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February 2019

The Greek Village

Friday, February 22 - Saturday, February 23
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Conference The Greek chorio has been a frequent subject of interest to anthropologists, who have written extensively about rituals, kinship structures, work, and gender. Increasingly, the subject has come under the scrutiny of archaeologists, who have carefully traced the material remains of villages and households in order to reconstruct the lives of those who lived outside of better studied cities and towns. This symposium aims to examine the Greek village diachronically and across disciplines — through its most ancient…

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Sixteen Tomes: The Lost Worlds of Leone de’ Sommi — Dramatic Readings with Commentary

Wednesday, February 27 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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On the night of January 25th and 26th, 1904, a fire ravaged the National University Library of Turin, Italy, destroying 30,000 books and half its 4200 manuscripts. Among the latter were sixteen unique volumes containing the complete writings of Leone de' Sommi (c. 1525-c. 1590), the Jewish-Italian scholar, playwright, director, and actor from Mantua. Only a handful of Leone's works survived the conflagration. In anticipation of the carnivalesque Jewish festival of Purim, this program aims to reconstruct (to the extent…

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March 2019

Merchants, Artisans & Literati: The Book Market in Renaissance Europe

Friday, March 1 - Saturday, March 2
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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A Conference Organized by Angela Nuovo (University of Milan – EmoBookTrade Project) In the early stage of printing, Erasmus from Rotterdam provided a vivid account of his experience with the renowned humanist and publisher Aldus Manutius. In his 1508 Adagia, Erasmus described himself torn between Aldus’s rich library and his frantic printing shop where, allegedly, Erasmus was pressured by the publisher and his craftsmen to release the last-minute drafts of his texts moments before having them sent to press. Whether fictitious…

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Captivated by the Mediterranean: Early Modern Spain and the Political Economy of Ransom

Tuesday, March 5 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Co-sponsored Lecture In The Captive Sea, Daniel Hershenzon (University of Connecticut) explores the entangled histories of Muslim and Christian captives—and, by extension, of the Spanish Empire, Ottoman Algiers, and Morocco—in the seventeenth century to argue that piracy, captivity, and redemption helped shape the Mediterranean as an integrated region at the social, political, and economic levels. Despite their confessional differences, the lives of captives and captors alike were connected in a political economy of ransom and communication networks shaped by…

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Thought Crimes: Subversive Politics in Art Made For Medieval Jews

Thursday, March 7 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
UCLA Faculty Center, 480 Charles E Young Dr East
Los Angeles, 90095 United States
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CMRS Co-sponsored Lecture At the Maurice Amado Lecture in Sephardic Studies, Marc Michael Epstein (Vassar College)will explore issues of temporality (the way in which the passing of time is indicated or implied) in illuminated manuscripts made for Jews in the fourteenth century. What happens when, viewing images as a frozen snapshots in time, we consider the potentially politically subversive implications of the implied action that will ensue in the moment after the one that is frozen in the frame? What…

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The Manuscripts of Reginald Pecock

Monday, March 11 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Roundtable Bishop Reginald Pecock (d. ca. 1459) actively wrote for over thirty years of his life, from his mid-thirties when he left university until his mid-sixties when he was confined at Thorney Abbey and deprived of his writing instruments in the aftermath of his conviction of heresy. From this period, we have only five books remaining. This roundtable, however, is not about what survives. Rather, it is about the more than forty books that we know he had written—Pecock…

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Syllogisms in Stone: Theophilus, Stephen, Abelard on the Walls of Notre-Dame de Paris

Tuesday, March 12 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture Gothic cathedrals were great engines of urban renewal in the High Middle Ages. The great religious works projects contributed to the revival of trades and to the new institutions of medieval towns. Not the least of these was the University of Paris, which grew out of the cathedral school of Notre-Dame in the second half of the twelfth century. Using three sculptural programs on the outer walls of Notre-Dame alongside the example of Abelard, we…

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April 2019

Emmanuel Levinas as Critic: A Chaucerian Test Case

Thursday, April 4 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Bringing Emmanuel Levinas to bear on Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Tale, my premodern test case, has the virtue of recovering what is authentically other. Because Levinas refuses to leap to conclusions about values, about human nature, even about God’s nature, his phenomenological speculations regard the reality of existence as ethical encounter in the world itself—ontological questions are, for him, already ethical ones—Levinas is a textual and cultural critic of enormous value. Works of art are, for him, mediators between the consciousness of…

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Women as Writers of Heroic Poetry in Renaissance Italy: An Epic Micro-Tradition?

Friday, April 5 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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“Women as Writers of Heroic Poetry in Renaissance Italy: An Epic Micro-Tradition?” explores all facets of heroic poetry as written by Italian Renaissance women. Moreover, this conference aims to spotlight their heroic poems and place them in an tradition that has for the most part ignored their work. We are also interested in the ways these women authors handle specific conventions of the genre such as the difference between the romance and epic modes, the engagement with literary predecessors, and…

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Fathers and Daughters in Literature from the Genesis to Romanticism (a work in progress)

Monday, April 8 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Roundtable Professor Marianna Birnbaum (Germanic, UCLA) discusses her current work on Biblical topics as they appear in literature, connecting Biblical stories about fathers and daughters with plots in literature from the Renaissance to Romanticism. Her discussion includes, among others, Dinah and Jacob, Esther and Mordechai, and Lot and his daughters, with an analysis of the roles these fathers and surrogate fathers play, showing how the Biblical messages operate in belles lettres. Please click this link to register and let us know…

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Visions of Medieval Studies in North America: A Conference in Honor of Patrick J. Geary

Saturday, April 13 - Sunday, April 14
Royce Hall 314, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States
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Borrowing its title from Patrick Geary’s article “Visions of Medieval Studies in North America” published in the 1994 volume The Past and Future of Medieval Studies, this conference honors the distinguished career of Patrick J. Geary, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History at the Institute for Advanced Study (2012–2019), Distinguished Professor of History at UCLA (1993–2011), Professor of History at the University of Florida (1980–1993), and Director of the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1993–1998). Celebrating both the…

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Golden Girls: Objectification and Transcendence in Old English Poetry

Monday, April 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Royce Hall Room 306, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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CMRS Roundtable In this Roundtable, Sara Burdorff (UCLA) reexamines the place of women in the Anglo-Saxon heroic system, as represented in Old English poetry.  Drawing on evidence from Beowulf as well as “The Wife’s Lament,” the “Dream of the Rood,” and other lyric poems, Burdorff explores the poetic equation of women and gold as evidence, not of their subordination, but of their transcendent indispensability to masculine heroic society. She suggests that this ‘golden girl’ motif identifies women as semiotic equivalent…

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