The Premodern Colloquium is a reading group that met for over thirty years in the home of Tom Green (Law School, History) by whom it was founded as a forum for discussion of new work in the history of law. In recent years it has evolved into a wide-ranging multidisciplinary group. Typically discussions focus on works-in-progress by local and visiting scholars or dissertation chapters presented by our own students. Discussions tend to be intense and lively, but people who present work find the experience to be friendly and helpful. We especially welcome graduate students to our regular meetings, both as discussants and as presenters of dissertation work in progress.
Semester Offerings Winter 2021
MARCH 28 Paul Binski, History of Art, University of Cambridge
“Gothic Art, Realism and Genre: Thoughts on Erich Auerbach”
APRIL 23 Gerui Wang, History of Art, University of Michigan
“Why Did Public Infrastructure Appear in Song Court Landscape Painting?”
Semester Offerings Fall 2020
SEPTEMBER 20 Blake Gutt, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan
“Le Roman de Saint Fanuel: Plant-Thinking, Family Trees and Grafted Fictions”
OCTOBER 18 Nathan Martin, School of Music, Theater and Dance, University of Michigan
“Musical Topics as Pathosformeln: From Monelle and Allanbrook to Aby Warburg and Back Again”
NOVEMBER 15 Achim Timmermanni, History of Art, University of Michigan
"The Late Medieval City and Its Periurban Sacred Landscape: The Case of Biberach an der Riss"
DECEMBER 13 Alison Cornish, Department of Italian Studies, New York University
“Cheap Seats in Dante's Heaven”
Semester Offerings Winter 2020
JANUARY 26 Katherine Campbell, History of Art, University of Michigan
“Producing the composite: stylistic pluralism in Antwerp art, c. 1510-1568”
FEBRUARY 23 Bruce Mannheim, Anthropology, University of Michigan
“From frame-of-reference to social organization in the 16th century or, Why did we get the historiography of the Inkas so wrong?”
MARCH 29 Paul Binski, History of Art, University of Cambridge CANCELLED
“Gothic art, realism and genre: thoughts on Erich Auerbach”
APRIL 19 Blake Gutt, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan CANCELLED
“Ramon Llull’s folding forests: the world, the tree, and the book”
Semester Offerings Fall 2019
SEPTEMBER 29 Erik Inglis, Department of Art, Oberlin College
“Reading Storied Ground: Finding Apostolic Presence in the Streets and Springs of Medieval Rome”
OCTOBER 27 Catherine Brown, Comparative Literature & Residential College, University of Michigan
“Remember the Hand: The Articulate Codex in Early Medieval Iberia”
NOVEMBER 10 Matteo Milesi, Classical Studies, University of Michigan
“Mythical Allegory and Divine Illumination in Giles of Viterbo's Commentary on the Sentences of
DECEMBER 8 Valentina Denzel, Romance & Classical Studies, Michigan State University
“Guillaume Postel’s De la République des Turcs (1560): An Encounter with the Other"
Semester Offerings Winter 2019
January -- No meeting this month.
February 17 -- Anna MacCourt, Anthropology & History, University of Michigan
"To Fix the Rules of the Path of Proper Conduct: Maitraka Inscriptions (475-775 CE) and Sanskrit Literary Debates"
March 24 -- Brendan McMahon, Society of Fellows, University of Michigan
"Mirir por una y otra parte: Iridescense, Visual Pedagogy, and the Image in the Early Modern Hispanic World"
April 14 -- Marlon Sales, Comparative Literature, University of Michigan.
"Language, Translation and Missionary Catholicism in the Spanish Philippines"
Semester Offerings Fall 2018
September 23 – Achim Timmermann, History of Art, University of Michigan
“Castles and Cathedrals of the Sea: Ships, Allegory, and Technological Change in the Age of (Iconographical) Discovery”
October 21 -- Jennifer Gear, Independent Scholar, Claremont, CA
"Constructing Civic Memory: Eighteenth-Century Retrospectives on Plague in the Veneto"
November 11 -- Reginald Jackson, Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan
“Staging Enslavement: Subjection, Exertion, and the Gestural Economies of Medieval Noh Performance”
December 2 – Irene SanPietro, Law School, University of Michigan
"Church, State and Family in Late Antiquity: The Problem of Women Patrons"
Semester Offerings Winter 2018
Sara Ahbel-Rappe, Classical Studies, University of Michigan
"Winged Horses, Celestial Asses, and Beauty through the Eyes: Bruno'sReception of Plato's Phaedrus in his Italian Dialogues"
Ana Maria Silva, History, University of Michigan
"They Can Sustain the Trade of the Blacks: Economic Networks and the Boundaries of Religious Repression in 17th-C Cartagena de Indias"
Ellen Muehlberger, History & Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan
"Locating Perpetua: The Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis and Composition in Late Antiquity"
Lyndal Roper, History, University of Oxford
Semester Offerings Fall 2017
Tryntje Helfferich, History, Ohio State University
“The Price of Service: German Reception of French Subsidies and Pensions in the Thirty Years War”
Jean Campbell, Art History, Emory University
“Pisanello and the Archaeology of a Name"
NOVEMBER 12 CANCELLED
Sara Ahbel-Rappe, Classical Studies, University of Michigan
“Giordano Bruno and the Phaedrus: Pegasus, Asinitas, and Merkabah”
Paula Curtis, History, University of Michigan
“The Agreed Upon Counterfeit: Forgery Culture and Documentary Authenticity in Medieval Japanese Society”
Semester Offerings Winter 2017
Elizabeth Allen, English, University of California Irvine
“Tresilian, Gawain, and Forms of Protection”
Martin Walsh, Residential College, University of Michigan
“Wine Barrels, Bonfires, and Battling Beggars: TheCharity of St. Martin in 16th and 17th Century Netherlandish Art”
Niall Atkinson, Art History, University of Chicago
“Percorrere la città: Meaning in Motion in the Streets of Florence”
Helmut Puff, German, History, Women’s Studies, University of Michigan
“Spacium considerandi (Bedenkzeit): Timing the Reformation”
Semester Offerings Fall 2016
Ivan Gerát, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava
“Marriage, Poverty and Bridal Mysticism in a 14th-Century Franciscan Convent: Remarks on the Pictorial Life of St Elizabeth in the Liber Depictus”
Robert Tittler, History, Concordia University, Montreal
“Portraits, Painters and Publics in Provincial England 1540-1640”
Nathan Martin, School of Music, University of Michigan
“Aristoxenos, Zarlino, Rameau”
Noah Blan, History, University of Michigan
“Trees, Place and Sovereignty in Early Carolingian Biblical Scholarship”
Semester Offerings Winter 2016
S.E. Kile, U-M Asian Languages & Cultures
“Science Fictions: Early Modern Technological Change and Literary Response”
Yanay Israeli, U-M Institute for the Humanities, History
“Petitioning as Social Practice: Local Conflicts and the Trajectories of Royal Letters in Fifteenth-Century Castilian Towns”
Matthew Kavaler, History of Art, University of Toronto
"Ornament as a Diagnostic: Pieter Bruegel against Notions of the Vernacular and Classicism"
Andrew Morrall, Bard Graduate Center, New York City
"Plato Among the Artisans: Craftsmen, Mathematics, and the Pursuit of Nature"
** Please note the Prof Morrall will also present a MEMS Lecture on April 8. Details forthcoming.
Semester Offerings Fall 2015
Pamela Stewart, History of Art, University of Michigan
“Staging the Passion in the Ritual City: Stational Crosses and Confraternal Procession in Late Renaissance Milan”
Andrew Casper, Department of Art, Miami University
“Not Begotten But Made: The Shroud of Turin as Divine Artifice”
Jonathan Farr, History, University of Michigan
“Medieval Spaces and Documentary Practices in Occitania and Northern Catalonia”
Tarek Dika, Society of Fellows, University of Michigan
“Power, Perfection, and the Subject of Science in Descartes's Regulae ad directionem ingenii”
Semester Offerings: Winter 2015
JANUARY No meeting to be held this month
Jean Boutier Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris-Marseille
“Did Early Modern Florentine Aristocrats Ignore Conspicuous Consumption?”
Stephen Pender Department of English and the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric, University of Windsor
“Rhetoric and Anthropology in Early Modern Europe”
Elizabeth Kamali History, University of Michigan
“Mens Rea and Judging in Late Medieval England”