Upcoming Events

Fall 2016

Graduate Student Happy Hour
When: Wednesday, September 14, 6:00-7:30pm

Where: Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, 26 W 8th St
What: Meet Jamie & Mary over some drinks and a couple appetizers and find out what’s in store for the 2016-2017 academic year–or just come for a free beer and a good chat with some new friends! 

Pilgrimage to The Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park
When:
Sunday, September 18, 12:00- 6:00pm
Where:
Fort Tryon Park, at Margaret Corbin Drive and surrounding lawns
What:
 Join your fellow medievalists on a “pilgrimage” to the 32nd annual
Medieval Festival, featuring authentic period music, dance, magic, and minstrels, as well as jugglers and jesters. The afternoon concludes with a  joust between four knights on horseback. Costumed vendors will be on hand to demonstrate and sell a wide variety of medieval crafts as well as food and drink.

Reading Middle English Aloud
When: Wednesday, September 28, 6:00-8:00pm
Where: 244 Greene St., Rm 306
What: A low-key reading group that invites non-specialists and specialists alike to stumble over reading aloud short poems or excerpts from longer works, which we will provide along with beer and pizza. And possibly gummy bears. Just come with an appetite for some medieval fun! Titles of the readings will be posted here as they are chosen.
 
  
Guest Speaker: Robert Davis (Fordham University)–“Thinking Without Guarantee in Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogion”
When: Wednesday, October 12, 6-8pm

Where: 244 Greene St., Event Space
What: Robert Davis, Professor of Historical Theology, will give a guest talk. 
Abstract: Interpreters of Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogion have long observed a distinction between logic (the “ontological argument” that seek to compel assent) and rhetoric (the anguished prayers longing for the God whose presence is anything but certain), and have puzzled over how to relate them. We might say that Anselm’s proof satisfies the epistemological demand, on the one hand, and leaves the affective longing unquenched, articulated in the question, “Why can’t you feel what you have found?” But in both cases the the experiential longing is itself an epistemological problem, the unsatisfied desire pointing up not the failure of the text’s logical demonstration as such but the inadequacy of the very terms of the search. The possibility that the search for God in thought and desire will yield something more, less, or simply other than its aim means that thinking about God necessarily entails contingency; its outcome is not guaranteed at the start, however much God’s existence will have come to be self-evident. Like the anguished process of literary inventio that led to the composition of the Proslogion, the project of thinking (cogitatio) God’s existence that the text prescribes requires an acceptance of chance. If in retrospect theological certainty is the argument’s fait accompli, as a pedagogy of prayer the Proslogion, I suggest, works to situate the reader in a different moment, the moment of epistemic and affective indeterminacy as the genesis of literary and theological invention.
 
Reading Middle English Aloud
When:
Wednesday, September 19, 6:00-8:00pm
Where:
244 Greene St., Rm 306
What:
Our second low-key reading group meeting of the semester. We invite non-specialists and specialists alike to stumble through reading aloud short poems or excerpts from longer works of Middle English. Pizza, beer, sweets, and Middle English texts provided.  Titles of the readings will be posted here as they are chosen.
 
 
Guest Speaker: Emily Steiner (University of Pennsylvania)–“Collecting, Violence, Literature: Richard de Bury’s Philobiblon
When: Thursday, November 3, 6-8pm

Where: 301 Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East
What: Medievalist Emily Steiner will give a guest talk. 
Abstract: Richard de Bury, Bishop of Durham and Lord Chancellor of England, was ruined by his books, which are said to have bankrupted him and driven him to an early death. De Bury’s Latin Philobiblon (1345), a treatise on his inordinate love of books, is well-known for its condemnation of readers with runny noses, usurious Jews, and doodling boys who put books in constant jeopardy. It’s also a wonderful guide to medieval book acquisition, copying, and conservation. Less remarked upon is de Bury’s account of his uncontrollable desire for books, the unscrupulous lengths to which he will go to obtain them, and the violent scenes that bibliophilia causes him to imagine. Part Thomas Cromwell, part John Leland, Bury describes his quest for books – which includes harassment of schoolmasters and exploitation of the friars – as a self-aggrandizing and self-destructive enterprise. 
     With the exceptions of Ned Denholm, who in the 1930s compiled de Bury’s life records, and the art historian Michael Camille, who wrote a brilliant article on de Bury in 1997 (“The Book as Fetish”), modern scholars haven’t given the Philobiblon much thought. In this talk, I focus on the violence of collecting in the Philobiblon, and the way that that violence opens up new ways of thinking about English nationalism, the medieval/post-medieval divide, and the long history of culture. Together, we might want to talk about the ways that collecting and violence underwrite literary history and shape the way we view modern collections of medieval books.
 
Reading Middle English Aloud
When:
Wednesday, November 16, 6:00-8:00pm
Where:
244 Greene St., Rm 306
What:
Our final low-key reading group meeting of the semester. We invite non-specialists and specialists alike to stumble through reading aloud short poems or excerpts from longer works of Middle English. Pizza, beer, sweets, and Middle English texts provided.  Titles of the readings will be posted here as they are chosen.
 

 

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