Michael Schoenfeldt, University of Michigan
Wednesday 18 April 2018
3.30 -5.00pm, drinks afterwards
Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main Building
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.
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.
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!
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
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/
Ulinka 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.
SYMPOSIUM & EXHIBITION
Though unnoticed, our sense of smell is a major mood determiner. Scents evoke vivid childhood memories. They are part of our identity: we each have a scent that is as unique as our fingerprints.
Even cities have their own specific scent profiles. Still, we tend not to be aware of the profound effects of smell. VU Amsterdam is organizing a symposium on 24 February during which an art and fragrance historian, a psychologist and an artist will elucidate the importance of smell as part of culture. A new VU exhibition will also open that will let you observe that which is invisible, indefinable, elusive and often neglected: smell! Both activities are related to scent historian Caro Verbeek’s PhD dissertation, ‘Aromatic Art (Re-)reconstructed: In Search of Lost Scents’.
A century ago, surrealists like Duchamp and futurists like Marinetti used scents to accentuate their images, exhibition spaces, poetry readings and toys. They used Brazilian coffee beans, erotic perfumes, sulfuric acid, ozone, incense and industrial fumes as means to influence the public. Most of these ‘aromatic interventions’ were intended to provoke, to confuse, to alter people’s mood or to add a sensory dimension. Unfortunately, many of these ‘artistic aromas’ have been lost. These days, artists all over the world are once again working with scents and aromas. The exhibition provides an overview of how international artists and perfumers incorporate scents into their art as they explore the boundaries of ‘visual’ expression.
What does the countryside smell like? The Battle of Waterloo? The moon? The planet Earth? These and other lost and rare scents have been reconstructed thanks to the joint efforts of perfumers, chemists and historians.
Indulge your olfactory sense and give your nose something to sniff at. Register for the symposium and come see the exhibition.
Photo: Copyright Gayil Nalls, People sniffing World Sensorium at midnight 01-01-2000, Time Square, New York