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Conferences 2013-2014

“Body and Soul, Image and Word: Emblems from the Renaissance to the Present”
Friday, November 15, 2013

Beginning with Paolo Giovio’s Dialogo dell’imprese militari e amorose (1555), the book was set forth as the medium par excellence for emblems, which fostered the perception—in part through the simplified drawings such books contained—that emblems were simply abstract and intangible. Yet these devices have an influence beyond books and printed matter. By the late Middle Ages, emblems appeared in diverse media, including painting, sculpture, jewelry, arms and armor, and textiles. They played an integral role in triumphal parades, wedding celebrations, and in representations depicting such public events, proclaiming the political and dynastic allegiances of the participants. In religious settings, emblems served didactic and homiletic purposes.

Inspired by literature, philosophy, hieroglyphic and biblical hermeneutics, emblems represent the ultimate distillation of art, both visual and verbal. To fully understand and appreciate these devices demands an interdisciplinary approach drawing upon the perspectives of art history, literary theory, and semiotic analysis. This symposium will explore the complex nature of emblems as polysemic and multifunctional works of art from the Renaissance to the present day. Speakers will include Dr. Alessandro Della Latta (Gema¨ldegalerie Museum, Berlin); Professor Paolo Fabbri (University Institute of Modern Languages, Milan), Professor Giorgio Ficara (University of Turin), Professor Emeritus Marilyn Aronberg Lavin and Professor Emeritus Irving Lavin (both at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Professor Cynthia Skenazi (UC Santa Barbara), and Professor Emeritus Joanna Woods-Marsden (UCLA).

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CMRS 50th Anniversary Conference
“Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the 21st Century”
Friday, January 24 – Saturday, January 25, 2014

In Fall 2013, the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) will be embarking on its 51st year. It’s a time to consider not only where CMRS has been and what it has accomplished, but also where the Center—and discipline of Medieval and Renaissance Studies—are headed. In an era when the importance of humanistic studies has been questioned and funding for the Humanities has dwindled, how can we demonstrate the value of studying the Middle Ages and Renaissance and the relevance of such study to our contemporary world? This conference will bring together internationally renowned scholars, including the directors and leaders of other distinguished Medieval and Renaissance Studies centers, institutions, and organizations, as well as many of CMRS’s own past directors, to consider these issues.

Speakers include Robert Bjork, Director, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Graeme Boone, Director, Ohio State CMRS; Peter Howard, Director, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Monash University; Tom Madden, Director, CMRS, St. Louis University; Elizabeth Morrison, Senior Curator of Manuscripts, The J. Paul Getty Museum; Edward Muir, President, Renaissance Society of America; James Murray, Director, The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University; Richard Unger, President, Medieval Academy of America; Carla Zecher, Director of the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies and Curator of Music, The Newberry Library. Former CMRS Directors Michael J. B. Allen (English, UCLA), Brian Copenhaver (Philosophy and History, UCLA), Patrick Geary (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), and Andy Kelly (English, UCLA) will also be on hand.

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CMRS/Getty Symposium
“Seeing and Reading in Twelfth-Century England”
Saturday, February 1 – Sunday, February 2, 2014

In this interdisciplinary symposium, organized by Professor Matthew Fisher (English, UCLA) and Dr. Kristen Collins (Curator, The J. Paul Getty Museum), scholars will explore the status of imagery in twelfth-century thought and devotion. Presentations will examine the literary and historical contexts of images in a range of media, whether rendered in glass, painted in books, or constructed in the mind’s eye. Scholars will present focused studies on stained glass and manuscripts while developing more general and theoretical ideas about the readership, interpretation and prevailing attitudes toward pictures in English religious and literary cultures. The symposium will coincide with the last days of a major exhibition at the Getty Museum, “Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister.” The exhibition brings together monumental panels of stained glass from Canterbury Cathedral and leaves from the splendidly illuminated St. Albans Psalter. For more information about the exhibition, visit http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/canterbury/.

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“Galileo Galilei: The Pendulum, the Lute, the Pen”
Friday, February 7, 2014

This symposium will explore Galileo’s influence on and connections with science, literature, and music. The speakers include distinguished authorities in each of these areas: for science, Claudio Pellegrini (Physics, UCLA) and Mark Peterson (Physics and Mathematics, Mount Holyoke College); for music, musicologist and Professor Emeritus Edward Kottick (University of Iowa); and for literature, Professor Paolo Fabbri (University Institute of Modern Languages, Milan), and Professor Marco Arnaudo (Italian, Indiana University).

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The 36th Annual UC Celtic Studies Conference
Thursday, March 13 – Sunday, March 16, 2014

The 36th UC Celtic Studies Conference, organized by Professor Joseph Nagy (English, UCLA) and the UCLA Celtic Colloquium, will feature papers on all aspects of Celtic culture including language, literature, history, art and archaeology, from late antiquity until the present day. Invited speakers include Mr. Geraint Evans (Swansea University), Professor Catherine Flynn (UC Berkeley), Professor Helen Fulton (University of York), Professor Elizabeth FitzPatrick (National University of Ireland, Galway), Professor Ralph O’Connor (University of Aberdeen), and Dr. Eurig Salisbury (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies). A call for papers will be sent out by email in autumn 2013. For more information, contact Professor Nagy at jfnagy@humnet.ucla.edu. The complete program will be posted when it is available.

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CMRS Ahmanson Conference
“Heaven and Earth: Perspectives on Greece's Byzantium”
Thursday, May 1 – Saturday, May 3, 2014

This symposium in conjunction with the exhibit “Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium in Greek Collections,” at the Getty Villa will bring together an international group of scholars representing a variety of disciplines to explore and deepen our understanding of key themes presented in the exhibit. The program is organized by Professor Sharon Gerstel (Art History, UCLA) and Mary Louise Hart (Associate Curator of Antiquities, J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu). Advance registration required.

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