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Latest episodes from New Books in Early Modern History

Guido Ruggiero, "Love and Sex in the Time of Plague: A Decameron Renaissance" (Harvard UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 54:58


Today Jana Byars talks to her PhD advisor Guido Ruggiero about his latest monograph, Love and Sex in the Time of Plague: A Decameron Renaissance (Harvard University Press, 2021) over the meaning of love in the early Renaissance. As a pandemic swept across fourteenth-century Europe, the Decameron offered the ill and grieving a symphony of life and love. For Florentines, the world seemed to be coming to an end. In 1348 the first wave of the Black Death swept across the Italian city, reducing its population from more than 100,000 to less than 40,000. The disease would eventually kill at least half of the population of Europe. Amid the devastation, Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron was born. One of the masterpieces of world literature, the Decameron has captivated centuries of readers with its vivid tales of love, loyalty, betrayal, and sex. Despite the death that overwhelmed Florence, Boccaccio's collection of novelle was, in Guido Ruggiero's words, a "symphony of life." Love and Sex in the Time of Plague guides twenty-first-century readers back to Boccaccio's world to recapture how his work sounded to fourteenth-century ears. Through insightful discussions of the Decameron's cherished stories and deep portraits of Florentine culture, Ruggiero explores love and sexual relations in a society undergoing convulsive change. In the century before the plague arrived, Florence had become one of the richest and most powerful cities in Europe. With the medieval nobility in decline, a new polity was emerging, driven by Il Popolo, the people, fractious and enterprising. Boccaccio's stories had a special resonance in this age of upheaval, as Florentines sought new notions of truth and virtue to meet both the despair and the possibility of the moment. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Melancholy

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 15:41


In this episode of High Theory, Laura Stokes talks about melancholy. One of the four humors in ancient humoral medicine, melancholy, or black bile, is a fluid substance and spiritual principle that was thought to move within the human body. A proper quantity of black bile allows one to be calm and contemplative, thoughtful and withdrawn. A superabundance produces sadness, indigestion, and a host of other evils. Research is a melancholy practice; scholars are prone to melancholic dispositions. Throughout the episode Laura refers to Robert Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, an early modern text that describes the sources, symptoms, and treatments for a surplus of melancholy, in a rather meandering way, with an entire separate disquisition on love melancholy. It was published in multiple versions over Burton's lifetime – people usually cite the 1638 edition. Laura Stokes is an associate professor of history at Stanford University where they study Early Modern Europe. Their first book Demons of Urban Reform: Early European Witch Trials and Criminal Justice, 1430-1530 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) examines the origins of witchcraft prosecution in fifteenth-century Europe against the backdrop of a general rise in the prosecution of crime and other measures of social control. They are currently working on a microhistory of a murder conspiracy within the Basel butchers' guild at the turn of the sixteenth century, which is really about Early Modern economic cultures. And they run pretty amazing summer reading groups. Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Kedar Arun Kulkarni, "World Literature and the Question of Genre in Colonial India: Poetry, Drama, and Print Culture 1790-1890" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 51:38


In 1818, the East India Company defeated the Maratha confederacy, acquiring vast domains in central and western India. Through coercion if not outright violence, the Company transformed many aspects of India's social, economic, and cultural landscape. This book charts one such shifting landscape-Marathi language literary culture-in order to expand the field of world and comparative literature. Kedar A. Kulkarni describes the way Marathi literary culture, entrenched in performative modes of production and reception, especially balladry and epic storytelling, saw the germination of a robust, script-centric dramatic culture, owing to colonial networks of literary exchange and the newfound wide availability of print technology. However, the process was far from a simple mutation of genre. He demonstrates the upheaval that literary culture underwent as a new class of literati emerged: anthologists, critics, theatre makers, publishers, translators, among many others. And, these people also participated in a global conversation that left its mark on theory in the twentieth century.  Ultimately, World Literature and the Question of Genre in Colonial India: Poetry, Drama, and Print Culture 1790-1890 (Bloomsbury, 2022) situates Marathi literature within contemporary world literature studies and critiques “eurochronology”- the perceived backwardness of colonial and postcolonial locales when compared with literatures produced in Euro-American metropoles. Reading through archives and ephemera, it demonstrates that literary cultures in colonized locales converged with and participated fully in key defining moments of world literature, but also diverged from them to create, simultaneously, a unique literary modernity. Dr. Kedar A. Kulkarni teaches at FLAME University, Pune. Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sara Rich, "Shipwreck Hauntography: Underwater Ruins and the Uncanny" (Amsterdam UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 54:44


Drawing on a broad theoretical range from speculative realism to feminist psychoanalysis and anti-colonialism, this book represents a radical departure from traditional scholarship on maritime archaeology. Shipwreck Hauntography: Underwater Ruins and the Uncanny (Amsterdam UP, 2021) asserts that nautical archaeology bears the legacy of Early Modern theological imperialism, most evident through the savior-scholar model that resurrects—physically or virtually—ships from wrecks. Instead of construing shipwrecks as dead, awaiting resurrection from the seafloor, this book presents them as vibrant if not recalcitrant objects, having shaken off anthropogenesis through varying stages of ruination. Sara Rich illustrates this anarchic condition with 'hauntographs' of five Age of 'Discovery' shipwrecks, each of which elucidates the wonder of failure and finitude, alongside an intimate brush with the eerie, horrific, and uncanny.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jeremy Bangs, "New Light on the Old Colony: Plymouth, the Dutch Context of Toleration, and Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration" (Brill, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 39:21


Jeremy Duperteis Bangs, a leading expert in the history of the Pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony, overturns stereotypes with exciting new analyses of colonial and Native life in Plymouth Colony, of religious toleration, and of historical memory. New Light on the Old Colony: Plymouth, the Dutch Context of Toleration, and Patterns of Pilgrim Commemoration (Brill, 2019) brings together a wealth of insights that will surely benefit anyone interested in the origins of New England's first colony.  Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen's University Belfast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

David Silkenat, "Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 65:47


They worked Virginia's tobacco fields, South Carolina's rice marshes, and the Black Belt's cotton plantations. Wherever they lived, enslaved people found their lives indelibly shaped by the Southern environment. By day, they plucked worms and insects from the crops, trod barefoot in the mud as they hoed rice fields, and endured the sun and humidity as they planted and harvested the fields. By night, they clandestinely took to the woods and swamps to trap opossums and turtles, to visit relatives living on adjacent plantations, and at times to escape slave patrols and escape to freedom. Scars on the Land: An Environmental History of Slavery in the American South (Oxford UP, 2022) is the first comprehensive history of American slavery to examine how the environment fundamentally formed enslaved people's lives and how slavery remade the Southern landscape. Over two centuries, from the establishment of slavery in the Chesapeake to the Civil War, one simple calculation had profound consequences: rather than measuring productivity based on outputs per acre, Southern planters sought to maximize how much labor they could extract from their enslaved workforce. They saw the landscape as disposable, relocating to more fertile prospects once they had leached the soils and cut down the forests. On the leading edge of the frontier, slavery laid waste to fragile ecosystems, draining swamps, clearing forests to plant crops and fuel steamships, and introducing devastating invasive species. On its trailing edge, slavery left eroded hillsides, rivers clogged with sterile soil, and the extinction of native species. While environmental destruction fueled slavery's expansion, no environment could long survive intensive slave labor. The scars manifested themselves in different ways, but the land too fell victim to the slave owner's lash. Although typically treated separately, slavery and the environment naturally intersect in complex and powerful ways, leaving lasting effects from the period of emancipation through modern-day reckonings with racial justice. Brandon T. Jett, professor of history at Florida SouthWestern State College, creator of the Lynching in LaBelle Digital History Project, and author of Race, Crime, and Policing in the Jim Crow South (LSU Press, 2021) and co-editor of Steeped in a Culture of Violence: Murder, Racial Injustice, and Other Violent Crimes in Texas, 1965–2020 (Texas A&M University Press, scheduled Spring 2023). Twitter: @DrBrandonJett1. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Morgan Pitelka, "Reading Medieval Ruins: Urban Life and Destruction in Sixteenth-Century Japan" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 57:37


The Japanese provincial city of Ichijōdani was destroyed in the civil wars of the late sixteenth century but never rebuilt. Archaeological excavations have since uncovered the most detailed late medieval urban site in the country. Drawing on analysis of specific excavated objects and decades of archaeological evidence to study daily life in Ichijōdani, Reading Medieval Ruins: Urban Life and Destruction in Sixteenth-Century Japan (Cambridge UP, 2022) illuminates the city's layout, the possessions and houses of its residents, its politics and experience of war, and religious and cultural networks. Morgan Pitelka demonstrates how provincial centers could be dynamic and vibrant nodes of industrial, cultural, economic, and political entrepreneurship and sophistication. In this study a new and vital understanding of late medieval society is revealed, one in which Ichijôdani played a central role in the vibrant age of Japan's sixteenth century. Morgan Pitelka is Bernard L. Herman Distinguished Professor of Japanese History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Samee Siddiqui is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On "The U.S. Constitution"

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 44:40


The story of the Constitution of the United States began long before the American Revolutionary War. This document was influenced by centuries old English law, and the final product was the result of months of debate, arguing, and compromises from representatives of 12 states, including its essential recognition of slavery, leading to further debates and conflict after the document was signed. Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution remains a fundamental part of U.S. politics. We ask ourselves: Do we move forward, or must we return to our roots? How can we remember the origins of the Constitution while we live in a society that would have been unimaginable when it was written? Jonathan Gienapp is an assistant professor of History at Stanford University. He specializes in Revolutionary and early republican America, and he is the author of The Second Creation: Fixing the American Constitution in the Founding Era. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Erin Webster, "The Curious Eye: Optics and Imaginative Literature in Seventeenth-Century England" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 73:11


Today's guest, Erin Webster, is the author of The Curious Eye: Optics and Literature in Early Modern England (Oxford University Press, 2020). A book that casts its attention on the early modern period far and wide, The Curious Eye will be of interest to anyone interested in early modern mathematics, optic technology, poetic theory, and the contested relation of empiricism and empire. Erin is Professor of English at the College of William and Mary. Erin is a former Research Fellow and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities, at the University of London, and is the recipient of the Milton Society of America's James Holly Hancock Award for a distinguished article on the poet. John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Boston College. He holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On John Milton's "Paradise Lost"

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 32:48


As a young student at Christ's College Cambridge, John Milton announced to the world that he was going to write the greatest poem that the world has ever seen. He didn't want to sit among the epic geniuses Homer and Virgil, he wanted to surpass them. Decades later, Milton wrote Paradise Lost, reworking and embellishing the stories of Adam and Eve's fall from paradise and Satan's fall from heaven to create what is unquestionably the greatest epic poem written in English. Erik Gray is a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. His books include The Art of Love Poetry, Milton and the Victorians, and The Poetry of Indifference: from the Romantics to the Rubáiyát. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "The Social Contract"

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 37:52


The 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that humans are born good, but society corrupts them. He was unimpressed with the fixation on wealth that he saw in the French society. In fact, he felt it was evidence of a self-interested, degenerate society. He endeavored to write the formula for a more civically minded society, and in 1762, he published The Social Contract, a treatise in which he argues that the people should run the government. Harvard Professor James Kloppenberg discusses how Rousseau's ideas on government and society have inspired thinkers and leaders ever since. James Kloppenberg is the Charles Warren Professor of American History at Harvard University. He is the author of Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition and Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought, among other works. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Joanna Ebenstein, "Frederik Ruysch and His Thesaurus Anatomicus: A Morbid Guide" (MIT Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 54:11


Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731) was a celebrated Dutch anatomist, master embalmer, and museologist. He is best remembered today for strange tableaux, crafted from fetal skeletons and other human remains, that flicker provocatively at the edges of science, art, and memento mori. Ruysch exhibited these pieces, along with hundreds of other artful specimens, in his home museum and catalogued them in his lavishly illustrated Frederik Ruysch and His Thesaurus Anatomicus (MIT Press, 2022). This book offers the first English translation of Ruysch's guide to his collection, along with all the illustrations from the original volume, photographs of some his most imaginative extant specimens, and more. Ruysch was at once a brilliant scientist, a preternaturally gifted technician, an esteemed physician, a religious moralizer, and an artist whose prime form of expression was the medium of human remains. His works were sometimes described as Rembrandts of anatomical preparation; today they seem so strange that we can hardly believe that they even existed, much less that they were so popular in their time. His combination of the religious and the scientific, the painstakingly accurate and the extravagantly fantastical, offers vivid testimony of an era in which science overlapped seamlessly with religion and art. Essays accompanying Ruysch's text and images consider such topics as the historical context of Ruysch's work, the paradox of an artist of death whose work engenders the illusion of life, the conservation of Ruysch's specimens, and the shifting ascendancies of romanticism and rationality in the natural sciences. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Yuhua Wang, "The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 55:14


How social networks shaped the imperial Chinese state China was the world's leading superpower for almost two millennia, falling behind only in the last two centuries and now rising to dominance again. What factors led to imperial China's decline?  The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development (Princeton UP, 2022) offers a systematic look at the Chinese state from the seventh century through to the twentieth. Focusing on how short-lived emperors often ruled a strong state while long-lasting emperors governed a weak one, Yuhua Wang shows why lessons from China's history can help us better understand state building. Wang argues that Chinese rulers faced a fundamental trade-off that he calls the sovereign's dilemma: a coherent elite that could collectively strengthen the state could also overthrow the ruler. This dilemma emerged because strengthening state capacity and keeping rulers in power for longer required different social networks in which central elites were embedded. Wang examines how these social networks shaped the Chinese state, and vice versa, and he looks at how the ruler's pursuit of power by fragmenting the elites became the final culprit for China's fall. Drawing on more than a thousand years of Chinese history, The Rise and Fall of Imperial China highlights the role of elite social relations in influencing the trajectories of state development. Javier Mejia is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Political Science Department at Stanford University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Timothy Murtagh, "Irish Artisans and Radical Politics, 1776-1820: Apprenticeship to Revolution" (Liverpool UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 31:16


Tim Murtagh completed his PhD at Trinity College Dublin. He was a historical consultant on the Dublin Tenement Museum at No. 14 Henrietta Street and a book based on this research will be appearing later next year. Since April 2020, Tim has been an Archival Research Fellow with the Beyond 2022 project, an international research project working to create a virtual reconstruction of the Public Record Office of Ireland, which was destroyed in the opening engagement of the Irish Civil War in 1922. In this interview he discusses his new book Irish Artisans and Radical Politics, 1776-1820: Apprenticeship to Revolution (Liverpool UP, 2022), a study of working-class life and politics in the major urban centers of Ireland in the years before and after the United Irishman Rebellion of 1798. Irish Artisans and Radical Politics is a comparative study of the political activities of workers in three Irish cities: Dublin, Belfast and Cork. It investigates how Ireland's journeymen and apprentices engaged in campaigns for political reform, as well as in revolutionary conspiracies, during the years 1776 to 1820. This book marks the first ever attempt to analyse the role of Irish workers in the creation of eighteenth-century republicanism, representing the careful distillation of nearly a decade of research on the topic. It argues that Irish craftsmen truly did serve an ‘apprenticeship to revolution'. In the literal sense, the experience of the workshop provided artisans with a set of traditions which shaped how new revolutionary doctrines were received. But generations of Irish workers also served a figurative apprenticeship to successive political movements: the campaigns of Irish ‘Patriot' MPs, the Volunteering movement of the 1770s, and the revolutionary campaigns of the United Irishmen. The book explores the role of urban workers within the 1798 Irish Rebellion and Robert Emmet's 1803 rising and, adopting a transnational framework, places the actions of these Irish artisans within the context of British radicalism and the creation of an industrial working class. Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Frederick Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Ksenia Chizhova, "Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday" (Columbia UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 59:06


In the face of a Korean cultural world preoccupied with newness, literary output from the more measured and regulated Choson period (1392-1910) can seem difficult to engage with for readers both inside and outside the country. But as Ksenia Chizhova's Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday (Columbia UP, 2021) shows, a particular genre of late-Chsoson lineage novels reflect not only the staid norms of Confucian patriarchy and heredity, but also a more textured world of unruly emotions, gendered family disputes, calligraphic creativity and scandal simmering under the surface of mundane domestic life. Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Victor Stater, "Hoax: The Popish Plot That Never Was" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 47:07


The extraordinary story of the Popish Plot and how it shaped the political and religious future of Britain In 1678, a handful of perjurers claimed that the Catholics of England planned to assassinate the king. Men like the "Reverend Doctor" Titus Oates and "Captain" William Bedloe parlayed their fantastical tales of Irish ruffians, medical poisoners, and silver bullets into public adulation and government pensions. Their political allies used the fabricated plot as a tool to undermine the ministry of Thomas Lord Danby and replace him themselves. The result was the trial and execution of over a dozen innocent Catholics, and the imprisonment of many more, some of whom died in custody.  In Hoax: The Popish Plot that Never Was (Yale University Press, 2022), Victor Stater examines the Popish Plot in full, arguing that it had a profound and lasting significance on British politics. He shows how Charles II emerged from the crisis with credit, moderating the tempers of the time, and how, as the catalyst for the later attempt to deny James II his throne through parliamentary action, it led to the birth of two-party politics in England. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Mackenzie Cooley, "The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 56:51


The Renaissance is celebrated for the belief that individuals could fashion themselves to greatness, but there is a dark undercurrent to this fêted era of history. The same men and women who offered profound advancements in European understanding of the human condition—and laid the foundations of the Scientific Revolution—were also obsessed with controlling that condition and the wider natural world. Tracing early modern artisanal practice, Mackenzie Cooley shows how the idea of race and theories of inheritance developed through animal breeding in the shadow of the Spanish Empire. While one strand of the Renaissance celebrated a liberal view of human potential, another limited it by biology, reducing man to beast and prince to stud. “Race,” Cooley explains, first referred to animal stock honed through breeding. To those who invented the concept, race was not inflexible, but the fragile result of reproductive work. As the Spanish empire expanded, the concept of race moved from nonhuman to human animals. Cooley reveals how, as the dangerous idea of controlled reproduction was brought to life again and again, a rich, complex, and ever-shifting language of race and breeding was born. Adding nuance and historical context to discussions of race and human and animal relations, The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance (U Chicago Press, 2022) provides a close reading of undertheorized notions of generation and its discontents in the more-than-human world. Rachel Pagones is an acupuncturist, educator, and author. Before moving to the UK in 2021 she was chair of the doctoral program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Pacific College of Health and Science in San Diego. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sam W. Haynes, "Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas" (Basic Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 74:52


The Texas Revolution has long been cast as an epic episode in the origins of the American West. As the story goes, larger-than-life figures like Sam Houston, David Crockett, and William Barret Travis fought to free Texas from repressive Mexican rule. In Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, the Struggle for Texas (Basic Books, 2022), historian Sam Haynes reveals the reality beneath this powerful creation myth. He shows how the lives of ordinary people—white Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and those of African descent—were upended by extraordinary events over twenty-five years. After the battle of San Jacinto, racial lines snapped taut as a new nation, the Lone Star republic, sought to expel Indians, marginalize Mexicans, and tighten its grip on the enslaved. This is a revelatory and essential new narrative of a major turning point in the history of North America. Andrew R. Graybill is professor of history and director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of The Red and the White: A Family Saga of the American West (Liveright, 2013). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nancy November, "String Quartets in Beethoven's Europe" (Academic Studies Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 30:57


Nancy November's edited volume String Quartets in Beethoven's Europe (Academic Studies Press, 2022) is the first detailed study of string quartets in late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Europe. It brings together the work of nine scholars who explore little-studied aspects of this multi-faceted genre. Together, this book's chapters deal with compositional responses to Beethoven's string quartets and the prestige of the genre; varied compositional practices in string quartet writing, with a particular emphasis on texture and performance elements; and the reception of Beethoven's string quartets ca. 1800. They include discussions of quartets composed for the amateur and connoisseur markets in Beethoven's Europe; virtuosity, the French Violin School, and the quatuor brillant; the relationship between quartet composers and their audiences during Beethoven's era; and the cross-pollination of quartet styles in Europe's musical centers such as Vienna, Paris, and St. Petersburg. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Benjamin Parris, "Vital Strife: Sleep, Insomnia, and the Early Modern Ethics of Care" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 69:12


In an exciting new book titled Vital Strife: Sleep, Insomnia, and the Early Modern Ethics of Care (Cornell UP, 2022), Benjamin Parris shows how early modern writing about care and sleep were deeply indebted with the Stoic principle of oikeiosis. While sleep could imperil the Christian soul, insomnia too could have deleterious effects on both communal and individual life. In Parris's analysis, early modern writings by William Shakespeare, Jasper Heywood, John Milton, and Margaret Cavendish on the conjunction of sleep and care—and the Stoic philosophy that influenced those writers—opened onto startling revelations about both our obligation to the self and to an ethical engagement with society at large. Parris is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and his work has appeared in Shakespeare Studies, Modern Philology, and SEL: Studies in English Literature. John Yargo is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Boston College. He holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His peer-reviewed articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Early Theatre, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

John Jeffries Martin, "A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 58:04


Professor Martin's A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World (Yale, 2022) is a survey of Early Modern European history from the Age of Discovery to the French Revolution with two important distinctions. First, Professor Martin views modernity through the enduring dream of the Apocalypse (which he calls the “stamp of modernity,” 250); second, he compares the Christian philosophy of the Apocalypse to the views of the two other great European religious traditions in this era—Judaism and Islam. The result is a magisterial survey of the age that presents familiar stories examined from a new angle. Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike understood the rapidly-changing, modern world they shared in terms of their common Abrahamic faith with its messianic elements, or “Apocalyptic Braid” (13). And, in addition, Christian Habsburgs and Muslim Ottomans entertained competing narratives of World Empire contested on continental battlefields and in the Mediterranean Sea as well as in literature. The Beautiful Ending ultimately was both the balm for the terrible uncertainties of the age but also a motivation for the modern Europeans to shape their own destiny—a motivation that Professor Martin argues has remained with us until today—“the idea that we are not simply made by history but also make history continues to stem from faith, and it matters little whether or not this faith is religious” (247). John Jeffries Martin is a historian of early modern Europe at Duke University. He specializes in social, cultural, and intellectual history of Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is the author of Venice's Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (1993), which won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004), as well as this book, A Beautiful Ending. He is the author of over 50 articles and essays and several edited volumes, including The Renaissance World (2007). After recording this interview about history for the New Books in History Podcast, Krzysztof Odyniec and John Jeffries Martin recorded a second conversation about Apocalypse from the Early Modern period to the present day for the Almost Good Catholics podcast; the link is here. Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of the Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World, specializing in sixteenth-century diplomacy and travel. His forthcoming book is Diplomacy at the Edges of Empires: Johannes Dantiscus in Spain, 1519-1352 (published by Brepols). He also hosts and produces the Almost Good Catholics podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Ron E. Hassner, "Anatomy of Torture" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 88:34


Does torture "work?" Can controversial techniques such as waterboarding extract crucial and reliable intelligence? Since 9/11, this question has been angrily debated in the halls of power and the court of public opinion. In Anatomy of Torture (Cornell UP, 2022), Ron E. Hassner mines the archives of the Spanish Inquisition to propose an answer that will frustrate and infuriate both sides of the divide. The Inquisition's scribes recorded every torment, every scream, and every confession in the torture chamber. Their transcripts reveal that Inquisitors used torture deliberately and meticulously, unlike the rash, improvised methods used by the United States after 9/11. In their relentless pursuit of underground Jewish communities in Spain and Mexico, the Inquisition tortured in cold blood. But they treated any information extracted with caution: torture was used to test information provided through other means, not to uncover startling new evidence. Hassner's findings in Anatomy of Torture have important implications for ongoing torture debates. Rather than insist that torture is ineffective, torture critics should focus their attention on the morality of torture. If torture is evil, its efficacy is irrelevant. At the same time, torture defenders cannot advocate for torture as a counterterrorist "quick fix": torture has never located, nor will ever locate, the hypothetical "ticking bomb" that is frequently invoked to justify brutality in the name of security. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Kenyon Gradert, "Puritan Spirits in the Abolitionist Imagination" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 39:13


Modern imagination of the Puritans typically casts them in a repressive, conservative light. But that wasn't always the case. Abolitionist activists in the nineteenth century, especially in New England, understood their Puritan heritage as one with radical political and spiritual responsibilities. Kenyon Gradert's new book, Puritan Spirits in the Abolitionist Imagination (U Chicago Press, 2020) tells the surprising story of unexpected connections between the English Civil Wars and the literary drumbeats for a holy war in late antebellum America.  Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen's University Belfast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Leonardo da Vinci and Vassari's "Lives of the Painters"

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 63:56


In this episode of the Vault, we hear Harry Berger's talk about Leonardo da Vinci and Vassari's "Lives of the Painters." Harry Berger was a scholar of Renaissance English literature who wrote books about art history, anthropology, and philosophy. He taught at UC Santa Cruz, where he was an emeritus professor until he died in 2021, at age 96. Since 1977, the New York Institute for the Humanities has brought together distinguished scholars, writers, artists, and publishing professionals to foster crucial discussions around the public humanities. For more information and to support the NYIH, visit nyihumanities.org. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jennifer Lillian Lodine-Chaffey, "A Weak Woman in a Strong Battle: Women and Public Execution in Early Modern England" (U Alabama Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 41:41


Content Warning: discussion of execution gets a bit gruesome.  Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey, A Weak Woman in a Strong Battle: Women and Public Execution in Early Modern England (University of Alabama Press, 2022) provides a new perspective on the representations of women on the scaffold, focusing on how female victims and those writing about them constructed meaning from the ritual. A significant part of the execution spectacle-one used to assess the victim's proper acceptance of death and godly repentance-was the final speech offered at the foot of the gallows or before the pyre. To ensure that their words on the scaffold held value for audiences, women adopted conventionally gendered language and positioned themselves as subservient and modest. Just as important as their words, though, were the depictions of women's bodies. Drawing on a wide range of genres, from accounts of martyrdom to dramatic works, this study explores not only the words of women executed in Tudor and Stuart England, but also the ways that writers represented female bodies as markers of penitence or deviance. The reception of women's speeches, Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey argues, depended on their performances of accepted female behaviors and words as well as physical signs of interior regeneration. Indeed, when women presented themselves or were represented as behaving in stereotypically feminine and virtuous ways, they were able to offer limited critiques of their fraught positions in society.  The first part of this study investigates the early modern execution, including the behavioral expectations for condemned individuals, the medieval tradition that shaped the ritual, and the gender specific ways English authorities legislated and carried out women's executions. Depictions of the female body are the focus of the second part of the book. The executed woman's body, Lodine-Chaffey contends, functioned as a text, scrutinized by witnesses and readers for markers of innocence or guilt. These signs, though, were related not just to early modern ideas about female modesty and weakness, but also to the developing martyrdom tradition, which linked bodies and behavior to inner spiritual states. While many representations of women focused on physical traits and behaviors coded as godly, other accounts highlighted the grotesque and bestial attributes of women deemed unrepentant or evil. Part Three considers the rhetorical strategies used by women and their authors, highlighting the ways that women positioned themselves as stereotypically weak in order to defuse criticism of their speeches and navigate their positions in society, even when awaiting death on the scaffold. The greater focus on the words and bodies of women facing execution during this period, Lodine-Chaffey argues, became a catalyst for a more thorough interest in and understanding of women's roles not just as criminals but as subjects. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Michael Francis Laffan, "Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 126:29


Michael Francis Laffan's Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945 (Columbia University Press, 2022) traces a tapestry of historical actors, empires, and ideas across the Indian Ocean world. Starting with an imam banished from eastern Indonesia to the Cape of Good Hope in 1780 to build a new Muslim community with a mix of fellow exiles, enslaved people, and even the men tasked with supervising his detention. To nineteenth-century colonial chroniclers who invent the legend of the “loyal Malay” warrior, whose anger can be tamed through the “mildness” of British rule. And a Tunisian-born teacher who arrived in Java from Istanbul in the early twentieth century becomes an enterprising Arabic-language journalist caught between competing nationalisms. Telling these stories and many more, Michael Laffan offers a sweeping exploration of two centuries of interactions among Muslim subjects of empires and future nation-states around the Indian Ocean world. Under Empire follows interlinked lives and journeys, examining engagements with Western, Islamic, and pan-Asian imperial formations to consider the possibilities for Muslims in an imperial age. It ranges from the dying era of the trading companies in the late eighteenth century through the period of Dutch and British colonial rule up to the rise of nationalist and cosmopolitan movements for social reform in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Laffan emphasizes how Indian Ocean Muslims by turn asserted loyalty to colonial states in pursuit of a measure of religious freedom or looked to the Ottoman Empire or Egypt in search of spiritual unity. Bringing the history of Southeast Asian Islam to African and South Asian shores, Under Empire is an expansive and inventive account of Muslim communal belonging on the world stage. Michael Francis Laffan is professor of history and Paula Chow Chair in International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia (2003) and The Makings of Indonesian Islam (2011) as well as the editor of Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal (2017). Kelvin Ng co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Tamara Fernando co-hosted the episode. She is a Past & Present postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Historical Research, London, and an incoming assistant professor in the history of the global south at SUNY Stony Brook University. Her present book project, Of Mollusks and Men, is a history of pearl diving across the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar and the Mergui archipelago. She is interested in histories of science, environment, and labour across the Indian Ocean. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at PrincetonUniversity, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult, and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners' feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Michael Francis Laffan, "Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 126:29


Michael Francis Laffan's Under Empire: Muslim Lives and Loyalties Across the Indian Ocean World, 1775–1945 (Columbia University Press, 2022) traces a tapestry of historical actors, empires, and ideas across the Indian Ocean world. Starting with an imam banished from eastern Indonesia to the Cape of Good Hope in 1780 to build a new Muslim community with a mix of fellow exiles, enslaved people, and even the men tasked with supervising his detention. To nineteenth-century colonial chroniclers who invent the legend of the “loyal Malay” warrior, whose anger can be tamed through the “mildness” of British rule. And a Tunisian-born teacher who arrived in Java from Istanbul in the early twentieth century becomes an enterprising Arabic-language journalist caught between competing nationalisms. Telling these stories and many more, Michael Laffan offers a sweeping exploration of two centuries of interactions among Muslim subjects of empires and future nation-states around the Indian Ocean world. Under Empire follows interlinked lives and journeys, examining engagements with Western, Islamic, and pan-Asian imperial formations to consider the possibilities for Muslims in an imperial age. It ranges from the dying era of the trading companies in the late eighteenth century through the period of Dutch and British colonial rule up to the rise of nationalist and cosmopolitan movements for social reform in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Laffan emphasizes how Indian Ocean Muslims by turn asserted loyalty to colonial states in pursuit of a measure of religious freedom or looked to the Ottoman Empire or Egypt in search of spiritual unity. Bringing the history of Southeast Asian Islam to African and South Asian shores, Under Empire is an expansive and inventive account of Muslim communal belonging on the world stage. Michael Francis Laffan is professor of history and Paula Chow Chair in International and Regional Studies at Princeton University. He is the author of Islamic Nationhood and Colonial Indonesia (2003) and The Makings of Indonesian Islam (2011) as well as the editor of Belonging Across the Bay of Bengal (2017). Kelvin Ng co-hosted the episode. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, History Department. His research interests broadly lie in the history of imperialism and anti-imperialism in the early-twentieth-century Indian Ocean circuit. Tamara Fernando co-hosted the episode. She is a Past & Present postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Historical Research, London, and an incoming assistant professor in the history of the global south at SUNY Stony Brook University. Her present book project, Of Mollusks and Men, is a history of pearl diving across the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Mannar and the Mergui archipelago. She is interested in histories of science, environment, and labour across the Indian Ocean. Ahmed Yaqoub AlMaazmi is a Ph.D. candidate at PrincetonUniversity, Near Eastern Studies Department. His research focuses on the intersection of law, the occult, and the environment across the western Indian Ocean. He can be reached by email at almaazmi@princeton.edu or on Twitter @Ahmed_Yaqoub. Listeners' feedback, questions, and book suggestions are most welcome Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Yohanan Friedmann, "Messianic Ideas and Movements in Sunni Islam" (Oneworld Academic, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2022 59:06


In his fascinating and painstakingly research new book Messianic Ideas and Movements in Sunni Islam (Oneworld Academic, 2022), the noted scholar of Islam Yohanan Friedmann details the religious thought and political movements of multiple actors who made messianic claims in premodern and modern Islam, spanning sites including South Asia, North Africa, and the Sudan. Over the course of this book, we learn extensively about a range of less known intellectual traditions-in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu-on questions of messianism and apocalypse in Muslim thought and history. Centered on the lives, messianic claims and aspirations, as well as the tensions and contradictions hovering over some of the most prominent Muslim actors across time and space, Friedmann highlights with glistening brilliance the importance of messianism to Sunni Islam. Throughout the book, Friedmann unleashes his signature prowess of presenting unexpected, finely grained, and yet eminently accessible readings of an encyclopedic reservoir of difficult texts and sources. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Tracy Adams and Christine Adams, "The Creation of the French Royal Mistress: From Agnès Sorel to Madame Du Barry" (Penn State UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 60:59


Kings throughout medieval and early modern Europe had extraconjugal sexual partners. Only in France, however, did the royal mistress become a quasi-institutionalized political position. This study explores the emergence and development of the position of French royal mistress through detailed portraits of nine of its most significant incumbents: Agnès Sorel, Anne de Pisseleu d'Heilly, Diane de Poitiers, Gabrielle d'Estrées, Françoise Louise de La Baume Le Blanc, Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Françoise d'Aubigné, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, and Jeanne Bécu. Beginning in the fifteenth century, key structures converged to create a space at court for the royal mistress. The first was an idea of gender already in place: that while women were legally inferior to men, they were men's equals in competence. Because of their legal subordinacy, queens were considered to be the safest regents for their husbands, and, subsequently, the royal mistress was the surest counterpoint to the royal favorite. Second, the Renaissance was a period during which people began to experience space as theatrical. This shift to a theatrical world opened up new ways of imagining political guile, which came to be positively associated with the royal mistress. Still, the role had to be activated by an intelligent, charismatic woman associated with a king who sought women as advisors. The fascinating particulars of each case are covered in the chapters of Tracy Adams and Christine Adams's book The Creation of the French Royal Mistress: From Agnes Sorel to Madame DuBarry (Penn State University Press, 2021). Thoroughly researched and compellingly narrated, this important study explains why the tradition of a politically powerful royal mistress materialized at the French court, but nowhere else in Europe. It will appeal to anyone interested in the history of the French monarchy, women and royalty, and gender studies. Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Thomas E. Burman et al., "The Sea in the Middle: The Mediterranean World, 650-1650" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 60:30


The Sea in the Middle: The Mediterranean World, 650-1650 (U California Press, 2022) presents an original and revisionist narrative of the development of the medieval west from late antiquity to the dawn of modernity. This textbook is uniquely centered on the Mediterranean and emphasizes the role played by peoples and cultures of Africa, Asia, and Europe in an age when Christians, Muslims, and Jews of various denominations engaged with each other in both conflict and collaboration. Key features: Fifteen-chapter structure to aid classroom use Sections in each chapter that feature key artifacts relevant to chapter themes Dynamic visuals, including 190 photos and 20 maps The Sea in the Middle and its sourcebook companion, Texts from the Middle, pair together to provide a framework and materials that guide students and scholars through this complex but essential history—one that will appeal to the diverse student bodies of today. Thomas E. Burman is Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and the Director of the Medieval Institute. He is a scholar of Christian-Muslim-Jewish intellectual and cultural history in the medieval Mediterranean. His book Reading the Qur'an in Latin Christendom was awarded the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History. Brian A. Catlos is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, and the co-director of the Mediterranean Seminar. He works on Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations in the premodern Mediterranean. His most recent book, Kingdoms of Faith: A New History of Islamic Spain, is available in eight languages and as an audiobook. Mark D. Meyerson is Professor in the Department of History and Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. He works on Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations in the premodern Mediterranean and on the history of violence. His book A Jewish Renaissance in Fifteenth-Century Spain was runner-up for the National Jewish Book Award, USA. Evan Zarkadas (MA) is an independent scholar of European and Medieval history and an educator. He received his master's in history from the University of Maine focusing on Medieval Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, medieval identity, and ethnicity during the late Middle Ages. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Camilla Russell, "Being a Jesuit in Renaissance Italy: Biographical Writing in the Early Global Age" (Harvard UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 55:36


The Society of Jesus was established in 1540. In the century that followed, thousands sought to become Jesuits and pursue vocations in religious service, teaching, and missions. Drawing on scores of unpublished biographical documents housed at the Roman Jesuit Archive, Camilla Russell illuminates the lives of those who joined the Society, building together a religious and cultural presence that remains influential the world over. Tracing Jesuit life from the Italian provinces to distant missions, Russell sheds new light on the impact and inner workings of the Society. The documentary record reveals a textual network among individual members, inspired by Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises. The early Jesuits took stock of both quotidian and spiritual experiences in their own records, which reflect a community where the worldly and divine overlapped. Echoing the Society's foundational writings, members believed that each Jesuit's personal strengths and inclinations offered a unique contribution to the whole--an attitude that helps explain the Society's widespread appeal from its first days. Focusing on the Jesuits' own words, Being a Jesuit in Renaissance Italy: Biographical Writing in the Early Global Age (Harvard UP, 2022) offers a new lens on the history of spirituality, identity, and global exchange in the Renaissance. What emerges is a kind of genetic code--a thread connecting the key Jesuit works to the first generations of Jesuits and the Society of Jesus as it exists today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, "The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism" (U California Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 58:11


In this age of globalization, the eighteenth-century priest and abolitionist Henri Grégoire have often been called a man ahead of his time. An icon of anti-racism, a hero to people from Ho Chi Minh to French Jews, Grégoire has been particularly celebrated since 1989, when the French government placed him in the Pantheon as a model of ideals of universalism and human rights.  In The Abbe Gregoire and the French Revolution: The Making of Modern Universalism (U California Press, 2021), we gain access for the first time to the full complexity of Grégoire's intellectual and political universe and the compelling nature of his persona. His life offers an extraordinary vantage from which to view significant issues in European and world history in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It provides provocative insights into many of the twenty-first century's prevailing tensions, ideals, and paradoxes. Focusing on Grégoire's idea of "regeneration," that people could literally be made anew, Sepinwall argues that revolutionary universalism was more complicated than it appeared. Tracing the Revolution's long-term legacy, she suggests that while it spread concepts of equality and liberation throughout the world, its ideals also helped to justify colonialism and conquest. Dr. Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall is a Professor of History at California State University – San Marcos and a French and Haitian history specialist. Brigid Wallace a Graduate Student of History @Lehigh University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Eden Collinsworth, "What the Ermine Saw: The Extraordinary Journey of Leonardo Da Vinci's Most Mysterious Portrait" (Doubleday Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 49:29


In the tradition of The Lady in Gold and The Hare with Amber Eyes, the remarkable history behind one of the world's most beloved paintings, Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine More than half a millennium ago, a young woman sat before a Grecian-nosed artist known as Leonardo da Vinci. Her name was Cecilia Gallerani, and she was the fourteen-year-old mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. Her lover, a ruthless man, was aware that da Vinci's brilliance as a painter would not only capture his mistress's beauty but reflect his own political prowess. Indeed, with this beguiling painting--in which Gallerani holds a strange white ermine close to her breast--da Vinci revolutionized the genre, changing not just what a portrait looked like, but also its purpose. But despite the work's importance in its own time, no records of it from the three hundred years following Gallerini's death exist. In What the Ermine Saw: The Extraordinary Journey of Leonardo Da Vinci's Most Mysterious Portrait (Doubleday Books, 2022), Eden Collinsworth illuminates the eventual history of this exquisite oil painting, as it journeyed from one owner to the next--from the brutal Milanese Duke to a Polish noblewoman to the Nazis, who added it to Hitler's private collection, to the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow where it is currently displayed. Along the way, Collinsworth reveals a bewildering maze of social alliances and cultural upheavals, polarizing political divisions and territorial fragmentation. Expertly researched and deftly told, What the Ermine Saw is an enthralling account of Renaissance Italy and its actors, a comprehensive study of artistry and innovation, and a reminder that genius, power, and beauty always have a price. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Eric Jay Dolin, "Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution" (Liveright, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 44:58


The bestselling author of Black Flags, Blue Waters reclaims the daring freelance sailors who proved essential to the winning of the Revolutionary War. The heroic story of the founding of the U.S. Navy during the Revolution has been told many times, yet largely missing from maritime histories of America's first war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels that truly revealed the new nation's character—above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos. In Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution (Liveright, 2022), best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin corrects that significant omission, and contends that privateers, as they were called, were in fact critical to the American victory. Privateers were privately owned vessels, mostly refitted merchant ships, that were granted permission by the new government to seize British merchantmen and men of war.  As Dolin stirringly demonstrates, at a time when the young Continental Navy numbered no more than about sixty vessels all told, privateers rushed to fill the gaps. Nearly 2,000 set sail over the course of the war, with tens of thousands of Americans serving on them and capturing some 1,800 British ships. Privateers came in all shapes and sizes, from twenty-five foot long whaleboats to full-rigged ships more than 100 feet long. Bristling with cannons, swivel guns, muskets, and pikes, they tormented their foes on the broad Atlantic and in bays and harbors on both sides of the ocean. Abounding in tales of daring maneuvers and deadly encounters, Rebels at Sea presents this nation's first war as we have rarely seen it before. Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD in American history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author of William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jeffers Lennox, "North of America: Loyalists, Indigenous Nations, and the Borders of the Long American Revolution" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 50:30


The story of the Thirteen Colonies' struggle for independence from Britain is well known to every American schoolchild. But at the start of the Revolutionary War, there were more than thirteen British colonies in North America. Patriots were surrounded by Indigenous homelands and loyal provinces. Independence had its limits. North of America: Loyalists, Indigenous Nations, and the Borders of the Long American Revolution (Yale University Press, 2022) by Dr. Jeffers Lennox focuses on Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and especially the homelands that straddled colonial borders. He argues that these areas were far less foreign to the men and women who established the United States than Canada is to those who live here now. These northern neighbors were far from inactive during the Revolution. The participation of the loyal British provinces and Indigenous nations that largely rejected the Revolution—as antagonists, opponents, or bystanders—shaped the progress of the conflict and influenced the American nation's early development. In this book, historian Dr. Lennox looks north, as so many Americans at that time did, and describes how Loyalists and Indigenous leaders frustrated Patriot ambitions, defended their territory, and acted as midwives to the birth of the United States while restricting and redirecting its continental aspirations. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Jakob Feinig, "Moral Economies of Money: Politics and the Monetary Constitution of Society" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 42:52


In this podcast Jakob Feinig introduces his ideas about how and when people's practices and institutions shape money and money creation. He provided deep insight into historical episodes to support his view. Towards the end, he comments on the challenges of digital currencies. Feinig is the author of Moral Economies of Money: Politics and the Monetary Constitution of Society (Stanford UP, 2022). Ideas discussed in the podcast that you might want to pursue further or clarify:  Chartalism and Modern Monetary Theory. Here are some thinkers who explore similar ideas: Rohan Grey, Geoffrey Ingham, Lana Swartz, E. P. Thompson and Viviana Zelizer. Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Evan Haefeli, "Accidental Pluralism: America and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497-1662" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 40:58


Origin stories of the United States often highlight religious freedom as a foundational pillar of the earliest English settlers. But Evan Haefeli tells a more complex story in Accidental Pluralism: America and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497–1662 (University of Chicago Press, 2021). In this ambitious contribution to the origins of American religious tolerance, Haefeli argues that religious diversity was rarely the hoped-for goal of English expansion in the Atlantic. Rather, toleration arose of necessity from the collapse of political control over the English state church in the highly contested landscape of early modern religious conflict. Your host, Ryan Shelton (@_ryanshelton) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen's University Belfast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Leslie A. Geddes, "Watermarks: Leonardo Da Vinci and the Mastery of Nature" (Princeton UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 67:21


Formless, mutable, transparent: the element of water posed major challenges for the visual artists of the Renaissance. To the engineers of the era, water represented a force that could be harnessed for human industry but was equally possessed of formidable destructive power. For Leonardo da Vinci, water was an enduring fascination, appearing in myriad forms throughout his work. In Watermarks, Leslie Geddes explores the extraordinary range of Leonardo's interest in water and shows how artworks by him and his peers contributed to hydraulic engineering and the construction of large river and canal systems. In this interview, Allison Leigh talks to Leslie Geddes about transforming your dissertation into a book, how one tackles a body of scholarly literature as immense as that on Leonardo, and whether or not the famous Salvator Mundi was indeed painted by Leonardo. Their conversation ranges from what it is like to examine the artist's Renaissance drawings in person to the power of comparisons within art historical writing and research. Allison Leigh is Associate Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On Immanuel Kant's "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals"

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 34:38


Immanuel Kant's early work wasn't much to write home about. But as his career developed, Kant published incredible works of philosophy that continue to challenge and influence our greatest thinkers. In 1785, he published the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and challenged the foundations of human value. Professor Richard Bourke untangles this complex work and discusses how Kant—whether we realize it or not—has permeated our culture. Richard Bourke is a professor of the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke and Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Follow us on Twitter @WritLargePod. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Siobhan Lambert-Hurley et al., "Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women" (Indiana UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2022 64:32


Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Daniel Majchrowicz, and Sunil Sharma's edited anthology Three Centuries of Travel Writing by Muslim Women (Indiana University Press 2022) is a collection of travel writings from the late 19th century to the early and mid-20th century. It captures the fascinating lives of diverse Muslim women as they travelled for religious pilgrimage, political reasons, education, and for leisure. This anthology not only recovers the voices of women from a broad range of languages, Urdu, Punjabi, Turkish, and Persian but also provides the historical and cultural contexts necessary to understand the full significance of what these women were trying to convey of their experiences in their context. Such fascinating travel excerpts include those of Mirza Khalil and the Nur Begum's pilgrimage to hajj or those of the Egyptian Huda Shaarawi or Amina Said's travel related to their thinking of feminism, the Indonesian communist Suharti Suwarto's visit to the Soviet Union or the Indian nurse Mehr al-Nisa navigating new life in Ohio, to name just a few of the 45 examples documented here. The historical experiences of Muslim women offers a fascinating and understudied point of insight into the role of imperial, colonial, and global history.  The original texts gathered are accessible via the accompanying website for you to check out and explore. This anthology will be of interest to anyone working on travel, colonial history, Muslim women, and comparative literature, Islamic Studies. It will also be an excellent resource in many courses that cover a range of topics be it religious piety, feminism, travel, travel writing, and much more. Shobhana Xavier is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Queen's University. More details about her research and scholarship may be found here and here. She may be reached at shobhana.xavier@queensu.ca. You can follow her on Twitter via @shobhanaxavier. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On Thomas Hobbes' "Leviathan"

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 31:47


In 1651, the English Civil Wars were ending, and Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan. He used the book to advocate his ideal government: an absolute, monarchical sovereign. He also highlighted the problems that will inevitably arise in a democracy, the kinds of division and inaction that challenge us today. Professor Susanna Siegel discusses the way Hobbes' Leviathan shaped the way we understand our everyday relationship to political institutions. Susanna Siegel is a professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. She is the author of The Rationality of Perception and The Contents of Visual Experience. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

On Niccolò Machiavelli's "The Prince"

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 30:17


You may know the term “Machiavellian,” but where does the word really come from? Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat who worked firsthand with Italy's most powerful politicians. He wrote his famous book, The Prince, as a sort of instruction manual for the Medici princes of Florence. And while Machiavelli's ideas were shocking to many—and repugnant to some—the influence of his ideas has been profound. James Hankins is a professor at Harvard University where he teaches History, focusing particularly on Renaissance intellectual history and political thought. He is the author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy. See more information on our website, WritLarge.fm. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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