Programs From 2000 to 2011


November 5, 2011: Fall 2011 Symposium. View Flyer

November 30, 2011: EC/ASECS  Meeting, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Febryary 24-25, 2011: Reading China in the Enlightenment symposium

2010 – 2011

December 6, 2010: Earle Havens, Johns Hopkins
9:30-11:00 a.m. CEMS Graduate Student Drop-in on archival research. 29 Burrowes, Grucci Room

12:30 p.m. Earle Havens, Johns Hopkins: “Sacred Texts & Saving Remnants: Manuscript Culture and the Roman Catholic Underground in Early Modern Europe” Comparative Literature Lunch Series, 102 Kern

Dr. Havens is currently Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts in the Rare Book and Manuscript Department of the libraries at Johns Hopkins University, where he also holds a joint appointment in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literature. This event is co-sponsored by the Comparative Literature Department, the Committee for Early Modern Studies, and the Penn State Center for the History of the Book.

January 14-15, 2011: “The World of Matteo Ricci An international colloquium,” sponsored by the Departments of Asian Studies, History, the Institute of Arts and Humanities, the Committee for Early Modern Studies, Palmer Museum of Art, and the University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University – contact Ronnie Po-chia Hsia

April 7- 8, 2011: Alessandro Vanoli, Professor of Comparative History of the Mediterranean, University of Bologna, sponsored by CEMS, the Departments of History and the Program in Jewish Studies. April 7, 2011, 4 p.m. 102 Weaver Bldg: Alessandro Vanoli,”Between Heart and Heaven: Christians, Muslims and Jews and the medieval accusation of idolatry”

April 8, 2011 4p.m., 102 Weaver Bldg, Alessandro Vanoli,”No Island is an Island: Muslim Sicily in a Mediterranean perspective”

20 June – 28 July 2011: Penn State-Mellon Foundation Dissertation Seminar European Expansion, Catholic Missions, and the Early Modern World

The Department of History at The Pennsylvania State University announces a humanities doctoral fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Using missionary and other related sources, this seminar examines the relationship between European colonial expansion and Catholic missions, and the encounter between European Catholic and non-western civilizations between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Problems of interpretation will be approached through the reading of recent scholarship and selected primary sources. Participants in the seminar will be expected to present their own research. Contact: Professor Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, Department of History, 108 Weaver, Penn State University.

2009- 2010

21 Oct 2010 (Thursday), 6:00 p.m., 12 Borland Building: Dr. Rebecca Zorach, Associate Professor of Art History. Department of Art History Lecture Series presents: “Renaissance and Revolution, or the Inconsolable Objects of Early Modern Art.”

Often held out as a cultural ideal in the twentieth century, the European Renaissance was once central to the way art history was studied and taught. Many of the early writings on method in art history and some of the classic texts of the discipline address the Renaissance and Baroque periods (or, we might say, the “Old Masters”). The place of the Renaissance shifted in the 1970s as new forms of critique—social art history and feminism in particular—emerged, sometimes rejecting the idea of the Renaissance, sometimes shifting its meaning. Since then, has the pendulum swung back? What place does early modern Europe hold for us now? This talk addresses some specific moments in the history of art history — audacious, iconoclastic, even revolutionary — that redefined our sense of the period, and traces their aftermath in the way we think about the “Old Masters” today. Dr. Zorach is the author of Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold: Abundance and Excess in the French Renaissance and the coeditor of The Idol in the Age of Art: Objects, Devotions, and the Early Modern World. She also edits and writes forAREA Chicago ( Her forthcoming book with the University of Chicago Press is entitled The Passionate Triangle. CEMS co-sponosr.

4 – 5 February, 2010: Susan Buck-Morss, Cornell University

4 Feb 2010 (Thursday), 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art: Professor Susan Buck-Morss, “Universal History” (free and open to the public).

5 February 2010 (Friday), 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 102 Weaver Bldg, “Hegel, Haiti and Universal History” A conversation with Professor Buck-Morss; Professor Tony Kaye, History, Greg Pierrot, English, Penn State University; Professor Paul Youngquist, English, University of Colorado- Boulder.

Susan Buck-Morss is the Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 Professor of Government, Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory, Professor of Visual Culture, Department of Art History, Cornell University. She is the author of Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (Pittsburgh 2009), Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (MIT 2000), The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (MIT 1989), The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and the Frankfurt Institute (Free Press, 1979), and Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left (Verso, 2006); and editor of Theodor W. Adorno, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 9: Soziologische Schriften II. Frankfurt-am-Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1975. Professor Buck-Morss’s visit is sponsored by the Committee on Early Modern Studies, the Max Kade Institute, the Departments of Philosophy, History, and French and Francophone Studies, the Rock Ethics Institute, and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities in its 2009/10 Moments of Change series.

2008 – 2009

20 October 2008: Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts, Folger Shakespeare Library “From Print to Manuscripts in Early Modern England: The Case of Thomas Trevelyan.”English Department, University Libraries, The Center for the History of the Book, CEMS. Monday October 20. 302 Pond Lab.

30 October 2008, 102 Weaver : CEMS Graduate Student Workshop. 12:00-2:00, 102 Weaver. Public invited. Precirculated papers will be available.

Phil Hnatkovich, History: “Anglo-Huguenot Geographies of Expertise in the Jacobean Era”

Mickey New, English: “The Exceptional Oroonoko: Historical Slippage and the Future of Absolute Monarchy”

Niamh O’Leary, English: “Social Maternity in Shakespeare: Titania as Mother”

Robert Schwaller, History: “Defining Difference in Early New Spain.”

14 November 2008: Professor Dan Beaver, History, Penn State. “Hunting and the Politics of Violence in the Early Stuart Era.

December 5, 2008 (Friday), 5:00 p.m. Whiskers. SPECIAL GUEST FOR CEMS FIRST FRIDAY. Professor Greg Clingham, Bucknell University: an informal chat with grad students about the insand outs of academic publishing. Professor Clingham is the author and editor of many books; and, as the director of Bucknell University Press, the publisher of many more.

February 6, 2009 (Friday), 5:00 p.m. Whiskers. SPECIAL GUEST FOR CEMS FIRST FRIDAY: Professor Marcy North, English, Penn State. Professor North will be joining us to chat informally with grad students about the opportunities and resources available through the Folger Library. Professor North is our liaison to the Folger. Her research bears on such topics as the history of the book; Early Modern poetry and prose; ecclesiastical debate, and satire; post-print manuscript culture, authorship, and anonymity; early women writers; and theories of the material text. Among her publications is The Anonymous Renaissance: Cultures of Discretion in Tudor-Stuart England.

19 March, 2009 (Thursday), 2-1.30, 102 Weaver. Second CEMS Graduate Student Workshop Lunch provided by CEMS. Papers to be circulated by Sunday, March 15th.

Spencer Delbridge, History: “Placing the Pech: Sixteenth-Century Yucatec Leadership and Identity.”

Mary Faulkner, History: “The Making of an Enlightenment City: Nancy and French National Identity, 1736-1800.”

Greg Pierrot, English: “The End of Revenge: from Black Avenger to Mangled King in Aphra Behn’s Abdelazer and Oroonoko.”

Kristin Shimmin, English: “Promoting a Public Education: Rhetoric of Civic Education in Thomas Sprat’s ‘The History of The Royal Society of London.'”

26 March, 2009, 3:30pm, 102 Weaver. David Loewenstein, University of Wisconsin- Madison, “Burning Heretics and Fashioning Martyrs: Religious Extremism and Violence in John Foxe. Professor Loewenstein’s research explores the interconnections between literature, religion, and politics in early modern England. He is the Tiefenthaler Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin (Madison).

24 April, 2009 (Friday), 102 Weaver: Professor Gregg Roeber, History and Religious Studies, “‘The Righteous Man Regardeth the Life of His Beast’: Religion, Early Modern German-speakers and their Animals in North America.” The Committee for Early Modern Studies will provide a box lunch for the event. The talk continues the theme raised by the “Visualizing Animals” conference to be held on campus on April 30-May 1, 2009.

30 April – May 1, 2009, FINDING ANIMALS CONFERENCE, Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library. The Committee for Early Modern Studies is cosponsoring the conference “Finding Animals: Towards a Comparative History and Theory of Animals.” The conference program will take place in Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library. Many early modern scholars will be on campus for this event. For a conference schedule, see Contact: Professor Joan Landes, History and Women’s Studies who also hosts the “Visualizing Animals” reading and study group. For more about this group, visit their web site at

18 May 2009 – 30 June 2009: Penn State-Mellon Foundation Dissertation Seminar: European Expansion, Catholic Missions, and the Early Modern World.

The Department of History at The Pennsylvania State University announces a humanities doctoral fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Using missionary and other related sources, this seminar examines the relationship between European colonial expansion and Catholic missions, and the encounter between European Catholic and non-western civilizations between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Problems of interpretation will be approached through the reading of recent scholarship and selected primary sources. Knowledge of one or more research languages is a prerequisite. Contact: Professor Ronnie Po-chia Hsia, Department of History, 108 Weaver, Penn State, University Park, PA 16802 by February 15, 2009.

2006- 2007

April 13- 14, 2007: Imaginary Cities Symposium, Penn State University: Co-Directors: Professor Charlotte Houghton, Art History, Professor Daniel Purdy, German, Penn State University.

April 13, 2007, 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium

Benjamin Edwards: Presentation of his Paintings

Ben Edwards is a painter who graduated from UCLA in 1992, who lives and works now in Washington, D.C. Working with digital images of suburban strip mall sprawl, which he then paints meticulously, Edwards’s images re-arrange the all-too-familiar architecture into endless vistas. In addition to his participation in many group shows, he has had several solo exhibitions at the Van Doren Gallery in New York. In the coming year, he will also have exhibits in Paris and Tokyo. His work can be found on his web site

About the image used on the conference poster, Edwards wrote: “‘Automatic City’ is the first phase of a larger, ongoing project that I call Republic. While the works now on view in this exhibition begin to articulate the early formation of a generic city, there is much to this virtual place still to be explored. The empty squares around the central image on the main directory page (as well as on the Automatic City directory) are like zoned plots waiting to be filled in some ideal city: I have a general idea of what will grow there, but the specifics have yet to be built. In the coming months and years, these empty spaces will turn into more archives and more projects that will eventually feed into the center, into the paintings that will make Republic come alive.”

Yoko Tawada with Bettina Brandt, “Dejima and Huis ten Bosch — Two Dutch Cities in Japan”

Yoko Tawada was born in Tokyo in 1960 and was educated at Waseda University and the University of Hamburg. She made her debut as a writer with Missing Heels, which was awarded the Gunzo Prize for new writers in 1991. In 1993, she received the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for The Bridegroom Was a Dog (which was translated by Margaret Mitsutani and published in English in 2003). She writes in both Japanese and German, and in 1996, she won the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, a German award granted to foreign writers for their contribution to German culture. Where Europe Begins, a collection of stories translated from both languages by Yumi Selden and Susan Bernofsky, was published by New Directions in 2002.

Bettina Brandt is assistant professor of German at Montclair State University. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University and has also taught at M.I.T. and Columbia University. She has published widely on women in the avant-garde. Her current research focuses on the relation between contemporary transnational literature and surrealism.

Thomas Beebee (Penn State University), “The Four-Square City: City: The New Jerusalem as Proto-Urban Planning”

Thomas Beebee is professor of Comparative Literature and German at the Pennsylvania State University, and the editor of Comparative Literature Studies. His books include Clarissa on the Continent (1991), The Ideology of Genre (1994), and Epistolary Fiction in Europe (1999). He has written on subjects as diverse as Jesuit concepts of the Millennium, the writing of William Faulkner, and Goethe’s Italiensiche Reise. He is currently at work on a book on “true imaginary places” in European and American Fiction. The title of his paper for our “Imaginary Cities” symposium is Four-Square City: The New Jerusalem as Proto-Urban Planning. April 13, 2007, 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium

Stephen Brockmann (Carnegie Mellon University), “Nuremberg: The Not-So-Secret Nazi Capital”

Stephen Brockmann is Professor of German at Carnegie Mellon University, the managing editor of The Brecht Yearbook, and serves on the Executive Committee of the German Studies Association. His most recent book, Nuremberg: The Imaginary Capital, explores the ways in which Germans from Albrecht Dürer through Richard Wagner and twentieth-century fascists have appropriated and mythologized sixteenth-century “Nuremberg” as a focus of national identity. His other publications include German Literary Culture at the Zero Hour and Literature and German Reunification.

Susan Dixon (Tulsa University) “Reconstructions of Rome and Invisible Cities”

Susan Dixon holds a BS in Architecture from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Art History from Cornell University. She is assistant professor of Art History at the University of Tulsa. Her Between the Real and the Ideal: The Accademia degli Arcadi and its garden in eighteenth-century Rome was published by the University of Delaware Press in 2006. She has also published multiple essays on Piranesi, including “Ichnographia as Uchronia and other time warps in Piranesi’s Il Campo Marzio.

John Shannon Hendrix (Roger Williams University) “Architecture and Psychoanalysis in the Seventeenth Century”

John Shannon Hendrix received his Ph.D. in Architecture from Cornell University. He has taught architectural history and theory at the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Connecticut, and at Roger Williams University, as well as for several universities’ programs in Rome, Italy. He is a prolific author. His recent books include Architecture and Psychoanalysis: Peter Eisenman and Jacques Lacan, Platonic Architectonics: Platonic Philosophies and the Visual Arts, and The Relation Between Architectural Forms and Philosophical Structures in the Work of Francesco Borromini in Seventeenth-Century Rome. He has also written on the return of allegory to architecture.

Lunch Break

Alberto Perez-Gomez (McGill University) “Filarete’s Sforzinda: The Ideal City as a Poetic and Rhetorical Construction”

Dr. Pérez-Gómez is the author of Polyphilo or The Dark Forest Revisited (MIT Press, 1992), an erotic narrative/theory of architecture that retells the love story of the famous fifteenth-century novel/treatise Hypnerotomachia Poliphili in late twentieth-century terms, a text that has become the source of numerous projects and exhibitions. He is also co-editor of a now well-established series of books entitled CHORA: Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture (McGill-Queen’s University Press), which collects essays exploring fundamental questions concerning the practice of architecture through its history and theories. A recent major book co-authored with Louise Pelletier, Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge, (MIT Press, 1997), traces the history and theory of modern European architectural representation, with special reference to the role of projection in architectural design.

Heghnar Watenpaugh (University of California, Davis) “The Image of the City and its Reverse”

Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh, Ph.D. (1999) in Art History, University of California Los Angeles, is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She has published on the urban and architectural history of Islamic societies. Her first book, The Image of an Ottoman City Imperial Architecture and Urban Experience in Aleppo in the 16th and 17th Centuries, won the 2006 Spiro Kostof Award. This urban and architectural study of Aleppo, a center of early modern global trade, drew upon archival and narrative texts, architectural evidence, and contemporary theoretical discussions of the relation between imperial ideology, urban patterns and rituals, and architectural form. By viewing the urban and social contexts of these acts, tracing their evolution over two centuries, and examining their discussion in Ottoman and Arabic sources, her book proposed a new model for understanding the local reception and adaptation of imperial forms, institutions and norms.

Reception in the Rare Books Room for the Exhibit: “Imaginary Cities: Selections from the Arthur O. Lewis Utopia Collection”

Tom Conley (Harvard University) “Plan and Poème: The Art of the Early Modern City”

Tom Conley is Professor of French and Director of Graduate Studies at Harvard University. He has written several important books on maps in French literature, including The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997) and The Graphic Unconscious in Early Modern French Writing. Cambridge Studies in French (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992). He has also translated major works by Gilles Deleuze and Michel de Certeau. Aside from his work on early modern French literature, he has written extensively on French classical cinema.

2006- 2007


Annabel J. Wharton, William B. Hamilton Professor of Art History at Duke University. Her work has focused on Late Antique and Byzantine art and culture, but she have also investigated the effect of modernity on the medieval past and its landscapes, first in her study of the first generation of Hilton International Hotels (Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture, University of Chicago Press, 2001) and most recently in a book titled Selling Jerusalem: Relics, Replics, Theme parks (University of Chicago Press, 2006). She is beginning work on a new project considering the modern recycling of pre-modern buildings. This study will document the physical, economic and political implications of contemporary appropriations of architecture and history.

Christiane Hertel, professor of history of art at Bryn Mawr College. She teaches courses on the arts of Northern Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, from the Reformation to the 20th century. Current research interests include the relationships between Rococo culture and the Enlightenment in the art, art criticism and aesthetics of 18th-century Germany; the reverberations of these relationships in German and Austrian Modernism; ornament and ornament theory; the reconstruction of 18th-century German monuments at various moments in the 20th century and in the present. Her recent publications include: Vermeer: Reception and Interpretation (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996); “Seven Vermeers: Collection, Reception, Response,” in W. Franits, ed., A Companion to Vermeer; Dis/Continuities in Dresden’s Dances of Death; “Beyond In/Authenticity: The Case of Dresden’s Frauenkirche”

2005- 2006

21 October 2005, 4:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library, Renata Holod, Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania, “City, Garden, World: The New Capital of Early Modern Isfahan”

17 February 2006, 3:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library, Robert B. McFarland, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University, “So Many Mighty Cities! Utopian Topographies in Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik (1493)

11 April 2006, 4:00 p.m. Abraham Akkerman, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, “Thomas More’s Utopia as a Precursor to the Garden City Movement”

2002 – 2004

March 26-27, 2004: Conference: Europe Observed: The Reversed Gaze in Early Modern Encounters, Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University. Co-Directors: Professor Kumkum Chatterjee, History, Professor Clement Hawes, English, Penn State.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Professor of Indian History and Culture, University of Oxford & Directeur d’Etudes, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. “On the Hat-Wearers, Their Toilet Practices, and Other Curious Usages.”

Michael S. Fisher, Robert S. Danforth Professor of History, Oberlin College. “From the Mughal Imperial Court to England and Back, 1614-1766.”

Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of History, Penn State University. “The Question of Who: The First Chinese in Europe.”

Irene Silverblatt, Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University. “Native Peruvians Look at Colonial Spaniards.”

Nabil Matar, Professor of English, Department of Humanities & Communication, Florida Institute of Technology. “Spain through Arab Eyes, 1691.”

Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink, Professor of Romance Languages and Intercultural Communication, University of Saarland. “Latin American (Re)Discoveries of 18th Century Europe: Haitian and Mexican Intellectuals in Enlightenment & Revolutionary France and Germany.”

2001 – 2002

Land, Property, and Space in the Early Modern World, Co-directors: Professor Daniel Beaver, History, Professor Garrett Sullivan, English, Penn State.

25-26 January 2001: David Woodward, Arthur H. Robinson, Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Jan 25, 2001, 3.30 pm, Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum: Public Lecture: The Image of the Map in the Renaissance

Jan 26, 2001, 4.00 pm, 319 Walker Building: Workshop: The ‘Two Cultures’ of Map History – Scientific and Humanistic Traditions: A Plea for Reintegration

Jan 26, 2001, 4.00 pm, 319 Walker Building

22 February 2001: Jennifer Davis, Lecturer, Women’s Studies & the Dept. of History, Penn State: “Policing Taste: Labor Organization and Legal Strategies of Rouen’s Culinary Trades, 1779-1790”

26-27 April 2001: John Walter, Prof. of History, University of Essex

26 April 2001, 3.30 pm, Boardroom 3, Nittany Lion Inn “Sacred Space: Abolishing Superstition with Sedition? Popular Iconoclasm in the English Revolution”

27 April 2001, 12:00 P.M. 124 Sparks: Workshop: Public Transcripts, Popular Agency & the Politics of Subsistence in Early Modern England

September 2001: Michael Braddick, Prof. of History, University of Sheffield Public Lecture: Making Political Space in Early Modern Societies

December 2001: Padhraig Higgins, Lecturer, Dept. of History, Penn State Lecture: Consuming Patriotism: Gender & the Free Trade Movement in Ireland, 1778-1779″

February 2002: Denis Cosgrove, Alexander von Humboldt Prof. of Geography

Public Lecture: Mapping New Worlds: 16th Century Cosmographies

Workshop: Globalism & Tolerance in Early Modern Geography

April 2002:

Mary Floyd-Wilson, Prof. of English, Yale University Public Lecture: Henry V’s Mettle

Workshop: Othello’s Passion and Race

Dr. Gotthard Fruehsorge, Prof. of Landscape Architecture, University of Hildesheim, Germany

Public Lecture: The Philosophy of Landscape: The Transformation in Perceptions of the Aesthetics of Nature in the 18th Century.

Workshop: On Modern Gardening 1 July 1- 2 August, 2002: National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at Penn State on “Landscape, Power & Identity in the Early Modern Atlantic World.” Co-Directors: Professor Daniel Beaver, History, Professor Garrett Sullivan, English, Penn State University.

2000 – 2001

Monstrous Bodies/ Political Monstrosities in the Early Modern Period. Co-Directors, Professor Laura Lunger Knoppers, English; Joan Landes, History, Penn State. 10 – 11 November 2000 Monstrous Bodies/ Political Mosntrosities in the Early Modern Period: A symposium.