Tuesday, October 21, 2008

RSVP for "Touching the Past"

If you intend to attend the Touching the Past symposium (the inaugural event of the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute) on Friday November 7, would you let us know that you plan to come? You can email Lowell Duckert (lduckert@gwu.edu) or me (jjcohen@gwu.edu).

We'd like to ensure that our room is large enough and that we have enough cookies for everyone.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Early Modern Europe and Islam Seminar at U Maryland

Please join the Comparative Literature Program for an exciting seminar on Early Modern Europe and Islam with Professors John Archer and Nabil Matar at 3:30 on October 30th in the Deans' Conference Room, 1102J Francis Scott Key Hall.

This seminar is the first in the 2008-09 Comparative Crossings Series on "The Archive." The speakers in the series will model an engagement with a critical understanding of the archive, its history and politics, prompting a self-conscious discussion of how we study what we do and why in the field of Comparative Literature. The scholars have been paired according to field and their different use of a specific archive. Papers/articles will be pre-circulated. The speakers will open with a fifteen-minute talk about their work and then engage in a conversation with each other and with the audience.

John Archer is Professor of English at New York University. He specializes in Renaissance drama, early modern literature and culture, the history of subjectivity, literary theory, colonial and postcolonial studies. He is the author of Citizen Shakespeare: Freemen and Aliens in the Language of the Plays (Palgrave Macmillen, 2005); Old Worlds: Egypt, Southwest Asia, India, and Russia in Early Modern English Texts, (Stanford University Press, 2001); and Sovereignty and Intelligence: Spying and Court Culture in the English Renaissance. (Stanford University Press, 1993.

Nabil Matar is Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. His research and writing focus on 16th- and 17th-century interactions between Europe, especially England, and the world of Islam. Among his numerous publications are Britain and Barbary: 1589-1689 (University Press of Florida, 2005) and Turks, Moors, and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia University Press, 1999).

For more information and to receive copies of the papers, please contact Zita Nunes at znunes@umd.edu.
Seating is limited.

Zita Nunes
Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Director, Program in Comparative Literature

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Public Lecture at Dumbarton Oaks on October 23

Medievalist Grad Conference at Penn

Per Speculum in Mediaevum: Discourses of Mirroring in the Middle Ages; Keynote Speaker: Marina Brownlee; Topic TBA.

Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) invites submissions for the graduate conference in Medieval Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, February 6-7, 2009. All abstract submissions (max. 250-300 words) must be received by November 14th, 2008. All submissions to mapmirrors@gmail.com.

The figure captured in the Latin word speculum, meaning both "mirror" and "encyclopedia," is central to medieval culture. From St. Paul's foundational "per speculum in aenigmate" to Ovid's version of the Narcissus myth to Jean de Meun's re-titling of the Romance of the Rose as "Le Miroer aus Amoreus," the problematic of reflection cuts across medieval regional and discursive boundaries. This traveling topos pervades medieval cultural expression, from religious thought to the production of visual and textual artwork to music and philosophy. The implicit or explicit articulation of this fascinating figure nevertheless differs as it enters (or is re-evaluated within) varying discourses. This conference invites submissions concerning one or more formations of the "mirror." We seek to encourage a plurality of perspectives from medievalists of all disciplines in recognition of the profound "interdisciplinarity" of our common object of study: the Middle Ages. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

-encyclopedias and summae -advice for princes and conduct manuals-scientific treatises and astrology -(Ciceronian) friendship-reproduction and repetition
-twins and doubling
-vanity and the Narcissus myth
-reflection and replication
-representation and mimesis
-specularity and visuality
-recognition and self-consciousness
-the mirror of the soul and mysticism
-mirror as distorted image, figura, and metaphor

Mission Statement of M@P: Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) is a reading group run by graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. The group is comprised of members from departments across the School of Arts and Sciences (French, Music, Spanish, English, German, and Art History among others). Our readings are primary and secondary texts chosen broadly from various disciplines, agreed upon each semester by the current participants. Our purpose is to foster discussion and interaction among students and scholars of all aspects of the Middle Ages and to provide mutual support for the development of a broad interdisciplinary understanding of medieval culture.