Two Medieval Seminars of Interest @ University of Sydney

English Department Research Seminar Series
Professor Liam Semler, The Arrival, Form and Meaning of the Early Modern Grotesque in England

Date: Wednesday 3 August, 2016
Time: 3:00pm–5:00pm
Venue: Room S226, John Woolley Building, University of Sydney

Liam’s paper is based on the introduction to his book manuscript, The Early Modern Grotesque: English Sources and Documents, 1500-1700. The manuscript is a large collection of sources and documents from English Renaissance texts that discuss or refer to the grotesque. The sourcebook is arranged chronologically and the sources are annotated and cross-referenced. This dataset gives an expansive insight into the discourse of the grotesque from 1500-1700 in England. An aim of the collection is to help widen the scholarly discussion of the early modern English grotesque beyond the usual parameters which tend to prioritise the theories of Wolfgang Kayser and Mikhail Bakhtin. The primary terms for the grotesque that are traced through two centuries of English writing are ‘grottesco/grotesque/grotesque-work’ and ‘antic/antique/antique-work.’ These are explored in relation to other key terms and English visual imagery. It is hoped that a richer sense of the specifically English grotesque from 1500-1700 will emerge from this analysis of the textual archive.

Global Middle Ages Series
Dr Francesco Borghesi, ‘Renaissance Culture and Religious Pluralism’

Date: Wednesday 3 August, 2016
Time: 4:00pm-5:30pm
Venue: SOPHI Common room, University of Sydney, Brennan McCallum Building, Level 8, Room 822

This seminar will look at the ways in which the Italian humanist Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) dealt with different religious belief systems in his search for what he called a ‘philosophical peace’, and at how his views were scrutinised by a theological commission established by Pope Innocent VIII. As using ‘religious pluralism’ applied to a fifteenth-century experience may appear anachronistic, in order to test this terminology Pico della Mirandola’s perspective will be compared to that of the Belgian Jesuit Jacques Dupuis (1923-2004), whose book Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism led him to be investigated by the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’, whose Prefect was at the time Joseph Ratzinger, the soon-to-be Pope Benedict XVI.