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.
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.
For more information: Mediamatic
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