Call for Applications: 2017-2018 SIMS Graduate Student Fellowship (due 4/1)

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) is now accepting applications for its 2017-2018 Graduate Student Research Fellowship. The fellowship has been established to encourage emerging scholars in the Delaware Valley area to engage with the rich manuscript resources at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and in Philadelphia.

This year, SIMS is pleased to offer the Graduate Student Fellowship in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the University of Fribourg-based project Fragmentarium (, an international scholarly social network that enables libraries, collectors, researchers, and students to upload medieval manuscript fragments and to describe, transcribe, and assemble them online. Working under the guidance of SIMS’s Curator of Manuscripts, Dr. Nicholas Herman, the fellow will be responsible for researching manuscript cuttings and fragments from the John Frederick Lewis Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia and contributing the data to Fragmentarium.

The Free Library’s collection of over 2,000 European manuscript fragments, principally dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries, is one of the largest of its kind and remains relatively understudied. The fellow will have direct access to this extraordinary research material and the opportunity to engage in original scholarly research related to his or her field of study. Further, the fellow will become a participant in a major international digital humanities initiative while benefitting from extensive local expertise.

Applications are due April 1, 2017. For more information and how to apply, go to

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

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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