Research Day – GEMS

Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Location: Simon Stevin Room (morning) and Jozef Plateau Room (afternoon). Jozef-Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent

On 29 May, GEMS will organize its second Research Day. During that day, we will discuss together some topical questions concerning European research agendas, applications and international cooperation between research groups, wit special attention for European projects and networks in the field of early modern studies. Anyone who is interested in these issues is invited to take part in the morning and/or afternoon program of this research day, with a presentation by Bram Van Oostveldt about his ERC-project application in the morning and three sessions in the afternoon, two about ERC applications and projects and one about international research collaborations and networks.

PLEASE REGISTER for this research day by conforming your attendance to: gems_ugent@yahoo.com . Please indicate in your message if you would like to take part in the morning program, the afternoon program, or both, and if you would like to join us for lunch.

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In the picture: Brandt’s De Veinzende Torquatus (1645), Providentially Assigned Stadtholders and the Politics of Rational Deception by Tom Laureys

GEMS researchers are frequently publishing new articles, books, book chapters, edited volumes and blogs. In ‘in the picture’ we put a spotlight on a recent publication of one of our members.

Tom Laureys, “‘I, Who Used to Serve as Jupiter’s Lightning on Earth’: Geeraerdt Brandt’s De Veinzende Torquatus (1645), Providentially Assigned Stadtholders and the Politics of Rational Deception” in Dutch Crossing. Journal of Low Countries Studies (2019).

In this article, I show that Geeraerdt Brandt’s popular Dutch revenge tragedy De veinzende Torquatus (‘The feigning Torquatus’, 1645) engages with the political debates concerning the rightful succession of monarchs based on primogeniture, and – be it in a grotesque, even parodic way – the Calvinistic belief that the Dutch stadtholders were God’s providential instruments, assigned to guide His chosen people. Moreover, I show that the play offers a confrontation between two conflicting conceptions of power. The play’s eponymous protagonist holds what I call an intellectual (idealistic) conception of power, in which man’s rational faculty, including his capacity for rational deception, is all-decisive. This vision, though, clashes with the more physical (materialistic) conceptualization of power which Torquatus’s antagonist Noron upholds. I’m pretty proud about this publication, since it is my first A1 article and the manuscript was accepted by the reviewers without further remarks. The review process took about five months, but I was astonished by the speed with which the actual production took place. Within a couple of days, the article was available online. Soon it will be allocated to a specific issue in print.

In the picture: “Enhancing the Research on Sophistry in the Renaissance” by Teodoro Katinis

GEMS researchers are frequently publishing new articles, books, book chapters, edited volumes and blogs. In ‘in the picture’ we put a spotlight on a recent publication of one of our members.

Teodoro Katinis, “Enhancing the Research on Sophistry in the Renaissance” in T. Katinis (ed.), The Sophistic Renaissance: Authors, Texts, Interpretations, in Philosophical Readings XI.2 (2019), special issue, 58-62.

“My contribution introduces the first collection of essays ever published on the legacy of ancient sophists in the Latin and vernacular Renaissance, and considers possible research developments in the field over the next years. This collection is the final result of a conference held at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice 2016) that I organized at the end of my Marie Curie fellowship to gather international experts to discuss a very understudied subject: the rebirth of sophistry in early modern Europe. This Philosophical Readings special issue, which is an open-access online publication, can interest scholars and students from several fields, including intellectual history, classical reception studies, neo-Latin and romance languages literature, and history of philosophy, among others. I hope this work  will encourage young researches and colleagues to further the investigation of the fascinating way in which the ‘villains’ of the ancient culture (according to Plato and Aristotle) became a subject of debate and fundamental reference from 15th to 17th-century to discuss skepticism, relativism and the power of rhetoric.” 

GEMS in portraits: Annemieke Romein

If there is someone who is not afraid to cross geographical and disciplinary borders, it’s Annemieke Romein, whose research on legislation texts in the seventeenth century has not only brought her from the Netherlands to Ghent, it also took her to Germany, Switzerland, and from the archives to the digital humanities. Annemieke completed her studies and PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam and is currently a NWO Rubicon-fellow working at the UGhent Department of History. Additionally, she is Researcher-in-Residence at the National Library (KB) in The Hague working with digital humanities methods to improve the searchability of early modern legislation texts. Over a coffee in the Vooruit, we discussed how vital it is to conduct comparative research, and how energizing interdisciplinary work can be.

Handwritten ‘vorstelijke ordonnantie’ from Flanders ca. 1619 (RAG_GW8_RvV_772)
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Dürer ©: Selections from The Sunaert Collection

Temporary exhibition (10 May 2019 – 22 June 2019)
Opening: Thursday May 9th, 6 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.

Location: VANDENHOVE – Centre for Architecture and Art, UGent. Address: Rozier 1, 9000 Gent.

Opening hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

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(english version below)

“Dürer ©: Selecties uit de Sunaert Collection” presenteert houtsneden en gravures van en naar Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), geschonken door de Belgische schilder en verzamelaar Adolf Pieter Sunaert (1825-1876) aan de Universiteitsbibliotheek van de UGent. Deze prenten, die sinds de schenking aan het einde van de negentiende eeuw nooit werden tentoongesteld, waren fascinerend voor zowel de tijdgenoten van Dürer als voor latere generaties van drukkers.
De tentoonstelling verkent de dynamische relaties tussen originelen, kopieën en artistieke interpretaties in de prentkunst van de Renaissance, en de complexe problematiek van auteurschap en authenticiteit in de vroegmoderne Europese cultuur.

De tentoonstelling is samengesteld door Noam Andrews in samenwerking met studenten van het graduate seminar Iconology (lente 2019), van de Vakgroep Kunst-, Muziek- en Theaterwetenschappen van de UGent.

Zie de link voor meer informatie over het UGent Centrum voor architectuur en kunst.

 


“Dürer ©: Selections from The Sunaert Collection” presents woodcuts and engravings by and after Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) originally belonging to the Belgian painter and collector Adolf Pieter Sunaert (1825-1876). Never exhibited since their donation to the University Library Ghent in the late nineteenth century, these prints were objects of fascination both for Dürer’s contemporaries and the following generations of print artists.
Through an exploration of the dynamic relations between origins, copies, and artistic interpretation that animated Renaissance print culture, the exhibition addresses the manifold construction of authorship and authenticity in early modern Europe.

Conceived and realized by dr. Noam Andrews in tandem with students from the graduate seminar Iconology (Spring 2019), Vakgroep Kunst-, Muziek-, en Theaterwetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

 

More information about the UGent Centre for Architecture and Art at this link.

GEMS Seminar: MA Students inspired by…

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 (1.30-6 PM): Inspired by…, with presentations by master students

Blandijnberg 2, Grote Vergaderzaal Engels, 3rd floor

This month we will have a special session of our GEMS Seminar Inspired by… with Master students, who will present the first outcomes of their master thesis, reflecting also on those thinkers by whom they are inspired.

PROGRAMME

13:30: Zoë Van Cauwenberg inspired by… Kocku von Stuckrad

14:30: Fauve Vandenberghe inspired by… Michael McKeon

15:30 Break

16:00: Olivier Bodart … inspired by Marie-Laure Ryan

17:00: Jessica Van Wynsberge inspired by… Antonio Damasio

18:00: Reception

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Zoë Van Cauwenberg inspired by… Kocku von Stuckrad

The historiographical construal of the relation between science and religion in terms of conflict has long posed a methodological crux in the study of early modern alchemy. To transcend this dichotomous model Kocku von Stuckrad proposes a model of interference that enables us to examine the junctures and mutual dependencies between cultural systems, such as religion and science. This model is especially fruitful when approaching early modern alchemy, a discipline that is often interpreted as either a semi-mystical religious pursuit of self-purification, or as an instance of antiquated science and technology devoted to the unlimited accumulation of wealth. My research moves beyond this debate and studies the reciprocal relation between theology and natural philosophy in early modern alchemy. To this end, I examine De Artificio Supernaturali (1594), a treatise written by Gerhard Dorn (c. 1530/5 – after 1584), an illustrious renaissance alchemist that has received little scholarly attention. Dorn’s alchemy and his alchemical practice serve as a focal point for investigating early modern notions of the precise relation of the physical and the metaphysical and how these two cohere in the alchemist’s expectations and self-understanding.

Fauve Vandenberghe inspired by… Michael McKeon

Michael McKeon, one of the most influential theorists of the early novel, recently wrote a book on the now largely forgotten genre of the secret history and how its features gradually became domesticated in the novel. This thesis takes McKeon’s idea of the “privatization” of the secret history as its starting point and looks at how Eliza Haywood engages with the genre in her early fiction. Haywood has firmly been established as one of the key figures who helped shape the novel, but critics have become sceptical about how such teleological conceptions of the rise of the novel limit our understanding of her work. Instead, they argue for a more nuanced understanding of the wide variety of genres within which she experimented. This thesis begins to put into practice such calls by looking at how she interacts with the secret history. Haywood’s indebtedness to the genre has proven to be fruitful ground for critics who have tried to ascertain her political affinities throughout her career, but her less overtly political texts have largely escaped such analytical scrutiny. More specifically, then, I look at how she plays with its narratological complexities in such texts that are not usually considered secret histories, namely Fantomina (1725) and The Masqueraders (1724).

Olivier Bodart … inspired by Marie-Laure Ryan

In recent narrative theory we notice a tendency toward the transmedial studies, especially the notion of transmedia storytelling has attained success. This is a process in which integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience, a transmedia storyworld.

Inspired by the pioneering work of Marie-Laure Ryan in the field of transmediality and storyworld-theory, I would like to expand on this transmedia storytelling and transmedia storyworld in my thesis, since I believe that the purposely created unity, in which a “world” component is central, is too restrictive. I would like to hypothesize that representations of a certain narrative unit (/entity/existent), dispersed across different media, unintentionally create a fluid entity, that I will call transmedial narrative cloud. To test this hypothesis I will study the modern, transmedial representations of the Picaro-figure. During my presentation, I will thus critically review Ryan’s work and discuss her importance to my research, while illustrating this with picaro-representations of late 20th century.

Jessica Van Wynsberge inspired by… Antonio Damasio

My thesis is about the role the cognitive sciences could play in the field of literary theory. Ever since the so-called ‘cognitive turn’ in literary studies, scholars have increasingly turned to the interdisciplinary field of cognitive sciences to analyse the expression and representation of emotions in literary texts throughout history. In my presentation I will reflect upon some of the different definitions of emotion that are currently in circulation within this field, some deriving from ‘affective science’ (the empirical study of emotions), others from a set of theories used by cultural scientists that is broadly referred to as ‘affect theory’. The thinker I will focus on more specifically is Antonio Damasio, a professor in neuroscience, who writes about the narrative nature of consciousness.

In both Descartes’ error (1995) and The Feeling of what happens (1999) Damasio describes emotions as physical states arising from the body’s response to external stimuli. In his work he presents a theory about causal sequences, series of events that cause physical reactions we can feel and reflect upon. This process is, in his view, narrative by nature and plays an important role in the construction of our sense of self. Relying on Damasio’s work, I want to examine how the cognitive sciences could be used in the study and analysis of historical texts, meanwhile also posing the question how the study of literature might contribute to our understanding of the history of the human mind.

Dante Workshop (UGent, 13-14 May 2019)

Location: UGent, Campus Boekentoren (Blandijnberg 2, 9000 – Ghent, Belgium)

Free entrance

Organizers: prof. Teodoro Katinis (UGent; SDA Gent), prof. Wim Verbaal (UGent), prof. Bart van den Bossche (KU Leuven), prof. Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven).

Research groups: GEMS (Group for Early Modern Studies), HPIMS (Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies).

Participants: prof. Paolo Borsa (University of Milan), prof. Valerio Cappozzo (University of Mississipi), prof. Teodoro Katinis (UGent, SDA Gent), prof. Wim Verbaal (UGent), prof. Bart van den Bossche (KU Leuven), prof. Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven), colleagues of the GEMS and the HPIMS, PhD students, students of the course LKV.

Reading materials available here

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Program

13/5: Room 120.036

h15-17: Dante Alighieri between Latin and the Vernacular, in English.

Moderators: Wim Verbaal and Andrea Robiglio.

Prof. Paolo Borsa and prof. Valerio Cappozzo will circulate in advance their materials to feed the discussion: published articles and current projects with specific regards to Dante’s poetry, the Stilnovo, and the interpretation of dreams in the Middle Ages.

h17: coffee break and networking.

h18:30: dinner.

h20-22: prof. Valerio Cappozzo, L’interpretazione dei sogni da Dante ad oggi, in Italian for the Società Dante Alighieri – Gent (for a broad public).

 

14/5: Room 120.012

Morning: informal meetings with PhD students and colleagues to discuss future research opportunities (feel free to contact us if you are interested in meeting the speakers).

h16-19: Dante tra latino e volgare, in Italian.

Moderator: Teodoro Katinis.

Prof. Paolo Borsa e prof. Valerio Cappozzo, for the students of LKV. Articles and handouts will circulate in advance. External participants are welcome to join also this part of the workshop.

h20: dinner

 

Image reference: Luca Signorelli, Portrait of Dante (1500-1504 ca.). Fresco. Orvieto Cathedral, Chapel of St Britius.

Exhibition Baroque Brutalities: Imagining Violence in Art (17th Century & today)

VANDENHOVE Centre for Architecture and Arts, Rozier 1, Ghent

Thursday & Friday 28 & 29 March, 2-6 PM and Saturday 30 March, 10 AM – 5 PM.

The exhibition shows 17th-century prints from the UGent University Library and works by Simon Pummell (video), Doina Kraal and Kevin Simón Mancera Vivas (peep-show box), Abattoir Fermé (performance stills).

Poster Inger Leemans Imagineering Violence 2019 Amsterdam-02

 The early modern period witnessed a true explosion of images on pain, suffering and violence across painting, print, theater, and public space. The public had plenty to choose from: sieges, executions, massacres. Violence fascinated the early modern spectator, yet it simultaneously conjured up numerous questions, some of which are not unlike those posed today.

How can violence be represented and imagined? How can an artist document the violence of the times? What about the numerous ethical implications? When does a spectator become a voyeur? When does violence turn into spectacle? Can violence be aestheticized? Does an artist have a duty to document contemporary violence? These questions saturate modern art, from the horrors of War in Goya to the racial violence in Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s ‘Five Car Stud’.

Baroque Brutalities not only shows how violence is represented in works of art from about 1650, but it also deals with the above-mentioned social, cultural and ethical questions concerning the representation of (extreme) violence today and in the Baroque era.

This exhibition is an initiative of the Dutch-Belgian research group ITEMP: Imagineering Violence – see: https://itempviolence.wordpress.com.

GEMS Lecture 2019 with Professor Hiro Hirai (Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Radboud University, Netherlands)

Galen in the Medical Context of the Scientific Revolution

Date: Monday, 29 April 2019
Time: 4 – 6 PM
Location: Plateauzaal (Jozef Plateaustraat 22, Gent)

Galen (129–ca. 216) left a significant number of writings, over 100 treatises in a modern edition, which represent some 12 percent of ancient Greek literature. Although Galenism dominated the tradition of Western medicine, knowledge of his writings was relatively limited during the Middle Ages. The substantial body of these writings was made available in Europe thanks to the Aldine Greek edition (Venice, 1525), followed by a flood of Latin translations. In my paper, I will examine the impact of some key texts of Galen at the threshold of early modern science and philosophy. To this end I will focus on the particular use of Galen’s writings and teachings by Jean Fernel (1497–1558) of Paris, one of the most influential physicians of the Renaissance, and other physician-philosophers who were his contemporaries and followers in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

 

Image references:
1. Nicolas de Larmessin, Portrait of Jean François Fernel. Engraving. Holding Institution: Smithsonian Libraries (Washington, DC);
2. Title page of Galen’s Aldine Greek edition (Venice 1525).

GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Annemieke Romein and Christophe Madelein

Time: Wednesday, February 27th, 2-4 PM

Place: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, room “Herman Uyttersprot” (formerly room “Freddy Mortier”).

Annemieke Romein (UGent)
Protecting the fatherland, patriots in Jülich, Hesse-Cassel, and Brittany (1642-1655): Placing the cases in its context: resistance, offices, and state-building?

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In this presentation, I will discuss my (nearly completed) manuscript which is based upon my dissertational research. As the Thirty Years’ War raged through central Europe, the nobility of several European principalities found themselves facing increasingly controversial princely politics. Particularly the decisions about taxation and warfare were debatable. According to the nobility, both the Duke of Jülich and the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel harmed their inhabitants with illegally extracted resources to pay for armies. This led to heated debates in the German principalities about the noble privilege to consent to taxes and the possible attempts of princes to establish arbitrary rule. However, opposing princely politics equalled rebellion. Hence the relationship between a prince and his nobility became the focal point of discussion. A central concern of the nobility was therefore how to voice critique that could avoid condemnation as rebellion. To this end, they relied on fatherland terminology (fatherland, patria, and patriot). I will also (briefly) contrast the German cases with how the nobility of Brittany handled a similar situation – though no armies raided their province.

Image reference: Portret van Willem VI, landgraaf van Hessen-Kassel. Theodor Matham, after Anselm van Hulle, 1717. Holding institution: Rijksmuseum.

Christophe Madelein (UGent)
When the Levee Breaks: Sublime Awe for the Christmas Flood (1717) in a poem by H.K. Poot

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In the night of 24 December 1717 a flood hit the coast from Denmark to the Netherlands, killing approximately 12000 to even 16000 people. In the wake of the flood many poems were published, as is often the case with national disasters. I want to focus on one poem specifically, H.K. Poot’s “Op den hoogen watervloet, omtrent het einde des jaers MDCCXVII”. In this poem the flood is explicitly identified as a divine intervention. Rather than expand on the religious or theological argument as such, I want to focus on the aesthetic dimension of this connection, more precisely by reading it in the light of John Dennis’ notion of the sublime. In his The Grounds of Criticism (1704) Dennis lays down a classicist theory of art and literature, as the means to restore divine order. For him emotion is central to aesthetics, and no emotion is stronger than awe for the divine. In this light, poetry about disasters is not so much a lamentation or a call for charity and aid, as it is a celebration of the divine and a reminder of humility and piety. In Poot’s poem the attention shifts from the grand religious scheme to individual suffering, and back again, as it should for every individual reader and the nation at large, through the medium of sublime literature.

Image reference: Watersnood bij Amsterdam, 1717. Anonymous, 1718. Holding institution: Rijksmuseum