Lecture on Consolation and the Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern England

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.

About

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.

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The Secular Sacred: Emotions of Belonging and the Perils of Nation and Religion in Western Europe

International Symposium
The Secular Sacred: Emotions of Belonging and the Perils of Nation and Religion in Western Europe
Date: 10 and 11 November 2016
Venue: The Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam

The past decades have witnessed a spectacular rise of both nationalist and religious sentiments across Europe. Indeed, feelings of home, emotional appeals to community and even the ‘people’ (Volk) are entwined with and fueled by the increasing presence of religion in European public spheres, long considered to have been thoroughly secularized. New nationalists and increasingly the continent’s political and cultural elites frame the presence of religion as a threat to the ‘secular’ character of the nation. At the same time, religious ‘roots’, including what is now indicated as ‘Judeo-Christian’ roots, are mobilized as cultural identities. The nation’s secularism has turned sacred, as it were. In this volatile context, both ‘religion’ and ‘secularism’ have become emotionally charged.

The symposium brings together scholars working on issues of nationalism and religion to develop a postsecular approach investigating in tandem the continued and changing presences of religion and nationalism in Europe.

The categories of religion and secularism are categories of practice. They are not fixed, but constantly changing in often highly contested political and social arena’s. Indeed, both categories are frequently mobilized in political projects. For instance, over the past decades nationalists in the Netherlands have framed groups of Dutch citizens with a migrant background (the so-called allochtones) as ‘religious’ and hence ‘backward’, pitting them against a ‘secularized’ and ‘progressive’ but also ‘Judeo-Christian’ Dutch majority. At the same time, forms of religion – Christian, Islamic, and other forms – have continued to gain ground while becoming entangled with identity politics. Not seeking to define the secular or the religious, the symposium will focus on the boundary work through which both categories are being defined, contested, and re-made in social and political practice.

These shifting qualities of secularism and religion call for a praxeological approach, paying particular attention to the involvement of the body, the emotions and the senses or, more specifically, to ‘embodied practices’, ‘sensational forms’ and sense perception (aisthesis). Such an approach sheds light not only on how the nation and the sacred are mediated, but also on how they deeply take root in people, becoming all the more persuasive. At the same time, taking the established notions of habitus or bodily memory as a point of departure may provide us with a more detailed understanding of how practices may both reproduce and (temporarily) subvert the structures of power. How do such insights help us to understand the complexities involved in how a nation’s or a religion’s imaginaries resonate and may reinforce each other?

Invited speakers are: Jan-Willem Duyvendak, Irene Götz (Munich), Deborah Kapchan (New York), Birgit Meyer, Alex van Stipriaan and Jojada Verrips. Speakers from the Meertens Institute include Markus Balkenhol, Sophie Elpers, Ernst van den Hemel, Peter-Jan Margry, Herman Roodenburg, and Irene Stengs.

Please register by email to Irene Stengs (irene.stengs@meertens.knaw.nl ). Details of the symposium’s program will be announced shortly at on the Meertens Institute website.

 

KNAW Symposium: Boundless Love

Notions of Love in Various Cultural Traditions

During this symposium, scholars from diverse fields will discuss the nature of love and seduction, homo-eroticism in Islamic cultures, the lessons of the Kama Sutra, and what we can learn from the ways in which individuals and peoples have spoken of love.

From ancient times until today, thinkers in various disciplines have tried to decipher the mystery of love. Is it a religious and spiritual force identified with God, is it a philosophical concept, is it a force of attraction holding the whole cosmos together, or is love a disease that must be treated?

3 August 2016 from 15:00 to 18:00 hrs
Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam

pauw

Speakers

  • Piet Gerbrandy, University of Amsterdam – Andreas Capellanus and the Rhetoric of Seduction. Twelfth-Century Techniques of Confusion
  • Mineke Schipper, Leiden University – How the Magic Matrix Gets in the Way of Boundless Love in Creation Stories
  • Jan Schmidt, Leiden University – Love and Sex among the Ottomans
  • Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, Leiden University – Homo-Erotic Love: Spiritual Eroticism versus Earthly Sexuality
  • Herman Tieken, Leiden University – Kama Sutra: when Sex becomes a Science

 

TED talk Caro Verbeek: Inhaling history and smelling the future

ACCESS board member Caro Verbeek gave a TED talk on ‘Inhaling history and smelling the future’ at TEDx Groningen. YouTube cannot do justice to the synaesthetic experience of Caro’s presentation, but the video is certainly worth watching!

Verbeek stresses that due to the increase of social and digital media, there is more need than ever to pay attention to direct and intimate – non transferable – qualities of smell. According to Verbeek it is time to take your nose out of your books, and start inhaling the environment as a meaningful source of information and inspiration.

 

Caro Verbeek is an art and smell historian, curator and author with a focus on modern, olfactory and tactile art. She is currently a PhD candidate at VU University with the project ‘In Search of Scents Lost – Reconstructing the Aromatic Heritage of the Avant-garde’. She teaches the course ‘The Other Senses’ at the Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague) and moderates the monthly ‘Odorama’-platorm at Mediamatic Amsterdam. She curated a show on olfactory art at Villa Rot (Germany) in 2015 and co-curated the Museumnight ‘Ruiken in het Rijks’ (Smelling at the Rijksmuseum) in 2012. She regularly does olfactory interventions at museums and universities worldwide. http://www.caroverbeek.nl

http://tedxgroningen.com/caro-verbeek/

CFP: International and Interdisciplinary Conference on the Emotions in Sydney

First International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions

Date: 5-6 December 2016
Hosts: The University of Wollongong (UOW) Contemporary Emotions Research Network (CERN), the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (CHE), and The Australian Sociological Association Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group (TASA SEA)
Venue: UOW Sydney CBD Campus (Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia)

The conference will bring together researchers working in the area of emotions in contemporary and historical societies from a range of disciplines for the first time, including sociology, philosophy, politics, law, history, literature, creative arts and media. It will showcase cutting-edge research from international experts on approaches to studying emotions from across these fields. We are interested in receiving and papers for presentation in expert panels and general sessions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

Emotions in space and place;
The expression and function of emotions such as shame, anxiety, and anger in contemporary society;
The relationship between emotions, embodiment, and affect;
Emotion management in inter-personal relationships
Methodologies for researching emotions;
The role of emotions in social change;
Emotions in work and professional life;
Emotions and care work
Emotions in the public sphere
Emotions in education
Emotions and law
The philosophy of emotions
The history of emotions
The creative and literary expression of emotions;
Emotions and culture

Please submit a 500-word panel proposal, or a 200 word abstract for an individual paper to cern-admin@uow.edu.au by Friday 1 July 2016. For more information, and for updates about keynote speakers and other conference related information, please visit the CERN events page.

Convened by: Roger Patulny and Sukhmani Khorana (UOW CERN), Andrew Lynch (ARC CHE) and Rebecca Olson and Jordan McKenzie (TASA SEA).

Lectures by Barbara Rosenwein in Utrecht

Professor Barbara H. Rosenwein (Loyola University, Chicago) is an internationally renowned historian, who has worked on several important topics, such as monastic property and social relations (resulting in To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny’s Property) and the history of immunities in the early Middle Ages (Negotiating Space: Power, Restraint, and Privileges of Immunity in Early Medieval Europe). In addition, she has published widely on the history of emotions (for example Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages and Generations of Feeling), and has published several textbooks on the Middle Ages, including A Short History of the Middle Ages (http://www.rosenweinshorthistory.com/).

We are very pleased to announce that Barbara Rosenwein will visit Utrecht in the first week of May and cordially invite you to the two lectures she will give:

‘Writing a Medieval History Textbook’. Tuesday 3 May, 13.15u-15 u. Location: Utrecht, Drift 21, room 0.32.

‘From “Worrying about Emotions” to Generations of Feeling’. Wednesday 4 May, 15.15 u-17 u. Location: Utrecht, Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal (0.05).

UCMS Lecture Announcement 3 May (PDF)

UCMS Lecture Announcement 4 May (PDF)

UCMS Lecture Announcement 3 May UCMS Lecture Announcement 4 May