Meetings 2010

Seminar: Dec 6, 2010. 7-9pm at CASBS. Book swap/sale at 6pm.

Members' night, including:

    • Bob Nyden on "Torcello: An island in the Venetian lagoon with amazing Romanesque survivors".
    • Linda Papaniolaou will present a "graphic haibun" (a poem that includes prose, haiku, tanka and images) inspired by the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway.
    • Dick Jones will discuss medieval plumblines and levels, based on some 80 images depicted in Gunther Binding's Medieval Building Techniques. All the depictions will be shown, together with some other images of the same works, and modern plumblines and levels for comparison.
    • Linda Jack on "Christmas with King John." Born on December 24, 1166 at Beaumont Castle in Oxford, King John has long been associated with Christmas. Linda will review a few of these associations, and chart the course of John's Christmas courts throughout the troubled years of his reign (1199-1216).

Medieval matters lecture: Nov 4, 7:00-9:00 pm, Geology Corner (Bldg. 320), Room 105, Stanford [audio]

  • Teofilo Ruiz, ULCA: Time and the end of the world: heresy and apocalypse in medieval Europe [flyer]. Tracing the history of heretical and apocalyptic movements, orthodoxy and dissent in Western Europe from early Christianity to the Inquisition.
  • Free and open to the public.
  • Prof. Ruiz is the author of Spain's Centuries of Crisis: 1300–1474, the Carnegie Foundation Outstanding Professor of the Year, and a UCLA Distinguished Teacher.
  • Sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Office for Religious Life, and the Sarum Seminar.

Seminar: Oct 12, 2010. 7-8:30pm. At CASBS (more info)

  • Emma Campion (aka Candace Robb): Intriguing Reputations: Reconsidering the Reputations of Alice Perrers and Joan of Kent. Campion is a writer and historian with a focus on 14th century Britain. She currently is writing historical novels about medieval women of intriguing reputations. The first of these novels is "The King’s Mistress" (published in July 2010), a novel about Alice Perrers, who was the mistress of King Edward III. Campion is now working on a novel of another 14th century noblewoman, Joan of Kent. Writing under the name Candace Robb, she is also the author of the popular Owen Archer mysteries and the Margaret Kerr trilogy.
  • After her talk CASBS Fellow and social psychologist Gary Allen Fine will serve as discussant. Fine is a professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. He is the author of Difficult Reputations: Collective Memories of the Evil, Inept and Controversial (2001) and The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter (2010).
  • The Stanford Bookstore will be selling copies of these books at the event so that you can have yours signed after the talks.

Seminar: Sep. 23, 7-9pm at CASBS (bring your own supper, any time after 6pm)

  • Elaine and Randy Kriegh: Sacred Stones Come to California.
  • A medieval Cistercian chapter house is being re-built here in northern California after a long and circuitous journey from Spain. The Krieghs will report on the progress of this fascinating project as well as relate the story of how these stones came to be here. They will also show pictures from their recent visit to the site. You can do a bit of background reading before their talk at this Wikipedia website: Abbey_of_New_Clairvaux.

Seminar: Thursday, May 6, 7-9pm at CASBS (bring your own supper, any time after 6pm)

  • Michael Wyatt (Associate Director, Stanford Center for Medieval & Early Modern Studies): The Italian Encounter with Tudor England: A Cultural Politics of Translation.
  • The small but influential community of Italians in England during the fifteenth century initially consisted of ecclesiastics, humanists, merchants, bankers, and many others. However, in the wake of the English Reformation, Italian Protestants joined other continental religious refugees in finding Tudor England to be a hospitable and productive haven. Michael Wyatt’s book (published by Cambridge University Press, 2005) examines the agency of this shifting community of immigrant Italians in the transmission of Italy's cultural patrimony and its impact on the nascent English nation, as well as the exemplary career of John Florio, the Italo-Englishman who was a language teacher, lexicographer, and translator in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. This talk will focus on the presence and traces of Italian artists in fifteenth- and sixteenth century England.
  • A Stanford PhD in Italian (2000), Michael has taught at Northwestern and Wesleyan, and is a former fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti, in Florence. In addition to The Italian Encounter, he is co-editor of Writing Relations, American Scholars in Italian Archives. He is currently editing the interdisciplinary Cambridge Companion Guide to the Italian Renaissance; co-editing 'Devils Incarnate or Saints Angelifide'? Anglo-Italian Transactions in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries; writing John Florio and the Circulation of Stranger Cultures in Stuart England; and collaborating on a documentary film dedicated to Sicilian puppet theater, the opera dei pupi.
[Ruiz poster]

Medieval Matters Public Lecture: Tuesday, April 13, 7-9pm at Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Bldg, 435 Lasuen Mall, Stanford [audio]

  • Mary Carruthers (Eric Maria Remarque Professor of Literature & Professor of English, NYU & Oxford): Memory, the Engine of Thought. Discussant: Ulman Lindenberger (Director, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin).
  • In the Middle Ages, memory was at the heart of culture—verbal, visual, and auditory. People who mastered the art of memory were capable of prodigious feats of recall including memorizing the entire Book of Psalms and other vast sections of the Bible, committing lengthy speeches to memory and delivering them without notes, and composing books in their entirety in the mind’s eye and then dictating individual chapters at random to a series of scribes working simultaneously. From the vantage point of our own world, with our dependence on printed books and electronic databases, the medieval art of memory is hard to conceive. It was esteemed as a great rational and creative power, in many ways the engine of invention and thought itself. Through a series of texts and pictures, this lecture explores the rich territory of the medieval art of memory as a concept, how the skill was acquired, and how it worked in practice.
  • Sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, The Office for Religious Life, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and The Sarum Seminar.

Special seminar: Wednesday, March 10, 7-9pm at Stanford Green Library

  • John Mustain (Rare Book Libraran, Stanford): More treasures from Stanford’s special collections.

Seminar: Monday, February 8, 7-9pm at CASBS (bring your own supper, any time after 6pm)

  • Adrienne Mayor (Visiting Scholar, Classics & History of Science, Stanford): The fabulous gold-guarding griffin: the origins of the griffin in classical antiquity.
  • In this illustrated talk about the influence of fossils on mythology, classical folklorist Adrienne Mayor discusses the origins of the fabulous gold-guarding Griffin, the Cyclops, Giants, and other creatures of Greek, Roman, and Medieval lore.
  • Adrienne Mayor is an independent folklorist/historian of science who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. Her research looks at ancient "folk science" precursors, alternatives, and parallels to modern scientific methods, and at the ancient roots of biochemical warfare. Her latest book, Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy was a 2009 National Book Award Finalist.
[medieval image of a head]