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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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

 

 

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

ACCESS lecture: Jan Plamper on Embodied Reading

When:              Tuesday the 20th of May

Where:            VU University, W&N Building, 6th floor, room M623

Time:               15:00 – 17:00hrs, after the lecture there will be drinks

Please register for attendance here.

The Graduate School of Humanities, CLUE and the Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies (ACCESS) would like to invite you to the 4th graduate school lecture by Jan Plamper: “Ivan’s Bravery: How Embodied Reading Turned Russian Children into Fearless Soldiers – Maybe.”

coverFocusing on Russia during the late Tsarist to early Soviet periods, Jan Plamper’s lecture explores the production of maximally fearless soldiers, an important precondition for any army’s success in a war. It first looks at pre-revolutionary instruction manuals for teachers on what (and how) to read and then moves on to children’s literature proper. In this literature bravery seems to be part of a field which included other emotions, first and foremost fear and cowardice; at its most basic level, bravery was conquered fear. In a close reading, Plamper shows how a combination of narratology (the way narratives affect our perception), Extended Mind Theory (the idea that minds are not merely brains, but are ‘extended’ to the body), and Paul Virilio’s writings on media technology (e.a. might help explain how good child-age readers can become good, i.e. brave, adult soldiers.

plamperJan Plamper is Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London. After obtaining a B.A. from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, he taught at the University of Tübingen and from 2008 to 2012 was a Dilthey Fellow at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, in Berlin. He is the author of Geschichte und Gefühl: Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte (2012; forthcoming in English from Oxford University Press as Emotions: A History); co-editor, with Benjamin Lazier, of Fear: Across the Disciplines (2012); and co-editor, with Marc Elie and Schamma Schahadat, of Rossiiskaia imperiia chuvstv: Podkhody k kul’turnoi istorii emotsii [In the Realm of Russian Feelings: Approaches to the Cultural History of Emotions] (2010). He has also recently authored The Stalin Cult: A Study in the Alchemy of Power (2012).

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vuletlogo L&S

ACCESS lecture on the history of smell

Holly Dugan, The George Washington University

‘Seeing Smell: Renaissance Pomanders and the History of Perfume’

ACCESS and Graduate School for Humanities, VU University Amsterdam

Friday 28 February, 15.30-17.00hrs, drinks after

VU University, Main Building, Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam (room 1 E – 24)

Please register below if you would like to attend.

ACCESS is pleased to invite you to a lecture on a synaesthetic approach to sensory history. Holly Dugan will talk about her research into early modern English pomanders and the smell of old books on Friday 28 February.

Come smell the historical odours of pomander and ambergris, with a brief introduction to her collection of historical odours by Rijksmuseum curator and olfactory art historian Caro Verbeek.

In this paper Holly Dugan explores the decorative qualities of early modern English pomanders in order to examine the relationship between early modern perfume and the objects designed to dispense them. Perfume was an important plague preventative in early modern England: because the plague was believed to be an airborne disease—and because outbreaks of plague in England were episodic, sporadic, and uneven—early modern English men and women often carried small, portable perfume dispensers known as pomanders to protect the nose from surprise engagements with foul air. The term itself—pomander—evolved across the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries from a description of a small ball of aromatic paste to an elaborate metal container designed to hold such pastes and resins. By the sixteenth century, pomanders were so powerful that they were often invoked metaphorically as a spiritual defense.

pomander

In this lecture, Holly Dugan grapples with the synaesthetic paradox of pomanders: visibly small yet powerfully odoriferous, pomanders vex traditional scholarly methods towards material culture. These small, ornate objects were elaborately decorated and exist in a range of forms, including globes, skills, snails, cathedrals, and ships; very few are engraved with the scent ingredients they dispensed.  By examining the complicated relationship between the olfactory aspects of these objects and their decorative materiality, she argues for the usefulness of a synaesthetic approach to understanding of sensory history.

hollyduganHolly Dugan is Associate Professor of English at The George Washington University. Her research and teaching interests explore relationships between history, literature, and material culture. Her scholarship focuses on questions of gender, sexuality, and the boundaries of the body in late medieval and early modern England. In 2011 she published The Ephemeral History of Perfume: Scent and Sense in Early Modern England (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press).

 

Directions

The lecture is held in room 1E-24 (PKU-room at PThU). The PTHU is located on the first floor of the main building of te VU-university. Please use the main entrance and turn left past the bookshop to take the stairs to the first floor. The E-Wing is past the yellow elevators. Unfortunately, these elevators do not stop on the first floor. If you have any problems in finding the room or are physically unable to use the stairs, please ask the receptionist for help.

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Lecture on The Origins of Sex

At the Institute of History of Leiden University

Faramerz Dabhoiwala will give a lecture on

The Origins of Sex: The First Sexual Revolution

on Friday 20 April  at 3.30 p.m.

Cover Origins of Sex

 The lecture will take place in room 028 of the Lipsiusbuilding, Cleveringaplaats 1, Leiden, and will be followed by drinks. Entry is free of charge, but we ask those planning to attend to inform Alec Ewing (a.ewing@hum.leidenuniv.nl) before 16 April.

For most of western history, all sex outside marriage was illegal, and the church, the state, and ordinary people all devoted huge efforts to suppressing and punishing it. In the eighteenth century, that world view was shattered by revolutionary new ideas – that sex is a private matter; that morality cannot be imposed by force; that men are more lustful than women. This lecture will explore how and why that happened, and with what momentous consequences.

Faramerz Dabhoiwala (1969) is University Lecturer in Modern History at Exeter College, Oxford. He previously taught at the University of Sheffield and All Souls College, Oxford, being mostly concerned with the social and intellectual history of the English-speaking world, c. 1500–1800. In 2012, he published the critically acclaimed debut, The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution. For more information, see his website: http://www.dabhoiwala.com/Home.html.