can follow along.

     

    We are delighted to resume this time honored tradition and look forward to seeing everyone!

     

    Event attendees, including visitors and guests, must comply with all University COVID-19 policies and protocols in place at the time of the event . Find more information on the Healthy Brown websiteAll attendees must be masked for the duration of the event, regardless of vaccination status.

     

    LCC Poster

    Arts, Performance, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities, Philosophy, Religious Studies
  • “Jewish-Converso Atlantic Trade: Legal disputes between Brazil, Portugal and the Netherlands, 1585-1617”

    Daniel Strum’s research analyzes the mechanisms that promoted honesty and diligence in overseas commercial relations in the early modern sugar trade linking Iberia, Brazil and the Netherlands. He is currently working on a book project that highlights the coevolution of plural legal systems, transnational professional reputation mechanisms, and social constraints within diasporas (Sephardim in particular) against the backdrop of the Atlantic imperial rivalries and religious confessionalization. It explains how and why merchants chose different mechanisms to govern distinct types of transactions.

    Presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

  • A page from a naval register of enslaved rowers, ca. 1682. Toulon, Service historique de la Défen...
    Nov
    16
    5:30pm - 7:00pm

    The 42nd William F. Church Memorial Lecture

    Smith-Buonanno Hall

    Gillian Weiss (Case Western Reserve University) and Meredith Martin (New York University) will give a talk on “Remembering Mediterranean Slavery in Early Modern France.” 

    The transnational movement to confront the legacies of Atlantic slavery has seen statues topple, memorials rise and exhibitions open across the globe. For the most part, however, the phenomenon of early modern galley slavery – and, in particular, enslaved Muslim oarsmen on France’s Mediterranean galleys – has escaped contemporary reckoning. This lecture explores the traces of two thousand esclaves turcs (enslaved Turks) purchased to row on King Louis XIV’s vessels while considering some of the factors shaping their depiction in monuments and museum displays. Ship design, naval weapons, medals, paintings, and prints depicting Ottoman and Moroccan subjects helped proclaim royal supremacy in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. What are the stakes of remembering these individuals today?

    Presented by the Department of History.

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities, Identity, Culture, Inclusion
  • Nov
    11

    The second meeting of the colloquium will consider the issue of translation, which has attracted growing interest among early modernists over the last few years. To help guide our discussion, we will be reading Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay, The Translator’s Task, which our colleague Isa Farias Velasco has kindly agreed to introduce. We will also read the introduction to the recent volume, Early Modern Cultures of Translation, edited by Karen Newman and Jane Tylus, which will provide us with a historical framework for thinking through the subject of translation in relation to our own work. Copies of both texts will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

     

    Presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World. Questions? Please feel free to email the center’s graduate student representative Dominic Bate

  • In 2019, a shooter of the synagogue in Poway near San Diego invoked the story of Simon of Trent, a Christian boy whose death the spring of 1475 led to one of the most notorious trials of Jews in European history, as one of the reasons why he decided to attack and kill Jews. In the US, Great Britain, and the Middle East, the trope of “blood libel” is often evoked in cartoons and violence. While other anti-Jewish libels waned, this one continues to endure. Magda Teter will discuss the enduring power of this libel and explain how and why it came to be rooted in Christian imagination, reaching beyond medieval Europe to contemporary America and the Middle East.

  • Paola Bertucci is associate professor of history at Yale University. She has published extensively on the public culture of science in eighteenth-century Europe, and is the author of prize-winning essays on secrecy, selective visibility, and industrial travel in the Enlightenment. 

    Open to the public. Presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World.

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events, History, Cultural Studies, Languages
  • Oct
    12
    4:00pm - 5:00pm

    Early Modern Graduate Colloquium

    Pembroke Hall

    A diverse body, with many disciplinary and language backgrounds, the colloquium is a forum for all graduate students at Brown who profess an interest in the early modern period (broadly defined as 1400–1800) to meet and exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest in a convivial setting.

    As the group has not met for a long time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this will primarily be a social gathering that will give us an opportunity to catch up and learn about each other’s work in an informal way. A particular welcome is extended to those who are new to the group or simply interested in finding out more. As always, snacks and drinks will be provided. No RSVP is required.

    Presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World. Questions? Please feel free to email the center’s graduate student representative Dominic Bate.

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events
  • The Gail Kern Paster Reading Room at the Folger Shakespeare Library, with a First Folio in the fo...
    Sep
    22
    6:30pm

    Early Modern Event • Folger Reception

    Cogut Institute, Pembroke Hall

    A meeting mainly for the graduate students in Humanities about the opportunities of the Folger Shakespeare Libary in Washington D.C.

  • Rick Rambuss (English) will talk on “Comus Does Comus: Milton’s Masque Comes to Mardi Gras.” 

    Rick writes: “If we were to allow for a version of Milton’s antisensualist masque known as Comus from the sensualist Comus’s point of view, what might it look like? I propose a materialist answer in heading to New Orleans, where in 1906 the secret society Mardi Gras organization named the Mistick Krewe of Comus feted its fiftieth anniversary by staging an artful 20-float nocturnal public parade and masked society ball on The Masque of Comus. The group’s foundational aim was to reform and culturally elevate a European Catholic holiday seen to have become distasteful and dissolute in multicultural New Orleans. English Renaissance literature, particularly Milton’s poetry, provided Comus’s thematic playbook. Its carnivalization of Comus plays upon and redoubles the masque’s many structuring inversions and conversions. The men of the Mistick Krewe also refashion Comus himself, making him a son more “properly” like his festive father Bacchus than his dangerous sorceress mother Circe.”

    Presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World.

  • A John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World fellowship project, this interdisciplinary symposium convenes to bring forward new or underexplored theories of performance in the study of the global early modern, with a focus on performance in relation to the objects of historical analysis. These objects may be archival materials, the individuals or collectivities that produced these materials, or conceptual and abstract knowledge-objects. How can performance, as a theoretical rubric, illuminate the interaction within and among such categories of object, as well as between object and subject— both historical subjects and historian-subjects? How do objects represent, enact, or mediate performance? In what ways can one object surrogate or perform as another? How do objects circulate performances across distances of space and time?

    The symposium will be held virtually over two sessions on June 14th and June 15th. Papers by invited scholars will be published online in advance. Each of the two symposium sessions will be divided between discussion of the papers and presentations by participants on relevant objects digitized from the John Hay Library’s collections. Professor Holly Shaffer of Brown’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture will moderate.

    For more information and for the symposium’s program click here.

    Humanities, Libraries, Social Sciences
  • THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY, Chicago, IL

    Lia Markey, director of the Center for Renaissance Studies, Suzanne Karr Schmidt (George Amos Poole III Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, a Brown alum! ), Jill Gage (Reference Librarian and Bibliographer for British Literature and History at the Newberry and Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing) and Will Hansen (Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana) will be offering a joint presentation on the Collection and its resources, followed by a Q&A.

    The Early Modern World in United States Libraries and Collections Orientations and Opportunities

    This unique series of interactive events showcase the resources of some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and special collections for research on the early modern period.

    On each occasion, representatives will speak from their institution to explain the nature of its holdings, offering orientations to potential first-time readers and new information valuable to regular visitors. Following the introductory presentations, there will be opportunities for questions and answers about practical matters – ranging from subject specialisms and reproduction permissions to programs and residence or fellowship opportunities.

    The series will continue through 2021 and 2022 and will be extended to introduce some international libraries in future years. The first event on February 3rd, 2021 involved the Folger Institute, with which the Center enjoys a longstanding and active association, and there was a presentation from representatives of the Nettie Lee Benson Library on February 24th.

    These events are organized exclusively for Brown graduates, faculty, and associate members of the Center.

    Humanities, Research, Social Sciences
  • The Classics Department cordially invites you to join us for the Michael C.J. Putnam Lecture, In and Out of Virgil’s Labyrinths, presented by Denis Feeney from Princeton University.

    Virgil’s Aeneid refers on a number of occasions to the Cretan labyrinth. The lecture will explore the significance of these references, arguing that Virgil uses the labyrinth as a way of reflecting on different strands of his literary tradition, with important consequences for his representation of the experience of Roman history.

    Denis Feeney grew up in New Zealand and took his DPhil at Oxford University. He has been Giger Professor of Latin at Princeton University since 2000. With Stephen Hinds, he is the co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Series Roman Literature and its Contexts. He has published on Roman literature and religion, and is the author of four books: The Gods in Epic (Oxford, 1991); Literature and Religion at Rome (Cambridge, 1998); Caesar’s Calendar (Berkeley, 2007); Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature (Cambridge, MA, 2016).

    This event is free and open to the public and will be hosted via Zoom on Tuesday March 23rd at 5:30 pm (EST). You can find the Zoom link below. We hope to see you there!

     

    Zoom Link

     

    Event Poster

    Classics & Modern Greek, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities, Libraries, Philosophy, Religious Studies
  • Please join the Department of French Studies for a talk by Mireille Huchon-Rieu, Sorbonne Université, entitled Louise Labé, invention d’auteur. This event will take place on March 4th at 12:00 pm (EST). Please note this lecture will be in French.

    Abstract:

    « Louïze Labé Lionnoize » a signé, en 1555, un unique recueil de ses Euvres (un débat de Folie et d’Amour en prose, trois élégies et vingt-quatre sonnets) accompagnées de vingt-quatre « Escriz » des « Poetes de Louïze Labé » prétendument à sa louange. L’ensemble, habile forgerie, relève de jeux de texte et d’intertexte d’auteur(s), à lire hors genre… Par-delà l’invention d’une figure féminine Louise Labé la nouvelle Sappho – à distinguer de Loyse Labbé la Belle Cordière–, il constitue un brillant témoignage d’un moment exceptionnel de rencontres de cercles poétiques, de recherches formelles, d’illustration de la langue française dans une riche connivence perdue au cours des siècles, et à retrouver…

    Bio:

    Mireille Huchon is Professor of French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. A specialist of the History of the French language and of literature from the Renaissance, Huchon has edited Rabelais’s complete works for the Pléiade (1994) and written his authoritative biography (2011). Huchon is also known for work on the Euvres de Louïze Labé Lionnoize (1555) thanks to her influential book Louise Labé: une créature de papier (2006), which examines the poetic culture of Lyons and practices of fictionalized authorship. Most recently, she is the author of Le Labéryinthe (2020).

     

    This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Follow the link below to access the registration form. You can find additional information on the French Studies website. We hope to see you there!

     

    Registration Form

  •  

    NETTIE LEE BENSON LIBRARY LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTION, Austin, TX

    Daniel Arbino, the Benson’s Head of Collection Development, Dylan Joy, the Latin American Archivist, and Albert Palacios, the Benson’s Digital Scholarship Coordinator, will be offering a joint presentation on the Collection and its resources, followed by a Q&A.

    Register.

    This a continuation of the series “The Early Modern World in United States Libraries and Collections Orientations and Opportunities,” interactive events that showcase the resources of some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and special collections for research on the early modern period.

    On each occasion, representatives speak from their institution to explain the nature of its holdings, offering orientations to potential first-time readers and new information valuable to regular visitors. Following the introductory presentations, there are opportunities for questions and answers about practical matters – ranging from subject specialisms and reproduction permissions to programs and residence or fellowship opportunities.

    The series will continue through 2021 and 2022 and will be extended to introduce some international libraries in future years. The first event on February 3rd, 2021 involved the Folger Institute, with which the Center enjoys a longstanding and active association.

    These events are organized exclusively for Brown graduates, faculty, and associate members of the Center.

    Humanities
  • The Early Modern World in United States Libraries and Collections  Orientations and Opportunities

    This unique series of interactive events will showcase the resources of some of the world’s most prestigious libraries and special collections for research on the early modern period.

    On each occasion, representatives will speak from their institution to explain the nature of its holdings, offering orientations to potential first-time readers and new information valuable to regular visitors. Following the introductory presentations, there will be opportunities for questions and answers about practical matters – ranging from subject specialisms and reproduction permissions to programs and residence or fellowship opportunities.

    The series will continue through 2021 and 2022 and will be extended to introduce some international libraries in future years. It will begin on February 3rd with the Folger Institute (see below), with which the Center enjoys a longstanding and active association.

    These events are organized exclusively for Brown graduates, faculty, and associate members of the Center: details of how to register will be made available through this website and through our circulars closer to the time.

    FOLGER INSTITUTE AND FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY, Washington, D.C.

    Caroline Duroselle-Melish, the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints, Amanda Herbert, Associate Director for Research Fellowships, Owen Williams, Associate Director for Scholarly Programs, Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts and Associate Librarian for Audience Development, will discuss the Folger Collection and offer brief presentations on Folger opportunities for members of the Center and the Brown scholarly community, Rachel B. Dankert, Learning and Engagement Librarian, the best person for addressing the nuts and bolts of registering as a Folger Researcher and searching the catalogs and Finding Aids, will discuss the Folger Collection and offer brief presentations on Folger opportunities for members of the Center and the Brown scholarly community, followed by a Q&A… Register.

    Humanities
  • While Juan Luis Vives and others contributed to debates in Europe about the identity of the original Adamic language, missionaries in sixteenth-century Mexico used the biblical story of Babel to account for, or just to convey, the daunting number of native tongues in the Americas. Interpretation of the Babel episode also influenced the Franciscans’ linguistic theory and practice as they compiled the first grammars and dictionaries of Amerindian languages.

    The ruins of local pyramids and other physical traces of the remote past in post-conquest Mexico attracted the attention of European missionaries as well. Preachers used the myths of the Tower of Babel and that of the existence of primordial giants before the confusion of tongues to explain pre-Aztec material remains. Those Biblical myths were not deployed in a void, but among indigenous narratives that already accounted for those remains.

    Using both textual sources and archaeological remains, Andrew Laird and Felipe Rojas will discuss the interactions between Old and New World traditions of antiquarianism.

    1. And the earth was of one tongue, and of the same speech.
    2. And when they removed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Sennaar, and dwelt in it.
    3. And each one said to his neighbor: Come let us make brick, and bake them with fire. And they had brick instead of stones, and slime instead of mortar:
    4. And they said: Come, let us make a city and a tower, the top whereof may reach to heaven; and let us make our name famous before we be scattered abroad into all lands. 5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of Adam were building.
    5. And he said: Behold, it is one people, and all have one tongue: and they have begun to do this, neither will they leave off from their designs, till they accomplish them in deed.
    6. Come ye, therefore, let us go down, and there confound their tongue, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
    7. And so the Lord scattered them from that place into all lands, and they ceased to build the city.
    8. And therefore the name thereof was called Babel, because there the language of the whole earth was confounded: and from thence the Lord scattered them abroad upon the face of all countries.

    Genesis 11: 1-8

    This virtual event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

  • A refugee crisis of huge proportions erupted as a result of the mid-seventeenth-century wars in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Tens of thousands of Jews fled their homes, or were captured and trafficked across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Adam Teller’s new book Rescue the Surviving Souls:The Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (Princeton University Press, 2020) is the first study to examine this horrific moment of displacement and flight, and to assess its social, economic, religious, cultural, and psychological consequences. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources in twelve languages, Adam Teller traces the entire course of the crisis, shedding fresh light on the refugee experience and the various relief strategies developed by the major Jewish centers of the day.

    The book pays particular attention to those thousands of Jews sent for sale on the slave markets of Istanbul and the extensive transregional Jewish economic network that coalesced to ransom them. It also explores how Jewish communities rallied to support the refugees in central and western Europe, as well as in Poland-Lithuania, doing everything possible to help them overcome their traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives.

    Francesca Trivellato, Hal Cook, and Adam Teller will discuss the book and its implications not just for the history of the Jews but for how we understand the history of early modern Europe and the Ottoman Empire more generally.

    Francesca Trivellato is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Early Modern European History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ. She previously taught at Yale University and, briefly, at the University of Venice Ca’ Foscari. Her publications include The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells us about the Making of European Commercial Society (Princeton University Press, 2019) and The Familiarity of Strangers: The Sephardic Diaspora, Livorno, and Cross-Cultural Trade in the Early Modern Period (Yale University Press, 2009). She is a co-founder and editor of Capitalism: A Journal of History and Economics.

    Harold J. (Hal) Cook, PhD University of Michigan 1981, is the John F. Nickoll Professor of History at Brown University. He is author of numerous articles and books, including Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age(Yale University Press, 2007) and The Young Descartes: Nobility, Rumor, and War (The University of Chicago Press, 2018), and editor of several others, most recently Translation at Work: Chinese Medicine in the First Global Age (Brill, 2020). His chief research interests are in the emergence of the new medicines and sciences of early modern Europe; the co-production of science and commerce; global knowledge exchanges; and processes of translation.

    Adam Teller is Professor of History and Judaic Studies here at Brown. He specializes in the economic, social, and cultural history of the Jews in early modern Poland-Lithuania. He was a member of the core academic team that created the exhibit at the prize-winning POLIN Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and is currently a member of the museum’s Academic Council. He is also the author of Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth Century Lithuania: The Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates (Stanford University Press, 2016), and Rescue the Surviving Souls: The Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century (Princeton University Press, 2020).

    This virtual event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events, Humanities
  • “Revisiting Mosquito Empires in the time of COVID-19”

    In this virtual lecture, environmental historian J.R. McNeill will revisit arguments he made a decade ago in his book, Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean (Cambridge University Press, 2010), which dealt with the extraordinary virulence and historical consequences of epidemics in the Caribbean, ca. 1650-1900. Looking back at his study from the vantage point of the pandemic year 2020 will also permit him to reflect on the importance of disease history in the contemporary world.

    Register to attend the webinar. 

    J.R. McNeill, currently University Professor and Professor of History at Georgetown University, has held two Fulbright awards and fellowships from Guggenheim, MacArthur and the Woodrow Wilson Center. He has authored or edited 23 books, including Something New Under the Sun (2000), listed by the London Times among the 10 best science books ever written (despite being a history book); and Mosquito Empires (2010), which won the Beveridge Prize from the American Historical Association; and most recently The Webs of Humankind (2020), 2 vols. In 2018, he received the Heineken Award for History from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a former president of both the American Society for Environmental History and the American Historical Association.

    This virtual event, presented by the Medieval and Early Modern History Seminar and the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities
  • In this lecture, Nicholas R. Jones analyzes cultural and dramatic representations of black African voices in Spanish theater from the 1500s through the 1700s, when the performance of Africanized Castilian, commonly referred to as habla de negros (black speech), was in vogue. Drawing on material from his book, Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain, Jones elucidates the ways that habla de negros animated black Africans’ agency, empowered their resistance, and highlighted their African cultural retentions.

    Nicholas R. Jones is an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Africana Studies whose research agenda explores the agency, subjectivity, and performance of black diasporic identities in early modern Iberia and the Ibero-Atlantic world. He is the author of Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain (Penn State University Press, May 2019) and co-editor of Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies: A Critical Anthology (Palgrave, December 2018) with Cassander L. Smith and Miles P. Grier. Jones also is co-editor of the Routledge Critical Junctures in Global Early Modernities book series with Derrick Higginbotham and has published widely in peer-reviewed venues such as Colonial Latin American, Hispanic Review, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, and University of Toronto Quarterly.

    This virtual event, presented by the Department of Hispanic Studies and co-sponsored by the  Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities
  • Across the tradition of European romance, the love-potion is a familiar instrument of sexual trickery and comic misprision that has the power to significantly alter the course of human affections. Chaucer’s Wife of Bath proves herself an expert in the “remedies of love”; Shakespeare’s “love-juice” makes Titania love an ass; and Cervantes’s “glass lawyer” is given an improperly dosed quince that sends him completely mad. As a careful concoction of herbs and flowers typically administered by stealth, the love-potion harnesses the qualities of certain plants that act upon the sexual personality. Yet, what exactly are these potions, and how serious are their effects on personal freedom? Is the love potion a form of sexual violence, and does it matter who administers it?

    In this talk, Prof. Scozzaro considers the purpose of love potions and balms in Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor, with reference to the status of marriage and individual freedom in the early modern sexual contract.

    Connie Scozzaro is Assistant Professor of English at Brown University. Read more.

    Image: Act IV, Scene I of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the 2002 production directed by Richard Jones and designed by Giles Cadle. Bottom played by Darrell D’Silva and Titania played by Yolanda Vazquez. Photo: Manuel Harlan, Royal Shakespeare Company.

    This virtual event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

    Humanities
  • Mar
    10
    5:30pm - 7:00pm

    40th William Church Lecture • Nick Wilding

    Smith-Buonanno Hall

    Nick Wilding (Georgia State University) will give a talk on “False Impressions: A History of Print Forgery.” Prof. Nick Wilding is a historian of early modern Italy, of the book, and of science. A recipient of many awards and fellowships, and author of many works, most notably Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge (2014), he also became visible internationally when in 2012 he exposed a grand fraud. Wilding proved that a proffered copy of Galileo’s famous treatise on the use of a telescope to observe the stars, Sidereus Nuncius (1610), purportedly including Galileo’s own watercolors of the moon, was a clever forgery. It helped to bring the director of the Girolamini Library in Naples, Marino Massimo De Caro – part of the Berlusconi network – to justice. (De Caro was also found to have embezzled many hundreds of books from the library he oversaw.) Wilding also featured prominently in the PBS documentary about how the fraud was exposed, “Galileo’s Moon” (which premiered on July 2, 2019). 

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events
  • Hoy en día se sabe muy poco de la rica historia intelectual y cultural de Charcas colonial, que formó parte del Virreinato del Perú y cuyo territorio corresponde aproximadamente a la moderna Bolivia. Desde hace mucho tiempo, Andrés Eichmann está desenterrando e interpretando la literatura en español (además de algunas obras en latín) de la región, producida en los siglos XVI y XVII. En esta charla proporcionará una visión general informada de sus hallazgos y explicará el estado actual de la investigación de este campo.

    Very little is known of the rich intellectual and cultural history of colonial Charcas, a part of the Viceroyalty of Peru now roughly constituting the area of modern Bolivia. For several years Andrés Eichmann has been unearthing and interpreting Spanish literature and some works in Latin from the region, which were produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. In this talk he will provide a uniquely informed overview of his findings and explain the current state of investigation in this field.

    This lecture will be given in Spanish.

    Andrés Eichmann Oerhli, Professor (Catedrático) of Latin American Literature in UMSA in La Paz, Bolivia, has had visiting lectureships at the universities of Versailles in France and Navarra in Spain and is founding editor of the journal Classics Boliviana. His book publications includeDe Boliviana latinitate: Pensamiento y latín en Bolivia(2002); Letras humanas y divinas en la muy noble ciudad de La Plata (2005), Cancionero mariano de Charcas (2009), and a volume co-authored with Ignacio Arellano, Entremeses, loas y coloquios de Potosí (2005).

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

  • Professor Anne Dunlop is the Herald Chair of Fine Arts in the Department of Art History, Curatorship, Arts & Culture at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Andrea del Castagno and the Limits of Painting (2015), Painted Palaces: The Rise of Secular Art in Early Renaissance Italy (2009) and several edited volumes, among them Antipodean Early Modern: European Art in Australian Collections, c. 1200-1600, (2018), and with Christy Anderson and Pamela H. Smith, co-editor of The Matter of Art: Materials, Technologies, Cultural Logics, 1250-1650 (2014). Her current research focuses on artistic contact and trade in materials between Italy and Mongol Eurasia. Her lecture is part of the year-long series called On Speculation.

    The series is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture’s Margerie Cutler, Joseph Edinburgh, and Kenneth List funds. Additional support comes from the C.V. Starr Foundation Lectureship Fund.

    HIAA Annual Lecture Series, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • David Scott, the Ruth and William Lubic Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University, will give a research lecture that asks what story of the history of New World slavery ought to command our critical attention in the present. He offers the provisional answer that the story of New World slavery ought to be reoriented by a moral, and more specifically a reparatory, history that embraces the idea that New World slavery was not only an historical catastrophe but a moral evil, a wrong which may in fact be irreparable. Free and open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

  • What did Dante know about classical pederasty? Was he concerned that the great masters he emulated—father figures—were often also unabashed lovers of young men? Most urgently, did he think of Virgil in this context? This talk will first set out some broad historical and theoretical considerations around intergenerational male-male desire from antiquity through the Renaissance with help from Freud and post-Freudian queer theory. The subsequent focus will then be on the remarkable celebration of Virgil’s warrior-lovers Nisus and Euryalus in the first canto of Dante’s Inferno.

    Gary Cestaro is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and the LGBTQ Studies Program at DePaul University in Chicago. He is the author of Dante and the Grammar of the Nursing Body (University of Notre Dame Press, 2003) and editor of the collection Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film (Palgrave Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2004). He is currently working on a book entitled Dante’s Queer Genealogies.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public.

  • Dec
    11
    10:00am - 4:00pm

    Workshop • “Viewing Topography Across the Globe”

    John Carter Brown Library

    Topography, from topos, is the practice of describing place through language, the features of the land, the inhabitants, and the accumulation of history. Specific to locality and the perspective of the person delineating, describing, or collecting materials, topography counters the worldliness of geography while also offering a potential tool to multiply singular approaches. Over a day-long workshop, approaches to place from Indigenous and European perspectives and interrogate the frame of ‘topography’ in global contexts were examined. Working with special collections, the day included three talks and object viewing sessions that focused  on the Americas, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, and included descriptions of military campaigns, fortifications, settlements, urban cartographies, city views, forests and hunts, palaces, religious structures, markets, peoples, coastal views, weather, maps, and more.

    The workshop was organized by Holly Shaffer (History of Art & Architecture, Brown University), Cynthia Roman (The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University), Neil Safier (The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University), and Shahzad Bashir (Religious Studies, Brown University).

    Session 1: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (John Carter Brown Library)

    John Lopez (Assistant Professor of Art History, University of California-Davis), “Renaissance Cartography and the Mapping of the Environmental Crisis at Viceregal Mexico City”
    When the Spanish founded Mexico City in 1524, they inherited from the Aztec an island site that flooded. After following in the footsteps of their pre-Columbian predecessor, by rebuilding the hydraulic web of causeways, dikes, and floodgates, Spanish colonial authorities sought an alternative solution to the city’s propensity to inundate. In 1607, the cartographer-turned-hydraulic engineer Enrico Martínez implemented the desagüe, an engineering project to drain the lakes that surrounded the city into the Gulf of Mexico. As part of his response to environmental crisis, Martínez produced Descripción de la comarca de México i obra del desagüe de la laguna. Martínez’s map represents a defining moment in Mexico City’s history because it is the first drawing made by a professional mapmaker in the service of flood control. Made under the guise of environmental concern and technological prowess, Descripción de la comarca de México aids understanding how flooding was a problem posed by New World nature to Renaissance cartographic analysis, where science and mathematical abstraction were mobilized to end Mexico City’s centuries-old problem of chronic flooding.

    Samira Sheikh (Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, Vanderbilt University), “The Languages of Gujarati Maps”
    Terrestrial maps produced in Gujarat in the 18th century drew from and “translated” cartographic vocabularies available in this highly connected and trade-rich province of the Mughal empire. With the extension of the East India Company’s influence over Gujarat, local mapmakers veered towards conventions that often looked European on the surface. In response, Samira Sheikh argued that Gujarati cartography, informed by religious, maritime, scientific, and painterly conventions, was in fact the site of multiple, cross-cutting translation projects.

    Ünver Rüstem (Assistant Professor of History of Art, Johns Hopkins University), “Mapping Cosmopolitanism: An Eighteenth-Century Printed Ottoman Atlas and the Turn to Baroque”
    In 1732, İbrahim Müteferrika — founder in Istanbul of the first Turkish-language Ottoman printing press — published the Cihānnümā, an illustrated world atlas filled with copperplate maps. While in some ways replicating the art of traditional manuscripts, the Cihānnümā’s makers derived their maps from European printed atlases, even adapting the latter’s Baroque cartouches. Ünver Rüstem discussed these cartouches as sites for the emergence of a distinctly Ottoman reinterpretation of the Baroque that anticipated by several years the use of the same mode in Istanbul’s public architecture. Focusing on the plates signed by the Armenian engraver Mıgırdıç, Ünver Rüstem highlighted the special role of non-Muslim Ottomans in mapping this global style onto the empire’s visual culture.

    “Viewing Urban Cartographies” with Bertie Mandelblatt (Curator of Maps and Prints, John Carter Brown Library)

    Lunch break: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

    Session 2: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, John Hay Library

    “Viewing the Minassian Collection” with Shahzad Bashir (Aga Khan Professor of Islam and the Humanities, Brown University) and Holly Shaffer (Assistant Professor of History of Art & Architecture, Brown University), and graduate students in  Tracing Translations (HMAN 2400R)

    “Viewing the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection” with Peter Harrington (Curator of the Military Collection, John Hay Library)

    This workshop was sponsored by the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, the John Carter Brown Library, the John Hay Library, and the Lewis Walpole Library; it was part of the programming for the Collaborative Humanities course, Tracing Translations: Artistic Migrations and Reinventions in the Early Modern World, and was part of a series on topography organized by the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale University.

    Collaborative Humanities Initiative, Early Modern World
  • What do a Chinese élite lady in Shanghai, a Portuguese duchess in Madrid, an Austrian queen in Lisbon, and a Bavarian countess in Augsburg all have in common? These women, in spite of distance in time and space, all became revered patronesses of the Jesuit missions in China in the early modern period.

    Candida Xu (許甘第大, 1607-1680), granddaughter of the most prominent Chinese Catholic convert of the late Ming period, the imperial Grand Secretary Xu Guangqi 徐光啓, once widowed at age forty-six poured her fortune and energies in religious endeavors within the Catholic mission, and became a paragon of patronage and holiness both for her compatriots and the European readers of her French (1688), Spanish (1691) and Dutch (1694) biographies.

    The Portuguese noblewoman and heiress Maria de Guadalupe de Lencastre y Cárdenas Manrique, Duchess of Aveiro (1630-1715), cultivated a sprawling epistolary network with Jesuit missionaries across the globe, including several in China, financially supporting them, and receiving in return spiritual blessings and information on their activities.

    Maria Anna Habsburg of Austria (1683-1754), Queen Consort of Portugal and Regent of Portugal from 1742 until 1750, through her Jesuit confessor, the Austrian astronomer of the China Portuguese mission Augustin Hallerstein, organized a lavish embassy to the Qianlong Emperor to save the Chinese church from annihilation.

    Finally, Countess Maria Theresia von Fugger-Wellenburg (1690-1762), a descendant of the Fugger banking dynasty in Swabia, through the Bavarian Jesuit Florian Bahr, supported Chinese abandoned infants and acted as a chain of communication between the Qing and the Wittelsbach courts.

    This presentation examines these prominent women’s interactions with, and patronage of, the Jesuit missionaries in China, and, how, through their correspondence, as well as their political and financial influence, they sustained a far-flung network of male ecclesiastical admirers and expressed feminine spirituality and influence across the continents.

    Eugenio Menegon teaches Chinese and world history at Boston University. His latest book, Ancestors, Virgins, and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China (Harvard Asia Center and Harvard University Press, 2009) centers on the life of Catholic communities in Fujian province since the 1630s. His current book project is an examination of the daily life and political networking of European residents at the Qing court in Beijing in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    This event, presented by the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, is free and open to the public. 

    Early Modern World, Humanities
  • Kaijun Chen, Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies at Brown University, will be discussing his research in an informal talk. Pizza and soda will be provided, or feel free to bring a lunch.

    For a full list of Archaeology Brown Bag talks, please visit http://blogs.brown.edu/archaeology/2019/08/19/brown-bag-talks-for-fall-2019/

    History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities
  • Nov
    2
    9:00am - 7:00pm

    2019 New England Medieval Conference

    85 Waterman Street

    On November 2, 2019, Brown University will host the New England Medieval Conference, an annual interdisciplinary gathering of medievalists which has met in the northeast since 1974. This year, participants will be asked to consider how the human body (broadly conceived) was imagined, depicted, and treated in life and death in late antiquity and the middle ages—a topic which has received much critical attention in recent decades.

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events, Biology, Medicine, Public Health, History, Cultural Studies, Languages, Humanities