Rita Copeland, "An Emotional Anthology of Style: Glasgow Hunterian MS V.8.14" (Penn Material Texts, 2/20)

How did medieval teaching identify the “literary” or “literature” as a particular quality to be achieved and imitated? What was the role of style in defining the realm of the “literary”? I will address these questions through a material context: a modest anthology from the thirteenth century, MS Glasgow, Hunterian, MS V.8.15. This teaching collection, devoted to rhetorical manuals and poems that illustrate rhetorical technique, expresses its interests in terms quite different from what we associate with better known and prestigious poetic anthologies such as the Codex Buranus as well as other teaching collections. The Glasgow anthology reveals its motives in terms that are at once material and meta-literary. It represents itself as a material witness to a period of innovative teaching, and it signals a moment at which medieval rhetoric recognizes itself as the instrument for theorizing literary style as the engine of emotion.

Rita Copeland is Rosenberg Chair in the Humanities and Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. Her fields include the history of rhetoric, literary theory, and medieval learning. Her new project is on rhetoric and the emotions in the Middle Ages. Her publications include Rhetoric, Hermeneutics, and Translation in the Middle AgesPedagogy, Intellectuals and Dissent in the Middle AgesMedieval Grammar and Rhetoric: Language Arts and Literary Theory, AD 300-1475 (with I. Sluiter); The Cambridge Companion to Allegory (with P. Struck), and most recently, the Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, 800-1558.



Francesco Marco Aresu, "Giovanni Boccaccio's Teseida: Composition—Circulation—Reception" (Penn, 2/16)

In partnership with the Center for Italian Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies is pleased to announce the following lecture:

Francesco Marco Aresu, Assistant Professor of Italian and Medieval Studies, Wesleyan University

Giovanni Boccaccio's Teseida: Composition—Circulation—Reception

Thursday, February 16, 2017, 5:00-6:30PM, Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, 6th floor

This talk will explore the editorial and intertextual relations between Giovanni Boccaccio's autograph of the Teseida (preserved in Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Acquisti e doni 325) and two exemplars of the poem: Philadelphia, UPenn Codex 254 and Cambridge, Houghton, Typ 227. It will investigate to what extent the material configuration of these exemplars comply with the hermeneutic guidelines materially embedded by Boccaccio in his autograph in order to control the reception and interpretation of the poem. This compliance will be described in terms of Boccaccio's successful editorial project of inscribing his literary production within the canon of authoritative texts. The rich paratextual apparatus with which Boccaccio furnishes his autograph is at the basis of the affirmation of the Teseida as a classic and of the proliferation of comments and accretions around the text of the poem. By conducting this study under the aegis of material philology, the intent is to show how the interpretation of a text needs to be accompanied by an inquiry into the material conditions of its composition, dissemination, and consumption. The purpose is to show a paradigmatic example of the basic coincidence of textual datum and material unit, of content and medium, of verbal-iconic message and physical support.

Registration for this talk is free and appreciated! Please RSVP HERE

SIMS-Katz Distinguished Fellow's Lecture in Jewish Manuscript Studies (Penn, 2/8)

Update: Due to a family emergency, Professor Alessandro Guetta has had to postpone his fellowship and consequently this lecture. His talk will be rescheduled at a later time.

In partnership with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the Penn Libraries is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies & the Herbert D. Katz Center Distinguished Fellow's Lecture in Jewish Manuscript Studies:

"Just for fun”: Making and Reading Hebrew-Italian Translations of the Early Modern Period

Presented by Professor Alessandro Guetta, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris,

and the 2016-2017 Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies & the Herbert D. Katz Center Distinguished Fellow in Jewish Manuscript Studies

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 5:15-6:30 PM

Lecture sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program

Professor Guetta will consider the significance of the 16th-century phenomenon of translation of Hebrew texts into Tuscan, the literary language of Italy. What motivated this small and largely unstudied endeavor, one not seen in other European Jewish communities of the time? Was it "just for fun," as one of these translators declared? Or, given that Tuscan would become a vital element of cultural and national cohesion, did it belong to a strategy of acculturation?

For more information and to register, go to http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/guetta.html

CFP: "Vulnerability in the Middle Ages" (Princeton Medieval Studies Graduate Conference, due 2/15)

The doctoral students in The Program in Medieval Studies at Princeton University invite abstracts for the 24th Graduate Conference on “Vulnerability in the Middle Ages,” which will take place on Friday, April 28, 2017.  Sharon Farmer (UC Santa Barbara) will deliver the keynote lecture this year.

Vulnerability in the Middle Ages

At a moment that has brought economic, political, and physical vulnerabilities (new and old) abruptly to the surface, we invite papers on the topic of vulnerability and insecurity in the Middle Ages. Recent scholarship in medieval poverty, gender, disability, and racial difference has greatly enhanced our sense of the variety of vulnerable experiences, and we seek to connect these conversations through their shared perspective on power. We welcome proposals from a variety of disciplines on vulnerability and the concepts that surround it, including weakness, insecurity, injury, disability, and difference. Papers might consider both the portrayal and the experience of the vulnerable life, as well as the systems that lead to vulnerability. We are interested both in the conditions that made individuals vulnerable within communities, and in those that threatened communities within larger polities. In a period where vulnerability typically precluded creating and maintaining records, unfamiliar readings of familiar sources are especially necessary, as are approaches that access vulnerable experiences in imaginative ways. Such approaches might challenge more conventional relationships between scholars and their objects of study, and ask how scholarship itself can perpetuate, create, or mitigate vulnerabilities in the past and present. 

Some themes might include, but are not limited to:

  • Contradictory perspectives on vulnerability (sympathy/revulsion, admiration/contempt)
  • How difference (racial, gender, physical, economic, geographic) contributes to vulnerability
  • Vulnerabilities specific to catastrophes, including war, famine, disease, and panic
  • The relationship of systems of power to vulnerability
  • The experience and portrayal of physical vulnerability
  • The treatment (medical or otherwise) of vulnerable conditions
  • Religious practices and perspectives on weakness
  • “Vulnerability” in other words, such as vernacular translations and terminologies
  • Documenting vulnerability and (materially, philologically, hermeneutically) vulnerable documents
  • Populations vulnerable to scholarship, via origin or identity myths, institutions, and ideologies

Please submit your abstract (250 words) for a fifteen-minute presentation to the conference organizers (medievalvulnerabilities@gmail.com) by February 15th, 2017.

All abstracts should be in English, and include your name, contact information, and academic affiliation.

Our Thanks

The DVMA would like to offer its sincere gratitude to the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Princeton Index of Christian Art for their continued support of our programs.

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