September 27, 2022 – Andrew Romig

June 1st, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: 27 Sept., 4:30 PM – Andrew Romig (NYU Gallatin). “The Wrong Kind of Flattery: Critique and Praise in Walahfrid Strabo’s De imagine Tetrici.” 

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October 25, 2022 – Elias Muhanna

June 1st, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: 25 October, 4:30PM – Elias Muhanna (Brown University). More information will be coming soon.

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Nov 15, 2022 – Sherri Cummings

June 1st, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: Nov 15, 4:30PM – Sherri Cummings (Brown University). More information is coming soon.

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February 28, 2023 – Matthew Kadane

May 30th, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: 28 Feb., 4:30 PM – Matthew Kadane (Hobart and William Smith Colleges). More information is coming soon.

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March 21, 2023 – Stacey Murrell

May 30th, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: 21 March, 2023, 4:30 PM – Stacey Murrell (Brown University). More information will be coming soon.

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April 18, 2023 – Neil Safier

May 30th, 2022 No comments

MEMHS: 18 April, 2023, 4:30 PM – Neil Safier (Brown University). More information will be coming soon.

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September 28, 2021 – Hannah Marcus

August 11th, 2021 No comments

MEMHS: 28 Sept., 4:30 PM – Hannah Marcus (Harvard University). “Cassandra Fedele and the Spectacle of Old Age in Early Modern Venice.”

Abstract:
On May 1, 1556, the 91-year-old humanist and former child prodigy, Cassandra Fedele, performed a Latin oration celebrating a visit to Venice by the Polish Queen. In this chapter draft from my new book project, I reread Fedele’s life and works, focusing not on her famous childhood, but on her experiences as a very old woman living in Venice during a period that was increasingly fixated on the possibilities of long life. I argue that her precarious situation and public performances were part of a broader culture in sixteenth-century Italy that at once valorized and made a spectacle of the elderly in the space of the city.

Pavilion Room, History deparment.

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October 19, 2021 – Zhang Yekai

August 9th, 2021 No comments

MEMHS: 19 Oct., 4:00 P.M. – Zhang Yekai (History, grad. student). ‘Ballads, Poems and the Political Culture of the Second and Third Dutch Wars in Britain, c. 1664-1674’.

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November 16, 2021 – The 42nd William F. Church Memorial Lecture, Gillian Weiss and Meredith Martin

August 7th, 2021 No comments

16 Nov., 5:30 P.M. – The 42nd William F. Church Memorial Lecture, Gillian Weiss (Case Western Reserve University) and Meredith Martin (New York Univesity). “Remembering Mediterranean Slavery in Early Modern France.” Smith-Buonanno, 106.

The transnational movement to confront the legacies of Atlantic slavery has seen statues topple, memorials rise and exhibitions open across the globe. For the most part, however, the phenomenon of early modern galley slavery – and, in particular, enslaved Muslim oarsmen on France’s Mediterranean galleys – has escaped contemporary reckoning. This lecture explores the traces of two thousand esclaves turcs (enslaved Turks) purchased to row on King Louis XIV’s vessels while considering some of the factors shaping their depiction in monuments and museum displays. Ship design, naval weapons, medals, paintings, and prints depicting Ottoman and Moroccan subjects helped proclaim royal supremacy in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. What are the stakes of remembering these individuals today?

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February 22, 2022 – Sarah Christensen

August 5th, 2021 No comments

MEMHS: 22 Feb., 4:30 P..M. – Sarah Christensen (PhD student in History, Brown University), “Remembering Enslaved Mothers in the Medieval Icelandic Laxdæla saga.” There is no pre-circulated paper for this talk.


The thirteenth-century Old Norse Laxdæla saga relates the fictionalized tale of Melkorka Mýrkjartansdóttir, a princess enslaved in Ireland at the age of fifteen and taken to Iceland in the tenth century as a domestic servant. Melkorka gives birth to her master’s son, a boy named Óláf, and the saga traces his quest to overcome the stigma of his dishonored birth and join Iceland’s elite class. My paper examines the entwined discourses of motherhood, gender, class, and cultural belonging that shaped the history of women’s enslavement in Iceland and across medieval Europe. The story of Melkorka and Óláf offers insight into two critical aspects of the legacy of gendered slavery: first, the largely invisible emotional lives of women who experienced family separation, forced migration, and sexual violence, and developed tools for survival in their new surroundings; and second, the existential discomfort that accompanied the presence of enslaved women in intimate spaces and the uncertain status of their children.

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