Image of Neatherlandish-Proverbs by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Past Speakers (MEMS)

February 2023

Pamela Patton (Princeton University)

The Ethiopian at the Door: Fantasy, Literality, and Race in the Cantigas de Santa María

Wednesday, February 22, 4-5:30pm on Zoom

Dr. Patton is the director of The Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University. An art historian of medieval Spain and its environs, Dr. Patton’s particular research interests focus on the role of the image in articulating cultural identity and social dynamics among the multiethnic communities of the Iberian Peninsula. Among Dr. Patton’s many publications are two monographs, Pictorial Narrative in the Romanesque Cloister (2004) and Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain (2012).

November 2022

Thomas Vozar (University of Hamburg)

The Anne Hutchinson Tragedy in Seventeenth-Century European Thought: Greg Horn and His Readers

art in commemoration of King Louis XIV

Thursday, November 10, 1-2:30pm on Zoom

Dr. Vozar studied Classics at Oberlin College and the University of Pennsylvania and earned his PhD in English at the University of Exeter before taking up his current position as an Excellence Strategy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hamburg. A scholar of early modern literary and intellectual culture, he has written on topics ranging from a newly discovered letter by Sir Philip Sidney to a Neo-Latin summary of Islamic doctrine by the Ottoman dragoman Ali Ufki. His first book, Abstracted Sublimities: Milton, Longinus, and the Sublime in the Seventeenth Century, is forthcoming in the Oxford University Press series Classical Presences, and he is currently working on a second book project on scholarship and politics in the English Revolution.

October 2022

Minji Lee (Montclair State University)

Women’s Reproductive Body: the Porous and Sealed Womb in Premodern Medicine and Religion

Wellcome Library, London.

Wednesday, October 26, 4-5pm — School of Business 412

Dr. Minji Lee teaches in the Department of Religion and the Medical Humanities Program at Montclair State University. Currently, she is researching the ways in which medieval European medical theories and modern Korean folk medicine allow women to maintain their reproductive health and understand their own bodies in positive ways. Dr. Lee participated in making a Korean independent documentary project, “For Vagina’s Sake (2017)” that demonstrates how Western premodern medicine “diabolized” women’s menstrual bodies.

April 2022

David Sterling Brown (Binghamton University and The Racial Imaginary Institute)

Just Us: An Early Modern Critical Race Studies Conversation

Othello redacted
Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection (Redacted)

Wednesday, April 20, 4-5pm — Cole 141

Dr. David Sterling Brown—a Shakespeare and premodern critical race studies scholar—is Assistant Professor of English at Binghamton University. His antiracist research, which centers on pedagogy and on how racial ideologies circulate in and beyond the early modern period, is published or forthcoming in numerous peer-reviewed and public venues such as Shakespeare Bulletin, Literature Compass, Radical Teacher, Shakespeare Studies, Hamlet: The State of Play, White People in Shakespeare and Los Angeles Review of Books. His forthcoming book projects, one of which is under contract with Cambridge University Press, examine how whiteness operates in Shakespearean drama. Through his current Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship, Dr. Brown has a residency with The Racial Imaginary Institute, founded by Claudia Rankine.

February 2022

Francesco Toto (University Roma Tre)

Rousseau and Revolution in the Second Discourse

Prise de la Bastille et arrestation du gouverneur M. de Launay, le 14 juillet 1789
Anonyme. Versailles, ch‚teaux de Versailles et de Trianon. MV5517.

Wednesday, February 23, 10-11am, on Zoom at this link

Francesco Toto is Assistant Professor at the University Roma Tre, where he works in anthropological, ethical, and political thought. His research has been focused on Hobbes, Spinoza, Helvétius and Rousseau, but he has also been interested in other well-known (Adam Smith, Sade) and lesser-known (Jean Meslier, Dom Deschamps) authors. He is the author of two books, one on Spinoza (L’individualità dei corpi. Percorsi nell’ Etica di Spinoza, Milan, 2015), and one on Rousseau (L’origine e la storia. Il Discorso sull’ineguaglianza di Rousseau, Pisa, 2019); has published many articles and book chapters in Italian, French, English and Spanish; and has edited several books and journal issues. He is a member of the research group focused on the topic of “Compassion in Action: Theories of Sympathy and Construction of Otherness in the Long Eighteenth Century,” and co-directs the journal “Consecutio rerum” (

October 2021

Jeff Horn (Manhattan College)

The Making of Terrorist: Alexandre Rousselin and the French Revolution

Wednesday, October 27, 4-5pm

Dr. Jeff Horn is Professor of History at Manhattan College.  He is the author or editor of seven books, including The Path Not Taken: French Industrialization in the Age of Revolution, 1750-1830 (MIT Press, 2006) and Economic Development in Early Modern France, 1650-1800: The Privilege of Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2015).  He is the Co-President of the Society for French Historical studies (2020-2021).  In this talk, Dr. Horn will discuss his new book, The Making of a Terrorist: Alexandre Rousselin and the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Zoom link:

2020-21 Special Series: “Social Distance / Remote Intimacy”

May 2021

Nicholas McDowell (University of Exeter)

Reading Milton Reading Shakespeare Politically: What the Discovery of Milton’s Copy of the First Folio Does and Does Not Tell Us

Wednesday, May 19, 4pm

Nicholas McDowell is Professor of Early Modern Literature and Thought at the University of Exeter.  An award-winning scholar who has received such honors as  Philip Leverhulme Prize in Modern European Languages, he is the author of several books, including The English Radical Imagination: Culture, Religion, and Revolution, 1630-1660 (2003), Poetry and Allegiance in the English Civil Wars: Marvell and the Cause of Wit (2008), and most recently, Poet of Revolution: The Making of John Milton (2020). He is also the editor, with Nigel Smith, of The Oxford Handbook of Milton (2009) and, with N. H. Keeble, of Milton’s Vernacular Regicide and Republican Writings (2013) in Oxford University Press’s ongoing Complete Works of John Milton.

Zoom link:

Ting Chang (University of Nottingham)

The King’s Docile Body? The Role of Maps, Games, and Globes in the 17th and 18th Centuries in France

Co-sponsored by the Department of World Languages and Culture and the Institute for the Humanities

Wednesday, May 5, 5:30pm
Remote meeting: Register at

Ting Chang is Lecturer in the Department of Art History at the University of Nottingham, UK. She completed her PhD in modern European art history at the University of Sussex, England. Her book titled “Travel, Collecting, Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris” was published by Ashgate Publishing in 2013. “Travel, Collecting, Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris” is a historical study that brings together the political, economic, and cultural relations underlying Euro-Asian contact. She argues that the cultural history of modern France is written through art collecting and interpretation. Her book highlights previously unexamined issues of the social relations, foreign labours, and somatic experiences of travel by Europeans in East Asia in the nineteenth century.

April 2021

Mordechai Feingold (Caltech)

The Freedom to Philosophize in Early Modern England

Wednesday, April 28, 4-5:30pm
Remote meeting: See Zoom link and password below

Mordechai Feingold is the Kate Van Nuys Page Professor of the History of Science and the Humanities at Caltech.  He is the author of such landmark books as The Mathematicians’ Apprenticeship: Science, Universities and Society in England, 1560-1640 (1984); The Newtonian Moment: Isaac Newton and the Making of Modern Culture (2004); and, with Jed Z. Buchwald, Newton and the Origin of Civilization (2013).  He has also edited many collections of essays, including recently Labourers in the Vineyard of the Lord: Scholarship and the Making of the King James Version of the Bible (2018), and among the scholarly journals he edits are Erudition and the Republic of Letters and History of Universities.

Zoom link:
Password: 283746

December 2020

Aminah Hasan-Birdwell (Columbia University)

The Ethics of Imagination in Cavendish’s Orations of Diver Sorts

Wednesday, December 9, 4-5pm
Remote meeting: See Zoom link and password below

Aminah Hasan-Birdwell is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor and Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University and is the Alva and Beatrice Bradley Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Furman University. Her research attends to marginalized figures in early modern philosophy and their contributions to philosophical issues of ontology, political thought, and ethics, as well as their relevance to combating the presence of racism and misogyny in the philosophical canon.

Margaret Cavendish understood imagination to hold potential therapeutic qualities for those who have experienced violence and destruction. The productive use of imagination is central not only to Cavendish’s natural philosophy and literary works, but also to her presentation of the varied ethical responses to the tragedies of war in Part III of Orations of Diver Sorts. In this text, Cavendish’s advice to individuals “ruined by war” is to rid their mind of fears, grief, and terrors and inspire hope by entertaining themselves with “pleasing imaginations.” Cavendish recommends the power of imagination to inspire the hope of the populace and catalyze the rebuilding of a city or a commonwealth after war, either in the capacity of electing new magistrates, building statues, or staging theatrical performances. Ultimately, drawing on these examples and Cavendish’s other works, I argue that Cavendish demonstrates an ethical dimension of imagination that is essential to human flourishment after the experience of tragedy.

October 2020

Christopher Hutchinson (University of Mississippi)

The English Sweating Sickness and the Rhetoric of Virality

Co-sponsored by the Medical Humanities program

Wednesday, October 28, 4-5pm
Remote meeting: See Zoom link and password below

Christopher Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of German at the University of Mississippi. His research focuses on early modern German literature, print history, and the history of disease. He holds a Ph.D from Stanford in German Studies and a B.A. in Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge.

When a deadly new epidemic, the English sweating sickness, struck Germany in the Summer of 1529, it sparked a wave of short, vernacular, printed pamphlets on the disease, which some writers and doctors accused of spreading fear and lies. In this talk, I argue that this spread of harmful information on the sweating sickness is indicative of medical writers’ growing anxieties about the spread of cheap, vernacular pamphlets in first century of print. In their responses to the sweating sickness, these writers draw parallels between the spread of the disease and the spread of fear and misinformation on the disease, suggesting the pamphlets might be taking more lives than the sweating sickness itself. In doing so, they develop what I call a “rhetoric of virality” to give voice to their anxieties about the printed word.


December 2019

Laura Stevens (University of Tulsa)

Hieroglyph, Treasure Chest, Prayer Book, Poem: Learning to Read the English Bible

Thursday, December 5, 4-5:30pm
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Laura M. Stevens is Chapman Associate Professor of English at the University of Tulsa, where she teaches English, American, transatlantic, and Native American literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A past president of the Society of Early Americanists and former editor of Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, she is the author of The Poor Indians: British Missionaries, Native Americans, and Colonial Sensibility (UPenn Press, 2004) and of the forthcoming book Friday’s Tribe: Eighteenth-Century English Missionary Fantasies (Upenn Press).

That the English Bible, especially the King James translation, was a cornerstone of early modern English literature, is undisputed, as is the importance of the Protestant Reformation to rising literacy rates. But how exactly did ordinary, minimally educated people understand the task of reading the Bible? How did they fit scripture into the activities of everyday devotion and moral development? What images and words emerged to describe the intimacies or estrangements that governed the relationship between scripture and individual Christian? And what role did books as material objects play in developing this relationship? This talk will explore three texts that fit under the broad category of what David Hall has termed “devotional steady sellers” of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, along with a fourth text that was central to English missionary, diplomatic, and colonizing efforts among the Haudenosaunee people of the American northeast. These include extracts of the Bible in verse, the first Bible-verse-a-day publication, the first “hieroglyphic” bible, which provides illustrations for each word in selected verses, and a selective translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Mohawk. These publications simultaneously gesture to the particularities of the London book trade but also to an international, transatlantic Protestant network of publishers, authors, and readers. This talk will consider these texts within the frameworks of book history but also of emotion studies, asking in particular how these texts structured individual readers’ affective relationship to the Bible and to Protestant Christianity.

April 2019

Gail Kern Paster (Director Emerita, Folger Shakespeare Library)

Instrumentalizing Emotion: Henry V and the Surprising Uses of Anger

Wednesday, April 24, 4-5:30pm
School of Business 210

Gail Kern Paster is Director Emerita of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC and Editor Emerita of Shakespeare Quarterly. She has written widely on the history of the body and the history of emotions in the early modern period, including Humoring the Body: Emotions and the Shakespearean Stage (2004). She has served as Trustee and President of the Shakespeare Association of America and was named to the Queen’s Honours List in 2011 as a Commander of the British Empire.

April 2019

Deborah Steinberger (University of Delaware)

“Befriending the Female Reader: Women’s Stories in Le Mercure Galant, 1672-1710.”

Wednesday, April 10, 4-5:30 p.m
Schmitt 110

Deborah Steinberger is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Delaware, where she chairs the French Faculty and directs the program in Comparative Literature. Her research areas include seventeenth-century theater and writing by early modern women. She has published articles on these subjects, as well as critical editions of epistolary and dramatic works by the 17th-century writer and painter Françoise Pascal. Her current research focus is early modern French journalism, and she has published several articles and is currently writing a book on the early French newspaper Le Mercure Galant. She is also collaborating on a digital humanities project headed by a team at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland), on Donneau de Visé’sLes Nouvelles nouvelles.

March 2019

Henry S. Turner (Rutgers University)

“Race, Experience, and the Early Modern World in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors

Wednesday, March 20, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences, 207
Henry S. Turner is Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is the author of The Corporate Commonwealth: Pluralism and Political Fictions in England, 1516-1651 (Chicago, 2016), Shakespeare’s Double Helix (Continuum / Bloomsbury, 2008), and The English Renaissance Stage: Geometry, Poetics, and the Practical Spatial Arts, 1580-1630 (Oxford, 2006). He is the editor of Early Modern Theatricality (Oxford, 2012) and The Cultural of Capital: Property, Cities and Knowledge in Early Modern England (Routledge, 2002) and, along with Mary Thomas Crane, the Series Editor of “Alembics: Penn Studies in Literature and Science” (Penn Press).

March 2019

Richard Conway (Montclair State University)

“Aztec Merchants, Silver Mines, and the Provisioning of Spanish Cities in Early Colonial Mexico”

Wednesday, November 28, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences, 207

Richard Conway is a historian of colonial Latin America, whose research interests include the social and environmental history of Mexico.  He received his PhD from Tulane University and teaches courses on Early Latin America, the History of Mexico, and Indigenous Societies in Latin America at Montclair State University.  He has published articles such as “Violence and Vigilance in Nahua Communities of Seventeenth-Century Central Mexico” (2017), “The Environmental History of Colonial Mexico” (2017) and Spaniards in the Nahua City of Xochimilco: Colonial Society and Cultural Change in Central Mexico, 1650-1725” (2014).  He is currently revising his book manuscript, entitled Islands in the Lake: Environment and Ethnohistory in Xochimilco, New Spain.  He also serves as the book editor of the academic journal Ethnohistory.


October 2018

David Sedley (Haverford College)

“Sense Variously Drawn Out”: Algorithmic Epic from Leviathan to Paradise Lost”

Wednesday, September 26th, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 207

David Sedley is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Haverford College. He has written a book entitled *Sublimity and Skepticism in Montaigne and Milton* (Michigan, 2005). His current project, from which this talk is drawn, is tentatively called “Race to Infinity: Distinctions between Science and Literature in Early Modern Culture.” A piece of this project, about and Madame de Lafayette and Blaise Pascal, has appeared in *Modern Language Quarterly*; another piece, about Michel de Montaigne and Francis Bacon, is forthcoming in *Romanic Review*.


September 2018

Jesus Velasco (Columbia University)

“The Affinity Between Legal Science and the Science of the Soul in the Middle Ages”

Wednesday, October 9th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt 104

Jesús R. Velasco teaches Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Columbia. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, Universidad de Salamanca, Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), and the École Normale Supérieure (Lettres et Sciences Humaines). Among his publications are books and articles on Medieval and Early Modern knighthood, history of the book and reading, medieval political theory, law and culture, Occitan poetry, etc. He has been one of the executive directors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies and a member of the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. He was the recipient of the 2010 John K. Walsh award for his article “La urgente presencia de las Siete Partidas”. He writes the column “Isla Fluvial” for El Norte de Castilla, Spain’s oldest daily newspaper, founded in 1854. He has been elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the MLA LLC Occitan Forum. He is one of the fellows of the 2015 The Op-Ed Project. He served as Chair of the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures between 2013 and 2016.

April 2018

Pascale LaFountain (Montclair State University)

“Feeling Righteous: Gesture, Evidence, and Law in Heinrich von Kleist’s Romantic-Medieval-Shakespearean Tragedy The Schroffenstein Family”

Wednesday, April 11, 4 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Pascale LaFountain received her PhD in German Studies from Harvard University in 2011 and has since then been Assistant Professor of German and French at Montclair State University. Her publications on theater, gender and performance include articles and book chapters on G.E. Lessing, Heinrich von Kleist, Elfriede Jelinek, and Heiner Müller. Her book Theaters of Error: Problems of Performance in French and German Enlightenment Theater is currently forthcoming with Palgrave MacMillan Press.

February 2018

Paul Kottman (New School for Social Research)

“Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies”

Tuesday, February 20th, 4 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Paul A. Kottman is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the New School for Social Research, and Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts. He is a member of the Committee on Liberal Studies and is affiliated with the Philosophy Department. He holds the Abilitazione, Professore Ordinario in Filosofia, Estetica (Professor of Philosophy, Aesthetics) in Italy. He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Tokyo; the Università degli studi di Verona; Instituto per gli studi filosofici, Naples; and the International Chair in Political Languages, Dipartimento di Politiche Pubbliche e Scelte Colletive (POLIS), Università del Piemonte Orientale. He has been awarded residential fellowships at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Institute for Research in the Humanities) and Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln.

December 2017

Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University—Newark)

“Conduct and the Cultivation of Difference”‌‌

Tuesday, December 5th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

This event is co-sponsored by the English Department’s Visiting Writers Committee

Patricia Akhimie is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and early modern women’s travel writing. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (Routledge, forthcoming 2018). She is co-editor, with Bernadette Andrea of Traveling/Travailing Women: Early Modern England and the Wider World (U of Nebraska, forthcoming 2018). Her most recent publications include “‘Bruised with Adversity’: Reading Race in The Comedy of Errors,” in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, and “Galleries and Soft Power: The Gallery in The Winter’s Tale” in Early Modern Diplomacy, Theatre and Soft Power: The Making of Peace.

November 2017

Christopher M. Bellitto (Kean University)

“Luther and Church Reform:
Catholic and Protestant Perspectives”

Wednesday, November 8th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 120

Christopher M. Bellitto is Professor of History at Kean University, where he specializes in the study of church history and reform. He is the author of ten books, including the companion volumes Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform (2001) and The General Councils (2002). He also serves as Academic Editor at Large of Paulist Press and series Editor in Chief of Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, and he is the past recipient of grants from the Fulbright Program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A member of the Public Scholar Speakers Bureau of the NJ Council for the Humanities and frequent media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism, his latest book is Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible (2016).

October 2017

Meghan Robison (Montclair State University)

“Moving Limbs: On the Movement of Life in Hobbes’ Leviathan“‌‌

Wednesday, October 11th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Meghan Robison is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Montclair State University. She received her PhD from The New School for Social Research in 2016. Her work mainly focuses on political philosophy, early modern philosophy, and aesthetics. She is currently at work on a book on Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan which offers an original reading of the exit from the State of Nature by reexamining the role of Hobbes’ conception of life as “a motion of limbs,” and its connection to the contracts that form the basis of the Commonwealth. Her talk will be drawn from this work.

September 2017

Ann Marie Rasmussen (University of Waterloo)

“The Polyfunctionality of Script on Medieval Badges”‌‌

Wednesday, September 27th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Ann Marie Rasmussen joined the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) on January 1, 2015 as the John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies after having been a faculty member in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University in North Carolina for twenty-five years. She was born and raised in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon and received her BA from the University of Oregon and her PhD from Yale University, both in the field of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her areas of expertise are medieval studies, German studies, and gender studies. She is the author of Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature (1997); and co-editor of Medieval Woman’s Song (with Anne Klinck, 2002); Ladies, Whores, and Holy Women: A Sourcebook in Courtly, Religious, and Urban Cultures of Late Medieval Germany, with Introductory Essays (with Sarah Westphal-Wihl, 2010), and Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan and Isolde (with Jutta Eming and Kathryn Starkey, 2012), as well as numerous essays. Her monograph on medieval badges is under review at a scholarly press.

May 2017

Daniel Shore (Georgetown University)

“Making Bacon: A Digital Reconstruction of the Early Modern Social Network”

Tuesday, May 2nd, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Daniel Shore, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University, is currently completing his second book project, Cyberformalism, which will be out with Johns Hopkins University Press later this year. His first book, Milton and the Art of Rhetoric, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2012, and he has published articles in such journals as PMLA, Critical Inquiry, Modern Philology, Shakespeare Quarterly, Milton Studies, DHQ, and others. His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, and he is the co-founder of the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project, which has been funded by Google, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the NEH.

April 2017

Caroline Castiglione (Brown University)

“A Death is a Death: Monuments to Loss and Solutions to Domestic Abuse in Moderata Fonte’s The Worth of Women

Tuesday, April 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Caroline Castiglione is a Professor of Italian Studies and History at Brown University. She received her PhD from Harvard University. Her research interests are political, legal, gender, and women’s history in Italy and Europe between 1500-1800. Her first book, Patrons and Adversaries: Nobles and Villagers in Italian Politics, 1650-1760 (Oxford University Press, 2005) won the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies in 2006. Her second book, Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730 (Palsgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the symbiotic evolution of politics and mothering in early modern Rome. Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).

March 2017

Markus Cruse (Arizona State University)

“Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages”

Wednesday, March 22nd, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Mark Cruse received his PhD from New York University and is Associate Professor and Head of the French and Italian Faculty in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. His publications cover topics including medieval theater manuscripts, ivory writing tablets, heraldry, the senses in medieval culture, the Louvre of Charles V, and Haitian literature. His first book was a study of an illuminated copy of the Old French Romance of Alexander. His current book project focuses on the Old French manuscripts of Marco Polo’s description of the world.

Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).

November 2016

Jorge Latorre (Universidad de Navarra)

“Don Quixote: A Bridge Between the Far East and the Wild West”

Wednesday, November 30th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104
Jorge Latorre is Associate Professor of Visual Culture at the Universidad de Navarra and currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University. He has published five books and more than 100 articles about the history of photography, the arts, film, and media in general, with a special focus on Spanish culture and its presence throughout the world.

Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).

October 2016

Elizabeth Valdez del Álamo (Montclair State University)

“Mourning and Remembrance in the Twelfth Century: The Sarcophagus of Queen Blanca of Nájera”

Wednesday, October 19th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104
Elizabeth Valdez del Álamo is Professor of Art History, Emeritus, at Montclair State University. Her many publications include Palace of the Mind: The Cloister of Silos and Spanish Sculpture of the Twelfth Century (Brepols, 2012), along with numerous articles and book chapters on medieval Spain, monasticism, the funerary arts, and audience reception. She also co-edited the collections of essays Memory and the Medieval Tomb (Ashgate, 2000) and Decorations for the Holy Dead: Visual Embellishments on Tombs and Shrines of Saints (Brepols, 2002). She was honored as the Montclair State University Distinguished Scholar in 2014.

September 2016

Naomi Conn Liebler (Montclair State University)

“‘Unless …’: Prospero, Gonzalo, and the Shakespearean Monument in The Tempest”

Wednesday, September 28th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104
Naomi Conn Liebler is Professor of English and a University Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University. She is the author of Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy: The Ritual Foundations of Genre (Routledge, 1995); co-editor with John Drakakis of Tragedy, a theory reader (Longman, 1998); and editor of The Female Tragic Hero in English Renaissance Drama (Palgrave, 2002) and Early Modern Prose Fiction: The Cultural Politics of Reading (Routledge, 2007). She is currently editing the volume on the Renaissance for A Cultural History of Tragedy (Bloomsbury/Methuen) and is also at work on a monograph concerning “Shakespeare’s Geezers.”

May 2016

Graduate Student Panel

Wednesday, May 4th, 4-5:30 p.m.

  • Carole Reading (Montclair State University, English)
    “‘What hinders then / To reach and feed at once both body and mind?’: Temptation and the Moral Emotions in Milton”
  • Cameron Smith (Montclair State University, History)
    “Vlad Tepes, his military campaign against the Ottoman Empire in 1462, and the forging of a Romanian national identity”
  • Reyther Ortega (Montclair State University, Spanish and Italian)
    “Writing the Wardrobe, Fashioning the Text: A Study of the Armor in Don Quixote”

February 2016

Jeremy Lopez (University of Toronto)

“Shakespeare’s Life”

Wednesday, February 17th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall 104
Jeremy Lopez teaches and writes about the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. His most recent book is Constructing the Canon of Early Modern Drama (Cambridge 2014), a history of the early modern dramatic canon from the eighteenth century to the present. He is the general editor of the Routledge Anthology of Early Modern Drama (forthcoming 2019), which will be the first entirely revisionary anthology of its kind in over a century. Other current work in progress includes a monograph on the intersection of biography, biographical criticism, and dramatic form in the study of early modern drama.

November 2015

Elizabeth Hyde (Kean University)

“Of Monarchical Climates and Republican Soil: André Michaux and Franco-American Botany in the Eighteenth Century”

Wednesday, November 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall 104
Elizabeth Hyde is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of the History Department at Kean University. Her first book, Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV (2005), was the recipient of the 2007 Society of Architectural Historians’ Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Award. She was an editor and contributor to A Cultural History of Gardens in the Renaissance, 1400-1650 (2013) and is currently working on a new book, Of Monarchial Climates and Republican Soil: Nature, Nation, and Botanical Diplomacy in the Franco-American Atlantic World. This book explores the cultural and political dimensions of trans-Atlantic botanical exchange of plants, trees, and knowledge in the eighteenth century through the work of French botanist Andre Michaux and his American counterparts.

October 2015

Richard Strier (University of Chicago)

“Paleness versus Eloquence: The Ideologies of Style in the English Renaissance”

Wednesday, October 28th, 3:30-5 p.m.
Schmitt Hall 104
Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor emeritus from the English Department, Divinity School, and the College of the University of Chicago, is the author of The Unrepentant Renaissance from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton (2011) – which won the Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award for Literary Criticism — Resistant Structures: Particularity, Radicalism, and Renaissance Texts (1995); and Love Known: Theology and Experience in George Herbert’s Poetry (1983). He has co-edited a number of interdisciplinary collections, including, most recently, Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (with Bradin Cormack and Martha Nussbaum); Writing and Political Engagement in Seventeenth-Century England (with Derek Hirst); Religion, Literature and Politics in Post-Reformation England, 1540-1688 (with Donna Hamilton); The Theatrical City: Culture, Theatre and Politics in London, 1576-1649 (with David L. Smith and David Bevington); and The Historical Renaissance: New Essays in Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture (with Heather Dubrow). He has published essays on Shakespeare, Donne, Luther, Montaigne, and Milton, on formalism and historicism, and on twentieth-century poetry and critical theory.

September 2015

Alan Cottrell (Montclair State)

“Hippolytus Restored: Angelo Poliziano and Creating Classical Scholarship
in the Italian Renaissance”

Wednesday, September 30th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall 104
Alan Cottrell is Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of History. A past National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, he has published articles in Mediaeval Studies and Manuscripta. His research concerns the intellectual history of the Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance, with a focus on the history of classical scholarship and learning, specifically the work of the Quattrocento Florentine humanist, Angelo Poliziano. He has recently submitted a Latin edition and English translation of Poliziano’s masterwork, the Miscellanea, as a volume in the I Tatti Renaissance Library series; the pioneering methodology evidenced in the Miscellanea will be the focus of this presentation.

April 2015

Graduate Student Panel

Wednesday, April 15th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Dickson Hall, Room 179

  • Tiffany Errickson (Montclair State University, English)
    “The Lady’s Logos: Speech as Action in Comus”
  • Séraphine N’zue-Agbadou (Montclair State University, Modern Languages and Literatures)
    “How Did the Reformation Influence 16th-Century French Literature?”
  • Beth Tippenreiter (Montclair State University, English)
    “Hot and Bothered: The Beelzebub-Satan Consort Relationship in John Milton’s Paradise Lost”

March 2015

Julia Landweber (Montclair State)

“Embracing the ‘Queen of Beans’: How Coffee was Adopted into French Fashion, Medicine, and Diet, 1660-1780”

Wednesday, March 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Dickson 179
Julie Landweber is Assistant Professor of History and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Montclair State University. She received her PhD in history from Rutgers University. Her work examines the impact relations between France and the Ottoman Empire had upon old regime French culture and identity formation. She has published articles on the Franco-Ottoman connection in the Journal of Ottoman Studies, the International History Review, Romance Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. She has an article about the adoption of coffee in France appearing in French Historical Studies in April 2015. It is part of a larger book project called: Embracing the Queen of Beans: How Coffee was Adopted into French Medicine, Fashion, and Diet, 1660-1789.

February 2015

Bradin Cormack (Princeton University)

“In the Time of Example: Being Unruly in Shakespeare”

Thursday, February 26th, 5-6:30 p.m.
Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall
Bradin Cormack is Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509-1625 (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and co-editor, most recently, of Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among the Disciplines and Professions. He has published on issues of sovereignty in Shakespeare Quarterly, and he is currently working on the philosophical dimension of Shakespeare’s poems and plays.

December 2014

Photo of stone carving of Charlemagne

March 2014

Byzantine mural of Roger II

February 2014

Montage of three paintings of Andrew Marvell and ancient literature