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.
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.
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
On 9 November, the Universiteit van Nederland will record four 15-minute lectures on the emotions in Amsterdam. The lectures (in Dutch) are on Schadenfreude (leedvermaak), repentance/regret (spijt), anger, pride, and envy (afgunst).
For more information and registration, visit the Universiteit van Nederland.
On Wednesday, October 19th at 17:00, dr. Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen (University of Leiden) will present new research in his talk ‘”Never Better”: Consolation and the Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern England’.
The talk will take place at the University of Amsterdam, in P.C. Hoofthuis room 1.05, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam.
“Never Better”: Consolation and the Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern England
In this talk I will look at the crucial role of consolation in the culture of early modern English Protestantism. Protestants were preoccupied by the idea of consolation, and felt that the true Christian community is defined by the ways in which it understands and practices consolation. This interest in consolation was occasioned in part by the importance of persecution and martyrdom for early modern notions of Protestant identity, yet the dominance of consolation in early modern Protestant culture extended beyond this. Members of the Protestant clergy were interested in suffering more broadly, and undertook a massive effort – in a diverse genre best labeled ‘religious consolation literature’ – to instruct their flock in the meanings of suffering, and to shape their responses to affliction.
I will map some of the dominant tropes in this literature, showing that consolation was always a deeply politically fraught concept. Throughout the early modern era, this political dimension of Protestant consolation remained a potential to be activated by various Protestant factions alike, from ardent conformists to radical Puritans. I will also examine how consolation literature was put to use by early modern Protestant individuals. By turning to the notebooks of the London wood turner Nehemiah Wallington (1598–1658), I will show that consolation could be a frustratingly open-ended, potentially endless enterprise. While consolation is a central strand in Wallington, it never seems to attain its goal; it never enables Wallington to confer definitive meaning on his suffering.
Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen teaches English Literature at the University of Leiden. He is the author of Pain and Compassion in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2012) and Devil Theatre: Demonic Possession and Exorcism in English Renaissance Drama, 1558–1642 (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2007), and has co- edited The Sense of Suffering: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture (Leiden: Brill, 2009) and The Reformation Unsettled: British Literature and the Question of Religious Identity, 1560–1660 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008). He is currently preparing a third monograph, entitled A Literary History of Reconciliation: Remorse and the Limits of Forgiveness, which is under contract for 2018 with Bloomsbury Academic. He spent most of the spring and summer of this year as a Short-Term Research Fellow at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where he worked on the role of consolation in the culture of early modern English Protestantism. He is hoping to write a book on this topic in the not too distant future.