The Italian Renaissance in Australia – a tribute to Villa I Tatti
This public and free event brings together for the first time Australian scholars who have, over the previous years, held fellowships at the prestigious Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of this extraordinary institution and these scholars wish to pay tribute to the contribution it has made to their research by presenting their own work as well as that of some of their American I Tatti colleagues.
The event begins on the afternoon of Thursday 19 July with a seminar by two American scholars and former Tattiani, Elizabeth Horodowich and Timothy McCall, who will discuss their latest research. That evening there will be a talk by internationally renowned Harvard scholar and head librarian at Villa I Tatti, Michael J. Rocke , who will present his cutting edge research on Michelangelo and ‘Masculine Love’.
The next day is structured around three themed roundtables: SPACES – Piazza; CONNECTIONS – Ponti; and DIRECTIONS – Percorsi
Each roundtable will be launched with focussed presentations by three Australian Renaissance scholars whose work engages with the relevant theme. A facilitator will then open the discussion to enable a flow of ideas between panel and audience.
Full details of each event are given below or follow the links under bookings.
Participants will experience a dynamic and interactive overview of the current state of Italian Renaissance research in Australia.
Date: Thursday, 19 July 2012, 2.00pm – 7.30pm and Friday, 20 July 2012, 9.30am- 5.30pm
Venue: Brain Centre Auditorium, Melbourne Brain Centre, The Kenneth Myer Building, 30 Royal Parade (cnr Genetics Lane), The University of Melbourne, Parkville Vic 3010
Location map: http://maps.unimelb.edu.au/parkville/building/144
Bookings: Attendance is open to all and free but registration is essential, please follow the links to the Melbourne University website to register. You need to register for each of the three events separately.
http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/italianrenaissanceseminar for the two seminars by Liz Horodowich and Timothy McCall on 19 July 2012, 2.30-5.30pm
http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/michaelrocke for the public talk by Michael Rocke on Michelangelo and Masculine Love (19 July 2012, 6.30pm)
http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/italianrenaissanceroundtable for the roundtables on 20 July 2012, 9-15-5.30
Seminar | The Italian Renaissance in Australia – a tribute to Villa I Tatti
Thursday, 19 July 2012, 2.30pm-5.15pm
2.30pm-3.30pm | Liz Horodowich (New Mexico State University) ‘Armchair Travelers and the Venetian Discovery of the New World’
While Venetians were not the discoverers or explorers of the New World, Venice was the capital of early modern print culture and transmitted knowledge about the explorations to Europe. A close look at the work of a series of Venetian armchair travelers – editors, mapmakers, and designers of costume books – reveals the profound anxieties these authors expressed about Venice’s changing status in early modern Europe. Once an unassailable maritime and territorial empire, the lagoon city was increasingly eclipsed in the sixteenth century, economically and culturally, by the Ottomans and other emerging European powers. In response, Venetian writers employed the cultural strategy of asserting the importance of the Venetian past through images of the New World in order to assuage their insecurities and shore up images of Venetian superiority.
3.30pm Coffee break
4.15pm-5.15pm | Timothy McCall (Villanova University) ‘Doublets, Buttons, and Calze: Courtly Fashion and Lords’ Bodies in Fifteenth-Century Italy’
Dining at Vigevano in 1459, the fifteen-year-old Galeazzo Maria Sforza caused a scene by complaining that his doublet (zuparello) was too tight and indecorously removing it while still at the table; seventeen years later, on the day that he would be assassinated, this lord of Milan put on and then took off a protective garment (corazina), because he thought it made him look “too fat”. This paper investigates the clothing that (uncomfortably) shaped and revealed lords’ bodies and explores why Galeazzo and his peers were acutely aware of expectations of body types. I will examine signorial fashion, material culture, representation, and display, in addition to the garments which produced gendered and status-specific understandings of bodies by emphasizing particular body parts, including legs and narrow waists. Masculine, courtly ideals both drove and were conditioned by cuts of clothing and changes in fashion, specifically the pervasiveness of tightly-buttoned doublets and close-fitting calze.
Lecture | Michael J Rocke, Harvard Scholar & Head Librarian at Villa I Tatti
Thursday, 19 July 2012, 6.30pm
Michelangelo’s intimate male friendships, the homoerotic tone of some of his letters and poems, and above all the copious representations of virile nudes in his drawings, paintings, and statues, have long stimulated speculation about the nature of his desires and inclinations. By now it is widely assumed in both popular and scholarly writing that the Renaissance artist was “homosexual” or “gay.” The casual use of modern conceptual categories to characterize Michelangelo’s sexuality, however, can distort rather than clarify crucial features of his experience, and blurs significant differences between his distant world and ours. This paper seeks to bring into sharper historical focus an understanding of Michelangelo and of what some of his contemporaries called “l’amore masculino.” It grounds a reconsideration of aspects of his life, art, and relationships in the context of the distinctive male sexual culture – with its prominent same-sex component – of fifteenth and early sixteenth-century Italy.
Michael Rocke is Director of the Biblioteca Berenson and a Senior Associate at Villa I Tatti – the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence. He is internationally renowned for his research on sexuality and male identity in Renaissance Florence. Amongst his many publications is Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence (Oxford University Press, 1996). He is currently working on Sodo and his Friends: Homoerotic Tales and Same-Sex Experiences from the Italian Renaissance: A Collection of Sources. This is his first visit to Australia.
Roundtables | SPACES – Piazza • CONNECTIONS – Ponti • DIRECTIONS – Percorsi
Friday, 20 July 2012, 9.15am
Each roundtable will be launched with focussed presentations by three Australian Renaissance scholars whose work engages with the relevant theme. A facilitator will then open the discussion to enable a flow of ideas between panel and audience. Participants will experience a dynamic and interactive overview of the current state of Italian Renaissance research in Australia.
9.15am Coffee and Registration
10.15am – 11.45pm
Roundtable 1 – Spaces:
Chair: Nerida Newbigin (Sydney)
Nick Eckstein (Sydney), Robert Gaston (Melbourne), Dale Kent (Melbourne)
12.00pm – 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm – 3.00pm
Roundtable 2 – Connections:
Chair: Peter Howard (Monash)
John Gagné (Sydney), Stephen Kolsky (Melbourne), Camilla Russell (Newcastle)
3.00pm – 3.45pm Coffee and Tea
3.45pm – 5.15pm
Roundtable 3 – Directions:
Chair: Nick Eckstein (Sydney)
Mario Casari (Salento and Ferrara), Carolyn James (Monash), Andrea Rizzi (Melbourne)
5.15pm Closing Remarks