The Medieval Studies Program held its annual Winter Festival of Medieval Readings on December 5th. This year the event moved to the Big Red Barn, and put a focus on humor and revelry. The night saw readings by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. The Cornell Chronicle covered the event, and you can read about it here.
Benjamin Anderson (Assistant Professor, History of Art & Visual Studies) has been named as one of four finalists for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award. This award “honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in any language between September 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017.”
Anderson’s book, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art, was published by Yale University Press earlier in 2017.
More details available here.
The Department of Romance Languages is hosting a faculty / graduate colloquium on Thursday, September 21, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Romance Studies Lounge (Klarman Hall 164). Three Romance Studies faculty (all members of the Medieval Studies graduate field) will present their work: Simone Pinet, Marilyn Migiel, and Cary Howie.
The colloquium is a new Romance Studies initiative intended to foster faculty-graduate student discussion about research projects. It is informal: there are no papers or lectures or book talks, but rather open discussion about the kind of work and the kinds of questions guiding different faculty research endeavors. Each of the three faculty members has selected a short text that relates to teaching, research, or something that is essential for graduate education. The variety of these texts is eclectic.
Andrew Hicks (Associate Professor, Music and Medieval Studies) will deliver a “Chat in the Stacks” about his recently-published book, Composing the World: Harmony in the Medieval Platonic Cosmos (Oxford University Press, 2017). The talk will take place Wednesday, September 13, at 4:30 p.m. in Olin Library room 107.
More details available here.
A new feature at Cornell Research highlights the work of Simone Pinet [Romance Studies], who is researching “the roots of the language of economics and capitalism in medieval Spanish literature from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries.” “The language of economics, explains Pinet, “touches our deepest beliefs regarding honor, morality, and truth.”
Read the full feature here.
Andrew Hicks [Music / Medieval Studies] is one of 21 scholars to have been awarded the Berlin Prize for 2017-2018 by The American Academy in Berlin. He will be in residence at the Hans Arnhold Center in Belin-Wannsee in Spring 2018, working toward the completion of his next monograph, tentatively titled The Broken Harp: Musical Metaphor in Classical Persian Literature.
Read the American Academy’s press release here.
On Thursday, April 20, Kathleen Davis (Professor, English, University of Rhode Island) will present “From Periodization to the Autoimmune Secular State.” The lecture will take place in 142 Goldwin Smith Hall at 4:30 p.m.
Can we imagine history without the idea of the Middle Ages? Difficult as that may be, this talk suggests, we cannot adequately understand today’s divisive politics, particularly concerning the “secular” and the “religious,” without examining the fundamental premises that generated and sustain the Middle Ages as a historical period.
Kathleen Davis received her PhD in English and Medieval Studies from Rutgers University, where she found encouragement to work across disciplinary boundaries. She has worked in the fields of Old and Middle English literature, translation studies, and postcolonial criticism. Most recently, her engagement with colonial histories and postcolonial theory led her to examine the periodizing process that gave us the categories of the “medieval” and the “modern,” and to investigate the relation of that process to colonial rule. She is the author of Periodization and Sovereignty: How Ideas of Feudalism and Secularization Govern the Politics of Time; and co-editor, with Nadia Altschul, of Medievalisms in the Postcolonial World: The Idea of “the Middle Ages” Outside Europe. Professor Davis is continuing her work in this area with two book projects. The first, tentatively titled “The Fold of Periodization,” examines the structure of periodization; reassesses the historiography of the idea of the Middle Ages; and traces the role of medieval/modern periodization in the formation of academic disciplines. The second, which Davis began while a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, focuses on the relationship between medieval/modern periodization and the idea of a “secular” versus a “religious” society, particularly as this idea affects contemporary politics.
This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of English and History, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Society for the Humanities.
Benjamin Anderson (History of Art and Visual Studies) will present a Visual Culture Colloquium on Tuesday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m. in G22 Goldwin Smith Hall. Event listing here.
A robust tradition of oracular images – made in the past and understood to contain knowledge of the future – emerged in early medieval Constantinople; by the later middle ages it had split in two, with a Latin branch claiming to foretell future popes, a Greek branch future emperors (later sultans). The two strands were drawn back together ca. 1590 (and independently) by the Cretan artist Georgios Klontzas and the French essayist Michel de Montaigne. Both juxtapositions are forms of “critique,” but point to opposite conceptions of pictorial knowledge.
Anna Waymack, a 4th-year Ph.D. student in the Medieval Studies program, has received an Alice H. Cook and Constance E. Cook Award in recognition of her advocacy for victims of sexual violence and her work to promote better policies relating to sexual harassment and assault here at Cornell and across the United States. More Cook Award winners are listed here.
The Medieval Cosmologies Working Group is back for our 2017 lecture – our fifth since we began in 2013! We are pleased to announce the visit of Charles Burnett, Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe, Warburg Institute, University of London. Professor Burnett will give a public lecture on Thursday, March 9, at 4:30 PM in Goldwin Smith G22, entitled “The Worldview of Abu Ma’shar of Balkh (Albumasar).” A reception will follow at 6:00 PM in the History of Art Gallery.
Abu Ma‘shar Ja‘far ibn Muhammad al-Balkhi (787-886 AD), known as Albumasar in the West, was the eminent Arabic astrologer of the Middle Ages. Throughout his Great Introduction to Astrology, which was translated twice into Latin in the twelfth century, is an integrated worldview, embracing not only prognostication, but also cosmology, astronomy, physics, geography, medicine and ethics. This lecture addresses Abu Ma‘shar’s ideas of the position of man within his world and how they were subtly changed in the process of transmission from Arabic into Latin.