The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh

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The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

at the University of Pittsburgh


No. 58: October 2008

Electronic address:
Prepared and distributed by the Executive Committee of the Medieval and
Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh

Kirsten Fudeman, Editor


Lectures in Fall

News from the Departments

Printable Newsletter

Lectures in Fall
Thursday, October 9th at 3:30 p.m.

Frick Fine Arts Building, Room 203


(Princeton University)

“Quid est Veritas? Trying to Disentangle the Real from the Mythical Pilate”
Hourihane is Director of the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University, and the author of two recent studies of medieval art, The Processional Cross in Late Medieval England (2005) and Gothic art in Ireland,1169-1550 (Yale, 2003). He has also edited diverse essay collections, including Spanish Medieval Art (Arizona, 2007) and Objects, Images, and the Word (Princeton, 2003).

Monday, October 27th at 4:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning Room 501
MAURO PERANI (University of Bologna)
What is the ‘European Genizah’? A Survey of Hebrew Manuscript Discoveries in Italy and Spain and their Importance for Jewish Studies”
University of Bologna Professor Perani is currently a Padnos Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Frankel Institute for Judaic Studies (University of Michigan). He has been Director of The Italian Genizah Project since 1992, and his recent publications include Talmudic and Midrashic Fragments from the ‘Italian Genizah’: Reunification of Manuscripts and Catalogue (Giuntina, 2004).
Co-Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and the Department of French and Italian

November 6th and 7th


(University of California, Irvine)

Thursday, November 6th at 4:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning Room G24

Public Lecture

“Mrs. Polonius Goes to Italy: An Intimate Guide to Shakespeare's Europe”

Friday, November 7th, 1:30 p.m.

Cathedral of Learning Room 362

Seminar for Faculty and Graduate Students
“Shakespeare and Italy: Enter through Theory”
Julia Reinhard Lupton is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. Her publications include Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (Chicago, 2005) and Afterlives of the Saints: Hagiography, Typology, and Renaissance Literature (Stanford, 1996). She has written extensively on Shakespeare, religion, and psychoanalysis.
Co-Sponsored by the Department of French and Italian

News from the Departments
We welcome Hannah Johnson (English) as the new Acting Director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program.
Marianne Novy presented a paper, "Revenge and Prejudice in Twelfth Night," at the annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America and also spoke in connection with Quantum's production of Cymbeline. Professor Novy’s review of Marian Moments in Early Modern British Drama (Regina Buccola and Lisa Hopkins, eds.) was published in Shakespeare Quarterly 59 (No. 2, Summer 2008), 222-224.

French and Italian

Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski received an ACLS grant for 2008 and is spending the year as a visiting fellow at Princeton University working on several projects that grew out of her 2006 book, Poets, Saints, and Visionaries of the Great Schism, 1378-1417 (Penn State University Press). Her major project deals with the many texts of Philippe de Mézières (1327-1405), a crusade propagandist, politician, and spiritual writer on whom she is also organizing, with Kiril Petkov of the University of Wisconsin, an international conference to be held on Cyprus in June 2009. In September, she delivered a lecture at Princeton University called “Philippe de Mézières’ Life of Saint Pierre de Thomas (1366): Constructing a crusader saint in the late Middle Ages.” She will return to Pitt in January 2009 and offer a graduate seminar “Autour du Roman de la Rose.”

Kirsten Fudeman and Mayer Gruber (Ben Gurion University of the Negev) co-authored an article on “Eternal King/King of the World from the Bronze Age to modern times: A study in lexical semantics,” that appeared in the Revue des études juives (166/1-2 [2007], 209-42). Professor Fudeman delivered three conference presentations during academic year 2007-2008: “Glossing and peshat,” at the 29th Annual Association for Jewish Studies Conference, “The Old French Elegy of Troyes and the poetics of martyrdom,” at the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, and “The Hebrew-French wedding song in context,” at the 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Dennis Looney’s recent articles include “Epoch-making letters: Hiram Powers in the Gabinetto Vieusseux,” in The Politics of Writing Relations: American Scholars in Italian Archives, ed. Deanna Shemek and Michael Wyatt (Florence: Olschki, 2008), 139-63; “The beginnings of humanistic oratory: Petrarch’s Coronation Oration,” in Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works, eds. Victoria Kirkham and Armando Maggi (University of Chicago Press, 2008),173-91; and “‘Flame-coloured letters and bugaboo phraseology’: Hiram Powers, Frances Trollope and Dante in Frontier Cincinnati,” in Hiram Powers a Firenze: Atti del Convegno di studi nel Bicentario della nascita (1805-2005), ed. Caterina Del Vivo (Florence: Olschki, 2007), 135-52. During academic year 2007-2008 Professor Looney gave talks called “Arguments for and against the marvelous in Vergilian epic in the ’500” at the Renaissance Society of America (2008), “Dante Abolitionist and Nationalist” at Dante and the 19th Century: Reception, Canonicity, Popularization, at the University of York, UK (2008), and “Parva sed apta mihi: A reconsideration of Ariosto’s Latin poetry”  at the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting (2007).
Todd Reeser’s book, Moderating Masculinity in Early Modern Culture, came out in 2006 in the series North Carolina Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures. His recent articles include “Translation and the antitheses of same-sex sexuality in Leonardo Bruni,” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies 18.1 (Spring 2006): 31-66 and “Re-reading Platonic sexuality sceptically in Montaigne’s ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’,” in Masculinities in Sixteenth-Century France, ed. Philip Ford and Paul White (Cambridge: Cambridge French Colloquia, 2006): 103-26. In 2007-2008 he spoke on “Neoplatonism and Male-male/Female-female Love in the Renaissance” at the MLA Annual Conference, on “Theorizing gender in Montaigne,” at Miami University of Ohio, on “Hermeneutics and Platonic sexuality in Bruni, Erasmus, and Rabelais” at Indiana University, Bloomington, and on “Montaigne’s Essais and/as Gender Theory,” at the special colloquium “Montaigne after Theory / Theory after Montaigne,” held at Whitman College, WA. A research fellowship enabled him to spend two months conducting archival work at Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, Germany for his latest book project, Setting Plato Straight: Translating Ancient Homosexuality in the Renaissance.

Daniel Russell, Professor Emeritus, published several articles: “Nouvelles directions dans l’étude de l’emblème français,” Littérature 145 (2007): 138-149; “Emblems and Iconoclasm,” in Proceedings of the Conference Emblemata sacra (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), 39-52; “Emblematic Discourse in Renaissance French Royal Entries,” in French Ceremonial Entries in the Sixteenth Century: Event, Image, Text, ed. Nicolas Russell and Hélène Visentin (Toronto: CRRS, 2007), 55-72; and “The Emblem in France and French-speaking countries,” in Companion to Emblem Studies, ed. Peter M. Daly (New York: AMS Press, 2008), 155-185. Nicolas Russell, the co-editor of French Ceremonial Entries in the Sixteenth Century, is both Professor Russell’s son and an assistant professor of French Studies at Smith College.


Francesca Savoia wrote three entries on the Andreini family for vol. 339 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, entitled Seventeenth-century Italian poets and dramatists, ed. Albert N. Mancini and Glenn Palen Pierce (Detroit : Gale Cengage Learning, 2008): “Francesco Andreini (1548-1624),” “Isabella Andreini (1562-1604),” and “Giambattista Andreini (1576-1654).”

History of Art and Architecture

Alison Stones accompanied John Williams and Pitt grad students to Santiago in May for 10 days of intensive looking at the Cathedral; she talked on the Codex Calixtinus and its copies at the University of Santiago. She gave several papers: “La musique dans les marges des manuscrits gothiques,” at the Misericordia conference in Paris in June; “Les débuts de l’illustration du Lancelot-Graal” at the International Arthurian Conference at Rennes in July, where she also chaired a Round Table (appropriately enough) on digitizing, in which the Pitt Lancelot-Grail Project also featured. In September she talked on “Valenciennes, BM 396-397 and Images of teaching and learning in Thirteenth-Century France” at the Colloque international de paléographie latine in London, and gave a brief presentation on the Lancelot-Grail Project there as well.

Professor Stones has been invited to consult on the Nottingham University Manuscripts Catalogue (MSS formerly on loan from Lord Middleton have recently been acquired by the University): included are a copy of the Estoire del saint Graal and an important literary miscellany—the earliest illustrated French literary manuscript. She took a preliminary look and the serious work will take place next summer. She consulted for the Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, on a pen-flourished manuscript in their collections and is consulting for the Bibliothèque nationale de France on their forthcoming Arthurian exhibition to be held in 2010. Her (very short) essay for the Rennes Arthurian Exhibition, Le Roi Arthur, was published in July. Other publications are her essay on the “Illustrations of the Mort Artu in Yale 229: Formats, Choices, Comparisons,” in The Mort Artu in Yale 229, ed. Elizabeth Willingham, published by Brepols in June, and “Amigotus and his collaborators,” published in the essays of the last palaeography conference by the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften in Vienna, in July. Since the appearance of the last MRS Newsletter the collaborative volume edited by Kathy M. Krause and Alison Stones, Gautier de Coinci, Miracles, Music, and Manuscripts, was published by Brepols (with a 2006 date). This project began as a conference held at Pitt in 2004 and co-sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program.

John Williams, Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Art Emeritus, was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America. He also published “The Tomb of St. James: the View from the Other Side,” in Cross, Crescent and Conversion: Studies on Medieval Spain and Christendom in Memory of Richard Fletcher, ed. Simon Barton and Peter Linehan (Turnhout, 2008), “Framing Santiago,” in Romanesque Art and Thought in the Twelfth Century: Essays in Honor of Walter Cahn (Leiden and Boston, 2008).

Alumna Kate Dimitrova (Ph.D. in HAA Spring 2008) is teaching this year in the History of Art Department at the University of California, San Diego.


Jonathon Erlen, History of Medicine Librarian, Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh, has been a contributing editor for the ITER database, based at the University of Toronto, for the past five years.

Religious Studies

Bernard Goldstein, University Professor Emeritus (Religious Studies and History & Philosophy of Science), co-authored a book with Giora Hon called From Summetria to Symmetry: The Making of a Revolutionary Scientific Concept (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008). This book is the twentieth in the series Archimedes: New Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology and includes extensive discussion of developments in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Professor Goldstein’s article “The status of models in ancient and medieval astronomy” was reprinted in a special anniversary issue of Centaurus (vol. 50, 2008, 168–183), supplemented by Bernard R. Goldstein, “Commentary on ‘The Status of Models in Ancient and Medieval Astronomy’” (pp. 184–188). With José Chabás, Professor Goldstein also published “Transmission of computational methods within the Alfonsine corpus: the case of the tables of Nicholaus de Heybech,” Journal for the History of Astronomy 39 (2008), 345–355.

Adam Shear's book, The Kuzari and the Shaping of Jewish Identity, 1167-1900, appeared this fall from Cambridge University Press. This work was awarded a Cahnman Foundation Subvention Grant from the Association for Jewish Studies in 2007. Other recent publications include “‘The Italian and Berlin Haskalah’ revisited” Simon-Dubnow-Institute Jahrbuch-Yearbook 6 (2007); and “The role of Judah Halevi's Sefer ha-Kuzari in Ashkenaz: A case study in the transmission of cultural knowledge," in Sepharad in Ashkenaz: Medieval Knowledge and Eighteenth-Century Enlightened Jewish Discourse, ed. Irene Zwiep et al. (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2007). Professor Shear also edited the English translation of The Historical Writings of Joseph of Rosheim: Leader of Jewry in Early Modern Germany (Brill, 2006).  In the last few years, he has spoken at conferences in Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Jerusalem, Leipzig, and Leiden on his current research on the transmission of medieval Jewish philosophy in the early modern period.  In 2005, he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies in Philadelphia in a research group on the history of the Jewish book.

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