|HOME > Calendar & Programs|
This talk by Christiana Purdy Moudarres (PhD Italian Language and Literature, Yale) offers a medical perspective on one of the grisliest scenes in Dante’s Inferno, that of Count Ugolino’s cannibalistic feast on the head of his neighbor, the Archbishop Ruggieri: là ’ve ’l cervel s’aggiugne con la nuca (Inferno 32.129), ‘there where the brain joins with the nape’. After establishing how this hotly debated locus became coterminous with the will by Dante’s day, Dr. Purdy Moudarres shows how the ethical implications of this biomedical debate are dramatized by Dante’s clinical account of the effects of starvation, the condition that notoriously may or may not have led the count to partake of his own children’s flesh. The question of Ugolino’s alleged cannibalism in the Tower of Hunger is thus recast as a meditation on the lower appetites’ potential to consume the will.
The California Medieval History Seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four pre-distributed research papers. Papers are sent to registrants before the meeting and participants are expected to have read the papers in advance and come prepared to discuss them. Speakers and paper topics are announced by e-mail. More information on cost and programs are on our website at cmrs.ucla.edu/programs/med_hist_seminar.html. To be added to the announcement list contact email@example.com.
Jesuits decisive in the history of Brazil during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Manuel da Nobrega and Antonio Vieira, produced a comprehensive set of letters that largely informed what historians of later centuries have written about the colonial period. Historians, however, have rarely considered the role these letters play in the body of Society of Jesus, as well as their particular rules of composition. CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Alcir Pécora (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem) explores this topic.
A lecture by CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Alcir Pécora (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem).
Leon Battista Alberti’s De pictura is a treatise on visual art by an ostensible practitioner of painting. Completed in 1435, twelve months after his first documented visit to Florence, De pictura could not only be the result of a single year’s encounter with Florentine artists and culture; the treatise certainly began with Alberti’s education in Padua from 1414 to 1421. Peter Weller argues that Padua’s importance to the inception of the studia humanitatis and the lines of transmission from Padua’s humanist and visual legacy seminally informed Alberti and his text.
A PhD candidate in Italian Renaissance Art History at UCLA, Peter Weller’s doctoral dissertation is “Alberti Before Florence: Early Sources Informing the Vocabulary of Leon Battista Alberti’s De pictura,” which focuses on the emrgence of a distinctive conception of art in late fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century humanist culture. His minor concentration is in first- and sceond-century Roman art.
Starting with an analysis of Nicolas Poussin’s “Landscape with Diogenes” and his “Landscape with Pyramus and Thysbe,” Professor Efraín Kristal (Comparative Literature, and Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA) examines the French painter’s visual engagements with philosophical ideas and literary works.
Established in 1963, the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2013. This year is also the anniversary of Machiavelli’s The Prince; that influential work was written 500 years ago in 1513. This conference honors both of these milestones.
Using The Prince and the extraordinary luxuries of the Italian Renaissance court as a point of departure, this conference reflects upon the universal experience of the aesthetics of material culture and everyday life. What constitutes luxury and endows objects and activities with the qualities of beauty and value? What is pleasing to the senses and how is art and artistic expression experienced and appreciated by people of all segments of society throughout Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages and Renaissance? In keeping with the celebratory spirit of the occasion, this conference is organized around broad themes relevant to revelry, merriment, and delight.
This conference is organized by the Fondazione per l’Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, the Australian Institute of Art History of the University of Melbourne, and the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. It is the second of a series of scientific and cultural events devoted to the Italian Renaissance in the quincentenary of Machiavelli’s The Prince.
During the Renaissance, in a context strongly marked by spectacular technological advances, the former concepts of image and reflection experienced a significant change. Without losing their ambivalence – they have a cognitive power but can be deceptive, mirrors enter a golden age: they become the preferred instruments of artists, humanists, and scientists. CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Yves Hersant (Director of Studies, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) explores mirrors, specularity, and speculation in the Renaissance.
A discussion by Hermann Haller (Department of Italian, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York) about John Florio’s contributions as one of the most prominent linguists and educators in Elizabethan England. Prof. Haller introduces his edition of A Worlde of Wordes, the first comprehensive Italian-English dictionary, published in England in 1598, and highlights the book's plurilingual feast with its wealth of dialect forms, erotic terms, colloquial expressions, phrases, proverbs, and encyclopedic features. The 46,000 Italian entries in Florio’s dictionary made it initially possible for English readers to access Italy’s rich Renaissance literary and scientific culture. The dictionary reflects Florio’s humanistic endeavors as a lexicographer, translator, grammarian, language teacher, and brilliant creative writer at a time when Italian language and culture was hugely popular throughout educated English society.
Specialist of Italian and European Renaissance, Humanism, as well as the notion of Europe, Prof. Yves Hersant teaches at the EHESS in Paris. Among his main publications: Italies. Les voyageurs français aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (Paris, Robert Laffont, 1988), Europes. Anthologie critique et commentée (Paris, Robert Laffont, 2000), La métaphore baroque. D’Aristote à Tesauro, (Paris, Le Seuil, 2001), Mélancolies. De l’Antiquité au XXe siècle (Paris, Robert Laffont, 2005). He is also well known as a translator into French of a number of authors, including Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Tullia d’Aragona, Leon Battista Alberti, Italo Calvino, Ferdinando Camon, and Giorgio Agamben, among others. He is also the co-director of an on-going 20 volume edition of the complete works of Giordano Bruno (with French translation). The lecture/seminar will be held in English. Faculty members, graduate and advanced undergraduate students are welcome.
James Porter (Scottish Ethnology, University of Aberdeen) who has has published extensively on music of various kinds and on folklore, is a retired member of the faculties of UCLA and the University of Aberdeen. His lecture focuses on George Buchanan (1506-1582) who began to compose his poetic paraphrases of the Psalms in Latin while imprisoned by the Inquisition in San Bento monastery in Portugal following a trial for heresy, until he was freed in 1552. The first edition of the paraphrases was issued in 1565/6 by Henri and Robert Estienne, the editors describing Buchanan as ‘poetarum sui seculi facile princeps, easily the greatest poet of his time'. Humanistic in tone, and with a dedication to Mary, Queen of Scots, these paraphrases were widely admired throughout Europe, and ran into many editions with different publishers. Together with Buchanan's other works they cemented his reputation as a supreme master of Latinity, especially in France, where he spent many years. While Buchanan did not purposely write the paraphrases as texts to be set to music, two composers, Jean Servin and Statius Olthof, set the paraphrases later in the century (1579, 1585) with strikingly different results both in artistic method and public reception.