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.

Advertisements

Emotion centre VU receives grant

emoties_tcm10-387709

Body Maps of Emotions

The Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotions and Sensory Studies (ACCESS) has received a grant of €50.000 from the Netherlands e-Science Centre.

ACCESS, emotion-research centre at the faculty of Arts of the VU University in Amsterdam, has received the grant for their joint research project “Embodied Emotions: Mapping Bodily Expression of Emotions from a Historical Perspective”.

The bodily expressions of emotions are often condsidered to be culturally universal. With this project, Inger Leemans, Herman Roodenburg, Kristine Steenbergh and Erika Kuijpers aim to gain a better insight into the bodily experience of emotions in seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch plays, and compare this to 21st century body maps of emotions. Their hypothesis is that historical conceptions of the functioning of the body and the emotions may have been the basis for an alltogether different classification of (primary) emotions and for a different bodily experience of the emotions. In cooperation with the e-Science Centre, they will explore the different ways in which the Digital Humanities can be put to good use in the research into the expression of emotions in early modern plays.

The Deepest Sense

Rembrandt_Harmensz__van_Rijn_-_Het_Joodse_bruidje

On Tactility in the Arts and Sciences from the Early Modern Period to the Present Day. Organized by ACCESS, Meertens Instituut, Huizinga Instituut and Rijksmuseum, June 26th and 27th 2014.

This conference focuses on the experience of art beyond the visual; artists and scientists will make us understand and experience art and history through the sense of touch by embodied imagination and sometimes even by the actual act of touching a replica.

In spite of its important role in daily life, the sense of touch has been neglected in academic debate as it was considered a crude and uncivilized mode of perception. The two-day symposium The Deepest Sense draws attention to our most primary, sensual and thought-provoking sense in relation to history of art, culture and science.

In institutions such as museums, sight seems to be the only way to relate to (often) motionless objects. Yet it is the embodied imagination evoked by sight that makes us feel, caress or suffer and that makes history and its main characters come alive. For centuries, but in particular during the avant-garde, artists intentionally created tactile works of art, in order to experience them in a direct and intimate way.

Internationally acclaimed scientists from the realm of anthropology, psychology, cultural and art history will approach the subject from different angles. Artistic performances and tactile experiments will make the visitor become more aware of their own deepest sense: touch.

Keynote speakers: Constance Classen, David Howes, Garmt Dijksterhuis and Monika Wagner.

Practical information

  • Location day 1: Auditorium Rijksmuseum; Location day 2: Oudemanhuispoort
  • Language of communication: English
  • Registration is mandatory

Conference Program

Preliminary program
Biographies speakers

Registration

Click here to register

Registration fees:

  • € 20
  • Students: € 15

Lunch not included on day 1. Entrance to the museum not included.

Contact information

herman.roodenburg@meertens.knaw.nl

Sounds of Historical Amsterdam

Friday, 24 May, 13.30 – 17.00
Venue: Amsterdam Museum, Kalverstraat 92, entrance Kalverstraat 92
Sint Luciënsteeg 27.

HOW DO CITIES SOUND?K

A symposium organized around the installation ‘The Sound of Amsterdam’, now on show at the Amsterdam Museum

ROOM: HET GEWELF (buy your ticket at the central entrance)

THE SOUND INSTALLATION IS IN ROOM 17

PRICE
Museumticket :  € 10,-
UvA Studentenkaart  :  € 5,-
Museumjaarkaart        :  free

IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND THE SYMPOSIUM PLEASE REGISTER BELOW 

Clicke here if you want to hear this horse tram

K

Alex Rhys-Taylor

Sonic Boom – 100 Years of Urban Sound

The twentieth century city comprised a cascade of intertwined social, political, technological and economic revolutions, all of which combined to radically alter the sonic sensorium that filled the century’s cities. Automobiles, radios, planes, argot, sirens, industry. All of these displaced, or drowned out, the audible sensorium of millennia before. The great revolutions of the century are also reflected in the sensibilities through which urbanites made sense of the new urban symphonies and cacophonies. Starting with the hypnotic buzz of London as heard from afar, zooming in to the cacophonous soundscapes of the street, the talk will trace the provenance of both the soundscape of modern city, and the meanings we gave to it.

Alex Rhys-Taylor is a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. One of his main interests is the multisensory ambience of everyday urban life. See: http://www.gold.ac.uk/sociology/staff/rhys-taylor/

Annelies Jacobs

Discourse and the Sounds of the City

Though we hardly know how cities sounded in the past, how sounds figured in daily life, we do believe that due to processes of expansion, industrialisation and technology cities grow noisier and noisier. It seems that the constant emergence of new sources of sound and a poor recall of sources lost, make us conclude that the past was more silent. In this lecture we ‘listen’ to changes in the discourse on sound, using texts from various periods. We will see that ideas about society and human beings inform our statements on silence increasing or decreasing, and the way we underpin these statements. Changes in the sounds and noises of city cannot be understood on the basis of material changes only.

Annelies Jacobs (1955) is a PhD student at the University of Maastricht. She is now completing her dissertation on the soundscape of Amsterdam between roughly 1880 and 1945, which provided most of the input to the installation now on show.

Arnoud Traa

Listening to the past? A sound designers’ perspective

Archival recordings allow listeners to feel like a time traveller. But to what extent are they actually able to listen to the past? How does the recording process of a sound (or the sound object itself) influence the perception of the age and meaning of sound? We will make a short trip through recording history by sound.

Arnoud Traa is a sound designer and composer with an interest in historical and vanished sound. He works in film, documentary and museums with diverse media. In 2012 he founded the website ‘Het Geluid van Nederland,’ an online crowd-sourced sound archive with recordings from 1955 to today. As a recordist of contemporary and historical sounds he contributed to the ‘Soundscapes of the Urban Past’ installation ‘De Dam,’ by the Amsterdam Museum and Maastricht University.

Rikko Voorberg and Marlous Willemsen

Sounds of belief

In a series of five events at Imagine IC young people collected sounds they see as meaningful to the way they experience their religion or spirituality. They collected this material as part of the project ‘My God’, in which present-day religion and its (new) practices were documented. See: www.imagineic.nl/cases/mijn-god.

Marlous Willemsen is the director of Imagine IC. Rikko Voorberg is ambassador of Imagine IC. Hij hosted the youth events on sound and religion, and is affiliated with the EO radio-program Denkstof

‘The Noise of the City Hits Me in the Face’: On Tangible Noise as a Source of Vexation, Knowledge and Experiment (1880-1940)

Piet Devos, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Since the end of the nineteenth century much has been written on the noise of big cities, on how one did not only hear it but also seemed to feel it bodily. It led novelists and scholars to a fascinating voyage of discovery through the borderland between hearing and touch. They discovered that the vibrations one could hear as tones and rhythm also touched the skin and other parts of the body. These vibrations proved to cause annoyance but also provided important information in one’s perception of the same urban space. We will have a look at the discussions on these multisensory vibrations in the city, profiting from contemporary novels and poetry, and from the writings of psychologists, among them Géza Révész, then teaching at the University of Amsterdam. These texts make us hear and feel an urban space which is still there in the present.

Piet Devos teaches literary studies at the University of Groningen, and is also a translator and essayist. He is completing his dissertation on sensory perception in avant-garde poetry of the avant-garde. His talk is part of a new research project on the impact of technology on touch.

To register please fill in this form:

[customcontact form=1]

ACCESS Official Presentation

The Amsterdam Centre for Cross-disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies (ACCESS) will officially present itself at the conference Cool, Calm and Collected: The Dutch and Their Emotions on Friday 4 November.

Cool, Calm and Collected
The Dutch and their Emotions in Pre-Modern Times

Koninklijke Bibliotheek Den Haag
4 November 2011Registration by way of an e-mail to: info@knhg.nl, or by telephone: +31 (0)70 3140363 

The conference ‘Cool, Calm and Collected’ aims to enhance the burgeoning History of Emotions in the Netherlands. Speakers at the conference will present their current research, integrating the study of emotional standards in advice literature with the study of actual emotional practices in ego documents, chronicles and archival sources. The fields covered will range from politics, philosophy and the urban feud to religion, the stage and the visual arts. The conference will not only be of interest to specialists in the history of emotions but also to the greater historical community.

Although the history of emotions was already suggested as an interesting topic by Lucien Febvre and Johan Huizinga it has been taken up seriously as a subject of historical study only fairly recently. Initially, historians limited themselves largely to the study of documents that prescribed emotional ideals and standards. Researchers are now going beyond such texts. They are currently identifying transformations in emotional ‘communities’ and ‘styles’ on the basis of letters, autobiographies and memoirs, as well as a variety of narrative, archival and visual sources. Historians are also emphasising performativity, i.e. what emotions actuallydo. At the institutional level, in Europe two important research centres have been started: in London the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions (Thomas Dixon, director); in Berlin the ‘Forschungsbereich Geschichte der Gefühle’ (Ute Frevert, director). This conference seeks to establish a more solid footing for the history of emotions in the Netherlands and join in with these international trends.

The speakers at the conference will discuss the emotional styles of the Modern Devouts and the cult of pugnacity in Late Medieval feuds. Focusing on the seventeenth century, they will reconsider the performativity accorded to the emotions in painting, the theater, and pietist religious movements. For the eighteenth century, speakers will analyse the Dutch ‘cult of sensibility’, the contemporary appreciation and navigation of the sentiments. The day will be closed with a lecture by Dorothee Sturkenboom. She is a pioneer in the study of emotions in the Netherlands and will relate the emotional history of the Dutch to contemporary and more recent views on their ‘national character’.

The conference’s keynote lecturer, the well-known British historian Thomas Dixon, will discuss the latest developments in the field.

The organisers: Wessel Krul, Herman Roodenburg, and Catrien Santing.

The conference will take place in the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) in The Hague.

The conference fee is € 30,- (€ 25,- for members of the KNHG and € 15,- for students and PhD students) and includes lunch. The conference fee should be transferred to account number 6934391 (IBAN: NL25 INGB 0006 9343 91, BIC: INGBNL2A) of Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap in The Hague.

Registration by way of an e-mail to: info@knhg.nl, or by telephone: +31 (0)70 3140363.

Programme

09.45 – 10.00 Welcome Catrien Santing (University of Groningen), chair
10.00 – 10.15 Introduction Herman Roodenburg (Meertens Institute – KNAW)
10.15 – 11.00 Keynote lecture Thomas Dixon (Queen Mary, University of London)History in British Tears: Some Reflections on the Anatomy of Modern Emotions

11.00 – 11.15 Coffee and tea

11.15 – 11.45 Mathilde van Dijk (University of Groningen) ‘Just some silly Beguine’: being pious and showing it in the Devotio Moderna
11.45 – 12.15 Matthijs Gerrits (Leiden University – Fryske Akademy) Anger and Feuding in the Late Medieval Northern Low Countries

12.15 – 13.30 Lunch

13.00 – 13.30 Annual Meeting Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Genootschap

13.30 – 14.00 Kristine Steenbergh (VU University) Vondel and the Role of Emotions in the Public Sphere
14.00 – 14.30 Eric Jan Sluijter (University of Amsterdam) The Changing Representation of the Passions in History Paintings by Rembrandt and his Amsterdam Colleagues
14.30 – 15.00 Fred van Lieburg (VU University) The Use of Emotions by the Hotter Sort of Protestant

15.00 – 15.15 Coffee and tea

15.15 – 15.45 Wessel Krul (University of Groningen) Phlegmatic Excitement. The Dutch and the Discovery of the Emotions in the 18th Century
15.45 – 16.15 Edwina Hagen (VU University) The Passionate Politics of Rutger Jan and Catharina Schimmelpenninck: Dialogue between the Head and the Heart
16.15 – 16.45 Dorothée Sturkenboom (independent scholar) The Dutch Temperament: An Enigma to be Explained…

16.45 – 17.30 Reflections by Dixon, Roodenburg and Santing, followed by Plenary Discussion

17.30 – 18.00 Drinks

 

 

 

Founding meeting

On Thursday 15 September at 15.00h, the Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotions and Senses Studies will have its founding meeting at the Vrije Universiteit.

If you are interested in participating in this project and/or in the meeting, please contact Inger Leemans, Professor of Cultural History at VU University Amsterdam.