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November 2017

At the Crossroads of Cultural Networks: The Creation of a Medieval Treasury for San Isidoro de León

Wednesday, November 29 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Medieval treasuries provide a material witness to the interests and aspirations of the individuals and institutions that created them. For the central Middle Ages, there is extensive written evidence of the multiple uses made of treasuries and their contents by royal women and men. Treasuries could function as a source of gifts for allies, which bound them with obligations; prestigious possessions of one’s own for ostentation before an elite audience; or financial reserves that could…

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January 2018

Love, War, Ethics & Science: Jewish & Christian Poetics in 15th-Century Southern Italy

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

In the second half of the fifteenth century, Venetian, Greek, Albanian, Dalmatian, and Jewish merchants settled in the Southern Italian region of Puglia.  Here they played a major role in the organization of maritime networks and operating commerce along both the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean routes. In spite of the unstable political situation in the Aragonese Kingdom of Naples, the favorable economic conditions and the political protection of Venice triggered a flourishing of cultural activity on the Italian Adriatic coast,…

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Bodies and Maps: Personification of the Continents

Friday, January 12, 2018 - Saturday, January 13, 2018

Personifications of the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, and America abounded in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. The continents, depicted as female (and sometimes male) figures, appeared in political processions, court performances, ceiling and wall frescos, maps, atlases, frontispieces, poems, travelogues, costume books, prints, paintings, textiles, ceramics, sculptures, wood pulpits, and sculptured tympanums. While the rise in the popularity of these images in the early modern period may well have been related to encounters in the Americas, which increased the…

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CMRS Movie Night: “La Otra Conquista”

Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Set in the wake of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Salvador Carrasco’s stunning film La Otra Conquista explores the personal, social, and spiritual dimensions of conquest through the eyes of the conquered. Tracing the experiences of a young Aztec scribe facing the destruction and replacement of his faith and a well-intentioned friar charged with his spiritual reeducation, this film examines what it means to convert. Q & A with writer-director Salvador Carrasco (Santa Monica College) will follow the film. Advance…

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Between Admiration and Defamation: Reimaging the Knightly Ideal in the Wars Against Lithuanians

Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Completed in 1326, Peter of Dusburg’s Chronicon terrae Prussiae is the earliest known history of the Teutonic Order, its military victories against the Baltic pagans, and its wars against the Lithuanians. As many scholars have demonstrated, Dusburg’s chronicle was intended to provide legal and theological justification for the continuation of the Order’s wars at a time when its military practices had come under widespread criticism. In this Roundtable talk, Dr. Kristina Markman (History, UCLA) shows that Dusburg’s chronicle…

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The Power of Arts, The Power of Fame: The Extraordinary Renaissance Court of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini

Friday, January 26, 2018 - Saturday, January 27, 2018

CMRS Ahmanson Conference Although not as well-known as other prominent families such as the Medici, Visconti, or Borgia, the Malatesta of Rimini, especially during the leadership of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta (1417-1468), occupy a central position in the history of the Italian Renaissance. Gifted with great military skill and a profound sensibility for the arts, the “wolf of Rimini” became the epitome of the “man” of the Renaissance. The great Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt, in his influential The Civilization of the…

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Artists, Anatomists, and Medicine. Undersanding, Healing, and Communicating the Body in the Pre-Vesalian World

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Medical Humanities / CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture The inquisitiveness of the human intellect has provoked a desire to see inside the body of man and animals since early recorded history. However, the perceived utility of anatomical knowledge has waxed and waned in both the scientific and artistic communities over the centuries. Although it may be assumed that a comprehensive knowledge of the body is a sine qua non for medical professionals, the teaching of anatomy in medical schools has…

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From Provincial Chronicle to Grand Imperial Manuscript: The Making of the “Nusretname”

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Twenty-Seventh Richard and Mary Rouse History of the Book Lecture The 1584 imperial copy of historian Mustafa Âli’s account of the Ottoman-Safavid wars, the Nusretname, is one of the most sumptuous manuscripts in the Topkapi Palace Library in Istanbul. In this History of the Book Lecture, Emine Fetvaci (Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Chair of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, Boston University) compares the first illustrated copy prepared for the author in Aleppo with the…

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February 2018

California Medieval History Seminar, Winter 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Winter 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.…

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Who Created Whom? Shakespeare’s Religious Doubt

Monday, February 5, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Everyone knows there’s “something different” about the plays Shakespeare wrote after Henry V. In this talk Dr. Steve Sohmer (Fleming Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford) suggests that Julius Caesar (1599) is the fulcrum on which the playwright’s career turned, and that concurrent with the writing of this Roman play he entered into a decade-long period of profound religious doubt culminating in The Tempest (1611). Advance registration is requested. Please click here to complete the short registration form. No fee.…

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A Crisis of Reading: The Culture of Prophecy in the Long Reformation

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This symposium, featuring Dr. Carme Font (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and CMRS Associate) and Dr. Joan Curbet (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Institut d’Estudis Medievals), examines the influence of prophetic writing as a constituent element of what has been termed the Long Reformation. It focuses on women’s prophecy as the dominant linguistic culture of Reformed spaces stemming from different practices of Bible reading and interpretation. The symposium will explore the continuities of medieval mysticism as it becomes prophecy in reformed…

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Women, Weddings, and Reversals: Hebrew Comedies of the Renaissance and Baroque

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Dramatic Readings with Commentary In anticipation of Purim, this program offers an examination and celebration of the Hebrew dramas of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, including Leone de’ Sommi’s talmudic Comedy of Betrothal, originally written as entertainment for this carnivalesque Jewish festival. Hosted by Ariane Helou (UCLA), Erith Jaffe-Berg (Theater, Film and Digital Production, UC Riverside), and Daniel Stein Kokin (Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, UCLA; Universität Greifswald). Funding for this lecture is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the…

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Painters, Patrons, and Program: The Ceilings of the “Cappella Palatina” in Palermo

Thursday, February 8, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Annual Armand Hammer Art History Lecture On Christmas Day 1130, Roger de Hauteville, leader of the Normans in Southern Italy, had himself crowned king of Sicily. He and his leading ministers immediately set about creating a hybrid material and visual culture for the new monarchy, by importing elements from contemporary Byzantium, the Fatimid Mediterranean, and various sources in Latin Europe. In the chapel of King Roger’s chief palace in Palermo, known as the Cappella Palatina, an exotic variety of forms,…

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To Play the Fool: The Book of Esther in Early Modern German, English, and Yiddish Drama

Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Scholars of Yiddish literature have proposed that the first extant Purim Shpiel (Purim Play) continued the tradition of early modern German and English dramatizations of the Book of Esther. Jews would have gone to see these plays performed in the ports, inns, and streets of early modern Germany, and adapted them to their own, very riotous, holiday festivities. In this talk, Dr. Chanita Goodblatt (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) discusses three plays, within a multi-cultural and multi-temporal context: Meistersinger Hans…

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Objects of Conversion in Early Modern Europe

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Saturday, February 17, 2018

CMRS Early Modern Conversions Conference Can objects convert? Exploring the relationship between objects and conversion can usefully complicate the usual distinctions between subjects and objects. From sacramental materials to holy wells, human hands to books, new kinds of food and drink to precious metals and forms of currency, objects can both convert and be converted, tangling any linear chain of causality. Objects are also purposes, inviting us to ask not only the how but also the why of conversions. This…

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