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Renaissance Humanisms

pertrarch“Renaissance Humanism and Its Economies” builds on the Seminar’s focus last year on recent scholarship on humanist beliefs and practices and their role in the political, social and cultural worlds of early modern Europe. This year we are concentrating on the ways those worlds can be understood as an economy: a system of production, distribution, and consumption governed by principles of trade and return.

“Renaissance Humanism and Its Economies” has two central goals for the year. Its first, seizing on the literal sense of its title, is to give both faculty and graduate students an opportunity for investigating contacts between Renaissance high culture and the period’s material economies. For instance, how was the humanist enterprise in northern Europe shaped by the emergence of capitalism? By shifting relations of debt and credit? By the global expansion of commerce and trade? By the nascent market for printed books? The second goal is to use the broad signifying range of the term “economy” – its reference to any system of production, distribution, and consumption governed by principles of trade and return – to provide a fresh, generative rubric for understanding a wide range of early modern thought and activity. We are interested in reading and talking about the figurative and metaphoric exchanges that characterized humanist enterprises: between Renaissance Europe and the ancients; between clients and patrons; between competing structures of scientific knowledge; and between participants in changing confessional landscapes. We anticipate that our topic will continue to attract both faculty and graduate students for lively discussion.

Past Seminars

Spring 2009

  • Thursday, January 22
    3:45 to 5:00 in Temple Court 205
    Works-in-Progress
    Angela Ho
  • Thursday, February 5
    3:45 to 5:00 in Temple Court 205
    Current scholarship
    Alison Games
    The Web of Empire: English Cosmopolitanism in an Age of Expansion, chapters TBA
  • Thursday, February 19
    3:45 to 5:00 in Temple Court 205
    Current scholarship
    Alison Games, cont.
  • March 5 & 6
    Hodges Library Auditorium
    Marco Symposium
  • Thursday, March 26
    3:45 to 5:00 in Temple Court 205
    Works-in-Progress: Jane Bellamy
  • Thursday, April 16
    3:45 to 5:00 in Temple Court 205
    Works-in-Progress: Heather Hirschfeld

Fall 2008

  • Thursday, September 18
    3:45-5:00: Reading session
    Discussion of Linda Levy Peck’s Consuming Splendor, chapters 1, 2 and 3.
  • Tuesday, October 14
    3:45-5:00
    Reading session
  • Thursday, October 30
    3:45-5:00
    Faculty presentation
  • Thursday, November 13
    3:45-5:00
    Reading session
  • Wednesday, December 3
    3:45-5:00
    Faculty presentation

Spring 2008

  • Thursday, February 21
    3:30pm-5pm, Temple Court 205
    Jeri McIntosh (UT Department of History)
  • Thursday, March 6
    4pm-5pm, University Center room 226
    Christopher Celenza (Johns Hopkins University), lecture
  • Friday, March 7
    12:15 to 1:30, Temple Court 205
    Christopher Celenza, small group meeting
  • Thursday, April 10
    3:30pm-5pm, Temple Court 205
    Bob Bast (UT Department of History)

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