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November 2015

Fishing and Water Ecology in High Renaissance Florence: Some Preliminary Considerations

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Environmental Humanities In 1509, Filippo Casavecchia wrote to Niccolò Machiavelli, inviting Niccolò to “stay with me (in the mountains between Florence and Lucca) for 4 days, because I am sure you will not be sorry for it, with respect to my having ordered an entire furnaceful of mortar that contains 40 moggia (660 bushels), with which we shall plaster the river, for we shall take at last 2,000 libbre (1,596 lbs.) of fish and have a great time doing it.”…

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Free

Silent Movie Screening: “Drums of Love”

Monday, November 16, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

On the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the birth of Dante, the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the UCLA Department of Italian present a screening of D.W. Griffith’s  “Drums of Love”, the 1928 cinematic retelling of the tragic love story of Paolo and Francesca as told in Canto V of Dante’s “Inferno”, with pianist Cliff Retallick providing live musical accompaniment. Special thanks to the Mary Pickford Foundation.

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The Seals of Lucrezia Borgia and Isabella d’Este

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Professor Diane Ghirardo (University of Southern California) discusses Lucrezia Borgia and Isabella d’Este who were related by marriage but shared little else. Sisters-in-law and spouses of lords of prominent Italian states (Ferrara and Mantua), the two women’s seals incorporated the arms of their natal families and those of their husbands, but the differences in how the two women understood the meanings of their seals and their imprese are remarkable. Their distinctive use of their seals testifies not only to…

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The Ancient Mediterranean Pharmacopeia: A Source for Novel Medicines?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

This lecture by Dr. Alain Touwaide, illustrates the Mediterranean pharmacopeia and shows how ancient drug making is an invaluable source for novel medicines.The search for novel medicines is on the agenda of the pharmacological world across the globe. New substances, new approaches, and new applications are expected to help fight multiple devastating medical conditions, old or new. Strangely enough an incomparable source of information has all too rarely been taken into consideration: the experience of the past, gained through clinical…

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Love and Death in the Renaissance Castle – Day 1

Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

An ethos of noble violence prevailed throughout the early modern period under the rubric of chivalry, often bound up with illicit romances in aristocratic and royal castles. Some of the most celebrated cases of sexual violence, illicit loves and murder in early modern Italy and France unfolded in castles such as those of Gradara and Ferrara – Paolo and Francesca, Ugo and Parisina, Giulio d’Este and Angela Borgia. Castles were also the settings for fictional accounts of similar stories, such…

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Love and Death in the Renaissance Castle – Day 2

Saturday, November 21, 2015 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

An ethos of noble violence prevailed throughout the early modern period under the rubric of chivalry, often bound up with illicit romances in aristocratic and royal castles. Some of the most celebrated cases of sexual violence, illicit loves and murder in early modern Italy and France unfolded in castles such as those of Gradara and Ferrara – Paolo and Francesca, Ugo and Parisina, Giulio d’Este and Angela Borgia. Castles were also the settings for fictional accounts of similar stories, such…

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December 2015

Exotic Lady Continents in Engraving, Tapestry, and Town Hall Pediment of the Northern Renaissance

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable What were the key stages in the imagination of personified continents? In this presentation, Maryanne Cline Horowitz (Professor of History, Occidental College & UCLA-CMRS Associate) identifies sources for three distinct stages in the development of Renaissance and Baroque personifications of Africa, Asia, Europe, and America.  In the 1570s three variants of an allegorical poem interpret the female personifications that appear on the title page of the first world atlas by Ortelius, and lady continents appear in Italian fresco. …

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January 2016

Learning to Produce Literature in Medieval China

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Members of the literate class in medieval China (ca. 6th through 10th centuries) were called upon to produce literary works in a wide range of contexts, from drunken poetry competitions to the civil service exam. In this talk, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Christopher Nugent (Associate Professor of Chinese, Williams College) examines a number of the texts—including children’s primers, encyclopedias, and model poems—that were used in the process of training members of this elite in literary skills that were ultimately as…

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The Monastery of Elijah near Nepi: A History in Paint and Stone

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Alison Locke Perchuk (Art, California State University Channel Islands) considers the production of individual and communal identity as a complex process operating at the intersections of exterior and interior, of physical environment and mental structures, of bodily comportment and spiritual and intellectual practices. Through research in art and architectural history, political and social history, theology, liturgy, literature, and memory and landscape studies, Professor Perchuk’s book project offers a new understanding of this process at work within a medieval European…

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25th Richard & Mary Rouse History of the Book Lecture: The Book of Hours in Literary History

Thursday, January 14, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

The book of hours is one of the most familiar of medieval manuscript genres and yet it has not played a large part in histories of medieval reading, still less in histories of medieval literature.  In this talk, Professor Jessica Brantley (Yale University) explores the importance of the book of hours for English literary history, investigating how these widely popular prayerbooks influenced such cultural developments as:  the rise of private reading, the development of lay literate piety, the emergence of…

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Digital Heritage: Emerging Tool, Process and Contents for Spatial Designs

Monday, January 25, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Digital tools for surveying and representing important architectural heritage have recently become available at low or no cost to everyone including designers, historians, facility managers and tourists. Takehiko Nagakura, an architect from Tokyo and Associate Professor of Architecture at MIT, talks about his digital heritage projects at MIT that use computer graphics animations, photogrammetric modeling, panoramic video, and game engine. Examples include his fieldwork on the sites of buildings by Palladio, Scarpa, and Zaha Hadid. Advance registration not required. No…

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Shakespeare’s Greatest Riddle: M.O.A.I. Deciphered at Last

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is checkered with riddles. This talk by CMRS Associate Dr. Steve Sohmer (Fleming Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford) proposes to solve them: from who is Quinapalus to the meaning of M.O.A.I. It’s eye-opening fun. 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 and Renaissance Studies.  

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Art and Papal Politics in Twelfth-Century Rome

Thursday, January 28, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Annual Hammer Art History Lecture Art and architecture were important vehicles of communication for medieval patrons, including popes. In this lecture, Dale Kinney (Eugenia Chase Guild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities and Research Professor, Bryn Mawr College) presents a range of papal images thought to convey political messages, some of which caused international scandals in their own day while others are mentioned only for being pretty. Professor Kinney explores both the twelfth-century context of this art as well as the…

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February 2016

Food for Worms or Food for Birds? Sky Burial in Medieval Europe

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Environmental Humanities Medieval people preferred to bury their dead, flesh still on bones, and to let worms do the work of breaking down the corpse; they thought it a horror to expose human bodies to the appetites of larger animals. They were aware, however, that their funeral rituals were not universal. Early medieval reactions to Zoroastrian funerals, and later medieval reactions to Tibetan, ranged from disgust to cosmopolitan indifference, until they culminated with the fourteenth-century Book of John Mandeville. In…

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Minimal Animals: Medieval Oysters and Our Nonconsensual Existence

Thursday, February 4, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Natural philosophy from Aristotle to Higden to Diderot conceived of oysters as the hinge between plant and animal life. Without any sense but touch, unable to move, and having no defense but a shell, oysters represented animal life at its barest. The usual move in the last decade’s work in posthumanist philosophy would be to recognize the “agency” of these and other oysters. CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Karl Steel (Associate Professor, English, Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY) will challenge…

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Religious Polemic and Apocalyptic Traditions: Describing the Other

Monday, February 8, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Texts that in modern scholarship are classified as “historical apocalypses” have often been vectors of inter-religious polemic. Within the earliest Mediterranean Christian traditions (Latin-, Greek- and Syriac-language) these texts have incorporated anti-Judaic polemic, without necessarily belonging to the well defined adversus Iudaeos type compositions. On the other hand, the latter genre often included elements that originated in eschatological speculations, especially with regards to the figure of an end-time savior vs. an end-time villain, whose significance ranged from being a Messiah/Christ…

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East-West Relations in a Global Middle Ages

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

After 1453, the year Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, the Duke of Burgundy remained the last Western leader proposing a new crusade in the East. But the narrative of the defense of Christian faith and religious war was simply the most visible element of numerous exchanges between the Burgundian Low Countries and the East reaching back to the early fifteenth century and to France. What did the ducal court and its entourage read and acquire for its famous private…

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Re-visioning the Landscape in Carolingian Bavaria

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable This presentation by CMRS Affiliate Leanne Good (Assistant Professor of History, University of South Alabama) considers the re-conception of political space and concomitant changes to local administration brought about by the Carolingian takeover of the duchy of Bavaria in the late eighth and early ninth century. Professor Good will discuss the problems which local practices of land ownership and political authority presented for the expanding Frankish kingdom. Evidence from Bavarian donation cartularies shows attempts at standardization and commodification of land holdings during this period, in addition to…

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California Medieval History Seminar

Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 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. 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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**RESCHEDULED for March 31** Graduate Student Career Forum: Milton was an Alt-Ac

Thursday, February 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Please note that this program is now scheduled for March 31, 2016. This seminar for graduate students who study the Late Antique, Medieval, or Early Modern period, focuses on discovering intellectually stimulating and fulfilling career pathways that leverage the research, teaching, and service skills developed during the PhD. Come and share your ideas, questions, plans, and concerns, and learn about UCLA resources available to you as you plan your next steps. Presented by Anne Maxfield (Associate Director of Graduate Student Relations and…

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Nineteenth Winter Workshop in Medieval & Early Modern Slavic Studies

Friday, February 19, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Nineteenth Winter Workshop in Medieval & Early Modern Slavic Studies Friday, February 19, 2016 Royce Hall 306 Session 1: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. DAVID MILLER, Roosevelt University “Law and Grace: The Seamless Faith of Ethiopian Christianity” DAVID PRESTEL, Michigan State University “The Last of the Avars: Where Did They Go and Why is it Important?” Session 2: 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. VITALIY YEFIMENKOV, University of California Los Angeles “Researching Liturgical Texts: Sources, Questions, Methods” DAVID GOLDFRANK, Georgetown University “Expanding…

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The Cultural Network: What Early Modern Theater Can Tell Us About Cultural Production

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture – Please note that this lecture will begin at 5 pm (not at 4 pm as previously announced). Taking Early Modern European literature—and drama in particular—as a starting point of observation, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Joachim Küpper (Director, Dahlem Humanities Center, Freie Universität Berlin) presents new approaches for describing processes of cultural production, using the metaphor of culture as a (virtual) network. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Italian. Advance registration not required. No fee.…

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Re-reading the Historiographical Purpose and Strategies of the First ‘Anonymous Chronicle of Sahagún’

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable – In 1116, the burghers of Sahagún (Castile and León, Spain) forced the abbot of the local monastery to confirm a charter blunting the terms of their subjection to his local authority. When the burgher’s revolt was put down, and their charter destroyed, the monastery was left to restore its former sense of unquestionable dominance over the burghers. This talk by CMRS Affiliate Dr. Ryan Schwarzrock (History, University of Exeter) focuses on the complex historiographical maneuver employed by the monastery in the first “Anonymous…

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Annual E. A. Moody Medieval Philosophy Workshop

Friday, February 26, 2016 - Sunday, February 28, 2016

The topic of this year’s workshop, organized by Professor Calvin Normore (Philosophy, UCLA), will be “Francisco Suarez and his Contemporaries.” CMRS is one of the co-sponsors of the workshop. Schedule to be announced. Funding for this program is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

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The Roman Inquisition in the Time of Galileo

Friday, February 26, 2016 @ 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

A CMRS Symposium February 26th is the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first encounter with the Holy Office of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. On that day he was warned by Cardinal Robert Bellarmine not to hold the Copernican thesis of heliocentrism, which a committee of the Holy Office had just declared to be heretical. In the light of this event, this symposium celebrates and critiques the late Thomas F. Mayer’s recently published three-volume study, The Roman Inquisition (Philadelphia: University of…

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Medical Traditions for the 21st Century

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - Sunday, February 28, 2016

“Medical Traditions for the 21st Century” A CMRS Ahmanson Conference Registration is requested. Please complete the registration form below. No fee. Limited seating. Saturday, February 27, 2016 8:30 Registration, coffee, fruit, pastries 9:00 Welcoming remarks: Massimo Ciavolella (UCLA), CMRS Director; Lee Walcott (The Ahmanson Foundation), Managing Director Emeritus; David Schaberg, (UCLA), Dean of Humanities; Kathryn Morgan (UCLA), Conference Co-organizer). 9:10 Keynote Lecture Alain Touwaide (Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions / UCLA), Conference Co-Organizer “Medical Traditions: Knowledge in the Making” 9:50 Break 10:00 Session…

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March 2016

What’s New about Italian Civic Religion? The Politics of Memory and Ambrosian Tradition in Medieval Milan

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Patrick Boucheron (Professor, Collège de France) discusses his ongoing research on a political history of the commemoration of Ambrose, bishop and patron saint of the city of Milan. This history not only collects available and disputed recollections of the saint, but also attempts to grasp the manner in which memory is attached to place: topographical sites, but also liturgical and textual realms of memory, which all link the memory to an “authorized” version of the past. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of French and…

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Construction of Beauty and Ugliness in Early Irish Literature

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Physical and visual descriptions are important elements of characterization in medieval literature. In this talk, CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Dr. Clodagh Downey (School of Irish, National University of Ireland, Galway) considers the language and function of human beauty, and its opposite, in the context of early Irish narrative literature, and what this can tell us about literary conventions, social ideals and aesthetic ideas of the time. Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating. Funding for the CMRS Roundtable series is provided by the…

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38th Annual UC Celtic Studies Conference

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - Saturday, March 12, 2016

The 38th University of California Celtic Studies Conference, organized by Professor Joseph F. Nagy (English, UCLA) and the UCLA Celtic Colloquium, features papers on all aspects of Celtic culture including language, literature, history, art and archaeology, from late antiquity until the present day. THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2016 — UCLA ROYCE HALL 314 2:30 pm Registration, coffee 3:00 Welcoming Remarks Massimo Ciavolella (UCLA, CMRS Director), Joseph Nagy (UCLA), and David Schaberg (UCLA, Dean of Humanities) 3:15 Clodagh Downey (National University of Ireland, Galway) “Poetic Positioning…

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Graduate Student Career Forum: Milton was an Alt-Ac

Thursday, March 31, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

This program has moved from the originally scheduled date, February 18, 2016. This seminar for graduate students who study the Late Antique, Medieval, or Early Modern period, focuses on discovering intellectually stimulating and fulfilling career pathways that leverage the research, teaching, and service skills developed during the PhD. Come and share your ideas, questions, plans, and concerns, and learn about UCLA resources available to you as you plan your next steps. Presented by Anne Maxfield (Associate Director of Graduate Student Relations and…

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April 2016

POSTPONED – Usury in Medieval English Literature and Law

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

**POSTPONED To be Rescheduled** In this talk, Professor Arvind Thomas (English, UCLA) investigates the extent to which “literary” writers engaged and even transformed highly technical concepts of credit, need, excess, balance, doubt, risk, profit and loss central to the medieval legal discourse on usury. Texts, including the Ballads of Robin Hood, Piers Plowman, Vox Clamantis, will be explored alongside technical discussions of usury by writers such as Gratian, Giles of Lessines, Peter of John Olivi, John Freiburg, and Nicholas Oresme.

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Satan’s Biography, from Beginnings to Pepys’s London

Thursday, April 7, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Annual William & Lois Matthews Samuel Pepys Lecture Satan appears in the Hebrew Scriptures (Books of Job and Zechariah) as a celestial accuser and prosecutor of humans, eager to uncover the vices that lie below seeming virtue; he is a figure on the order of our own J. Edgar Hoover. This characterization persists throughout the New Testament, with Jesus predicting that he will soon be dismissed from his position of authority. But the early Church Fathers transformed him from God’s hard-nosed Attorney General into Lucifer, a rebellious angel,…

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Vernacular Edens: Tropes of Translation in Medieval Fiction

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm

CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Simone Marchesi (Associate Professor of French and Italian, Princeton University) explores the cultural roots of a double variable correlation in medieval vernacular fiction. One correlation is basic and unsurprising: medieval vernacular writers often take their narratives into gardens, and these gardens tend to conform to the topical model of the Earthly Paradise with various degrees of approximation and explicitness. The cultural basis and the literary effects of such connection are not difficult to see. As a now…

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The Author as Hero in Twelfth-Century Latin Epic: Major Precedents for Dante’s Role in the “Commedia”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

CMRS Roundtable Ever since Eugène Bossard pointed out the similarities between Dante’s Commedia and Alan of Lille’s Anticlaudianus in 1885, modern scholars have recognized Alan’s epic as an important source of inspiration for Dante. However, one of Dante’s greatest debts to the Anticlaudianus, the central role of the author, has been underappreciated. In John of Hauville’s Architrenius, another twelfth-century allegorical Latin epic, the eponymous hero is twice identified as the author. The Architrenius, therefore, is the only Latin epic written before the Commedia in which the author is…

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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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 - Saturday, January 21

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 - Sunday, February 26

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 - Saturday, March 4

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 - Friday, April 14

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 - Saturday, April 22

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 - Tuesday, April 25

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 @ 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 - Saturday, April 29

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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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 @ 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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