How Gardens Feel: The Natural History of Sensation in Spenser and Milton

Michael Schoenfeldt, University of Michigan

Wednesday 18 April 2018
3.30 -5.00pm, drinks afterwards
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main Building
Room: 13A33

Abstract
In this talk, Michael Schoenfeldt explores the relation between the environment and the sensation of pleasure in Spenser and Milton – the two greatest epic poets of early modern England. Spenser and Milton are fascinating because they repeatedly focus on the scrupulous calibration of physical sensation with the environmental network. Schoenfeldt’s focus is on pleasure, and, to a lesser degree, pain – sensations that are invariably the product of particular kinds of osmotic interaction between the individual and the environment. Schoenfeldt argues that Spenser is primarily concerned with how environments can pollute individuals. Milton by contrast, is more concerned with how individuals pollute environments. His great epic depicts, among many other things, the first example of human-induced climate change.

Michael Schoenfeldt is John R. Knott, Jr. Collegiate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton (1999) and The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Poetry (2010). He is currently researching a book-length study of pain and pleasure in early modern England.

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Odorama: Scent and Scentsuality

With Lauryn Mannigel, Astrid Groot, Klara Ravat, Roald de Boer, Ibo Bakker

29 November, Mediamatic Biotoop, Amsterdam

Why are we attracted to some people and not to others? Many answers that try to explain sexual attraction point towards pheromones as a biological explanation for strong bodily desire. Scent is often seen as the lowest amongst the senses. It is the one that makes no sense, but that often causes the most immediate bodily response. Before you know it, you are drawn to somebody. During this edition of Odorama, we explore the scentsual aspect of scent.

Photo: Anisa Xhomaqi

For more information: Mediamatic

Stevin Seminar on Emotions in Religion and Science

CLUE+, the Stevin Centre for History of Science and Humanities, the Amsterdam Centre for Religious History and ACCESS cordially invite you to the 25th Stevin Seminar ‘Emoties in Religie en Wetenschap’, which will be held on November 2nd from 15:30-17:15 hrs in room HG12A-37 (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main building, 12th floor). The meeting is in Dutch.

Lecture: The Empire of the Senses

On Tuesday 3 October, Daniele Hacke will visit ACCESS to give a lecture on sensory knowledge, communication and cultural encounters in the early Americas. You do not need to register for this lecture. We hope to see you there!

Poster Daniele Hacke lecture alt-01[1]

Emotive Matter – lecture by Ulinka Rublack

Tuesday March 14th
15.30-17.00h   –    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, main building, room 02A-24
Programme: Introduction – Interview by Charlotte Evans (Humanities research master student) – Lecture – Discussion – Drinks

Emotive Matter
ACCESS/Graduate Lecture by Ulinka Rublack

How can we research the emotional qualities of objects? How were emotions and material culture interlinked in the early modern period and beyond? A noted historian of dress in the period, Ulinka Rublack will focus on the new role of feathers in head-wear to stimulate emotions in surprising ways, which intertwined with new forms of global exchange and understandings of masculinity.

The paper draws on fresh research, related to Professor Rublack research project on Materialized Identities: https://www.materializedidentities.com/

rublackUlinka Rublack is Professor of Early Modern European history at Cambridge University and Fellow of St John’s College. Her most recent books include The Astronomer & the Witch: Johannes Kepler’s Fight for His Mother (Oxford University Press, German, Italian and Chinese translations forthcoming); Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe (Oxford University Press, awarded Bainton Prize); Hans Holbein’s Dance of Death (Penguin Classics) and The Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations.

 

 

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Early modern emotions: two new book publications

Two exciting new books on early emotions have recently been published, both with connections to ACCESS.

Early Modern Emotions: An Introduction, edited by Susan Broomhall, is a student-friendly introduction to the concepts, approaches and sources used to study emotions in early modern Europe, and to the perspectives that analysis of the history of emotions can offer early modern studies more broadly. The book contains chapters by ACCESS members Erika Kuijpers, Inger Leemans, and Herman Roodenburg. For more information, the table of contents – and to order the book for your university library –  please visit the Routledge catalogue.

Battlefield Emotions 1500-1800: Practices, Experience, Imagination, edited by ACCESS members Erika Kuijpers and Cornelis van der Haven, was published in Palgrave’s Studies in the History of Emotions series. The collection, resulting from the international workshops on battlefield emotions, explores changes in emotional cultures of the early modern battlefield. Integrating psychological, social and cultural perspectives, it explores emotional behaviour, expression and representation in a great variety of primary source material.