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2015 05 11

Germaine Warkentin has recently published several books. She has edited, with Joseph L. Black and William R. Bowen, The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place circa 1665 (University of Toronto Press, 2013), and her edition of the Collected Writings of the seventeenth-century explorer of Canada, Pierre-Esprit Radisson  has appeared, (The Champlain Society and McGill-Queen's University Press): volume 1 (The Voyages) in 2012 and volume 2 (The Port Nelson Relations, Miscellaneous Writings, and Related Documents) in 2014.

2015 04 28

Rosalind Kerr has just published The Rise of the Diva on the Sixteenth-Century Commedia dell’Arte Stage (University of Toronto Press, 2015). The book examines the emergence of the professional actress from the 1560s onwards in Italy. Tracing the historical progress of actresses from their earliest appearances as sideshow attractions to revered divas, it explores the ways in which actresses commodified their sexual and cultural appeal.

2014 12 12

James M. Estes was recently presented with a festschrift in honour of his eightieth birthday. The volume, Collaboration, Conflict, and Continuity in the Reformation. Essays in Honour of James M. Estes on his Eightieth Birthday (Essays and Studies, 34. Toronto: CRRS, 2014) is edited by Konrad Eisenbichler and contains  nineteen contributions by scholars from Canada, the USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

2014 12 11

This past year, Jacqueline Murray won two prestigious awards: the “Guelph Woman of Distinction in Education” award, conferred upon her by the YWCA (Guelph) this past May and the “3M National Teaching Fellow” award conferred by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

2014 11 30

Konrad Eisenbichler was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The citation pronounced at the induction ceremony this past 22 November in Quebec City read: “Konrad Eisenbichler’s ground-breaking research on early modern European culture, history, and sexuality has led to the establishment of “Confraternity studies” as a brand new field of interdisciplinary inquiry world-wide and to pioneering work in both sex/gender studies and women studies. His discoveries in the archives of Italy, his prize-winning books, and his highly acclaimed articles have fundamentally rewritten our understanding of the Renaissance and inspired scholars in all humanistic disciplines.”

2013 12 09

Manuela Scarci has just published Creating Women. Representation, Self-Representation, and Agency in the Renaissance (Essays and Studies, 34. Toronto: CRRS, 2013), a collection of articles that explore the fashioning of feminine identity, the social and psychological construct of woman in the early modern age, both from their own perspective and that of others. As in the case of most collaborative projects of this nature, the volume is eclectic and spans, across several centuries, the boundaries of disciplines and theoretical approaches, but the essays are bound together by their common search to define paradigms of femininity in the early modern period.

2013 07 14

This past 14 July, Professor Konrad Eisenbichler won the prestigious "Ennio Flaiano International Prize for Scholarship" for his book The Sword and the Pen: Woman, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena (Notre Dame UP, 2012). The prize is awarded by the "Fondazione Ennio Flaiano" in Pescara (Italy) and is given in four categories: cinema, theatre, television, and literature. Eisenbichler is the first Canadian to win the prize for scholarship and the second to win any Flaiano prize (Alice Munroe won it in 2008 for narrative fiction). Some of the previous winners in the "literature" category are: the Irish novelist John Banville (1991), the American novelist Tom Clancy (1997), the Chilean writer and activist Luis Sepúlveda (1998), the English novelist Ian McEwan (1998), the French writer Daniel Picouly (2000), the Italian writer Dacia Maraini (2005). Some of the previous winners in the "cinema" categories are: Harold Pinter (1982), Marcello Mastroianni (1984), François Truffaut (1985), Franco Zeffirelli (1996), Gina Lollobrigida (1997), Ennio Morricone (1997), Michelangelo Antonioni (2000), Billy Wilder (2000), Jean-Jacques Annaud (2001), Giancarlo Giannini (2002), Lina Wertmüller (2008), and Tom Stoppard (2012). The event was broadcast on national television in Italy (Rai3).

2013 03 11

Professor Konrad Eisenbichler's book The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena is one of the finalists in the ForeWord 2012 Book of the Year Award. ForeWord Reviews, a quarterly print journal dedicated to reviewing independently published books, was established in 1998 to provide booksellers, librarians, agents, and publishing professionals with reviews of the best titles from small, alternative, and academic presses. This year's finalists were selected from more than 1300 titles submitted for the awards. The winners in the various categories will be announced on 28 June at the American Library Association annual conference in Chicago.

2012 12 12

Natalie Zemon Davis has recently published an article entitled "'Leo Africanus Presents Africa to Europeans," in Joaneath Spicer, ed., Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe (Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 2012), 60-79. In the article, she talked especially of African products-textiles, garments, leather goods, jewelry, and the likeâ€"and the artisans that made them and their distribution. Natalie also attended a workshop on 1 November 2012 at the University of Babeş-Bolyaï in Cluj, Romania on the topic "From 'Popular Religion' to Popular Culture'; the development of a concept in historical research." William Christian, Jr. and Natalie gave presentations on their own trajectories in dealing with these terms over the years: the title of Natalie's presentation was "From 'Culture' to 'Crossovers': Religious Practice and Conversion in Multiple Climes." Gabor Klaniczay reviewed the general historiography in medieval and early modern studies and then everyone was treated to fascinating new studies by younger scholars from central Europe.

2012 12 12

Congratulations to Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler on being awarded an Honourable Mention for the prestigious Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize of the Modern Language Association of America. The prize was awarded for his book The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012). The committee's citation for the honorable mention reads:

Konrad Eisenbichler's lucid, elegant, and original volume brings to light the virtually unknown writings and lives of a circle of sixteenth-century Sienese women poets. This intriguing historical study, commentary, and anthology will be a precious contribution to the history of Italian lyric and religious poetry in the early modern period, to women's studies, and to Renaissance studies. Eminently readable, "The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena" is the product of extensive archival work that engages broadly with existing scholarship in literary history and criticism, providing the reader with all the descriptive and analytic information necessary for an understanding of the biographies of the Sienese poets and a measured evaluation of their poems, including an appreciation of their contrasting styles and aesthetic orientations.


2012 12 01

Professor Olga Pugliese has recently published three works. The first is an on-line book-length study:Transcription of the Early Extant Manuscripts of Baldassar Castiglione’s “Il libro del cortegiano, posted on the University of Toronto Library T-space on 30 June 2012. It is 784 pages long and was prepared with the assistance of Lorenzo Bartoli, Filomena Calabrese, Adriana Grimaldi, Ian Martin, Laura Prelipcean, and Antonio Ricci. The web address is: The other two works are print, and both are articles:

“Unity and Multiplicity: Castiglione’s Views on Architecture in the Cortegiano.” Mitteilungen des Kunst-historischen Institutes in Florenz, 54. 2 (2010-2012): 257-266.

“Sensorial Language in Machiavelli’s Il principe” in “sul fil di ragno della memoria”.
Studi in onore di Ilona Fried, ed. Franciska d’Elhoungne Hervai and Dávid Falvay. Budapest: Eötvös Loránd University and Ponte Foundation, 2012, pp. 81-92.

2012 11 04

Tom Cohen and Bernard Cooperman have put together, under the Hebraica flag, a session at the San Diego RSA that will draw a specialist audience from the Judaica side. We flag and flog it here because the occasion will be far richer if we can entice the “Christians” among the scholars to come too. It is a round table. The title is “Gifts between Jews and Christians in the Renaissance” and, aside from the organizers, the discussants are two Romanista hebraicists, Marina Caffiero, who has worked on forced conversions, and Serena Di Nepi, a cultural historian. Our notion here is that “gift” is both deep and wide. Deep because, in the Renaissance, the gift (and its close cousin, the hostile anti-gift) were crucial to social glue and political coherence, and wide because our sense of gift here goes far beyond just objects proffered. Words and Deeds too!. And we will ponder the interfaith condition: narrow bandwidth, thanks to taboos and fears. And the Jewish response: intensity wherever possible. A fascinating, illuminating subject, so, whatever your favourite faith, if in San Diego, forgo awhile the gorgeous zoo and wave-skimming free-range pelicans and come to this round table with all your wisdom, astute hypotheses, and restless questions.

2012 11 04

Filomena Calabrese has completed her PhD in Italian Studies at the University of Toronto and is now happily settled into her new position as Lecturer of Italian in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures at Christopher Newport University (Virginia). She is teaching Italian language and culture, as well as a course on medieval and Renaissance perspectives that is part of the university’s recently launched Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor program.

2012 11 03

Germaine Warkentin has just published volume 1 of her critical edition of the collected writings of the explorer Pierre-Esprit Radisson (1636?-1710). Radisson, The Voyages, was issued by The Champlain Society and McGill-Queen's University Press in October, 2012. Volume 2, The Port Nelson Relations and Miscellaneous Documents will appear in 2014.

2012 11 03

François Paré has started work on a new SSHRC-funded research project on Jean de Brébeuf, Gabriel Lallemant, Louis Hennepin and other early French travellers to Ontario. The initial work is on Brébeuf’s writings and on the construction of the bilingual subject (in this case: French-Wendat) in the late Renaissance and early seventeenth century. Paré has also published an article on multilingualism in Renaissance France in a recent issue of Le français préclassique (Université de Lyon, June 2012).

2012 11 02

Last September Nicholas Terpstra’s book Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence (Johns Hopkins UP: 2010) appeared in paperback. In January-June 2013 Terpstra will be a Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti in Florence (The Harvard University Center for the Italian Renaissance Studies), working on a manuscript on Reformation Refugees: Exile, Expulsion, and Religious Refugees in the Reformation Period and carrying out an archival project centred around a new digital-GIS (Geographical Information Systems) map of Sixteenth Century Florence to be titled Sex and the Sacred: Negotiating Boundaries in Renaissance Florence.

2012 11 01

Konrad Eisenbichler has just published The Sword and the Pen: Women, Poetry and Politics in Sixteenth-Century Siena. The book, published by the University of Notre Dame Press (2012), is the fruit of more than fifteen years of research in the archives and libraries of Italy in search of these long-lost writers who were well known in their time but failed to enter the canon of Italian literature and so, over time, disappeared from the radar. The book thus brings back into circulation not only these women’s poetry, but also much rich information about their lives and their contribution to contemporary letters and politics.