Category Archives: lecture

James Shapiro: The Year of Lear @ Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017

James Shapiro, “The Year of Lear” @ Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017

Date: Friday 26 May, 2017
Time: 1:30pm
Venue: Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Full $30; Concession $25. Book at:

James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, The Times Supplement and The Guardian. He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. In James’ deft hands, quantities of research become a brisk and animated history, as he illuminates Shakespeare’s bursts of creativity against the backdrop of a ‘troubled national mood’.

ANU HRC Seminar Series: Two Seminars of Interest

ANU HRC Seminar Series (Semester 1, 2017)

“‘Whites, Blacks & Tawney’: Perceptions of Native Americans in the Early Modern Anglo-Atlantic”, Dr Mark Dawson (Australian National University)

23 May, 2017
Time: 4:30pm–5:45pm
Venue: Seminar room 1 (3rd Floor of the Sir Roland Wilson Building), Australian National University, Canberra
More info:

“Before Race Mattered. Ethnic Prejudice in the French Empire, c. 1635—1767”, Dr Melanie Lamotte (Cambridge University)

Date: 6 June, 2017
Time: 4:30pm–5.45pm
Venue: Seminar room 2/3 (3rd Floor of the Sir Roland Wilson Building), Australian National University, Canberra
More info:

2017 Conference of the Society For The Study Of Early Christianity – Registration Now Open

Apostles And The Churches They Founded: History, Tradition And Legend
2017 Conference of the Society For The Study Of Early Christianity (SSEC) within the Ancient Cultures Research Centre, Macquarie University
Robert Menzies College, Trinity Chapel
Saturday 6 May 2017

Conference Website

Enquiries: Karyn Young or Professor Alanna Nobbs (SSEC Office (02) 9850-7512, Email:

Conference Programme:

Register for the Conference:

Note: There is no parking at the venue. Paid parking is available at Macquarie Uni and Macquarie Shopping Centre. Some parking is available in the streets nearby. We suggest you travel by train to the Macquarie University railway station or use other public transport eg. Government bus. If you require a disabled parking space, please contact us by email or phone.
Note: receipts will be sent via email to keep costs down. Paper receipts will be available at the conference registration desk.
Note: Limited places, we will take the first 120 registrations received at the SSEC office.

2017 Conference Curtain Raiser
Date: Thursday 4 May 2017
Time: 7:05pm
Venue: Ancient Cultures Research Centre, W6A-308
Speaker: Dr Geoffrey Dunn (ACU), SSEC visiting fellow
Topic: “Peter in Rome: The Papal Reimagining of a Scriptural Tradition”

The presence of Peter in Rome is not attested to in the New Testament. It is consistently asserted or presumed however, in early Christian literature, from 1 Clement and Ignatius of Antioch, and from the interpretation of archaeological evidence in the necropolis under St Peter’s Basilica.

While the literary tradition for Peter’s presence in Rome seems as unassailable and trustworthy as any ancient literary evidence can be, it does not answer the question of Peter’s precise role in Rome and its ongoing significance. This would come to be asserted in episcopal letters from Roman bishops in later centuries.

“Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century” Talk @ ‘Outside the Square’ Panel Series

To Be Or Not To Be? How to Be Cultured: Shakespeare & the Arts in the 21st Century

Date: Thursday, 31 August, 2017
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Venue: Chippendale’s Creative Precinct
Register: Cost: $20 alumni; $15 student; $25 friend. For more info and to register:

  • Dr Huw Griffiths – Senior Lecturer in the Department of English
  • Kip Williams – Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company
  • Alana Valentine – Playwright
  • …and more TBA

The 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death was celebrated by many in 2016.
But will he be celebrated with the same passion in 2116?

The Bard’s relevance or decline – like that of the arts more generally – continues to be hotly debated. What is the point of reading or performing Shakespeare in 2017? How might theatre survive in a world where our culture is no longer determined by traditional art-forms? With the multitude of digital distractions jostling for our attention today, will we continue to attend the theatre, let alone Shakespeare, tomorrow? Really?

Join us for a frank discussion that will include some of our sharpest Shakespeare scholars and one of the country’s most acclaimed theatre directors.

Rare Bites: Rare Books Lunchtime Talks @ University of Sydney

Rare Bites is a series of informal and entertaining 30 minute lunchtime talks held monthly during semester in 2017 and beyond. If you want to learn about some of the treasures and lesser-known gems within Rare Books & Special Collections at the University Library, this is your opportunity. Audience attendance is free for all.

Bring your lunch and be entertained, informed and inspired – all welcome, no need to register or RSVP.

For more information, please visit:

Prof. Christophe Erismann, SSEC Evening Lecture @ Macquarie University

SSEC Evening Lecture:

“Philosophy and Theology in Byzantium before 1204”, Professor Christophe Erismann (Institute for Byzantine Studies, University of Vienna)

Date: Tuesday 4 April, 2017
Time: 7:05pm
Venue: W6A 308 (Doc centre), Macquarie University
Cost: members $5; alumni $7; non members $8

Hosted by Dr Ken Parry. Further information from

Professor Christophe Erismann is from the Institute for Byzantine Studies, University of Vienna. His research focuses on the reception of Greek logic (mainly Aristotle’s Categories and Porphyry’s Isagoge) in late ancient, Patristic, and early medieval philosophy. He has published on the problem of universals, individuality, causality, and relation. He is the author of L’homme commun: la genèse du réalisme ontologique durant le haut Moyen ge (Paris 2011).

Global Middle Ages Faculty Research Group @ The University of Sydney – 2017 Seminar Program

The Global Middle Ages Faculty Research Group emerged out of the research interests of a dynamic group of academics at The University of Sydney who are working on the medieval and early modern period from a non-Eurocentric perspective. Our group is especially interested in studying the cultural productions and material conditions of a number of different Medieval and Early Modern empires and civilizations, as well as in exploring the historical, economic, intellectual, religious interactions and exchanges between them and Europe.

The seminar series takes place in Kevin Lee Room in the Quadrangle A14:


For a full list of abstracts please go to the Global Middle Ages in Sydney website:

Wednesday 29 March 2017
Dr Mark Strange (ANU, College of Asia and the Pacific)
“Historical Method in Eleventh-Century China”

Wednesday, 26 April 2017
Dr James Kane (FASS-SLAM, Department of English, University of Sydney)
“Criminal crusaders? The yellow cross of penance and the punishment of heresy in thirteenth-century Occitania”

Monday, 15 May 2017

Prof Constant J. Mews (Monash University)
“Rethinking Religious History in Global Perspective: Songlines, Sacred Stories and Theologies”

Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Dr Michael Abraham-Sprod (FASS-SLC, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies)
“Sanctifying God’s Name: The Ethos of Jewish Martyrdom in Medieval Ashkenaz (Germany)”

Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Prof Anne Dunlop (University of Melbourne)
“Mongol Eurasia and Cangrande’s Silk Suit”

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Prof Dominique Barbe (University of Noumea, New Caledonia)
“Oceania in the Middle Ages: A Connected World”

Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group AGM & CMEMS/PMRG Public Lecture by Prof. Susan Broomhall @ University of Western Australia

Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group (PMRG) Annual General Meeting Details

Date: Tuesday 28 March, 2017
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Austin Lecture Hall (1.59, First Floor, Arts Building), UWA

CMEMS/PMRG Public Lecture Details “Love in a Time of War: Correspondence of the French Court in the Last Days of the Italian Wars”, Professor Susan Broomhall (UWA)
Date: Tuesday 28 March, 2017
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Austin Lecture Hall (1.59, First Floor, Arts Building), UWA
More info:

Prof. James Grantham Turner, Free Public Lecture @ The University of Melbourne

“Post-Platonism: Rethinking the Relations of Art, Love and Desire, 1500-1767”, Prof. James Grantham Turner (James D. Hart Professor, University of California, Berkeley)

Date: Tuesday 14 March, 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre, Room B01, Arts West Building, The University of Melbourne
Registration: Admission is free. Bookings are required. Seating is limited. To register visit:
More info:
For further information please contact Brenda Jackson or phone 8344 1521

This enquiry starts from three strikingly similar passages denouncing the false shame that devalues physical, sexual love, by Pietro Aretino (1537), Michel de Montaigne (1588) and Lawrence Sterne (1767). In the early modern period such ‘sex-positive’ polemic inevitably targeted neo-Platonism, which fiercely rejected corporeal sexuality and bodily sensation, polarising Eros/Cupid and Venus/Aphrodite into two utterly opposed categories, earthly and celestial. My main topic will therefore be the changing interpretations of Platonic Eros and their implications for the material body and the material practice of art. Drawing on my forthcoming book Eros Visible, I establish a context in the ‘erotic revolution’ that swept through sixteenth-century aesthetic theory and artistic practice, typified by Aretino and the artists and patrons he advised. Parallel to the ‘corporeal turn’ in philosophy – here related to artists and historians who value ‘flesh tones’ most highly (carne in Italian, Inkarnat in German) – I trace important semantic changes in words such as lascivious and libido, suddenly used in a positive sense. Despite massive and obvious differences between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, I will argue that one core idea was reinvented in each period: Platonic anticorporeality is absolutely rejected, but at the same time thinkers retain, and even amplify, the equally Platonic image of a graduated ascent, rising upon a ladder or staircase by a series of ‘steps’ to attain the highest form of Love. In both periods the key concept is erotic ‘sublimity’. Visual evidence will include canonical statues and paintings of Venus, a little-known allegory by Peruzzi, and several images from the LOVE exhibition soon to open at the National Gallery of Victoria. Writings on art and Eros will be selected to bring out surprising points in common between avowed libertines like Aretino and figures conventionally interpreted as idealising and cerebral, notably Leonardo da Vinci. Commentaries on Plato and private love-letters will reveal ‘carnal’ moments in writers notorious for upholding the pure anticorporeal version of Platonism, especially Marsilio Ficino and Pietro Bembo.

James Grantham Turner has taught at the Universities of Oxford, Sussex, Liverpool, Virginia and Michigan, and now holds the James D. Hart Chair at the University of California, Berkeley. He works on the interactions of literature, visual culture, social and intellectual history, in Antiquity, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. He contributed the essay ‘Bodies of Love’ to the National Gallery of Victoria exhibition catalogue LOVE: The Art of Emotion 1400-1800, and among his articles on libertine sexuality and erotic passion are ‘Novel Panic: Picture and Performance in the Reception of Richardson’s Pamela’, ‘Libertinism and Toleration: Milton, Bruno and Aretino’, ‘Profane Love: The Challenge of Sexuality’, ‘Sexual Awakening As Radical Enlightenment: Arousal and Ontogeny in Buffon and La Mettrie’, and ‘Invention and Sexuality in the Raphael Workshop: Before the Modi’. His books include The Politics of Landscape: Rural Scenery and Society in English Poetry, l630-l660 (Harvard l979), One Flesh: Paradisal Marriage and Sexual Relations in the Age of Milton (Oxford 1987), Libertines and Radicals in Early Modern London: Sexuality, Politics and Literary Culture, 1630-1685 (Cambridge 2001), Schooling Sex: Libertine Literature and Erotic Education in Italy, France, and England, 1534-1685 (Oxford 2003) and Eros Visible: Art, Sexuality and Antiquity in Renaissance Italy (about to appear from Yale).

Staging Our World: Richard 3, Discussion Panel @ State Library of NSW

Staging our World: Richard 3

Date: Monday, 6 March, 2017
Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Venue: State Library of New South Wales
Cost: General Admission: $20.00; Concession: $15.00; State Library Friends Member: $15.00; Bell Shakespeare Members: $15.00. Book here:

One of Shakespeare’s most brutal rulers returns to the Sydney stage in Bell Shakespeare’s latest production of Richard 3. Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Peter Evans brings a new boldness to one of history’s most famous villains, with award-winning actor Kate Mulvany in the title role.

Hosted by Richard Glover, the Library has partnered with Bell Shakespeare to celebrate this unique production with a special panel discussion. Cast members from Richard 3 and leading academics will debate and explore the power and the politics of gender roles as imagined in this production. They will discuss the role of women in Shakespeare’s plays, the history of women playing men, and investigate what Richard 3 means in our modern world and political climate.