Category Archives: lecture

ACU Seminar Series: ‘Dante, Theologian at the End of Time’

The Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University cordially invites you to attend lecture series by Prof. Denys Turner, hosted by the IRCI’s Religion & Theology program.

“Dante, Theologian of the End of Time” will include three separate lectures:

Wednesday 24 June, 8am AEST
Dante, Theologian-Poet
It doesn’t make a lot of difference to Dante if one calls him a medieval theologian, but it does make a great deal of difference to how one thinks of theology in the Middle Ages. This lecture explores the difference it makes for how we think about medieval theology to take the Comedy as a paradigm for theological work. One consequence is that letting Dante into the club relativises the theology of the university men by making their approach but one way of doing theology rather than definitive, which, by the same token, lets in a lot of women too.

Thursday 25 June 8am AEST
Dante, Augustine, and Confession
Curiously, Augustine does not appear by name in Dante’s Comedy. This lecture explores the possibility that this is because his influence on the theology of the poem is pervasive throughout its whole trajectory. It contributes something of significance to both theologies to compare the “confessing” strategies of them both.

Friday 26 June 8am AEST
Dante, Aquinas, and Hell
Recent critiques of “infernalist” theologies, in particular of Aquinas’s, raise the question of how far Dante’s Inferno entails a commitment to a doctrine of eternal punishment in hell for unrepentant sinners in the way in which Aquinas’ teachings on hell seem unmistakably to do. Do we have to read Inferno as descriptive, howsoever imaginatively, of a real condition of eternal punishment of unrepentant sinners? And if not, how may one legitimately read it as allegory?

Please send your RSPV to to receive a Zoom event link and instructions for joining. In order to ensure safety and security for our participants, you will not be able to join the lectures if you haven’t registered by email. However it isn’t necessary to confirm which of the three lectures you’d like to attend, as one RSVP will get you links for all three events.

Zoom Seminar: Reindert Falkenburg, ‘Pieter Brugel: Grounds for Speculation’

The members of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program at ACU are delighted to invite you to attend our next virtual seminar on June 18 at 4:00 PM AEST (GMT +10):

“Pieter Bruegel: Grounds for Speculation” presented by Reindert Falkenburg (New York University / Abu Dhabi)

Lisa Beaven (La Trobe) will offer a response.

The poster for the seminar is attached below. To RSVP and to receive the pre-circulated paper along with Zoom details to join the meeting, please email:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Medieval Academy of America Webinar: The Mother of All Pandemics: The State of Black Death Research in the Era of COVID-19

This coming Friday, 15 May, there will be a PUBLIC WEBINAR sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America:

The Mother of All Pandemics: The State of Black Death Research in the Era of COVID-19

15 May 2020
1 – 3 PM EDT
Zoom link:

Questions can be submitted via Twitter by using the hashtag #MAAWebinar. The webinar and following Q&A will be recorded.

The session will, for the first time ever, bring together the world’s leading authorities on the “new paradigm” of plague studies, which uses new findings in the genetics of Yersinia pestis to argue that the Black Death was a real semi-global pandemic: affecting not simply Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East, but most of Asia and probably major parts of Africa, too.

No registration is required. Just show up. Though it is recommended that you arrive early as spaces are limited. This will be the first Webinar dedicated to the Black Death since our new pandemic began. If you haven’t updated your Black Death teaching notes in the past decade (or more), you’re in for some big surprises.

For more information click here. To access the recording of this event, check out this MAA link a few days after the event to get the link to the MAA YouTube page where it will be posted. A bibliography is also being prepared that will be posted as a Google Doc.

Australian Academy of the Humanities Trendall Lecture: ‘Straying from Myth’

Free public event, Dunedin, NZ – The 22nd Trendall Lecture ‘Straying from Myth’

The Academy’s Trendall Lecture series celebrates distinguished scholarship in the classics. The 22nd Lecture will be given by New Zealand artist Marian Maguire.
Dates: 6pm-8pm, 28 January 2020

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand

Overview: The Academy’s Trendall Lecture was made possible through a bequest made by Professor A.D. (Dale) Trendall AC CMG FAHA (1909–95), a Foundation Fellow of the Academy. He envisaged the lecture series as ‘an annual lecture or lectures by a scholar on some theme associated with classical studies’.

New Zealand artist Marian Maguire, best known for images which fuse ancient Greek vase painting with New Zealand colonial history, will deliver the 22nd Trendall Lecture — Straying from Myth.

The lecture will occur at the Australasian Society for Classical Studies conference at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, from 28 – 31 January, 2020.

Registration: Visit the Society’s conference website to register.

Seminar: Indira Chowdhury, Unheard Voices and Forms of Cultural Memory: Oral History and the Postcolonial Archives in India

The National Oral History Association of New Zealand and Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Libraries invite you to a presentation and discussion with visiting oral historian Indira Chowdhury.


This presentation draws on my attempts over the last decade and a half to create archives of different institutions and organisations in the context of oral history work undertaken in India. This presentation argues that the conceptual consequences of colonialism which defined Indians as being steeped in backward traditions and lacking in history need to be kept in mind when trying to assemble an archive of a formerly colonised people.

Brief Bio:

I argue that the insights gained from interacting with “unheard voices” also enable us to understand elite oral histories from Indian institutions. In what ways do new forms of historical representation incorporate older forms of cultural memory and oral traditions? This presentation will attempt to show how we might re-understand the idea of collecting an oral history archive and the critical ways in which we might interpret its contents within a postcolonial context.

Wednesday 25July, 2018


Level 3 Waitemata Room, Auckland Central City Library

Please register your attendance:

Public lecture: From Melancholy to Euphoria and More: Visual Representation of Emotions in Persian Illustrated Manuscripts

The Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation presents a free Lecture by Dr Stefano Carboni, director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia:

From Melancholy to Euphoria and More: Visual Representation of Emotions in Persian Illustrated Manuscripts

6pm-7pm Wednesday 27 June at the University of Melbourne

The common perception about Persian miniature painting – better described as book illustration because almost invariably it has a textual, literary or oral context – is that it is elegant, colourful, rather formal in composition, and overall restrained in the way the characters are emotionally involved in a particular moment of the story. Persian illustrators, however, had a clear set of tools and visual tropes to convey feelings such as surprise, love, grief, fear, heroism in the face of death, and many more. Many of the stories told in poetic works by Firdausi, Jami and Nizami, all of which were often illustrated, are heavily charged with impossible love, death-defying trials, heroic quests, and mystic ardour: the written language, often memorized by the reader, is the protagonist while the visual image provides in some way an oasis, a respite for the eye, breaking away from the incessant emotional narrative of the verses. A great chapter for the visual representation of emotions, however, was written during the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period in Iran in the 14th century, a time during which all pictorial rules – if they previously existed – were subverted and we can witness a full range of demonstrative engagement with the viewer.

This lecture is part of the From Melancholy to Euphoria: The Materialisation of Emotion in Middle Eastern Manuscripts Symposium, made possible by support from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Crescent Foundation. Full symposium details at:

Free lecture. All welcome. Bookings essential. For full details and registration:

MEMC Lunchtime Talk, University of Sydney

Dr John Gagné (Department of History, University of Sydney), will give a lunchtime talk for the Medieval and Early Modern Centre on 12 April.

John is freshly back from a visiting Fellowship at the Villa I Tatti (The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies) in Florence. He will talk on:

“Dinner with the Greatest Man on Earth, or, Erasmus’s Sword and D’Alviano’s Pen”

Time: 1pm
Date: Thursday 12 April
Place: Rogers Room (Level 3, John Woolley Building A20), University of Sydney

Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP by Friday 6 April if you intend to come, and would like lunch ( Please advise of any dietary requirements.

Prof Kimberley Reynolds, Institute of Advanced Studies UWA Free Public Lecture

“Reading for Little Rebels: internationalism and radical writing for children”

A public lecture by Kimberley Reynolds, Professor of Children’s Literature, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, Newcastle University and 2018 Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

Date: Tuesday 3rd April, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-7:30pm
Venue: Fox Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, The University of Western Australia

In our current turbulent times, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is a good moment to reflect on the ways that children’s literature has attempted to spread the values of peace, understanding and mutual respect between countries, the need to share resources, and the importance of thinking globally rather than nationalistically. These were also the aims of the radical children’s books published in the first half of the last century in an attempt to encourage children to work to build a progressive, egalitarian, peaceful and sustainable modern world. Many of these books were either first published in the Soviet Union or were concerned with events there, so it is fitting that in 2017, the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Russia is the section of IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) that is sponsoring ICBD. Growing up in Melbourne in the 1940s and 1950s, the noted Soviet cultural historian, Sheila Fitzpatrick, recalls reading some of these books and thinking “what fun people seemed to have there…how totally unlike anything in Melbourne”. She was particularly struck by the ways these books offered a collective expectation of a better future.

This talk will present a selection of radical works from the first half of the last century and consider whether current writing for children similarly cultivates visions and skills that will help the rising generation believe in and build a better future.

Kimberley Reynolds is the Professor of Children’s Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University in the UK. In 2013 she received the International Brothers Grimm Award for her contributions to the field of children’s literature research. She conceived and was the first Director of the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature and was involved in founding the UK’s Children’s Laureate and setting up Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books. She is a Past President of the International Research Society for Children’s Literature and was the first Senior Honorary Fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at The University of Western Australia. Currently she is Senior Editor of International Research in Children’s Literature and editing, with Michael Rosen and Jane Rosen, an anthology of left-wing writing for children in Britain from 1900-1963 titled Reading and Rebellion (forthcoming spring 2018). Recent publications include Children’s Literature in the Oxford University series of Very Short Introductions (2012) and Left Out: The Forgotten Tradition of Radical Publishing for Children in Britain, 1910-1949 (2016).

Free Public Lecture by Prof Evelyn Welch @ The University of Melbourne

Free Public Lecture: “Skin Deep: Reading Emotion on Early Modern Bodies”, Prof Evelyn Welch
Date: Wednesday 11 April, 2018
Time: 6:00pm-7:15pm
Venue: Lowe Theatre, Redmond Barry Building, Tin Alley, The University of Melbourne, Parkville
Registrations (FREE):
More information:

This lecture will explore the ways emotion was understood on the body’s surface and how this was represented both materially and visually in early modern Europe. Based on traditional medical theories, early modern skin was often described as a ‘fishing net’, something that held the body in place and offered a decorative surface but had no function of its own. At the same time, the body’s surface also told you about its interior wellbeing. Learning to read the body meant both examining the exterior and sampling the interior’s waste products ranging from urine to hair and tears.

This approach was as true of animals as it was of people. Manuals described how to read faces and skin, and argued for and against blushing. You could also predict astrological futures by reading the lines on foreheads as well as on hands (a topic known as chiromancy) and even predict fate according to the number and site of spots and moles. Even more importantly, however, was the ability to combine all these forms of inspections with the ability to diagnose understanding humoural disorders ranging from love-sickness, a form of melancholy, to an excess of blood leading to anger.

Evelyn Welch is Professor of Renaissance Studies and Provost (Arts and Sciences) at King’s College London. She has been working on how we learn from things that were made in the past for many years. Writing about clothing, politics and social order, she uses sensory information as well as archival documents to explore the ‘period body’ in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe. Professor Welch is the author of numerous books, including Art in Renaissance Italy (Oxford, 2000), Shopping in the Renaissance, Yale, 2005, The Material Renaissance (Manchester, 2007), Making and Marketing Medicine in Renaissance Florence (Rodopi, 2011) and Fashioning the Early Modern: Dress, Textiles and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800 (Oxford, 2017). Professor Welch is now leading a major Wellcome-Trust funded project on Renaissance Skin, designed to explore how human and animal skin were conceptualised in Europe between 1500 and 1700.

Illuminating the World of the Rothschild Prayer Book: Lecture by Professor Michelle P. Brown

Illuminating the World of the Rothschild Prayer Book: Lecture by Professor Michelle P. Brown

When Tuesday 23 January 2018 06:00PM

Venue State Library Theatre

Details Professor Michelle P. Brown,  Professor Emerita of Medieval Manuscript Studies at the University of London, presents the world of medieval illuminated manuscripts, their makers and readers, in the context of the famous Rothschild Prayer Book.  This beautiful 16th century Renaissance masterpiece is a jewel in The Kerry Stokes Collection in Perth. Images of the Rothschild Prayer Book and Professor Michelle P. Brown are presented in partnership with Kerry Stokes Collection.