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April 2016

How States & Societies Count: Censuses in Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom

Thursday, April 21, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A discussion with the authors of Antecedents of Censuses From Medieval to Nation States: How Societies and States Count (Volume 1) and Changes in Censuses from Imperialist to Welfare States: How Societies and States Count (Volume 2), published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016. Authors: Rebecca Jean Emigh (UCLA, Sociology) Dylan Riley (UC Berkeley, Sociology) Patricia Ahmed (South Dakota State, Sociology) Discussants: Theodore M. Porter (UCLA, History) Jacob G. Foster (UCLA, Sociology) Co-sponsored by The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies,…

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Medieval Ecopoetics: Without Environmentalism: The Strange History of Waste

Monday, April 25, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

UCLA-CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Professor Eleanor Johnson (English, Columbia University) delivers her lecture for the UCLA Department of English.

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Informal Contemplation: Comedy and Participation in the Play of Wisdom

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Morality plays are neither known nor studied for their serious contemplative content, much less their contemplative efficacy, partially because the plays seem so entrenched in the absurd, the grotesque, and the scatological. But these absurdist and comedic elements are part and parcel of the highly participatory mode of contemplation that these late medieval plays enact. In this lecture, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Eleanor Johnson (Assistant Professor, English & Comparative Literature, Columbia University) explores how informal language, colloquialism, and comedy, far from derogating the contemplative work of these plays,…

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Feuding Popes and Emperors: Characterizing the Investiture Conflict

Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The UCLA Mellon program in Post-Classical Latin is pleased to present a lecture by Maureen C. Miller (Professor of History, University of California Berkeley). This lecture will argue for an updating of the conceptualization of the ‘crisis of church and state’ in the context of recent work on violence and conflict in Medieval Europe. Please note that the venue has changed from Royce 306 to Royce 236. Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating.

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Conflicts of Interest – the Productive Power of Confrontation

Friday, April 29, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

UCLA Department of Germanic Languages Graduate Student Conference co-sponsored by UCLA-CMRS. http://uclagermanic.weebly.com/

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May 2016

Imagined Medievalisms: Costuming HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

From draped togas to shining armor to silken gowns, HBO’s award-winning drama Game of Thrones transforms diverse historical and geographical sources into costumes that both resonate with what we think we know about the past, and yet is also unfamiliar. As a result, we engage with the characters, prolonging our visual and mental negotiation between the historic and the new. Join Game of Thrones costume designer and Swarovski Designer-in-Residence Michele Clapton as she discusses the research and inspiration behind her…

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The Textual Lineaments of Three Medieval Identities: Reading “Targum Sheni” of the Book of Esther

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable The Second Targum of the Book of Esther, a “translation” of Esther from Hebrew into Aramaic, contains material about Solomon and Sheba not found in the Hebrew Esther, but found in the Koran. Targum Sheni was written in Byzantine Palestine before the rise of Islam and then used in Islam’s textual construction of itself as the theological heir of Temple Judaism: the Koranic account of Solomon and Sheba islamicizes preexisting Jewish additions to the story of Esther. The…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, May 7, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Spring session of California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Participants are expected to read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. To be added to the announcement list contact us. Advance registration is required — write to cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu to register. Seating is limited and by pre-registration only. A fee may apply. More information about the seminar is at cmrs.ucla.edu/seminars Support for the…

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Don Juan en las tablas / Don Juan on Stage

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 @ 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Don Juan en las tablas / Don Juan on Stage El burlador mítico: renacimiento, barroco y hoy / The Mythical Trickster: Renaissance, Baroque and Today Coloquio-Taller / Colloquium-Workshop With roots in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the persistent Spanish myth of Don Juan first reaches Madrid’s commercial stage around 1630 in the play, The Trickster of Seville, long attributed to Tirso de Molina. More recently, the faulty/defective [?] text, which nevertheless served Mozart well for his famous Don Giovanni,…

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The Flow of Ideas: Leonardo and Water

Friday, May 20, 2016 - Saturday, May 21, 2016

This CMRS Ahmanson conference, organized by Professor Constance Moffatt (Pierce College) and Dr. Sara Taglialagamba (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne) explores the topic of water in the thought and works of Leonardo da Vinci. The topic of water appears in an obsessive way in Leonardo’s activity as both artist and scientist. Water is the foundation of life in the world of Nature. Through movement it expresses its eternal and dynamic vital force, leading to the comprehension of the mysteries…

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On My Ignorance About the Italian Renaissance After Writing a 600+ Page Book on It

Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Professor Guido Ruggiero earned an M.A. and a Ph.D at UCLA (where he studied first as a fellow of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and later as a University of California Regents Intern Fellow) and now teaches in the Department of History at the University of Miami. He has published on the history of gender, sex, crime, magic, science and everyday culture, primarily in renaissance and early modern Italy. Early in his career he focused on social science…

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June 2016

Heroes and Villains, Ancient, Medieval, and Modern

Friday, June 3, 2016 - Saturday, June 4, 2016

A conference sponsored by the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and by the Freshman Cluster Course GE 30ABC, “Neverending Stories”. Organized by Professor Joseph F. Nagy (English, UCLA). Friday, June 3, 2016 | UCLA Royce Hall, Room 314 3:00 pm Welcoming Remarks Patricia A. Turner, Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education of the UCLA College of Letters and Science Massimo Ciavolella, Director, UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies 3:15 Olga Yokoyama (Humanities, UCLA) “Baba Yaga and…

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August 2016

Dante and the Visual Arts Symposium

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This symposium is devoted to the study of the most important editions of the Comedy and of other visualizations of Dante’s masterpiece that were printed in the sixteenth century, and the analysis of the most important aspects and relationships that may emerge. Topics to be investigated are the relationship between text and image; the hermeneutic importance of the image; and, the criteria by which a particular description has been selected to be represented visually in any given canto. As part…

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September 2016

Fall Quarter Classes Start

Thursday, September 22, 2016
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October 2016

Why Ravenna?

Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

In this talk, Judith Herrin (Professor Emerita of Late Antique & Byzantine Studies and Constantine Leventis Senior Research Fellow, King’s College London) answers the question, “Why study Ravenna?” For 350 years this city served as the western capital of the Roman Empire where a very particular integration of Germanic and Roman occurred that had significant consequences for western Europe. The buildings and mosaics that date from this period inspired visitors for centuries and continue to inspire us today. Advance registration…

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Boundaries in the Medieval and Wider World: Conference in Honor of Paul Freedman

Friday, October 14, 2016 - Saturday, October 15, 2016

CMRS Conference Paul Freedman (Chester D. Tripp Professor of History; Chair, History of Science, History of Medicine Program, Yale University) is a scholar who cannot be easily classified. He is a medieval historian, a social historian, a scholar of Spain and of Church history. Additionally, he is firmly established as a leading scholar in food studies. Both in and out of medieval studies, Freedman’s work always brings into consideration boundaries that are challenged or crossed: public and private; personal and…

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Glass in the Late-Antique Mediterranean

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Glass was first created in Mesopotamia or Egypt as an artificial precious stone in the third millennium B.C.E. Until the late Hellenistic period, its use remained largely restricted to the highest echelons of society. The invention of the free-blowing technique in the first century B.C.E. along the Syrio-Palestinian coast led to an unprecedented expansion in the use of glass, which was now available to wide segments of Roman society. The production of raw glass was exclusively carried out in large,…

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Julius II: the Warrior Pope Between Celebration and Condemnation

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Julius II Della Rovere (1443-1513) is the epitome of the Renaissance pope. Impetuous politician, determined pontiff, and magnificent patron of art, he embodied all of the grandiosity and contradictions that characterized the Renaissance papacy. With his bloody wars and splendid artistic patronage, Julius II has strongly shaped our collective conception of the Renaissance. But what did his contemporaries think about him? Not just men of letters, clerics or ambassadors, but the less elite members of society, the artisans and city…

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CMRS Open House

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Please join CMRS Director Massimo Ciavolella and the staff of the Center for our annual Open House celebrating the start of a new academic year.  This year marks CMRS’s 53rd year of promoting interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies of the period from Late Antiquity to the mid-seventeenth century. Come meet faculty members, students, colleagues, and friends who share these interests and find out more about CMRS’s programs, fellowships, grants, and publications. The Open House will include a Book Give-Away offered by the Royce…

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French & Francophone Studies Graduate Conference

Thursday, October 20, 2016 @ 9:00 am - Friday, October 21, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

Details at http://uclaffsconference2016.weebly.com/ Co-sponsored by CMRS

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Singing Il Furioso: Stories of Knights, Enchanted Places, and Extraordinary Journeys of the Mind

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Join the musical duo Il Ruggiero (Emanuela Marcante & Daniele Tonini) for a performance of music, words and images that gives the poetry of Ludovico Ariosto a new musical life. The stories and unforgettable characters of Orlando Furioso (first printed in 1516) are sung and narrated on Renaissance airs and original musical intonations, intertwined with musical arrangements of madrigals and baroque operas focused on the Furioso and in dialogue with a visual imagery that binds it to the landscape and art…

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The French Letters: Translation or Versification in the Correspondence of Thomas Becket?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Garnier (or Guernes) de Pont-Sainte-Maxence’s Vie de Saint Thomas Becket (finished by 1174) contains three letters, written in French alexandrines, sent by Thomas Becket in 1166 during his exile. Since E.Walberg’s 1922 edition of Garnier’s text, these letters have been considered translations of Becket’s official Latin letters (Desiderio desideraui, Expextans expectaui, and Mirandum et uehementer). In this roundtable, CMRS Associate Leena Löfstedt (University of Helsinki) compares the French letters published in Walberg’s text with the Latin versions published in Anne Duggan’s critical edition of…

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CMRS Graduate Student Meet and Greet

Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

CMRS invites graduate students in all fields of study to attend an informational social gathering to get acquainted with other students involved in topics pertinent to medieval and Renaissance studies and to learn about the support and resources available to graduate students from the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Come by and meet new colleagues and old friends! Advance registration not required.

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November 2016

Movie Night: Sita Sings the Blues

Thursday, November 3, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920’s jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as “the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told.” Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating. CMRS’s film…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, November 5, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The fall session of California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Participants are expected to read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. To be added to the announcement list contact us. The following papers will be discussed at this seminar: Jennifer Jahner (CalTech) – “After Becket: Interdict and the Rhetoric of Collective Injury” Joe Figliulo-Rosswurm (UC Santa Barbara) – “‘In…

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Iberian Jewish Identities After 1492

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Drawing on material from documents kept by the Inquisition, as well as Rabbinical and other Jewish sources relating to the 16th and 17th centuries, UCLA Research Professor of Germanic Languages, Marianna Birnbaum, identifies and discusses the lives and activities of five distinct groups as aspects of the Sephardic Jewish identity. Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating. Funding for the CMRS Roundtable series is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval &…

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The Future Is Now: Art & Technology in the Renaissance & Beyond

Friday, November 18, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

CMRS Symposium The Renaissance was a period defined by visions of the future. Renaissance humanists including Petrarch, Dante, Leonardo Bruni, and Vasari expressed a concern for the future, fame, and posterity. At the same time, European explorers, merchants, soldiers, and missionaries traversed the globe fueled by visions of the future as well as imperial ambition. Renaissance discoveries, inventions, and developments generated a sense of excitement and wonder but also concern for the future among Europeans. At times, enthusiasm and optimism…

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Human and Animal Conversions, c. 1600

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable   Professor Bronwen Wilson (Art History, UCLA) Ancient debates about similarities and differences between animals and humans were rekindled during the sixteenth century in Italy. In visual imagery, treatises, dialogues, and orations, artists, natural historians, physiognomists, poets, and polymaths examined the physical characteristics of animals, how they communicated, and the moral, social, and political lessons they yielded for civil life. Because of their predictable behavior, animals were also recommended as a means to discern the increasingly fraught disjunction…

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January 2017

Pirate and Philosopher, Courtier and Cook: The Life and Work of Sir Kenelm Digby

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:45 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Sir Kenelm Digby (1603-65) lived a dazzlingly varied life: bouncing between the courts of London, Paris and Rome, befriending everyone from Ben Jonson and René Descartes to Oliver Cromwell, and producing original works of theology, philosophy, and experimental science. Despite these achievements he has faded from most accounts of the seventeenth century, remembered only for scandals like his supposed poisoning of his wife, Venetia, and his more outlandish claims, such as his ability to cure…

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Not for Keeps: The Ephemeral in Medieval Manuscript Culture

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Richard and Mary Rouse History of the Book Lecture While medieval manuscripts in Special Collection libraries were generally produced and preserved for posterity, not everything written down in the Middle Ages was intended to be kept forever: some information was disposable. Introducing a range of transitory objects, Dr. Erik Kwakkel (Leiden University) explores two related queries: What purpose did they serve; and, in what way do their material features reflect their short lifespan? This lecture will include recent discoveries made…

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Entertaining the Pope: International Diplomacy and Performance in the Roman Curia (1470-1530)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Marta Albalá Pelegrín (Assistant Professor, Medieval and Early Modern Iberian literature and drama, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona) explores the vital role of Spanish patronage in the Roman curia, with a keen eye on the importance that theater came to have for diplomatic enterprises. Spain, second only after Italy in number of prelates, possessed a wealth of curial members who soon understood the importance of artistic patronage in carving a lasting image for Spanish rulers. Building upon recent…

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‘My love is as a fever . . .’: Love Treatises in the Renaissance

Friday, January 20, 2017 - Saturday, January 21, 2017

CMRS Ahmanson Conference Treatises discussing the origin, nature, and effects of love are prevalent throughout the European Renaissance. The Neo-Platonic tradition of love treatises has been studied for its philosophical and literary implications and for its influence on sixteenth-century culture; these studies have illuminated how the “ladder of love” model permeates poetry, prose narratives, and religious and moral treatises. Less attention has been paid to medical treatises dealing with the somatogenesis of love and its effects, or chapters in books…

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CMRS Movie Night: “The Name of the Rose”

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:40 pm

A murder mystery at a Benedictine abbey requires the sherlockian insight of Brother William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his young apprentice, Adso of Melk (Christian Slater). Confronted by the suspicious deaths of several friars amid the simmering tensions of monastic rivalries, the detectives come face to face with the Inquisition during their investigation. Join CMRS for a screening of the 1986 film adaptation of Umberto Eco’s playfully intellectual mystery novel, The Name of the Rose. Running time 130 minutes.…

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Umberto Eco, the Middle Ages, and “The Name of the Rose”

Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm

CMRS Symposium Umberto Eco (January 5, 1932 – February 19, 2016) is still best known today for his novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose). The novel was published in 1980 and became an international sensation, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. In reality, Eco was a Professor at the University of Bologna and a scholar of Thomas Aquinas and medieval aesthetics, who also wrote fiction. His concern for medieval philosophy, however, was not strictly academic but…

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February 2017

Decorated Manuscripts in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth- Century England

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Manuscript studies scholars are well versed in the rich illuminations and miniatures in late-medieval English manuscripts, but scholars have spent less time considering the culture of decorated manuscripts in the early modern period. This talk by Vanessa Wilkie (William A. Moffett Curator of Medieval and British Manuscripts, The Huntington Library, and CMRS Associate) will explore the culture of commissioning that created these highly illustrated and personal manuscripts in late-Tudor and early-Stuart England, the role the College of Arms…

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Hunting for Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts: Greek Medicine Rediscovered

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The medical knowledge of ancient Greece has interested Western scholars for centuries. While Renaissance humanists read medical texts in whatever manuscripts were available to them, later scholars systematically sought out Greek medical texts. However, it took until the early 20th century for an inventory of Greek medical texts to be published. Although useful, this early inventory proved incomplete; moreover, in the century since its publication, collections have changed owners, manuscripts have been destroyed and others discovered, and library call numbers…

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Roma Aeterna in the Middle Ages

Thursday, February 9, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

The medieval sources produced in Rome and about Rome collectively exhibit a singular characteristic  which scholars have not yet adequately identified or addressed as a uniquely Roman feature. In contrast with most other cities and institutions, Rome and its church did not develop the diachronic relationship with their memory and territory that would have resulted in the writing of chronicles and annals. Instead, Roman historical writing adopted a synchronic approach that mirrored the conceptual structure expressed in rituals, catalogues, and…

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“Vulture in a Cage”: A New Translation of the Poems of Solomon Ibn Gabirol

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Author and translator Raymond Scheindlin will present his new book, Vulture in a Cage, and the eleventh-century poet at its center, Solomon Ibn Gabirol, one of the most celebrated poets and philosophers of the medieval Judeo-Arabic Golden Age. The author of delicate and intimate devotional poetry that holds an honored place in the liturgies of many Jewish communities, Ibn Gabirol also wrote personal poetry, in which he speaks of his intellectual ambitions and his frustration at having to live among…

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Jewish Properties, Inquisitorial Conflicts, and Probabilist Theology in Seventeenth-Century Rome

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Professor Stefania Tutino (History, UCLA) uses the fascinating and dramatic story of the seventeenth-century Neapolitan Jewish nobleman Duarte Vaaz, Count of Mola, to discuss how the Roman Inquisition dealt with the economic implications of converting Jews. By investigating the complex relationship between theology, economy, and politics, this talk explores the important role that moral theology assumed in adapting traditional Catholic doctrine to both the apostolic needs of conversion and the demands of the growing money-market economy. Advance registration…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The winter session of California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Participants are expected to read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. To be added to the announcement list contact us. Advance registration is required — write to cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu to register. These are the papers under discussion at this seminar: Margaret Trenchard-Smith (Independent Scholar) – “Unfit to Nurse: Ancient and Medieval…

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Fossilized French: Using the Breton Language as a Window on French Linguistic (Pre-)History

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Breton – the Celtic language spoken in Brittany in the northwest of France – has been in close contact  with Romance (developing into French) ever since the Celtic migration from southern England and Cornwall. This contact has led to massive influence on Breton on all linguistic levels (especially phonology and lexicon). This talk by CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Anders Richardt Jørgensen (English, Uppsala University) will highlight how we often find that to this day, due to…

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Vernacular Legal Culture in Medieval Armenia

Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Taking up a field of research familiar to many medievalists but largely unknown from an Armenian  perspective, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Tim Greenwood (Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, University of St. Andrews)  explores the character and development of legal practice and performance across medieval Armenia from Late Antiquity down to 1100 CE. Dr. Greenwood presents and assesses a small selection of legal documents drawn from two collections of material: firstly, a group of more…

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E. A. Moody Medieval Philosophy Workshop

Saturday, February 25, 2017 - Sunday, February 26, 2017

Organized by Professor Calvin Normore (Philosophy, UCLA), the topic of this year’s workshop is the “Deadly Sins.” Saturday, February 25 10 AM – Peter King (Toronto) – “Moral Fatigue” 11:30 AM – Janelle Aijian (Biola) – “Wishing and Hoping: Diverging sources of understanding acedia” 1 PM – Lunch 2:30 PM – Bonnie Kent (U.C. Irvine) – Anger, Justice, and the Guise of Virtue 4 PM – Chantelle Saville (Auckland) – “Luxuria: Robert Holcot on Deadly Sin” Sunday, February 26 10:30…

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Building on the Inquisition. How Did Poverty-Minded Friars Pay for Big Buildings?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

A distinctive feature of the new religious orders of the thirteenth century (Franciscans and Dominicans among others) was their adoption of apostolic poverty. Friars focused their action on charity and outdoor preaching to convert the urban poor from heretical practices. In this talk, Caroline Bruzelius (Anne Murnick Cogan Professor of Art and Art History, Duke University) describes how the friars began to create large churches and preaching piazzas that changed the character of medieval cities in Italy, and asks how…

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Mapping, Modeling, and Apps. Experiments in Scholarship and Teaching in the Humanities

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Annual Armand Hammer Art History Lecture New digital tools are transforming the ways in which we do research and teach. Caroline Bruzelius (Anne Murnick Cogan Professor of Art and Art History) shares how at Duke University, the Wired! group has been experimenting with integrating technologies into traditional courses. They have also created a lab running six or seven concurrent research projects with teams of graduate and undergraduate students working side by side. The projects range from a GIS database that…

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March 2017

Fables of The Bees in Sixteenth-Century France

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Throughout the Renaissance, the interest in insects lagged behind the study of zoology and natural history. Yet the honeybee represents an exception because of its symbolic dimension in the Bible as well as in the Greek and Roman literary heritage. In this talk, Professor Cynthia Skenazi (French and Italian, UC Santa Barbara, and CMRS Associate) shows how Pierre de Ronsard’s poetry offers a way to explore how references to bees brought together politics, religion, gender, and poetry in…

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The Ark After Noah: Beasts, Books, and Bodies of Knowledge

Friday, March 3, 2017 - Saturday, March 4, 2017

This two-day symposium hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles and the J. Paul Getty Museum brings together scholars working on the aspects of image, text, knowledge, and culture that surround the bestiary tradition in the medieval world. Speakers will focus on how the development of encyclopedic texts and new structures of knowledge emerged on the manuscript page in and alongside bestiaries. Organized by Matthew Fisher (Associate Professor of English, UCLA) and Elizabeth Morrison (Senior Curator of Manuscripts, J.…

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“Translatio imperii”: The Formation of Emotive Literary Identities & Mentalities in the North

Monday, March 6, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The importation of French courtly material in thirteenth-century Norway and Iceland completes a cycle  of cultural transmission and expansion begun almost four centuries earlier with the Viking expansion  outward from the Northern peripheries of the known world to the neighboring insular regions of the  British Isles, to Northern France and finally to the medieval center of the world, Jerusalem. This talk by Sif Ríkharðsdóttir (University of Iceland) addresses the way in which such cross-cultural literary exchange partakes in the formation…

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CANCELED–Monarch, Maiden & Fool: The Book of Esther in Early Modern German, English, & Yiddish Drama

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Lecture CANCELED To Be Rescheduled Scholars of Yiddish literature have proposed that the first extant Purim-Shpil (Purim Play) continued the tradition of early modern English and German dramatizations of the Book of Esther. In this talk, Professor Chanita Goodblatt (Foreign Literatures & Linguistics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) will focus on the carnivalesque aspect of these plays, involving issues of misrule, as well as the social and political consequences of what Joy Wiltenburg terms “Disorderly Women and Female Power.”…

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Medieval Books – Torn, Fetid, and Dripped On

Thursday, March 9, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Is it possible to derive historical meaning from the grubby fingerprints and torn leaves that scholars find inside medieval books? Can surviving medieval manuscripts be matched to contemporary accounts of the mistreatment of books – those of Geoffrey Chaucer, whose Wife of Bath famously tears leaves from her husband’s book; or those of the fourteenth-century bibliophile Richard de Bury, whose medieval reader’s “nails are stuffed with fetid filth as black as jet” and whose “nose, running…

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King Richard III: the Resolution of a 500-Year-Old Cold Case

Thursday, March 16, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

King Richard III was one of the few English kings for whom the precise location of his grave had been lost. In 2012, during an excavation, his putative remains were found underneath a carpark in Leicester. Dr Turi King led the genetic analysis which led to the identification of the remains as those of King Richard III. Turi King, PhD (Reader in Genetics and Archaeology, University of Leicester) will discuss the case from the very beginning covering the archaeology, osteology,…

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April 2017

Shakespeare, Terry, Skinny and Me

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Steve Sohmer (Fleming Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford) considers why Her Majesty’s Government has yet to reveal the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Jessica – and the identity of the bard’s Jewish girlfriend. Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating. Funding for the CMRS Roundtable series is provided by the Armand Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

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Approaching the Unknown: “They Saw It With Their Own Eyes”

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - Friday, April 14, 2017

A Conference Organized by the UCLA Mellon Program in Post-Classical Latin The starting point for this conference is the statement “they saw it with their own eyes”: this phrase appears frequently on Fra Mauro’s fifteenth-century map of the world, a landmark in cartography because of Mauro’s decision to use the most recent eyewitness testimony rather than exclusively patristic and ancient sources. In his inscriptions on the map which describe in vivid detail his reasoning for certain depictions, Mauro often repeats…

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Fictional Knights, Literary Translators, and Araucanian Heroes; or the Emergence of the Spanish Historical Epic

Monday, April 17, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Annual Will & Lois Matthews Samuel Pepys Lecture Professor Efraín Kristal (Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA) traces the emergence of Early Modern Spanish epic poetry to allegorical poetry from Burgundy, to Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, and to translations of these works from French and Italian into Spanish.  He gives pride of place to Jeronimo de Urrea’s La Carolea, an epic poem about military campaigns in the time of Charles V; and to Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga’s La Araucana: the highpoint of…

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“La clere Diane droictement mena le Roy”: Representing the French Royal Mistress

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

CMRS Lecture We are so used to the idea of the royal mistress as a constituent element of the French king’s grandeur that we tend not to think about how strange it is that in Ancien Régime France nine women who were not part of the royal family exercised significant political influence, their position imagined as part of a “tradition” and its occupants perceived as a coherent group. Although kings throughout medieval and early modern Europe had extra-conjugal sexual partners,…

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Comic Supernatural Movie Night – “La Fée” (“The Fairy”)

Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

“La Fée” is a film released in 2011 written and directed by Dominique Abel. Arriving at a small hotel, a mysterious woman named Fiona informs night shift worker Dom that she is a fairy and will grant him three wishes. After she grants his first two wishes–and he falls in love with her–she disappears, and Dom must find her. Is she a real fairy–or something else? Join CMRS for a screening of the Belgian film “La Fée” as the kick-off…

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The Comic Supernatural

Friday, April 21, 2017 - Saturday, April 22, 2017

CMRS Conference The tropes are as well-known as they are myriad. Deals with the devil. Hell running short of guests, or being robbed of its prey. Heaven dispatching angels to save individuals from their own folly. Ghosts and goblins shaking mortals from their mundane complacency. Gods and goddesses from various pantheons trying on human guise. Witches, genies, and sundry monsters rattling their cages, to the consternation of those in their presence. In the course of each scenario, accidents happen, mistakes…

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First California Symposium on Catalan Studies

Monday, April 24, 2017 - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Of Books and Roses: First California Symposium on Catalan Studies “Of Books and Roses:  First California Symposium on Catalan Studies” grew from the idea of offering a point of reference on the west coast of the United States for scholars and students interested in Catalan Studies or related areas.  This year, we will hear presentations on urban cultures, on literary studies focused on exile and historical memory, studies on Catalan phonology and syntax and research on language on digital communications. …

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Lucrezia Borgia’s Self Representation

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable How did noble women represent themselves through the objects they acquired, wore, and used to outfit their living quarters? In this roundtable, Professor Diane Ghirardo (Architecture, USC) addresses this question by examining Lucrezia Borgia’s jewelry, library, art and religious objects, and the decoration of her quarters in the Estense Castle and Palazzo di Corte in Ferrara. In addition she compares Lucrezia Borgia’s accoutrements with what is known of Isabella d’Este’s artifacts and residences. Advance registration not required. No…

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Making Worlds: Art, Materiality, and Early Modern Globalization

Friday, April 28, 2017 - Saturday, April 29, 2017

The early modern period (c. 1450-1750) witnessed a massive dislocation of people and artifacts as a result of migration, religious conflicts, expanding trade routes, missionary activities, slavery, and colonization. The confrontation between materiality and mobility that ensued gave rise to new, often unexpected, forms of creativity. Focusing on art — on making and engaging with it, on performance and self-representation – this conference foregrounds the critical creative and imaginative processes involved in making worlds. Organized by Bronwen Wilson (Department of…

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May 2017

Fortune, Hazard, Risk: Thinking about Contingency in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture How do human beings think about, talk about and prepare for contingency? How do we think about futurity – events to come, good or ill? In this talk, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Karla Mallette (Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan) looks to the Muslim-Christian borderlands of the medieval Mediterranean in search of the emergence of the modern concept of risk. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Italian. Advance registration not required. No…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The spring session of California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Participants are expected to read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. To be added to the announcement list contact us. Advance registration is required — write to cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu to register. These are the papers under discussion at this seminar: Norman Underwood (UC Berkeley) – “Let’s Be Professional: Clerical Discipline and…

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Anatomical Illustration and the “keen-eyed reader”: Lettering and Legibility in the Works of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable The illustrations in Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, first published in Basel in 1543, were revolutionary in their number, their quality, and in their integration with the text. In this talk, CMRS Associate Monique Kornell (Independent Scholar) looks at Vesalius’s concerns for the legibility of the identifying characters in the Fabrica illustrations and those for the Epitome of the same year and considers changes he made to the woodblocks for the corrected edition of the Fabrica of 1555. Advance registration not required. No…

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CMRS Movie Night – “The Passion of Joan of Arc”

Thursday, May 11, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

She heard a mission from God. They called it heresy. Join CMRS for a special screening of the 1928 silent movie masterpiece “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer) with live musical accompaniment by renowned silent film pianist Cliff Retallick. Famous for its cinematography and early use of the close-up as well as Jeanne Falconetti’s iconic portrayal of the 15th-century saint, this film recounts Joan’s final days as she is interrogated and tortured by the French clerical…

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A City with a View: Florence and the Reinvention of the Renaissance

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Marxiano Melotti (Università degli Studi Niccolò Cusano & Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca) speaks on Renaissance imagery as used in advertising. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Italian. Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating. Funding is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies and the Franklin D. Murphy Chair in Italian Renaissance Studies.

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June 2017

Creature (Dis)comforts: On Human Thresholds from Classical Myth to Modern Day

Saturday, June 3, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

CMRS Conference The threshold of the home constitutes a literal boundary between public and private, between the domestic and the political. It is also a border that, by its very nature, invites transgression. It is a boundary that exists to be crossed. This conference, organized by Dr. Sara Burdorff (UCLA, English) and the student group Colloquium for Oral and Popular Tradition Studies, takes the literal liminality of the domestic threshold as its inspiration, exploring the comparable permeability of more abstract thresholds…

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October 2017

CMRS Open House

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Please join CMRS Director Professor Massimo Ciavolella and the staff of the Center for our annual Open House celebrating the start of a new academic year. This year marks CMRS’s 54th year of promoting interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies of the period from Late Antiquity to the mid-seventeenth century. Come meet other faculty members, students, colleagues, and friends who share these interests and find out more about CMRS’s programs, fellowships, grants, and publications. We look forward to seeing you at our Open House…

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Graduate Student Social

Thursday, October 5, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Wind down first week with an evening of food, drink, and socializing with your fellow medieval and Renaissance scholars. Catch up with old friends and make new ones. This event is exclusively for UCLA graduate students–all departments are welcome! No registration necessary.

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Split: Conservation of a World Heritage Site

Monday, October 9, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Split: Conservation of a World Heritage Site lecture by Goran Niksic

Founded in 305 as a fortified villa of a retired emperor, Split developed into a medieval town, keeping traces from all periods and incorporating them into one harmonic whole. In 1979 the historic core of Split was declared a World Heritage Site on account of its well preserved architecture from all periods, and also because it is still a living organism with all urban functions. The rapid growth of the modern city, the pressure of commercialization, and unfavorable changes in…

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French Graduate Student Conference

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - Friday, October 13, 2017

UCLA Department of French & Francophone Studies 22nd Annual Graduate Student Conference “Que sais-je?: Rethinking Learning and Knowledge” Keynote Speaker: Leon Sachs, University of Kentucky For further information, write Allison Kershner in the Department of French and Francophone Studies. Co-sponsored by UCLA-CMRS.

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Beyond Nostalgia: Berber ‘Puritans’ and the End of Andalusian Convivencia?

Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Almost without exception, the established English-language scholarly and popular narratives of the history of Islamic Spain present the period of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba and the era of the taifa kings that followed it as a “Golden Age” of tolerance, ethnoreligious diversity, and cultural dynamism.  In this view, the incursion first of the Almoravids, and then of the Almohads brought this “Golden Age” to an abrupt end. These two regimes, whose foreign, Berber character is inevitably emphasized,…

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Dante and Modernity

Friday, October 20, 2017 - Saturday, October 21, 2017
dante and homer

In a famous passage of Survival in Auschwitz, the memoir that emerged from his harrowing experience in the concentration camp, Primo Levi strives to recall from his memory Canto 26 of Dante’s Inferno – a canto that narrates the mad flight and tragic fall of the Greek hero Ulysses. Levi’s account of Ulysses’ speech to his companions in Inferno 26 turns into the prism through which the reader of Survival journeys across nearly three millennia of European history, from the…

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A Mercenary Logic? Muslim Soldiers in the Service of Christian Kings

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Over the course of the late-thirteenth and fourteenth centuries — as they subdued, expelled, and enslaved Muslim populations — the kings of the Crown of Aragon recruited thousands of North African cavalry soldiers, whom they called jenets, to serve in their armies and in their courts as body guards, members of their entourage, and even, on occasion, as their entertainment. Drawing on Latin, Romance, and Arabic archival sources from Spain and North Africa, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Hussein…

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Emerging Scholars Conference

Friday, October 27, 2017 @ 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Emerging Scholar conference directly engages the CMRS mission to support Graduate Student research. This one-day conference features UCLA graduate students from a variety of departments including Art History, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, History, French, and English presenting recent research from topics that relate to CMRS’s sphere of interest defined broadly as the period from Late Antiquity to the mid-seventeenth century. Organized by Sharon Gerstel, UCLA Professor of Art History and CMRS…

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Cutting Out the Middleman: Petrarch’s Attempted ‘damnatio memoriae’ of Walter of Châtillon’s ‘Alexandreis’

Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Even in this era of increasing skepticism about Petrarch’s break with the medieval past, his Latin epic, the Africa, is still seen as a major monument ushering in the Renaissance through its classicizing form and themes. Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis, a Latin epic about Alexander of Macedon written almost two centuries earlier, can lay claim to most of the ‘new’ classicisms detected in Petrarch’s Africa. In this Roundtable, Justin Haynes (Department of Classics, UC Davis) exposes the great lengths Petrarch went to in order to bury the…

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CMRS Silent Movie Night: “Häxan”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

CMRS screens the 1922 Scandinavian silent film documentary classic Häxan (a version of which is known in English as Witchcraft Through the Ages), directed by Benjamin Christensen with live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Introductory remarks by Professor Arne Lunde (Scandinavian, UCLA). The CMRS Film Series is made possible by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

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November 2017

‘¿Where is Barbarossa?’: Spanish Sensory Perception in North Africa”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, Spanish forces swept into North Africa and conquered a series of coastal towns from Morocco to Libya. Historians have seen this as a kind of mirror image of Muslim conquests in the Iberian Peninsula, and the subsequent occupation seemed to take place in the familiar context of Christian-Muslim relations in the western Mediterranean. As such, Spaniards are presumed to almost have a pre-knowledge of a land that was an overnight sail from…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, November 4, 2017 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

The Fall 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. These are the papers under discussion at this seminar: Geoffrey Koziol (UC Berkley) – “The Devil in the…

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A Medieval Mansio Refuge on the Carolingian Alpine Road in Bramans, France

Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable The old Carolingian and medieval route through the Savoie French Alps connected Grenoble to Turin. The route followed what had been the Roman Road and before that a Celtic pathway that is often suggested as Hannibal’s route into Italy. Along the ancient pathway over the Col du Clapier-Savine Coche Pass, a ruined stone refuge guards the way at an altitude of 2200 meters (7000 ft.), above which weather could become a limiting factor any day of the year.…

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Memorial for Professor Claude L. Hulet

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Claude L. Hulet, 96, of La Cañada, California passed away peacefully on August 22, 2017. He was born in 1920 in rural, Michigan. He worked hard growing up on a farm during the depression. At the same time he was able to maintain his studies and was eventually accepted to the University of Michigan. He majored in Spanish and French and also graduated from the English language institute. After completing his BA degree, the Cultural Division of the Department of…

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Sound and the Sacred

Friday, November 17, 2017 - Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sound and the Sacred, a UCLA-CMRS conference organized by Sharon Gerstel.

Sound—whether thunder or psalmody—plays a role in the formation and perception of the sacred. Religions acknowledge the importance of sound, manifested in the voice of God, the call to prayer, collective chant, and other profound ways. Sound unifies communities in sacred worship and affirms sacred hierarchies. It is captured in images and contained in built environments. Sound—human, angelic, primordial, heavenly— is critical to spiritual transformation. The connection of sound and the sacred is born in the first cry of a…

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 @ 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 @ 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 - Saturday, January 13

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 @ 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 lead actor Damián Delgado (Topiltzin/Tomás) will follow the film. Advance registration…

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

Monday, January 22 @ 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 - Saturday, January 27

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. Understanding, Healing, and Communicating the Body in the Pre-Vesalian World

Tuesday, January 30 @ 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 @ 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

Annual Colloquia in Armenian Studies

Thursday, February 1 - Friday, February 2

CMRS Co-sponsored Conference The Annual Colloquia in Armenian Studies are a forum for graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines whose research bears on Armenian Studies to present scholarly papers in the humanities and social sciences, within disciplines as wide-ranging as Anthropology, Archaeology, Art history, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, History, and Political Science. The complete schedules are posted on the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures website.  

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California Medieval History Seminar, Winter 2018

Saturday, February 3 @ 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. These are the papers under discussion at this seminar: Brenda Deen Schildgen (UC Davis) –…

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CANCELLED – Who Created Whom? Shakespeare’s Religious Doubt – CANCELLED

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

CMRS Roundtable Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule it at another time. 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).…

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

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

This symposium with Dr. Carme Font (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and CMRS Associate) 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 communities of faith, which are as yet largely unexplored. Advance registration is…

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

Wednesday, February 7 @ 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. The readings are mostly in English (with a sampling of Hebrew and Italian for flavor). 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;…

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

Thursday, February 8 @ 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 @ 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 - Saturday, February 17

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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The Red Dragon Logbook Conference

Friday, February 16 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

A one-day symposium follows the 1586 voyage of the ship Red Dragon. The ship’s little-known logbook, documenting its journey from England, to Sierra Leone, Rio de la Plata and Salvador da Bahia, illuminates the early interconnected histories of Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Speakers: Vanessa Wilkie, Huntington Library Eleanor Hubbard, Princeton University David Wheat, Michigan State University Kara Schultz, Vanderbilt University Gabriel Rocha, Drexel University Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University This conference is made possible by the generosity of…

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Michelangelo and the Life and Death of Adam and Eve

Tuesday, February 20 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Lecture In this talk, Herbert Morris (Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLA) analyzes Michelangelo’s treatment of Adam and Eve in three panels of the Sistine Ceiling devoted to their creation, temptation, and expulsion. Delving into topics that have been minimally attended to in the critical literature or not at all, this talk examines aspects of the paintings in which Michelangelo departs from the text of Genesis, such as the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the…

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Unveiling Judeo-Spanish Texts: A Hebrew Aljamiado Workshop

Thursday, February 22 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Image: Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MS 2666: “Vision Delekt[a]ble”

The Hebrew Aljamiado Research Group of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies are offering a workshop in learning to read 14th-16th century Judeo-Spanish texts written using the Hebrew alphabet: Hebrew “aljamiado” writing.  Attendees will also learn about the cultural context of Hebrew aljamiado writing in the Peninsula and in the Sephardic diaspora. Professor Michelle Hamilton of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota, a leading scholar of these texts, will…

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