News & Events
Medieval Events 2014-2015
*During the 2014-2015 academic year, unless stated otherwise, all meetings will be unless stated at 5PM in the Graduate Student Lounge (Fisher-Bennett Hall Room 330).*
Thursday, September 25
Professor Peter Mack (University of Warwick and the Warburg Institute, London) will be speaking in the Classics Colloquium series at University of Pennsylvania at 4.30 PM in room 201 Cohen Hall. His topic will be “How Renaissance Rhetoric Transforms the Classical Tradition.”
Wednesday, October 15
First meeting of the Medieval-Renaissance Seminar Wednesday, October 15 at 5 PM.
Carissa Harris (Assistant Professor of English, Temple University) will discuss her paper " ‘All medons be war’: Rape Resistance, and Sexual Education in the Middle English Pastourelle." Her paper is attached to this email and available via a PennKey-protected link on the Med-Ren website. We would be happy to provide hard copies upon request.
This is a work in progress which is part of a new chapter I am developing for my current book project, tentatively entitled .Teaching Tikel-tails: Gender, Obscenity, and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain. This piece, which focuses on the distinctive features of the Middle English pastourelle and argues for its potential as a means of rape awareness and education, is part of a longer chapter in which I also explore the workings of women’s desire, consent, and obscenity in the Middle Scots pastourelle, arguing that there is a relationship between female-articulated obscenity and enthusiastic consent in these literary encounters. If the piece seems somewhat unfinished, it is because I have not included the chapter’s final section on female-voiced obscenity in Middle Scots pastourelles. I’d particularly appreciate your thoughts on the final two poems I examine here, as I’m still working out the finer points of my analysis. This is very much a work in progress, so I gladly welcome all comments, questions, suggestions, or leads. I look forward to our discussion.
Wednesday, October 29
Gail McMurray Gibson (William R. Kenan Professor of English and Humanities at Davidson College and NEH-Folger Fellow 2014-2015 at The Folger Library) will discuss her paper “Medieval Drama in Afterlife: The Croxton Play of the Sacrament in Ireland.”
Wednesday, December 3
Nicolette Zeeman, Fellow in English, King's College Cambridge
Wednesday, January 28
Professor Kim Phillips (University of Auckland, History), January 28th, 12-2PM, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Graduate Lounge
A catered lunch will be served.
"Strange Encounters: European Travelers in Asia c. 1245- c. 1500"
The lecture will discuss the travelers’ narratives of more than twenty Europeans who made journeys to present-day Mongolia, China, India, Sri Lanka, and southeast Asia between the mid-thirteenth and early sixteenth centuries. These diplomats, missionaries and merchants constructed a European vision of Asia that was by turns critical, neutral, and admiring. Placing medieval writing on the East in the context of an emergent Europe whose explorers sought to learn more than to rule, the lecture seeks to complicate our understanding of medieval attitudes toward the foreign.
Kim Phillips works on representations of foreign lands and peoples in late medieval travel and ethnographic writing. She recently published Before Orientalism: Asian Peoples and Cultures in European Travel Writing, 1245-1510 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014). She has begun work on a new book project on foreign women in medieval European writing on Irish, Scandinavian, Asian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures with the working title Other Women: Writing Foreign Femininities in Medieval Texts.
Friday, January 30
5PM, Cherpack Seminar Room, Williams Hall, 5th Floor
Marina Brownlee, Robert Schirmer Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature, Princeton University
“Interruption and Distraction -- Epistemology in the Cavallero Zifar”
Wednesday, February 18
**Class of 78’ Pavilion, Van Pelt Library, 5-6:30PM**
Phyllis Rackin Lecture to be given by Ann R. Jones, Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature, Smith College
Women as Allegories, Women as Agents in Sixteenth-Century Costume-Book Prints
The lecture will be followed by a reception.
Ann R. Jones writes: "Costume books from 1562 to 1610 open with title pages personifying the four continents as women. The woodcut artists, engravers and writers who composed such allegories gave them a range of meanings: moralizing, erotic, and world-political. In contrast to these abstractions, the printmakers Jost Amman and Cesare Vecellio assigned specific identities and activities to women at work, as did women painters of the same period. What were the purposes and techniques of such representations? What are the pleasures of looking at them now?"
Ann R. Jones, Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor of Comparative Literature Emerita, Smith College (Ph.D. Cornell University) specializes in early modern literature and culture. Her first book, The Currency of Eros: Women's Love Lyric in Europe, 1540–1620 (Indiana University Press, 1990), focused on eight female poets in England, Italy, and France. Since then she has translated the work of a 16th-century Venetian courtesan and written extensively on women’s fashion and identity formation in early modern Italy, France, and England. Her current project, Global Habits, explores the Renaissance Costume book and considers texts alongside textiles to develop an understanding of the genre of the costume book from 1550-1650. Her work on women, gender, and material culture has been of great importance to feminist studies of literature, culture and history. In particular, Professor Jones has been instrumental in bringing discussion of French feminism to the US academy. Professor Jones acted as the Chair of the Comparative Literature Department at Smith College from 1983 to 2006 and served as a Board member of the Study of Women and Gender Department at Smith from 1995 to 2005.
The Phyllis Rackin lecture was established to honor Phyllis Rackin, Professor Emerita of English at the University of Pennsylvania, and her groundbreaking work in the fields of both feminist scholarship and Early Modern studies. A former President of the Shakespeare Association of America, she has published numerous scholarly articles on Shakespeare and related subjects in anthologies and in such journals as PMLA, Shakespeare Quarterly, and Shakespeare-Jahrbuch. She has also published four books on Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Tragedies; Stages of History: Shakespeare's English Chronicles; and Engendering a Nation: A Feminist Account of Shakespeare's English Histories, which she wrote in collaboration with Professor Jean Howard of Columbia University; and Shakespeare and Women. Her awards include an ACLS fellowship and a Lindback award for distinguished teaching.
This annual lecture is made possible thanks to the generous support of the English Department, the Rackin Fund, the Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Program, the Medieval-Renaissance Seminar, and the Penn Humanities Forum.
Wednesday, March 4
Eric Song, Assistant Professor at Swarthmore College
Thursday, March 5, **5:30**
Wendy Belcher, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
Wednesday, March 18, **4:30**
Kathryn Schwarz, Professor, Vanderbilt University
Wednesday, April 8
Nahir Otaño Gracia, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) Cafe
February 10, at 5pm in the Class of '78 Pavilion, Sixth Floor of the Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania (corner of Walnut and 34th street).
Dot Porter will be talking about OPenn, our new open access collection of digitized manuscripts. He will give a short presentation, and then those interested can join him in a hack. Come prepared to participate, or with an idea for a working group or hack.
For more info about GLAM Cafe: http://www.meetup.com/GLAM-Cafe-Philadelphia/
Vitale II Media Lab Spring 2015 Events
University of Pennsylvania
Van Pelt Library Room 623
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Events are open to everyone. For questions about Vitale II, contact Dot Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org). For questions about events, contact the person
Ruby on Rails Tutorial Group: Ruby on Rails is a web framework for developing interactive websites. Meet with us on Mondays from 3:00-4:30pm as we work through the Ruby on Rails Tutorial (https://www.railstutorial.org/), and share our projects. Weekly meetings. (contact: Dot Porter, email@example.com)
WORD LAB: WORD LAB is is a text analysis research interest community at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries for all related research and disciplines. We have members interested in China and Japan, Islamic law, communications, psychology, political science, food culture, and more. (http://upennwordlab.wordpress.com/) Meet with us on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm. Weekly meetings. (contact: Molly Des Jardin, firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Rawson,email@example.com)
Kislak Wikipedia Interest Group: The Wikipedia Interest Group meets on the last Friday of every month (except where indicated) from 11:30am-1:30pm, to add links and images from Kislak collections to relevant entries in Wikipedia. In Spring 2015 we’ll meet on January 30th, February 27th, March 27th, April 17th (note that this is the third Friday in April), and May 29th. Monthly meetings. (contact: Dot Porter,firstname.lastname@example.org)
Early Books Collective (beginning January 28): This group, aimed primarily at undergraduates, will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 pm to transcribe texts from the EEBO Project (http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home). Weekly meetings. (contact: Rebecca Stuhr, email@example.com)
"Using Medieval Manuscript Data": this group will meet to investigate different methods for accessing and using data about medieval manuscripts, starting with the blog “A Material Piers Living in a Digital World” (http://materialpiers.wordpress.com/) and working from there based on the interest of the group. We’ll meet every other Wednesday from 10:00-11:30am, starting on January 14th. Bi-weekly meetings. (contact: Dot Porter, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Early Books Collective
Several of us at the Penn Libraries are forming the Early Books Collective to work with interested undergraduate students to transcribe selected texts from Early English Books Online (EEBO) database. Penn has been a member of EEBO’s Text Creation Partnership since its inception. The partnership sponsors the transcription and encoding of EEBO texts. So far just over 44,000 texts have been transcribed and are available through the libraries’ EEBO subscription.
Our first meeting is January 28, 3:00 p.m., Vitale II Media Lab on the 6th floor, Kislak Center, Van Pelt Library. We'll be meeting every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. going forward.
Our collective has multiple objectives:
- When working with students we find that they often show an initial resistance to working with the early type faces. The opportunity for students to work closely with the texts through this transcription and encoding project will demystify the database. Students will develop a sense of comfort and familiarity with the texts.
- As digital humanities develops as a presence in departments of history, English, and other humanities disciplines, becoming familiar with TEI, the encoding language used to transcribe and encode the texts in the Text Creation Partnership, will be a valuable skill for the students to include in their scholarly toolbox.
- Students will have the chance to read and engage with the texts as they work with them.
- We’ll be troubleshooting together and so this workshop will give students a chance to work through and resolve problems.
- Finally, students will be making a valuable contribution to an ongoing scholarly initiative.
We hope that you will share this opportunity with your students and encourage them to take part. We look forward to seeing and working with them as part of the Early Books Collective.
Contact: Rebecca Stuhr, email@example.com
Paleography Group @ Penn
Unless otherwise stated, all meetings are held on Wednesdays, 5-6.30pm in The Cusack Room in the The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books & Manuscripts (Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor).
Meeting I: 10 September ~ Introductions & Alexander Devine, “Searching for the Manipulus florum in a medieval library catalog” (Mf. Ms: Penn Ms. Codex 1640 / Dover Priory’s 1389 library catalog: Bodleian Library, Ms. Bodley 920)
II: 24 September ~ Alan Niles, “Scottish Sonnets by Elizabeth Douglas and William Fowler at the Court of James VI.”
III: 8 October ~ Angela Cosey, “Deciphering French handwriting in a 17th Cent. Swiss book from The Cosey Collection”.
IV: 22 October ~ Daniel Davies, “How to Solve a problem Like an Unreadable Manuscript: Penn Ms. Codex 196” (Middle English & Latin Religious Poems: England, ca. 1400)
V: 12 November ~ Jessie Dummer on Penn Ms. Codex 909: Le Livre des Eneydes/ French trans. of Virgil’s Aeneid (France, ca. 1450-1510)
VI: 4 December (Thurs.) ~ Isabella Reinhardt, SIMS Fellow Project on Penn Ms. LJS 225: Michael Zopello, Litterarum simulationis liber (Rome, 1455-8)
¶ Special Event: Thurs. 4 December, Noon-to-Midnight: The Pavilion, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books & Manuscripts
“Transcribing the Renaissance“: Folger/Penn Transcribe-a-thon
A “transcribathon” in conjunction with
On December 4th, staff from the Folger Shakespeare Library's Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) Project (http://collation.folger.edu/2013/11/emmo-early-modern-manuscripts-online/) and the University of Pennsylvania Library's Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts (www.library.upenn.edu/kislak/) will be on hand to introduce participants (and anyone who happens to wander by) to the art of transcribing English manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Transcribathon website: http://sceti.library.upenn.edu/Transcribathon/
Meeting I. 21 January ~ Alexander Devine, "Deciphering Scripts, Dating Materials & Identifying Texts: Premodern Sleuthing in Medieval Pastedowns & Flyleaves from UPenn & The Rosenbach Museum & Library." In this session we'll be exploring the importance of dating and localizing the scripts of the texts written on those parchment leaves later (re-)used in the front, back and bindings of manuscripts or printed books for deducing the history and provenance of these materials. We'll be working collaboratively to trace the history of such binding materials in books from Penn (the flyleaves of a medieval manuscript) and from The Rosenbach (the pastedowns of an early printed book's binding).
The session will run as a step-by-step investigation of 'How To Date, Localize and Identify These Materials,' then address 'Methodologies For What To Do Next,' and finally 'What All This Can Tell Us About The Book?'
A provisional schedule for Penn Paleography Group meetings during Spring semester 2015 is now up on our website (here) with dates for five further meetings as follows:
Meeting II: 4 February
III: 4 March
IV: 23 March
V: 8 April
VI: 22 April
If you would like to lead a session this semester - on Mss./ scripts you think are neat/ indecipherable/ Mss. you're working on & would like to share/ challenges you'd like assistance with etc. - then please contact Alexander Devine firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP; I've already had two volunteers to lead sessions this semester (dates TBD) so hurry to avoid disappointment folks!
*If possible, please bring your laptops.*
Workshop in the History of Material Texts
The workshop in the History of Material Texts will celebrate its 22nd year in 2014-15. Participants (including faculty, librarians, graduate students, booksellers and anyone else interested) come from a very wide range of disciplines; all are welcome to attend. The usual format of the seminar is a presentation of approximately thirty minutes, followed by discussion, based if possible on handouts or other visual materials. Unless noted otherwise, meetings will be held on Mondays at 5:15 in the Class of '78 Pavilion, in the Kislak Center for Special Collections on the 6th floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. If you would like to receive announcements about upcoming meetings, please sign up for our listserv using this link. For more information, please contact Marie Turner, 2014-15 Brizdle-Schoenberg Fellow in the History of Material Texts, at mturn at sas dot upenn dot edu.
Schedule Fall 2014:
Monday, 8 SeptemberAnnette Yoshiko Reed (UPenn, Religious Studies)
"From Didactic List to Long-Duration Literature"
Monday, 15 September
Eva Del Soldato (UPenn, Romance Languages)
"Printer, Translator, Philosopher, Spy: The World of Antonio Brucioli (1498-1566)"
Monday, 22 September
Megan Cook (Colby College, English)
Monday, 29 September
Matthew Collins (University of York)
"Manuscripts: The Archaeolozoology of Animal Skin"
Monday, 6 October
Shreve Simpson (UPenn, History of Art)
"Who’s Hiding Here? Artists and their Signatures in Persian Manuscripts of the Early Modern Period"
Monday, 13 October
Lee Humphreys (Cornell University, Communications)
"The Qualified Self: Social Media and the Cataloging of Everyday Life"
Monday, 20 October
Benjamin Fleming (UPenn, Religious Studies)
"Form vs Function: Aesthetics, Ritual, and Religion in South Asian Manuscript Traditions"
Monday, 27 October
Josh Calhoun (University of Wisconsin, English)
"Fixing History: Blots, Erasures, and Ecologies of Recordation in Renaissance England"
Monday, 3 November
Kevin Platt (UPenn, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory)
"How to Read Samizdat: The Case of Alexander Nekrich’s 1941 (1965)"
Monday, 10 November
Anne Coldiron (Florida State University, English and History of Text Technologies)
"The Printer, the Translator, the Scribe, and the Slave Girl (Or, the Strange Textual History of England’s First Doxography)"
Monday, 17 November
Charles Rosenberg (Harvard University, History of Science)
"Health in the Classroom: Textbooks on Hygiene & Physiology, 1830-1900"
Monday, 24 November
Monday, 1 December
Paul Freedman (Yale University, History)
"Restaurant Menus: Text, Rhetoric and Food"
Monday, 8 December
Paul St. Amour (UPenn, English)
Medieval Studies Lecture Series All events will take place in the Kislak Center, on the 6th Floor of Van Pelt Library, at the University of Pennsylvania. Welcome Back Reception; Panel on "Why the Middle Ages Matter" (speakers tba) September 16th, 5-7 PM (cosponsored by the Library, Medieval Studies, and the Center for Ancient Studies)
Professor Dallas Denery (Bowdoin College, History), October 23rd, 5-7 PM
Professor Adam Kosto (Columbia, History), January 29th, 5-7 PM, Class of '55 Room, Van Pelt Library
The early history of safe conduct has principally been studied as a question of protection—of merchants, students, ambassadors, soldiers, pilgrims, and other travelers in “foreign” jurisdictions. It is also a question, however, of information: how did officials know that a particular person had been granted safe conduct? Documents of safe conduct—less proto-passports than proto-visas—demonstrate the possibilities and problems of information processing in the premodern world.
Professor Marina Rustow (Johns Hopkins, History), April 2nd, 5-7 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts for “Cataloging Conflict,” one of a series of Archives Month Philly events celebrating archives and special collections in Philadelphia cultural institutions. “Cataloging Conflict” will be held at 5:30 pm in the Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion of the Kislak Center.
Inspired by the centenary of the start of World War I, Penn’s archivists and rare book catalogers have combed the Kislak Center special collections for a wide variety of materials documenting war and conflict through the ages. Their favorite finds, which will be on display for this special event, include war propaganda printed on toilet paper, engravings of the Trojan War sold by subscription to fund the 1660 printing of Homer’s Iliad, a spectacular manuscript roll depicting major figures in England’s Wars of the Roses, indulgences sold to raise money for papal armies, 16th-century woodcuts of bizarre inventions for siege-craft and underwater warfare, escape maps and blood chits, soldiers’ songs performed by Marian Anderson, hand-colored illustrations of war elephants, letters to and from soldiers in World Wars I and II, the diary of an American Civil War draft dodger and … Penn’s famous Rocket Cats!
The Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion is located in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts on the 6th floor of the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library (3420 Walnut St, Philadelphia Pa. 19104). The event is free and open to the public. Please bring a photo ID to enter the building. Registration for this talk is appreciated but not required.
November 6-8, 2014
7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age
In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year's symposium highlights the work of the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts by bringing together scholars and digital humanists whose work concerns the study of provenance and the history of collecting pre-modern manuscripts. The life of a manuscript book only just begins when the scribe lays down his pen. What happens from that moment to the present day can reveal a wealth of information about readership and reception across time, about the values of societies, institutions, and individuals who create, conserve, and disperse manuscript collections for a variety of reasons, and about the changing role of manuscripts across time, from simple vehicles of textual transmission to revered objects of collectors' desires. The study of provenance is the study of the histories of the book.!
The program will feature papers and workshops that delve into these histories through both traditional and digital means. Speakers include:
- Toby Burrows, King's College London
- Katharine C. Chandler, Free Library of Philadelphia
- Megan Cook, Colby College
- Alexander Devine, University of Pennsylvania
- Derick Dreher, Rosenbach Museum and Library
- Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Academy of America
- James N. Green, Library Company of Philadelphia
- Scott Gwara, University of South Carolina
- Peter Kidd, Independent Scholar
- William Noel, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
- Nigel Ramsay, University College London
- William Stoneman, Harvard University
- Julia Verkholantsev, University of Pennsylvania
Four workshops will offer hands-on exploration of problems and issues related to provenance research in the digital age. They are:
Mining and Visualizing Manuscript Provenance Data at a Large Scale
Leader: Mitch Fraas, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
The Bibale Database: A digital tool for researching historic collections and manuscript provenance (Background, Structure, Developments, Context)
Leader: Hanno Wijsman, Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT-CNRS) & Bibale
Provenance that POPs Workshop
Leader: Laura Aydelotte, University of Pennsylvania Libraries
The Butcher's Bill: What the Schoenberg Database Can Reveal about the Trade in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Fragments
Leaders: Scott Gwara, University of South Carolina, and Eric Johnson, Ohio State University
Special exhibitions of manuscripts will be on view at both institutions.
For more information and to register online, go to http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lectures/ljs_symposium7.html
La Querelle des Femmes: Women Writers from 15th- & 16th- century France
A Colloquium Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages with the co-sponsorship of the Departments of Classics, English, History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, as well as the Programs in Comparative Literature and Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 9AM - 6PM
University of Pennsylvannia
Cherpack Seminar Room, 521 Williams Hall
BREAKFAST, 8:15-9:00 AM
PANEL # 1: Gendered Discourses: Polemics, Dialogue, Codes 9:00-11:00 AM
Katherine Kong: “Between meretrix and pute: the polemical uses of gender in the querelle du Roman de la Rose”
Reinier Leushuis: “Marguerite de Navarre’s Rewriting of the Courtly Dialogue: Speaking of Love in La Coche”
Nancy Frelick: “Mirroring Discourses of Difference: Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptameron and the Querelle des femmes”
PANEL #2: Authority, Authorship, and Auctoritates 11:15 AM – 1:15 PM
Julie Singer: “Set in stone? Epitaphs and the specter of authorial responsibility in the debates on the Roman de la Rose and the Belle Dame sans mercy”
Ana Pairet: "Shades of Circe: Ovidian Myth in Christine de Pizan’s Fictions"
Scott Francis: “The Comédie des quatre femmes: Marguerite de Navarre, the Querelle des Amyes, and Courtly Love Literature as Prognostication”
LUNCH, 1:15-2:15 PM
PANEL #3: Positioning the Female Author 2:30-4:30 PM
Lucas Wood: “Love’s Illusions: Le Livre du Duc des vrais amants and La Chastelaine de Vergi”
Kevin Brownlee: “Dialectics of Marriage and Authorship in the Advision Cristine”
Daisy Delogu: “A Fair Lady takes on “Maistre Allain”: Anne de Graville’s Belle Dame sans mercy”
A Book Launch and Discussion: Plotting Premodern Biography with PAUL STROHM and moderated by DAVID WALLACE
Friday, November 14th, 2014
Friday, Nov. 14th | 12:00pm | Arts Café
Kelly Writers House | 3805 Locust Walk
RSVP to email@example.com or call 215-746-POEM
Please join us at a lunchtime book-launch for PAUL STROHM’s Medievalist Penn professor DAVID WALLACE will be here with Paul to discuss that crucial year that led Chaucer to THE CANTERBURY TALES. Come and help us celebrate a book that Terry Jones has called “an imaginative re-creation of everything you ever wanted to know” about the Father of English Literature. We’d love to have you here!
7th Annual Medievalists @ Penn Graduate Conference: The Medieval Archive 2/27/15
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Van Pelt Library, 3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Keynote Address: Jessica Brantley, Associate Professor of English, Yale
More information at http://medievalarchive.tumblr.com
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Daniel Davies, Mariah Min, and Samantha Pious at firstname.lastname@example.org