GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Merit Hondelink (Elizabeth Vandeweghe will respond)

What’s for dinner? Early modern food consumption analysed using cesspit samples and culinary texts

Date: Thursday, 21 November 2019, 12 AM – 1 PM

Place: Simon Stevin Room (Plateaustraat 22, Gent): https://soleway.ugent.be/routes/2373

21nov_Whats for dinner

We cannot live on air and sunshine alone, the human body needs food and fluids to survive. It needs it now, it needed it in the past. But what did our ancestors’ diet consist of? When we want to find out what people ate in the past, we have to look at their refuse. Not only their kitchen waste, but also their excrements. Archaeologists find these waste-products in a variety of archaeological contexts, such as hearths, middens, pits, landfills, trash deposits and, for Medieval and Early Modern urban areas, cesspits. Cesspits are constructed to contain cess or human excrements, and as a secondary filling these pits often also contain kitchen waste, household rubbish and garden waste. Within this research project, cesspits form the primary context of analysis. Bio-archaeological samples are studied to understand what people ate. However, not everything we eat is conserved: organic remains do decay due to pre- and post-depositional processes. Additionally, they rarely tell us how a food product was consumed. Studying historical culinary texts, such as cookbooks and kitchen account books, helps to better understand the range of what was available for consumption. These documents provide lists of foodstuffs purchased and prepared that might be absent in the archaeological record. However, they only offer a glimpse of what was eaten, as cookbooks represent what was potentially consumed by the higher social classes and account books often only list (dried) bulk goods, excluding the fresh produce bought at the market. Each research discipline has it biases. Combining the results of bio-archaeological and culinary historical research is therefore a must. They complement each other and provide a more nuanced picture not only of what Early Modern citizens ate and how it changed through time, but also of the socio-economic positions of the consumer.

Speaker:

Merit Hondelink, a PhD-candidate at University of Groningen/Antwerp University, is a trained archaeologist, specialised in archaeobotany (the study of plant remains present in archaeological sites). Her research focuses on the changes in food preparation and consumption by Delft citizens in the course of the Early Modern period, between 1500-1800. She wants to know if and how the daily diet changed in the course of these centuries and how this reflects social stratifications within a city. Did the intensifying global trade and the influence of foreign food fashions effect what food was consumed and how it was prepared? Or did people stick to what was known and continued to eat what had been available for decades or even centuries? Merit studies these past food practices by analysing archaeobotanical samples from cesspits and studying historical documents (cookbooks and institutional account books). Additionally, she brings an experimental approach to her research. She recreates historical recipes to study the differences in kitchen and consumption waste and to better understand which biases occur after the deposition of food remains.

Respondent: 

Elizabeth Vandeweghe

Department of Art, Music and Theater Sciences Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, Technicum Blok 4, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium Elizabeth.Vandeweghe@UGent.be

After getting my master’s degree in Art History in 2004 (University Ghent), I worked for seven years in the exhibitions department of the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), where I was responsible for all publications of the exhibitions, such as Het Verboden Rijk (2007), The World of Lucas Cranach (2010). In 2012, I started working as an assistant at UGent, Department Art, Theatre and Music Sciences, while working independently for cultural institutions such as the Centrum Rubenianum and the Centre for Fine Arts. As a part time assistant to Prof. dr. Martens and Prof. dr. Jonckheere, I further developed my knowledge of and interest in the arts in the Low Countries, in particular in the 16th and 17th century. Since September 2015, I am enrolled as a PhD candidate under the title “The Art Historical Meaning of Culinary Representations in the Visual Arts of the Early Modern Low Countries” (working title), with a joint Phd at the University of Verona.

Image reference: Adriaen van Utrecht, Pronkstilleven (1644). Holding Institution: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (NL)
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GEMS Seminars 2019-2020 (1st semester)

This academic year we will launch a new series of GEMS meetings (see the schedule below and the attached overview). Both GEMS-members and other colleagues with an interest in the early modern period are invited to come to these meetings and to participate in the discussions. Our website will be regularly updated with detailed information about each meeting (https://gemsugent.wordpress.com).

Seminars are mostly scheduled on Wednesdays (2 – 4 PM) or Thursdays (12 AM – 1 PM). They take place in the Simon Stevin meeting room (Plateaustraat 22, heading left through glass doors and then on the left): https://soleway.ugent.be/routes/2373

GEMSs1

The GEMS Seminars provide the opportunity to members of our research group and other scholars with an interest in the early modern period to meet and discuss current research issues. In the schedule (see menu) you will find two categories of these meetings. First there are the Ateliers during which GEMS-members or guests present their research projects, recent publications or ideas for future projects. Secondly we will have three meetings this academic year with specialists of the early modern period who will introduce to you the work of a famous scholar by whom they are inspired in their own scholarly work (Inspired by…). People who are interested to spotlight his or her current or future research projects during one of these meetings are cordially invited to get in contact with the organization (andrew.bricker@ugent.be).

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.

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?

rp-p-1883-a-7256

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

rp-p-ob-83.485.jpg

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

GEMS Seminar: Nimrod Reitman inspired by… Michelangelo & Rilke

Time: Thursday, 13 December 2018, 11 AM – 1 PM
Place: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, room ‘Freddy Mortier’

During this GEMS seminar, Nimrod Reitman will present a short story by Rilke about Michelangelo. Both this story and Rilke’s translation of Michelangelo’s Rime will serve as a springboard for the discussion and a development of some thoughts about concepts like ‘non finito’, ‘fragment’ and ‘entombment’. Doing so, Nimrod will present the broader theoretical apparatus of his research, spanning rhetoric to psychoanalysis.

Anyone who is interested to participate and who would like to receive the text by Rilke can contact Kornee van der Haven: cornelis.vanderhaven@ugent.be

Images:
– Rainer Maria Rilke at his desk. Copyright: Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
Self-portrait of Michelangelo.

GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Jürgen Pieters & Ruben Celani

Time: 21 November 2018, 2-4 pm
Place: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, Room “Freddy Mortier”

Jürgen Pieters (UGent)
Literature and consolation: fictions of comfort

Rijksmuseum Een lezende man anon. 1660

In my talk, I would like to present the outline of a book project that I have submitted with Edinburgh University Press. I will focus on the conceptual framework of the book, in which I hope to correlate a contemporary concern with the pragmatics of literary reading (‘bibliotherapy’, and the often voiced idea that books are there to bring comfort) with a historical analysis of this age-old critical topos.

Image reference: Anonymous, A man reading, c. 1660. Canvas. Holding institution: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Ruben Celani (UGent)
Fashioning personae in 16th century books of secrets

The production of the so-called books of secrets (collections of recipes on a wide range of technical subjects, but especially on practical medicine) was not a complete novelty to the 16th century Italian book market: but it was only after the publication of the Secreti del reverendo Donno Alessio Piemontese (1555), that it became one of the most popular genres in the late Renaissance. One of the factors that undoubtedly contributed to this success was the keen use of rhetorical and marketing strategies: among those, a prominent position has to be assigned to the fashioning of appealing personae. After briefly considering the multiple meanings of this word and its connections with the concept of authority, my talk will focus on which personae were fashioned in the most widespread Italian books of secrets, and especially on the strategies adopted in order to craft them, providing examples from the texts considered.

Image reference (left): Portrait of Leonardo FioravantiEngraving from his Tesoro della vita humana (Venice, heirs of Melchior Sessa, 1570).
Image reference (right): Niccolò Nelli, Portrait of Girolamo Ruscelli, 1566. Engraving.

GEMS Seminar: Atelier with Fabio della Schiava and Kevin Dekoster

Time: Thursday, 25 October (10-12 AM)

Location: Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, Room “Freddy Mortier”.

Fabio della Schiava (UGent / KU Leuven)
Toward a critical edition of Biondo Flavio’s Roma instaurata.  

Published in 1446 by Biondo Flavio, one of the most distinguished historians of the Italian Quattrocento, Roma instaurata is an account in Latin of the archeological remains of ancient and christian Rome. Because of its centrality both for scholars of Humanism and Archeology, Roma instaurata has been repeatedly published between the Fifteenth and the Twenty-first century but still lacks a critical edition able to provide the reader with a reliable text and a better knowledge of Biondo’s antiquarian methodology. This edition has been now partially accomplished thanks to a 3 years project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and undertaken at Bonn University. The paper aims to share the results of this research with a focus on the philological problems which have been encountered and the applied methodology to solve them. 

Kevin Dekoster (UGent)
From Dissecting Table to Courtroom. The Professionalisation of Medico-Legal Expertise in the Early Modern County of Flanders (16th-18th Centuries)

Thanks to figures such as Andreas Vesalius and Jan Palfijn, scholars of the early modern Habsburg Netherlands can justifiably claim an important role for this region in the historiography on the professionalisation of medicine. However, the development of medical expertise within a forensic context remains largely unknown terrain. Taking the County of Flanders as its geographical focus, this research project aims to analyse and explain quantitative and qualitative developments in the importance of medico-legal expertise to the functioning of early modern systems of criminal justice. This objective will primarily be achieved by a study of the form and content of autopsy and other medico-legal reports produced by medical experts, such as surgeons and physicians, who were consulted by law courts and other representatives of early modern governmental power. In order to present an analysis that is as multi-faceted and nuanced as possible, evidence from a wide range of legal bodies at different institutional levels (provincial versus local) and with varying territorial jurisdictions (urban versus rural) will be considered.

Image reference: Joos De Damhouder, Pracktycke in criminele saken, seer nut ende profijtelijck allen souverains, bailjous, borgemeesters, ende schepenen etc., Rotterdam, Pieter van Waesberge, 1650. This is the only iconographical representation of a judicial autopsy, that the speaker could find for the Netherlands so far.

GEMS Seminar: MA students inspired by…

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 (1.30-6 PM): Inspired by, with presentations by master students

Faculty of Library Arts & Philosophy, Blandijn building, Grote Vergaderzaal Engels

In April 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: Kobe Gordts inspired by… Sarah Schechner

14:30: Lies Verbaere inspired by… Piero Floriani

15:30 Break

16:00: Jorn Hubo inspired by… Northrop Frye

17:00: Tom Laureys inspired by… Alan Sinfield

18:00: Reception

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Kobe Gordts – Inspired by Sarah Schechner

Historical research on cometary science has received modest attention in the past twenty years, due to the excellent case studies it provides for research in the history of science and religion. One of the people who launched comets as objects of historical research is Sarah Schechner. She showed us how early modern scientists like Isaac Newton and Edmond Haley did not deny the divine character of these celestial objects, but in fact incorporated them in their own cosmological theories. Inspired by her work I will present my findings concerning the comet of 1652 as it has been described and interpreted by Arise Evans, William Lilly and Richard Fitzsmith. I put forward the thesis that comets can be perceived as a ‘liminal object’, flexible enough to mean different things within the same text but robust enough so it remains essentially the same object representing those different identities.

 

Lies Verbaere inspired by… Piero Floriani

This thesis discusses Torquato Tasso’s use of historiography in his epic poem the Gerusalemme liberata (1581), which describes the Christian army’s conquest of Jerusalem during the First Crusade (1095-1099). The army, under the guidance of Godfrey of Bouillon (1060-1100), is aided by Heaven and opposed by Saracens and demons.

Through a thorough reading of William of Tyre’s Historia Ierosolimitana (1184), Tasso’s principal source of the First Crusade, and the Liberata itself, my dissertation tries to ascertain whether something new can be said about Tasso’s modus operandi or whether new interpretations of his poem are possible. Instead of considering ‘random’ episodes that demonstrate William’s chronicle’s influence, the thesis tackles three themes: Christian and Muslim leadership, Pagan magic and Christian meraviglioso (marvellous), and conflict management.

My work attempts to find some motives of Tasso’s modus operandi through a coherent thematic narrative and through the examination of Tasso’s concrete choices. The finding of these motives is not only achieved by considering where Tasso follows William’s chronicle, but also by discerning his originality. In considering this originality, my thesis was inspired by Piero Floriani’s article, “Per una Gerusalemme commentata. Esercizio su cinque (sei…) ottave del poema tassiano” (2003). Both Tasso’s rewriting history and his originality constitute, after all, his poetical working method.

Jorn Hubo – Inspired by Northrop Frye

“Þe best boke of romaunce”, Sir Gawain and The Green Knight’s nuanced image of chivalry has made it a favourite for critical study. Yet, the poem is not only nuanced, it is also highly ambiguous. If read as a ‘classical romance’ in the tradition of Chrétien de Troyes and his disciples, the text presents us with many problematic elements; we encounter many ambiguities in form and content which in their turn lead to ambiguities in interpretation. Since simply stating SGGK is a romance appears to create a host of problems, it is the object of this study to problematize just exactly what sort of text the poem is. This generic exercise is especially relevant to SGGK since its author himself seems highly aware of the qualities and expectations certain kinds of texts, such as romances, bring with them and he appears to use these expectations as strategies to construct an intelligent text that engages with its audience.

This approach places my research squarely in the field of genre studies, a field which was not created but severely influenced by Canadian critic Northrop Frye. With Anatomy of Criticism (1957), he was the first to construct a nuanced system for engaging with the concept of literary genre. While by today’s standard, Frye would be – and has been – criticised for being too prescriptive, his thoughts on genre still influence and inspire many researchers, amongst which myself. Therefore, I will try to shed light on what exactly it is that makes Frye’s approach to genre so seminal.

Tom Laureys – Inspired by Alan Sinfield

In the first part of my presentation, I will shed some light on the scholarly importance of Alan Sinfield, a British literary critic who is listed as one of the standard-bearers of Cultural Materialism, a critical practice which is closely related to New Historicism. In the second part of my presentation I will focus on the research I am doing in my MA thesis, for which Sinfield’s book Faultlines (1992) serves as a huge source of inspiration. In the Anglo-Saxon world, New Historicism and Cultural Materialism have lost most of their newness and have become what Raymond Williams would call ‘residual’. In Dutch Renaissance studies however, these reading practices still do not seem to find entrance or even acceptance. The critical practice which still prevails in Dutch literary criticism is what Greenblatt would define as ‘Old Historicism’. In 2011, professor Pieters wrote an inspiring book in which he investigates which methodological assumptions have to change in order to be able to talk of a ‘Dutch New Historicism’. My research is in line with that of Pieters, since it is my aim to take the first tentative steps towards a concrete elaboration of a ‘Dutch Cultural Materialism’. To that purpose, I take the genre of the early modern Dutch revenge tragedy as my research object.

GEMS Doctoral School Seminar 2018: Histories and Theories of Reading

GEMS is proud to present the programme of this year’s Histories and Theories of Reading Seminar. The Seminar is funded by Ghent University’s Doctoral School-programme (Humanities and Law) and is open (and exclusively so) to PhD-students. Those of you who want to participate, please get in touch with jurgen.pieters@ugent.be. Students will earn a credit by participating in (at least) three out of six sessions. Below are the details of the programme (the dates for the spring semester have been finalised) and a description of the format.

 

Histories and Theories of Reading: Fourth Series (2018)

The specialist course consists of a series of seminars that cover a period from January 2018 to December 2018. As in the previous three successful series, each seminar focuses on the work of one of six eminent international literary scholars who play a leading role in the disciplines of literary and cultural theory and literary and cultural history and have made important theoretical and conceptual contributions to their respective disciplines and to the historiography of both the central object of study (literary writing) and the disciplinary attempts at writing its history. Each of the scholars central to the seminar are, first and foremost, experts in their disciplines and specialists of a particular literary historical moment (ranging from the early modernity to the twentieth century). We aim for a good mixture of senior and more junior scholars: some of our guests are internationally renowned leading figures (Belsey, Korsten, Schiffman) while others have the potential to rise to that fame (Badmington, Galvez, Marno, Parvini).

The aim of the seminar is to provide both an in-depth discussion of the past research and work in progress of the particular scholar as well as a reflection on emerging concepts, theories and approaches in the disciplines of literary and cultural theory and literary and cultural history. In addition to the thematic interests of the invited scholars, we will also draw on the conceptual approach of each individual scholar. In this way, the specialist course is not only of added value to PhD students specialized in the particular discipline or historical moment of the invited scholar, but also to any PhD student dealing with (literary) texts or concepts in his or her research.

The specialist course is divided into six seminars with the international specialists that we have invited. Each seminars consists of two sessions: in a first session (3 contact hours) the selected texts by the invited speaker will be discussed under the guidance of one of GEMS professorial or postdoctoral staff. These texts are chosen by the invited scholar in consultation with the organisers of the specialist course and will run up to a maximum of 150 pages per seminar (our guests are asked to select five ‘texts’). The texts will be circulated among the participants a few weeks prior to the first session. The goal of this introductory discussion (supervised by one or more of the GEMS-co-ordinators) in the first session is to prepare the participating PhD students for the conversation and discussion with the invited scholar in the second session. Additionally, at the end of this first session each participant is asked to prepare and formulate one major question regarding the research of the invited scholar in relation to the participant’s own PhD research. These questions will be further formulated in writing in the days of the session and will be circulated among the participants before the session with the invited scholar. They will help structure the conversation in the second session.

During this second session (3 contact hours), which takes place approximately a week after the first, the invited scholar will give a short introductory presentation on his past, current and envisioned work. This presentation or talk will form the basis for a thorough exchange between the scholar and the participants. During the exchange the participants will have ample of opportunity to pose their prepared questions and discuss further questions that rise up during the conversation. This method of operation allows the participating PhD students not only to develop and deepen their expertise in the research field but also to practice asking and formulating critical questions and participating in scholarly debates. These skills will undoubtedly prove valuable in their research career at scholarly symposia, roundtable discussions and conferences. As the seminars are conducted in English, the specialist course also offers an occasion to practise their language proficiency in ‘academic English’.

 

Programme

Spring term:

  • Session 1: Neema Parvini (University of Surrey)

Theme: The future of historicism – ‘beyond’ the New Historicism.
Preparatory session: Thursday, March 22 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guest: Thursday, March 29, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

  • Session 2: David Marno (University of California, Berkeley)

Theme: early-modern poetry and its relations to religious history – the genealogy of aesthetic criticism.
Preparatory session: Tuesday, May 8, 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guest: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

  • Session 3: Catherine Belsey (Derby University) / Neil Badmington (Cardiff University)

Theme: the heritage of post-structuralism and the future of literary and cultural studies – what is the value of criticism today?
Preparatory session: Friday, May 25, 2018 (9.30-12.30)
Session with our guests: Friday, June 1, 2018 (9.30-12.30)

Fall term:

  • September/October [date to be specified]: Zachary Schiffman (Northeastern Illinois University)

Theme: the topic of his book The Birth of the Past: the genealogy of Western concepts and modes of historical thinking – Reading historical anachronism vs. reading ‘the past’ in early modern Europe

  • Early November [date to be specified]: Marisa Galvez (Stanford University)

Theme: the genealogy of poetry before it became ‘modern’

  • December [date to be specified]: Frans Willem Korsten (Leiden University)

Theme: towards a new form of cultural history – specific case: the Dutch Golden Age.

GEMS Seminar: Atelier with with Renée Vulto and Fabio della Schiava (25 January, 10-12 AM)

Thursday, 25 January, 10-12 AM, Faculty Library Arts and Philosophy, Magnel wing, Room “Freddy Mortier”.

Fabio della Schiava (UGent / KU Leuven): Toward a critical edition of Biondo Flavio’s Roma instaurata. 

Published in 1446 by Biondo Flavio, one of the most distinguished historians of the Italian Quattrocento, Roma instaurata is an account in Latin of the archeological remains of ancient and christian Rome. Because of its centrality both for scholars of Humanism and Archeology, Roma instaurata has been repeatedly published between the Fifteenth and the Twenty-first century but still lacks a critical edition able to provide the reader with a reliable text and a better knowledge of Biondo’s antiquarian methodology. This edition has been now partially accomplished thanks to a 3 years project sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and undertaken at Bonn University. The paper aims to share the results of this research with a focus on the philological problems which have been encountered and the applied methodology to solve them.

Renée Vulto (UGent): Singing Communities – Dutch political songs and the performance of national identity (1775-1825)

This PhD project investigates how songs can have contributed to the development of a national consciousness in the Northern Netherlands in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. At this time, national thinking just began to develop and was particularly hard to define in a culturally fragmented region like the Netherlands that went through severe economic, political and social crisis. Songs were in Early Modern discourse seen as effective tools to strengthen the formation of collective identities. Therefore, they are in this research not considered as mere textual and musical representations of an ideology, but as scripts for performance that produce collective identification. The focus is on the possible tensions between songs as attempts to create feelings of national belonging and unity on the one hand, and the realization of these aims in the harsh reality of political and social instability.

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GEMS-Seminars

The GEMS Seminars provide the opportunity to members of our research group and other scholars with an interest in the early modern period to meet and discuss current research issues. In the schedule on our website (gemsugent.wordpress.com) you will find two categories of these meetings. First there are the Ateliers during which GEMS-members or guests present their research projects, recent publications or ideas for future projects. Who is interested to spotlight his or her current or future research projects during one of these meetings are cordially invited to get in contact with the organization (cornelis.vanderhaven@ugent.be). Secondly we will have two meetings with specialists of the early modern period who will introduce to you the work of a famous scholar by whom they are inspired in their own scholarly work (Inspired by…). GEMS-members do not need to register for the seminars. Colleagues with an interest in the early modern period who are not a member of GEMS can join us too (after a short notice to: cornelis.vanderhaven@ugent.be, because of the limited space in the reserved rooms).