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February 2018

Duke John’s Skull: From History Lesson to Crime Exhibit

Monday, February 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable In the aftermath of the assassination of Duke John of Burgundy (1419), a pivotal event in the Hundred Years’ War, the duke’s shattered skull became a famous bone of contention in disputes about the past. The controversial skull was kept by Carthusian monks and shown as a curiosity to visiting royalty until the Revolution. Modernity turned this unholy relic and macabre symbol of national disaster into a scientific specimen. It was repeatedly exhumed and studied, sketched and photographed,…

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March 2018

E. A. Moody Medieval Philosophy Workshop

Saturday, March 3 - Sunday, March 4

Organized by Professor Calvin Normore (Philosophy, UCLA), the topic of this year’s workshop will be announced — further details when available. No fee. Limited seating. Self-pay parking in lots 2, 3, and 4. Parking information at https://main.transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/visitors

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The Virgin at Daphni

Monday, March 5 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture The eleventh-century church of the Dormition (Koimesis) of the Virgin at Daphni on the outskirts of Athens is one of the most famous Byzantine monuments known, appearing even in general histories of art. Yet very little has been published on its mosaics in the past 60 years, and the program of decoration has never been evaluated. In this talk, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Leslie Brubaker (Professor of Byzantine Art History, University of Birmingham) analyzes the…

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Thinking About the 11th-Century Mediterranean Economy

Wednesday, March 7 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture When discussing the Mediterranean economy many people focus on international shipping; but most economic activity—even today, never mind a millennium ago—is regional, and, above all, highly local. In this talk, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Chris Wickham (Emeritus Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford; Fellow, All Soul’s College) explores the local through the mixture of evidence–partly documentary, partly archaeological–which one can use to get a sense of how local economies worked, interacted and changed,…

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The 40th Annual UC Celtic Studies Conference & the Annual CSANA Meeting

Thursday, March 8 - Sunday, March 11

This joint meeting of the Celtic Studies Association of North America (CSANA) and the 40th Annual UC Celtic Studies Conference is organized by The Celtic Colloquium student group in consultation with Dr. Karen Burgess (UCLA-CMRS) and Professor Joseph Nagy (Professor Emeritus, UCLA; Celtic Languages and Literatures, Harvard). The program will feature papers on all aspects of Celtic culture including language, literature, history, art, and archaeology, from late antiquity until the present day. Further details will be posted shortly. For more…

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April 2018

‘Yet have I in me something dangerous’: On the Interplay of Medicine and Maleficence in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Monday, April 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable / Medical Humanities From poisoning to epilepsy, demonic possession to venereal disease, Shakespeare’s Hamlet touches on a wide range of bodily maladies, played out in the person of the Danish prince and echoed in the voices of those around him, including the ghost, the gravedigger, and Ophelia. Building on the fascination with demonology most often identified in King Lear, CMRS Associate Dr. Sara Frances Burdorff (English, UCLA) explores some of the ways in which Hamlet, too, is a…

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Secrecy, Scheming, and Samuel Pepys’s Diary

Thursday, April 19 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Annual Will & Lois Matthews Samuel Pepys Lecture Samuel Pepys began his diary of the 1660s in shorthand, a measure designed to protect its contents from prying eyes in dangerous times. This proved a wise move, for, as a rising man in Restoration London, his journal was to be full of his private schemes, good and bad. The ‘bad’ make for impressive reading; they include adulterous designs, corrupt dealings, and Machiavellian ploys designed to advance him in Charles II’s government.…

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CMRS Movie: “Ran”

Thursday, April 26 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Akira Kurosawa’s brilliantly conceived re-telling of Shakespeare’s King Lear magically mixes Japanese history, Shakespeare’s plot and Kurosawa’s own feelings about loyalty in the masterpiece, “Ran”. Set in 16th century Japan, Lord Hidetora, announces his intention to divide his land equally among his three sons. This decision to step down unleashes a power struggle between the three heirs. (Running time: 2 hours, 42 minutes) Advance registration is requested. Please click here to complete the short registration form. No fee. Limited seating. Self-pay…

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California Medieval History Seminar, Spring 2018

Saturday, April 28 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Spring Session of the California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Participants are scholars in the field at various stages of their careers. All attendees at the seminar are expected to read the papers in advance and discuss the research. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. Click here for additional information about the seminar. The papers under discussion at this seminar will be listed here when they are available. Advance…

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Artistic Expressions of Political Hierarchies in Aragon–Catalonia at the Turn of the Thirteenth Century: Painting, Poetry, Power

Monday, April 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable In this talk, CMRS Affiliate Dr. Shannon Wearing explores the artistic and literary patronage of Alfonso II, King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona (r. 1162–96), with particular emphasis on the Liber Feudorum Maior, a cartulary documenting the king’s territorial holdings and the hierarchical power relationships between the lords of Catalonia. The Liber is one of very few examples of its genre to be illuminated, and as such offers a rare glimpse of medieval courtly ceremonies. This manuscript…

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May 2018

Literary Networks of the Vicars Choral and the Clerical Proletariat in Late Medieval English Cathedrals: Lyrics of Complaint from York, Norwich, and St. Paul’s

Thursday, May 3 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture When Margery Kempe visited York Minster in 1417 she was befriended by two of the choral vicarii, John Kendale “and another preste whech song be the bischopys grave.” The grave in question belonged to Archbishop Richard Scrope, who was executed under Henry IV and whose semi-suppressed cult remained a matter of some delicacy. Kendale and his unnamed fellow were not only counseling Kempe, but introducing her to the Minster’s history, saints, and monuments—an official part…

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Asclepius, the Paintbrush, and the Pen: Representations of Disease in Medieval and Early Modern European Art and Literature

Friday, May 4 - Saturday, May 5

CMRS Medical Humanities Conference Humanity has always tended to show a prurient interest in abnormalities. The medieval and early modern period is no exception, displaying a deep fascination with virulent ailments and all sorts of physical deformities. Despite this attraction, few artists of the period engaged in the depiction of disease. When they did, their expression was particular to the medium used and differed among artists even when using the same medium. Since such an effort was outside their norm,…

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Cities, Ships, and Saints: Religious Practice and Maritime Networks in the Western Indian Ocean (11th-16th centuries)

Wednesday, May 9 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture As portrayed in a sixteenth-century bio-chronicle of the port city of Aden in Yemen, men of renowned piety performed miracles that delivered their devotees from pirates and tempests, ensured success in the marketplace, and calibrated the sometimes treacherously plural urban milieu. Can these miracles or their retelling be said to characterize a city-based identity, a distinctive maritime culture, and a networked transoceanic world in the context of the “pre-modern” Indian Ocean? The sea is a…

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Happiness, Learning, and Leadership in Marvell’s ‘An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell’s Return from England’ and Milton’s ‘Of Education’

Monday, May 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable The critical opinion of Andrew Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from England” has largely been that the lyric’s imagination of nationhood is ambiguous, unlike that in Milton’s Of Education. Of Education argues for a new style of education for national leaders that would improve on a “defect” of Sparta’s: Milton’s would be “equally good for both peace and war.” Using computational text analysis methods, Dr. Valerie Shepard (UCLA Graduate Student Resource Center and CMRS Associate) compares…

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June 2018

First Do No Harm: On the Interplay of Folklore, Myth, and Medicine from the Ancient World to the Renaissance and Beyond

Friday, June 1 - Saturday, June 2

CMRS Medical Humanities Conference This conference, organized by CMRS Affiliate Dr. Sara Burdorff (Lecturer, English, UCLA), Professor Stephanie Jamison (Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA) and Professor Olga Yokoyama (Applied Linguistics, UCLA), examines the intersections between mythology, folklore, and medicine in literature from the classical through early modern periods. Inspired by the UCLA Freshman Mythology Cluster course (GE30) and drawing on sources ranging from hagiography, Celtic and Scandinavian folklore, medieval romance, and early modern drama, this conference engages the critical interplay…

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