2020/21 Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum V - Tiffany Hoffman and Romana Kaske

Eric Pecile's picture
March 18, 2021
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, German History / Studies, Literature

The CRRS would like to welcome you to the fifth instalment of the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum for the 2020-21 academic year. Please find information on the speakers and their talks below. 

Tiffany Hoffman PhD, Department of English, McGill University; CRRS Fellow
“Theologies of Eros and Consumption in A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

This paper approaches the construal of divine union and godly encounter through the bodily, sensory, and affective modalities of lovesick longing. Drawing on a range of seventeenth-century religious sermons, Reformation theological tracts, scriptural, mystical, and medical writings on love, the essay argues for the naturalization of eros as a biologic feature of the digestive nether realm of the human body. The theological encoding of the “digestive spirituality” of love will be applied to Shakespeare’s high comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as I seek to phenomenologise Renaissance desire as a gut-feeling that shapes Bottom’s ecstatic encounter with Titania and his subsequent spiritual conversion through the operations of his gastrointestinal tract.

Romana Kaske Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, University of Toronto
“Trust and Mistrust in Early Modern German Print Culture: The Significance of the Single-Leaf Broadsheet”

In the German early modern period, trust was debated and contested. As a valuable commodity, establishing or gaining the trust of others was equally important for political, religious and other social actors. The manifold upheavals and crises of the time demanded trust from people, but also encouraged the questioning and even discarding of that trust. Arguably, the most important channel for negotiating trust were the single-leaf broadsheets, that is: Flugblätter. These printed sheets of paper were widely distributed, affordable and produced in collaborative work by printers, craftsmen and artists. With their distinctive combination of image and text, they supplied their wide audience with news, commentaries on political, religious or other social events, educational messages or satirical deliberations. In my talk, I show how early modern concepts and semantics of trust and mistrust can be reconstructed with a view to the broadsheets. This medium, which was quite controversial at the time, offers access to the elusive topic of trust, its historical negotiations and lexematic dimensions of meaning. Trust – as an action or expectation assuming something that is uncertain and unpredictable – can be conveyed visually and verbally and tends to remain implicit, making it necessary to review traditional methodological approaches. Thus, Flugblätter can emerge as independent, creative and even radical agents in early modern discourses about trust.

Please contact emigfuoft@gmail.com for registration. 

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