Tag Archives: history

Senses of Italy: Melbourne Masterclass

Scent, sight, sound, taste, touch: all Italian-style. They are covered in a programme of Thursday evening lectures, Melbourne Masterclass : Senses of Italy, at the University of Melbourne, 6.15 – 8.15pm, 5 October – 2 November 2017. The series starts with Catherine Kovesi on Renaissance perfumes (Venice as olfactory heaven) and Antonio Artese on scent and Aquaflor (5 Oct). Then Christopher Marshall looks at Artemisia Gentileschi’s correspondence (‘it’s all about the money’) and Mark Nicholls at Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy (12 Oct). John Weretka uses paintings and poetry to examine the instruments, repertoires and status of Renaissance musicians (upwardly mobile), followed by Malcolm Angelucci on poetics, music and madness in Italy before 1914 (19 Oct). John Hajek and Anthony White consider Futurism and food, the art and appetites of the antigrazioso (26 Oct). Finally Andrea Rizzi explores the ideas and images of Renaissance texts (‘tactile values’), and Carl Villis reveals some attributions and reattributions of Italian Renaissance art in the National Gallery of Victoria (2 Nov). Further details on the contributions, authors, venue and registration can be found here.

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Futures Past: Postgraduate and ECR conference, Sydney, 26-27 Nov 2015

8301073_origFor historians, how our subjects speculate about their futures can provide a rich source of information about the past. How can we harness the hopes and fears people had about the future in our representations of past lives and their contexts? What do such thoughts and feelings tell us about the role of the future in shaping human narratives? With the past’s future and our own in mind the Department of History at the University of Sydney will be holding a two-day conference, The Futures’ Past,  on 26-27 November 2015, for postgraduates and early career researchers interested in addressing these issues and impulses in history and related disciplines. We hope to open up a discussion about the way in which we currently write our histories, and the subjects, values, themes and methods that we use. Accordingly, we invite abstracts from those working within history and related disciplines, which will inform us about the histories they are writing, and the ways that these histories are being informed by both past, present and future forces.

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John Burrow

Autobiographies are a far less popular genre in Italy than in the Anglo-American world, as Peter Hainsworth and Martin McLaughlin (2007: 1, 9) note. And the one I am about to signal has only passing references to Italy so I have to apologise for stretching the boundaries of what visitors to this site would expect to find here. But the autobiography by the intellectual historian John Burrow who died in 2009 is so full of subtle portraits, colour and wit and can only be found rather far off the normal search track that I thought it would be worth flagging here. Since his last major work, A History of Histories (2007), contains substantial sections on Ancient Rome’s historians and on Villani, Machiavelli and Guicciardini, his autobiography also provides an unmissable insight into the ingredients which went into his approach to them. The title he chose, Memories Migrating, suggests a resonance with Australian experiences even though the only mention of this country is a brief allusion to his tenure of a visiting fellowship at the ANU in 1983. An equally well-hidden autobiography by another historian, Patrick Collinson, a contemporary of Burrow, has an engaging chapter on the author’s time in Sydney University’s Department of History in the early 1970s. (DM)

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