The MEMS bi-weekly e-newsletter shares information about events, conferences, calls for papers, student and faculty work in the field, and digital resources that enrich our understanding of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. If you have any items you would like to share in the newsletter, please send them to Laurel Bassett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MEMS Colloquium with Dr. Elizabeth Upton was a success! Dr. Upton shared her work in progress, which compares game theory with experiences of listening to music, within the context of medieval musical structures and patterns. The event was well attended; students asked terrific questions and made real world connections. Thanks to all of the faculty who participated, especially Dr. Johnson who ably served as facilitator for the event.
ON CAMPUS EVENTS
Wednesday, May 5, 12:15-12:45 PM Mini-MEMS Lunch and Learn on Zoom: ‘Scarcely one without defect:’ Imagined Beauty in the Venetian Ospedali Grandi
Eighteenth-century tourists flocked to Venice’s four renowned institutions for orphans and foundlings, the Ospedali Grandi, to experience music-making by the infamous figlie del coro. Many penned accounts praising the women’s virtuosic mastery of demanding instrumental and vocal repertoire, declaring them among the best musicians in Western Europe. The women performed behind a lattice screen, which left them shrouded in mystery and resulted in fantastical accounts that imagined them to be beautiful, young virgins. In a rare first-hand meeting with the figlie del coro in 1743, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was horrified to discover that the musicians serenading him were mature women aged 21-60, and many were physically deformed, scarred from illness, and otherwise unattractive to him. Struggling to rectify the women’s enchanting musical performance with their overwhelming physical “flaws,” Rousseau eventually resolved that the women’s intellectual wit and musical prowess rendered them sufficiently attractive to him. This presentation theorizes eighteenth-century female “ugliness” as a social disability and evaluates the complex intersection of physical disability with female musical virtuosity and enfreakment.
Join Zoom Meeting
Dr. Paula Maust is a performer-scholar who has taught in the UMBC Department of Music since 2016. She is the creator of www.expandingthemusictheorycanon.com and has a companion anthology under contract with SUNY Press. As a harpsichordist and organist, she directs Burning River Baroque and Musica Spira and curates thought-provoking concerts connecting early modern music to contemporary social issues. She is currently working on The Ugly Virtuosa, a book project focused on the pejorative rhetoric used to describe the first generation of female professional musicians on the public stage in Western Europe.
Saturday, April 24, 1-3 PM CST The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies presents Anti-Race, 1550-1760
Several new phrases emerged in English print culture 1550-1580 to signify one race, created by God, descended from Adam and Even; while this was the predominant definition of race at this time, and therefore anti-race in conceptualization, other new usages of race tended in the opposite direction, finding races everywhere in the human, animal, vegetable, and even divine worlds as well as also reserving race for the bloodlines of rulers and other nobles. All of these tendencies suggest that racial formation 1550-1760 is more variable, more quotidian, than much scholarship has suggested.
This event is free, but all participants must register in advance and space is limited. To register, email email@example.com.
April 29, 6:30-7:30 PM Facebook Live Event, The Walters Art Museum. Monuments and Memory: Deconstructing Power in Antiquity and the Contemporary
Join the Walters Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art for two panels of scholars and artists that deconstruct the power of monuments—both traditional and impermanent—using examples from contemporary art and both museums’ collections. For more information, including how to watch live on Facebook, consult: https://thewalters.org/event/monuments-memory-01/
Thursday, May 13 (12-1 PM) and Friday, May 14 (10:30-3 PM) Documents from Colonial Mexico in the Ayer Indigenous Studies Collection
The Center for American Indian Studies Programs and the Center for Renaissance Studies Programs presents a symposium on how modern audiences can recover premodern Indigenous American voices and perspectives obscured by European colonization. A diverse group of researchers in art history, history, cartography, literature, and beyond will present items from the rich collection of colonial materials in the Edward E. Ayer collection at the Newberry Library. For a full program schedule and the online registration form, consult: https://www.newberry.org/05132021-documents-colonial-mexico-ayer-indigenous-studies-collection
Fall Undergraduate Seminar: The World in the Book: 1300-1800, Center for Renaissance Studies.
Hosted by the Newberry Library’s Center for Renaissance Studies, this 10 week course will use the multidisciplinary field of book history to explore how medieval and early modern people used different media—theological texts, maps, travel narratives, reference works, literature, and more—to make sense of a changing world. Through lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops with faculty from CRS consortium institutions, participants will learn how book history can illuminate the ways in which premodern people used religion, science, art, and technology to grapple with new economic, intellectual, and cultural challenges in a rapidly-expanding global community. The course will meet for 1.5 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays in fall 2021. The seminar is free and open for undergraduate students in any field of medieval or early modern studies, but space is limited. To apply for the course, complete the application form: https://forms.gle/8k69C1RkNfDFiAXi6
PAPERS AND CONFERENCES
Call for Papers-From Fragment to Whole: Interpreting Medieval Manuscript Fragments.
Hosted by the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Bristol, this hybrid conference is devoted to the study of manuscript fragments, and what these fragments can tell us about lost books, medieval and post-medieval book history, and textual history. The conference will take place September 16-17. Please send a brief abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2021, indicating interest in the online or in person event. Further information about the conference will be made available at http://www.bristol.ac.uk/medieval
Call for Papers: 97th Annual Meeting Medieval Academy of America, March 9-13, 2022.
The Program Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies and medievalism studies. We are particularly interested in receiving submissions from those working outside of traditional academic positions. The meeting will take place on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and is committed to fostering conversation around the fifth-year anniversary of the Unite the Right rally in August 2017. Additional themes and threads of the meeting include rethinking the global medieval, vulnerability and the ethics of care, queering the medieval, inter-religious coexistence and conflict, trade and cultural exchange and diplomacy and ambassadorial practices. Deadline for submissions is May 15, 2021. For more information, please consult:
The Huntington Library’s Video: Capturing Bestiarium: The Art and Science of Digitization is now available. Join the digital library team for an overview of the process of digitizing documents to make them available to researchers in the Huntington Digital Library. The team demonstrates the steps to digitize the illustrated 15th century bestiary, Dialogus Creaturarum, ascribed to Nicolaus Pergamenus and the Milanese doctor Mayno de Mayneriis. This event is part of the ongoing webinar series The Multi-Storied Library, presented by the library’s Reader Service department. The video can be accessed here: https://www.huntington.org/videos-recorded-programs/capturing-bestiarium
Check out the fascinating interactive New York Times article: “What a Tiny Masterpiece Reveals About Power and Beauty” by Jason Farago.
Zoom in and out of the details of a 17th century Mughal miniature, now held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and created by an artist called Chitarman. The article also features the work of other medieval manuscript artists and is a terrific experiment in digital storytelling.
“Adventures in Libraries: The Present and Future of Medieval Manuscript Studies.”
The Newberry’s Center for Renaissance Studies presents a series of recorded conversations exploring the past, present, and future of research, teaching, and learning using archival collections. Participants shared their own paths to working with medieval manuscripts, described the challenges along the way, and considered strategies for making the field more diverse, accessible, and engaging for a variety of publics. You can see the full video here:
“Houston, we have a problem:” Erasing Black Scholars in Old English Literature.”
This article, posted at ACMRS Arizona, details experiences of Black students and professors as they work with premodern texts and grammars. The hyperlinks liberally splashed across this article all take the reader to powerful further research and commentary on the subject.
For ongoing digital updates from the Medieval (academic) world, check out #medievaltwitter, #shakeRace, and #raceB4Race.
On our website!
Check out videos of curator Ashley Dimmig’s presentation: Exploring Islamic Manuscripts at the Walters Art Gallery and MEMS faculty Dr. James Magruder’s presentations on Instrumental to Intellectual: Italian Female Artists, 1600s and Resurrection, Metamorphosis, and the Art of Nature in the Dutch Golden Age. http://mems.umbc.edu.