Category Archives: Seminar

Nov 24 CEMS End of Year Reception: Evening with Matthew Winterbottom

The ANU Centre for Early Modern Studies is pleased to welcome Matthew
Winterbottom, Curator of Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as our special guest for the final CEMS event for 2022. Matthew has extensive expertise in early modern European decorative arts across diverse media and in the history of cabinets of curiosity.

Join CEMS for an evening in conversation with Matthew followed by drinks, in-person on the ANU campus. This is the first in-person seminar held by CEMS and promises to be a wonderful evening for our members and wider audience to meet and mingle before the end of year.

Matthew Winterbottom is Curator of Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Ashmolean Museum. His research interests cover a wide range of European decorative arts from the late medieval to the early twentieth centuries, and he has expertise in furniture, ceramics, glass and textiles and sculpture, with a particular interest in 17th- and 18th-century British and European silver and goldsmiths’ work. He is actively researching the Michael Wellby bequest – a collection of 500 pieces of Continental goldsmiths’ work and Kunstkammer objects – that was bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum in 2012. Matthew has extensive knowledge of the history of Kunstkammern, Schatzkammern and cabinets of curiosities of the early modern period and of the revival of interest in such collections in the 19th and 20th centuries that led to the extensive faking and reproduction of precious objects.

Matthew has over 25 years’ experience working with and researching European decorative arts and is committed to exploring ways of making this material engaging and accessible to museum visitors. He has held curatorial roles at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Collection and the Holburne Museum in Bath. He joined the Department of Western Art in the Ashmolean Museum in March 2014 as Curator of Nineteenth-Century Decorative Arts where he was tasked with building a new collection of Nineteenth-Century decorative arts and redisplaying the Nineteenth-Century Art Galleries. Since January 2017, he has been responsible for the entire Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts Collections.

Matthew is at ANU in November as an international visitor at the ANU School of Art and Design funded by the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts.

This event is presented by the Centre for Early Modern Studies

For further information and to register please see: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/anu-centre-for-early-modern-studies-end-of-year-reception-tickets-459403597527

Reminder: Seminar: A/Prof Mike Rodman Jones (University of Nottingham), ‘Middle English Ekphrasis: Aesthetics and Socioeconomics in Late Medieval Poetry’, 21 Sept 2022, online via Zoom

An online seminar hosted by The University of Western Australia

Date: Wednesday 21 September 2022

Time: 4:00pm AWST / 6:00pm AEST

Venue: Online via Zoom, hosted by The University of Western Australia

Enquiries and to register: marina.gerzic@uwa.edu.au.

Ekphrasis has attracted a long history of scholarship as a pronounced form of aesthetic display in literary texts. Where major touchstones of scholarship on ekphrasis (Heffernan, 1993; Krieger, 1992) had previously been drawn to classical and modern materials, more recent work has begun to take stock of the peculiarity of medieval ekphrasis (Johnston, Knapp and Rouse, 2015). This paper explores some related avenues of enquiry about the nature, significance, and functions of ekphrasis in major Middle English poetry (Chaucer and Alliterative poetry, especially St Erkenwald and the Piers Plowman tradition). Surveying the vocabulary of cultural production available to late medieval poets, the paper suggests that much work on ekphrasis is theoretically antithetical to an understanding of patronage and artistic production in an age before ‘the Arts’ became defined. Instead, I focus on key passages of Middle English poetry to show how the trope of ekphrasis could be used to distinct effect in different texts: binding cultural production (both poetic and plastic) to the socio-economics of patronage; as a hostile, satirical form of verbal display; and as a mystery, a deliberate enigma, in the examples of St Erkenwald and John Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes.

Chair
Dr Jane Vaughan (The University of Western Australia)

Speaker
Mike Rodman Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nottingham (UK), and works on medieval and early modern literature. His second monograph is forthcoming in the Studies in Renaissance Literature Series with Boydell and Brewer. He spoke at the “Feeling (for) the Premodern” Symposium at The University of Western Australia in 2016; the paper was published in Exemplaria 30:3 (2018). Email: Mike.rodmanjones@nottingham.ac.uk.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medievial and Early Modern Studies, Inc (ANZAMEMS), the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group, Inc, and the ARC Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions.

For more information please see the event website.

“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi.”

“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi,” Monday, September 19, 6 pm AEST.

Katherine Ibbett, Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College will present “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi” at the CEMS ANU Seminar, followed by a Q&A discussion. Full abstract here.

Details: Monday September 19, 9:00 am (Oxford); 6:00pm (Canberra); 4:00am (NY).

Register: On Eventbrite to receive your Zoom link. “

This paper will investigate the published writing that emerges from two late seventeenth-century attempts, led by La Salle, to claim the Mississippi river for France. Multiple and competing first-person accounts of these ventures were published in France over a thirty -year period. Historical accounts of the La Salle expeditions have dismissed the printed accounts of these journeys as misleading and mendacious. I want instead to take seriously the deltas of this work, imagining it as a form of writing that emerges from a river that Europeans found to be bewildering.

Katherine Ibbett is Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College. Most recently she is the author of Compassion’s Edge: Fellow-Feeling and its Limits in Early Modern France (Penn, 2018) and the co-editor of Compassion in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Feeling and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2021). This last year she has been working on Liquid Empire, a book about seventeenth-century French rivers, supported by a Leverhulme fellowship.

This event is presented by the Centre for Early Modern Studies

Online Seminar: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Masculine Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern North India & Nepal, Friday September 2, 3:00pm AEST.

Title: Poetic Supermen & Villains: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Masculine Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern North India & Nepal

Speaker: Chris Diamond

Date: Friday 2 September 2022

Time: 3:00-4:30pm AEST (UTC +10)

Venue: Zoom, Register here for link

Abstract: This presentation will explore how memory, music, and masculinity were packaged and transmitted across time and spaces in a uniquely Maithili manner. A thief in the night, a jilted lover, a noble king, and discerning princes – the heroes, villains, and characters that populate the landscape of early Maithili literature are compelling. These captivating characters and the language associated with their poetic tradition, Maithili, were formalised by the multilingual poet-scholar-saint Vidyāpati Ṭhākura (c. 1360-1450 CE). Full abstract here.

About the speaker: Dr Chris Diamond is a Lecturer at the School of Culture, History & Language in the ANU College of Asia the Pacific. Chris’ current project concerns the literary legacy of a medieval multi-lingual poet from the North Indian region of Mithila, Vidyapati (c. 1370-1450). His, at the time, new vernacular language of song and poetry became a standardized classical style across Nepal, the Eastern Gangetic Plains, Bengal, and further afield. Chris is currently working on a new edition and translation of some of the oldest manuscript that contain this poet’s songs and a critical analysis of the ways kings and brahmins in Nepal and Bihar employed them to project their own power and prestige.

Middle English Ekphrasis: Aesthetics and Socioeconomics in Late Medieval Poetry

Middle English Ekphrasis: Aesthetics and Socioeconomics in Late Medieval Poetry
An online seminar hosted by The University of Western Australia

Date: Wednesday 21 September 2022
Time: 4:00pm AWST / 6:00pm AEST
Venue: Online via Zoom, hosted by The University of Western Australia
Enquiries and to register: marina.gerzic@uwa.edu.au. Please register by Friday 16 September.

Ekphrasis has attracted a long history of scholarship as a pronounced form of aesthetic display in literary texts. Where major touchstones of scholarship on ekphrasis (Heffernan, 1993; Krieger, 1992) had previously been drawn to classical and modern materials, more recent work has begun to take stock of the peculiarity of medieval ekphrasis (Johnston, Knapp and Rouse, 2015). This paper explores some related avenues of enquiry about the nature, significance, and functions of ekphrasis in major Middle English poetry (Chaucer and Alliterative poetry, especially St Erkenwald and the Piers Plowman tradition). Surveying the vocabulary of cultural production available to late medieval poets, the paper suggests that much work on ekphrasis is theoretically antithetical to an understanding of patronage and artistic production in an age before ‘the Arts’ became defined. Instead, I focus on key passages of Middle English poetry to show how the trope of ekphrasis could be used to distinct effect in different texts: binding cultural production (both poetic and plastic) to the socio-economics of patronage; as a hostile, satirical form of verbal display; and as a mystery, a deliberate enigma, in the examples of St Erkenwald and John Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes.

Chair
Dr Jane Vaughan (The University of Western Australia)

Speaker
Mike Rodman Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nottingham (UK), and works on medieval and early modern literature. His second monograph is forthcoming in the Studies in Renaissance Literature Series with Boydell and Brewer. He spoke at the “Feeling (for) the Premodern” Symposium at The University of Western Australia in 2016; the paper was published in Exemplaria 30:3 (2018). Email: Mike.rodmanjones@nottingham.ac.uk.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medievial and Early Modern Studies, Inc (ANZAMEMS), the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group, Inc, and the ARC Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions.

For more information please see the event website.

CEMS ANU Online Seminar – Helen Hills, “Desiring Silver: Saving Souls, Travelling Light, and the Other Side of the Coin.” June 15

“Desiring Silver: Saving Souls, Travelling Light, and the Other Side of the Coin.”

Centre for Early Modern Studies, Australian National University Online Seminar 2 2022, Wednesday 15 June 9:00 am (BST); 6.00 pm (AEST); 4:00am EDT.

Please join us to hear Helen Hills, Professor Emerita of History of Art at the University of York, speak on her current research project on silver: “Silver is particularly fraught, agile and transformative material. Embedded in power relations, coloniality, and matters of refinement, early modern silver was a particularly generative site. Might its peculiar paradoxes be usefully thought in terms of a materiality of trauma? I will consider this through the lens of silver in Naples, capital of the Spanish empire in Europe.” The seminar will be followed by a Q&A discussion and run for 75 minutes.

Time: Wednesday 15 June 9:00 am (BST); 6.00 pm (AEST); 4:00 am (EDT). Time/date converter

Register to receive a link for the event (and the event recording). Eventbrite registration.


Medieval and Early Modern Centre April Newsletter

Medieval and Early Modern Centre, April 2022 Newsletter


April is a quieter month for events: Easter, mid-semester break, and Anzac Day land squarely in its middle and – hopefully – give us all some much-needed respite.

This month’s MEMC lunchtime seminar – on Friday 29 April – is a double-bill. We will have the opportunity to hear shorter papers (about 20 minutes each) from two of the Centre’s Honorary Associates, Andrew Mellas and Penny Nash. As you can see in the abstracts below, the presentations bring us into the material, sensory, and emotional worlds of the European middle ages, taking us from Byzantine liturgy through Carolingian, Ottonian, and Salian dress and costume.

We look forward to seeing you on Zoom at the end of the month. Meanwhile, enjoy the upcoming break,
John Gagné, Director

Events
MEMC Lunchtime Seminar

Friday 29 April
12:00 noon – 1:30 pm

Andrew Mellas (MEMC, Sydney), and Penny Nash (MEMC, Sydney)

(1) Andrew Mellas, “Romanos the Melodist and the Liturgical Emotions of Pascha”

The hymnos of Romanos the Melodist sought to shape an emotional and liturgical community in Constantinople. Retelling the sacred stories of Scripture, they become affective scripts for the faithful, teaching them to yearn for compunction, weep with grief and dance for joy. Emotions formed part of the desire for and experience of the salvific mystery in Byzantium. However, they were transformed together with the whole of human nature in this mystical experience.

This paper will explore one of Romanos’ paschal songs, On the Resurrection VI, which invited the faithful to experience the dialectic between the beginning of salvation history and the end of all things, weaving together the fallenness of the congregation with the promise of rebirth. While this paper will also allude to other hymns composed for Pascha, it will consider how the tears of Romanos’ protagonist, Mary Magdalen – who was conquered by weeping but overcome by the fire of love – embodied a metamorphosis of grief into joy. In the liminal space between the absence and presence of Christ’s body, during the interlude between crucifixion and resurrection, Romanos’ song elicited a longing for the eschaton that is yet to come but already dawning.

See below for Zoom link

(2) Penny Nash, “Pointy Hats, Glittering Headdresses and Audacious Demeanour as Symbols of Power and Sovereignty”

The examination of clothing, jewellery, gifts, and other material objects, together with the deportment of the giver and the receiver of such items, especially in how they are visually presented, is crucial in understanding the intentions of the participants.

The paper deals with the symbolism of the posture and clothing, especially headgear, in a number of depictions of historical figures. Examined are Pepin’s and Charlemagne’s pointy hats; Theophanu’s gifts to the West from Byzantium; the bareheaded portrait of Henry, dux of Bavaria (‘the Wrangler’); and Countess Matilda’s possible claim to royality in her manuscript portrait with the Germanic king Henry IV and Abbot Hugh of Cluny at Canossa – among other images.

This paper puts into historical perspective selected artworks created between the eighth and early-twelfth centuries in Western Europe (the Carolingian, Ottonian, and Salian periods). It demonstrates how important representations can be in depicting and nuancing our understanding of the tensions and concerns of the people involved and prefaces later portrayals in the Renaissance.

Join via Zoom (same link for both talks): https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/89068632840

ANU Seminar: “Patterns, Outliers, and Teasers: Reception of Early Modern Women’s Writing”

Centre for Early Modern Studies, ANU, Seminar 1, 2022: On-line, April 26, 6pm.
“Patterns, Outliers, and Teasers: Reception of Early Modern Women’s Writing”

Please join us to hear Marie-Louise Coolahan, Professor of English at the National University of Ireland Galway, present the ‘big-picture’ findings emerging from the European Research Council-funded project that she led: RECIRC: The Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing, 1550-1700 (https://recirc.nuigalway.ie), followed by a Q&A.

Date: Tuesday 26th April 9.00 am (IST) 6.00-7.15 pm (AEST).

Register here: Eventbrite registration link.

2022 Aotearoa Gender History Network First Session

You are warmly invited to the first session of the 2022 Aotearoa Gender History Network!

Wednesday Rāapa 16 March, 12 pm – 1 pm NZT / 10 am – 11 am AEST, via zoom
Zoom link: https://waikato.zoom.us/j/97078105588

Speakers:

Amelia Barker
PhD Candidate, Massey University

Constance de Rabastens (d. c.1386): a woman who fought to be heard
Constance de Rabastens was a lay female visionary during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), a period in which Western Christendom was divided between two rival papacies, and political and religious differences divided communities and even families. Unlike most female visionaries at the time, Constance’s visions supported the “wrong” pope for her region, and she was forbidden from recording her experiences. Despite this, she fought to be heard by religious authorities, challenging their decisions, and eventually disappearing after being arrested. Her recorded letters and visions reveal her agency in making her voice heard, providing historians with a clear example of how medieval women were not just silent witnesses of great political and religious turmoil in their communities, but actively engaged and desperate to influence those in power.

Amanda McVitty
Lecturer in History, Massey University

Sexual regulation and the evolution of patriarchal judicial culture: Towards a feminist history of the legal profession
In his now-classic study, Robert Moore stressed the pivotal role of lawyers in transforming premodern Europe into a ‘persecuting society’ that was heavily invested in surveilling and regulating moral and sexual ‘vice’. This new project centres lawyers’ gendered agency in this process, asking how and to what extent these men created and enabled a patriarchal judicial culture in which were born ‘sticky’ myths and stereotypes about sexual misconduct, rape and gendered violence, and about those who perpetrate it. Using feminist methods, I aim to transform the way we think about and teach this legal history across the premodern-modern divide.


Convenors: Charlotte Greenhalgh (charlotte.greenhalgh@waikato.ac.nz) and Charlotte Macdonald (charlotte.macdonald@vuw.ac.nz)

2022 Aotearoa Gender History Network

This is a regular, online seminar. Each session (held via zoom) features 2 x 10–12-minute research presentations on current research in Gender History with a focus on Aotearoa New Zealand, followed by discussion. Please be in touch if you would like to present your own research – we have speaking slots available on Wednesday Rāapa 7 September.

Wednesday Rāapa 16 March, 12 pm – 1 pm, via zoom
Zoom link: https://waikato.zoom.us/j/97078105588


Speakers:
Amelia Barker
PhD Candidate, Massey University

Constance de Rabastens (d. c.1386): a woman who fought to be heard
Constance de Rabastens was a lay female visionary during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), a period in which Western Christendom was divided between two rival papacies, and political and religious differences divided communities and even families. Unlike most female visionaries at the time, Constance’s visions supported the “wrong” pope for her region, and she was forbidden from recording her experiences. Despite this, she fought to be heard by religious authorities, challenging their decisions, and eventually disappearing after being arrested. Her recorded letters and visions reveal her agency in making her voice heard, providing historians with a clear example of how medieval women were not just silent witnesses of great political and religious turmoil in their communities, but actively engaged and desperate to influence those in power.

Amanda McVitty
Lecturer in History, Massey University

Sexual regulation and the evolution of patriarchal judicial culture: Towards a feminist history of the legal profession
In his now-classic study, Robert Moore stressed the pivotal role of lawyers in transforming premodern Europe into a ‘persecuting society’ that was heavily invested in surveilling and regulating moral and sexual ‘vice’. This new project centres lawyers’ gendered agency in this process, asking how and to what extent these men created and enabled a patriarchal judicial culture in which were born ‘sticky’ myths and stereotypes about sexual misconduct, rape and gendered violence, and about those who perpetrate it. Using feminist methods, I aim to transform the way we think about and teach this legal history across the premodern-modern divide.

Coming up next:
Wednesday Rāapa 4 May, 12 pm – 1 pm, via zoom

Speakers:
Hayley Goldthorpe, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington
The Three Graces against the Taranaki War, 1860-61

Rachel Caines, Australian Catholic University
Interrogating Gender through First World War Propaganda Posters