"Exploiting a Bad King: Saul in Early Modern England"
Thursday, January 12, 2006 Thanks to his many virtues and many sins David was a figure frequently cited in Renaissance poetic, religious, and political discourse. But what of his father-in-law and persecutor, Saul? He too was useful to remember: as a madman cured by music, a persecuting tyrant, a seemingly merciful man whose misplaced mercy offended God, a dabbler in forbidden arts, and yet for all that an anointed king whom David would not touch and whose death David lamented. Saul was useful to cite in a full range of discussions, from the legitimacy of music to the legitimacy of taking up arms against a king. He could be the protagonist of a neo-classical play and also drafted into a Parliamentarian argument that Cromwell’s soldiers were not fighting their king but only the demon possessing him. In this lecture, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Anne Lake Prescott (Professor of English, Barnard College) explores how the failed monarch’s rhetorical uses are almost as varied as those of his royal psalmist successor.
"The Poetics of Friendship in Homer and Dante"
Wednesday, February 1, 2006
In this lecture, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Franco Masciandaro (Professor of Italian, Modern and Classical Languages, University of Connecticut) explores Dante’s idea of friendship, with emphasis on the ethics and politics of friendship, as represented in episodes of the Divine Comedy. Special attention will be given to the philosophical and literary tradition inherited by these authors--from Plato and Aristotle to Cicero and Augustine, and from Homer to Virgil--and to recent discussions of friendship (e.g., Derrida’s The Politics of Friendship) and of the related question of the other (e.g., Humanism of the Other and Time and the Other by Levinas).
CMRS Faculty Roundtable: “The Medieval Monastery Plan of St Gall VR Project”
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 Professor Patrick Geary (History) and Dr. Barbara Schedl (CMRS VR Coordinator) will discuss the medieval St Gall monastery plan Virtual Reality (VR) project. For more information about this project, see page 17 in the Center’s Annual Programs & Events Brochure for 2005-06. CMRS faculty, associates, graduate students, and friends are invited to attend. Bring your lunch! The Center will provide soft drinks and coffee.
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"Rethinking the Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: the Visual Texts of a Medieval Renaissance" Thursday, February 9, 2006 Most histories of Mexico and Latin America focus on the military exploits of the conquistadors and the subjugation of native peoples by the Spanish landowners, as if that were sufficient to explain the development of a mestizo (and Christian) consciousness that has entered into the making of a Latin-American identity. In this audio-visual presentation, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Professor Jaime Lara (Associate Professor of Christian Art & Architecture, and Chair, Program in Religion and the Arts, Yale University) challenges that view and suggests that the real "conquest" may have been a more peaceful one of the native imagination. By replacing the stories and metaphors of the peoples of central Mexico, commonly known as the Aztecs, the Catholic missionaries and their elite native assistants preserved much of the ancient culture while at the same time transforming it into something else. By looking at the material culture of Aztec Christianity and the grand architectural "stage sets of the imagination" created by and for baptized native peoples, an alternative story to the conquest is told; one that is colorful, indigenous, attractive, and even entertaining. View pictures >>
Thirteenth Annual History of the Book Lecture, “Copying Books in a Gradual Fashion 1025-1125: The Wanderings of Two Monks and the Making of the Western Musical Tradition”
Friday, February 10, 2006 The History of the Book Lecture series brings eminent scholars to UCLA to share their expertise about medieval and Renaissance books. This year’s speaker, Dr. Christopher Page (Faculty of English, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge) is both an authority on medieval English literature and a specialist in medieval music. He is founder and director of the instrumental and vocal ensemble “Gothic Voices.” His lecture will concern the development of musical notation, in particular, the musical staff.
Viewed in terms of other musical traditions in the world, it seems strange that Western musicians have, for so many centuries, played their music with their eyes fixed upon a sophisticated chart that tells them (much of) what they have to do when they perform. This chart is the musical staff, the five-line graph that, in its various forms, has done much to shape the history of Western music. But the stave is not a recent invention. Its roots lie with the science and musical practice of Italy in the first half of the eleventh century. It also owed much to the trauma that was distinctive to the Western and Latin Church, as revealed in the lives of two monks: one the “inventor” of the system, and the other its determined advocate in the face of considerable opposition. View pictures >>
“Piers Plowman and His After-life”
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 Langland’s great poem, “A Vision of Piers Plowman,” had an impact on the political events of his day which is often attributed to popular “misreading.” But it had an important part to play too in late nineteenth-century reformist and egalitarian politics. Have readers found a deep and authentic significance in the poem which Langland himself might not readily have recognized? In this lecture, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Derek Pearsall (Harvard University, and Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York) will consider this question. View pictures >>
“Art of the Ethiopian Church: the Formation of an African Artistic Tradition”
Thursday, February 16, 2006 The religious art of highland Christian Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa is strikingly different from the pre-modern arts of West and Central Africa. The beginnings of the artistic tradition in highland Ethiopia, or Abyssinia, go back to the fourth century when Ezana, ruler of the ancient state of Aksumite, converted to Christianity. The Christian religion had first arrived at Aksum along with luxury goods, merchants, and other travelers via the trade routes of the Red Sea that linked Aksum with the Roman Empire and India. Although the iconography and to an extent the style of Ethiopian religious art were shared with Christian art of the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe, this lecture, by CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Marilyn Heldman (Adjunct Professor of History, University of Missouri, St. Louis) will illustrate Ethiopian religious art’s unique qualities as it developed through the centuries. View pictures >>
CMRS Faculty Roundtable,
February 22, 2006 Professor David Kunzle (Art History) discusses his work Fashion and Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-lacing, and Other Forms of Body-sculpture (Sutton, 2004) and how the ideal of feminine slenderness was established in early modern Western culture, how the stiffened bodice (stays, corset) evolved to enforce that ideal, how it relates to male armor of the period, and how simultaneously medical opposition grew to reach paroxysms of vituperation already in the later 18th century (already: i.e. even before the ravings of the 19th century reformers). A propitious topic in our age of exaggerations: of anorexia, obesity, and obsessive fitness training. With some slides. CMRS faculty, associates, graduate students, and friends are invited to attend. Bring your lunch! The Center will provide soft drinks and coffee. View pictures >>
CMRS Sponsored Lecture, "Mainland European Specialist Publishing", Wednesday
February 22, 2006 In a presentation intended for graduate students and faculty, Dr. Simon Forde (Brepols Publishers) will survey the present state of European publishing in medieval and Renaissance studies, with information on the business model and quality control systems assumed there. The talk will include advice about publishing with medium-sized commercial publishers such as Brepols of Belgium and will be followed by a discussion period. Simon Forde received his Ph.D. at Birmingham University, writing on fourteenth-century Wycliffite sermons. Subsequently he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Pontifical Institute in Toronto and then director of the International Medieval Institute at Leeds, where he was editor of the International Medieval Bibliography, assistant director of the graduate school, and founder of the annual Leeds International Medieval Congress. Since 1996 he has been in charge of medieval and Renaissance publications in English at Brepols.
"Tropics of Glory: Doxology and Invention in Premodern England"
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The UCLA Department of Musicology presents a lecture by Professor Bruce Holsinger (English and Music, University of Virginia) who explores the aesthetics and implications of "troping" in the musical and literary practices of medieval England. Drawing on an array of liturgical, poetic, and dramatic works from the period of the Benedictine Reform (circa 1000) through the early years of the Reformation, the discussion will focus on a series of formal and institutional relationships between and among a variety of cultural formations: liturgy and authorship, latinity and vernacularity, musical notation and rhetorical organicism, and so on. The paper derives from several parts of a long-term book project tentatively called The Work of God: Liturgical Culture and Vernacular Writing in England, 1650-1550.
Please direct inquiries about this event to Elizabeth Morgan, Coordinator of the Musicology Distinguished Lecture Series at email@example.com. This event is co-sponsored by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Department of English.
Tenth Annual Winter Workshop in Medieval and Early Modern Slavic Studies
Friday, February 24, 2006 The CMRS is one of the co-sponsors of the annual Medieval Slavic workshop, coordinated by Professor Gail Lenhoff.
California Medieval History Seminar, Spring 2006,
February 25, 2006
The California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four, pre-distributed research papers. Participants are expected to have read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. The California Medieval History Seminar is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as the CMRS, the Huntington Library, and the Caltech Huntington Committee for the Humanities.
“Old Spain & New Spain: Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c.1590-1664) & Cathedral Music of 17th-Century Mexico”, The Los Angeles Chamber Singers' CAPPELLA, Peter Rutenberg, Music Director
Tuesday, February 28, 2006 Spain was a powerhouse, artistically as well as politically, throughout the 16th century and into the 17th. Musically, its influence ranged far and wide. Noble and royal Spaniards traveled with their own capilla flamenca musicians, who were heard throughout Europe. The English began composing and playing theme-&-variations for solo instruments on the Spanish model. Not only was Spain known for such innovation – with the works of Cervantes and his contemporaries, and the beginning of the novel, providing fame on the literary side – but she was also known for the glorious and solemn tradition of her church music. As the Spanish expanded their realm into the western hemisphere, sacred music crossed the Atlantic as well. Music of the great composers Morales, Guerrero, Lobo, Victoria and others were imported and remained in religious libraries and choir lofts in New Spain for centuries. Spanish church musicians also made the trip from Europe, formed choirs in Mexico and other parts of New Spain, and composed music there, for performance there. In the early 17th century the Cathedral at Puebla, south of Mexico City and second in size, became the wealthiest cathedral in all of the Spanish Empire outside Spain itself. There the Spanish composer Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (c.1590-1664), formerly of Málaga and Cádiz, went to work as singer and then maestro de capilla, composing and performing scores of liturgical works, and flourishing especially with the arrival in 1640 of a music- and art-loving bishop. Padilla’s choir in 1645 included 28 men and 14 boys, and instrumentalists, playing the harp, organ, and bajón.
Peter Rutenberg and the Los Angeles Chamber Singers’ CAPPELLA have made a study of this repertoire as it has been transcribed and published. They have performed works of Padilla and others from this western outpost of the siglo de oro and have made recordings of works of Padilla to help make them better known to concertgoers, as scholars continue to revisit the history of Spain, and Spanish Christianity, in Mexico. This concert is presented by the UCLA Sounds Early Music series of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. View pictures >>
CMRS Faculty Roundtable, "How 17th-century Dutch Painters Accidentally Invented Animal Rights"
Wednesday, March 8, 2006 Using paintings from the 17th-century Netherlands, Professor Robert Watson (English) will show how Reformation iconophobia led artists to replace the supernatural with the natural, and specifically to substitute prey animals for the crucified Christ and other Holy figures, in the traditional formulae of Western painting. The resulting transfer of the reverence and pity formerly attached to Christian martyrs onto ordinary nature lit the path toward modern environmentalist sentiment. CMRS faculty, associates, graduate students, and friends are invited to attend. Bring your lunch! The Center will provide soft drinks and coffee. View pictures >>
CMRS Seminar Lecture, "The Minority of Caliban: Thinking with Shakespeare and Locke" Wednesday, March 8, 2006 Professor Julia Reinhard Lupton's (UC Irvine, English & Comparative Literature, joint appointment Education) most recent book, Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2005. She is also author of Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology and Renaissance Literature (Stanford, 1996) and co-author with Kenneth Reinhard of After Oedipus: Shakespeare in Psychoanalysis (Cornell, 1992). Lupton is the founding director of Humanities Out There, an educational partnership between UCI’s School of Humanities and the Santa Ana Unified School District. By involving scholars, teachers, and students from several institutions in collaborative teaching and research, HOT aims to transform educational practices and intellectual horizons for all participants.
The Third Rebecca D. Catz Memorial Lecture
Thursday, March 9, 2006 Professor Helder Macedo (Camoens Professor Emeritus of Portuguese, King’s College, London) will present his lecture, "Luis de Camões: Tradition and Innovation." This is the the third lecture in a series established in memory of Dr. Rebecca Catz, a long-time CMRS Associate and scholar of sixteenth-century Portuguese history and literature. This series is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Boris Catz, Rebecca’s husband. View pictures >>
Renaissance Conference of Southern California (RCSC) Annual Meeting
Saturday, March 11, 2006 The CMRS is one of the co-sponsors of the RCSC’s annual interdisciplinary conference in Renaissance studies at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. CMRS Director, Professor Brian Copenhaver (UCLA) will deliver the plenary address.
“The Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th Century”
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Professor David Abulafia (Mediterranean History, Cambridge University).
28th Annual UC Celtic Studies Conference
Thursday-Sunday, March 16-19, 2006 The first UC Celtic Studies Conference took place at UC Berkeley in 1978. Since then, the conference has been convened annually, its site alternating between the UCLA and UCB campuses. Now in its twenty-eighth year, the event returns to UCLA in 2006. The program will be coordinated by Professor Joseph Nagy (English) and the UCLA Celtic Colloquium. Sessions will focus on all aspects of Celtic culture including language, literature, history, art and archaeology, from late antiquity until the present day. Related events include a concert of Celtic-themed music, the traditional conference banquet, and a local field trip. For more information, contact Professor Nagy at firstname.lastname@example.org. View pictures >>
"Lorenzo Valla and the Rise of Humanist Dialectic"
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 In this paper Professor Lodi Nauta shall look at Lorenzo Valla’s program and consider its relationship to scholasticism, in particular Ockhamist nominalism. In his Dialectica, the Italian humanist Valla (1407-1457) tries to reform Aristotelian-scholastic metaphysics and dialectic. He wants to base dialectic on real language by studying argument and reasoning in context, rejecting the abstract approach of the scholastics. Common sense and linguistic practice based on a thorough knowledge of classical Latin should rule our thinking and writing about the word. Lodi Nauta is Associate Professor in the History of Philosophy at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He is Discipline Representative in Philosophy of the Renaissance Society of America.