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April 25, 2012

End of Semester Celebration and Final Colloquium, Tuesday, May 1

Hasaniya's Treatise: Shi'ism, Popular Narrative, and Public Performance in the Early Safavid Period - Rosemary Stanfield-Johnson, University of Minnesota, Duluth

05-01-StanfieldJohnson200.jpgRosemary Stanfield-Johnson is a professor of Religious History in the Department of History at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Professor Stanfield-Johnson's research focus is late medieval and early modern Iranian history, Shi'i political and popular culture, and popular sectarian literature. Her publications include "The Tabarra'iyan and the Early Safavids" (2004), "Sunni Survival in Safavid Iran: Anti-Sunni Activities during the Reign of Tahmasp I" (1994), "Yuzbashi-yi Kurd Bacheh and 'Abd al-Mu'min Khan the Uzbek: A Tale of Revenge in the Dastan of Husayn Kurd" (2007), and "The Hyderabad Connection in the Dastan of Hoseyn Kord" (2004). She is currently working on a book on the theology, the politics, and the practice of public ritual in 16th century Iran.
4:00 p.m., 1210 Heller Hall. Reception will follow

April 23, 2012

The Pirates! Trivia of Misfits, April 23, 2012

What famous Dutch rebel and pirate fought against the Duke of Saxony, the Burgundians, and the Hapsburgs after his village was attacked by the Black Band in 1515?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

April 3, 2012

Congratulations to Graduate Students - April 2012

There's lots of good news and congratulations to go around this week!

...To Liz Swedo (History), who will be spending next year as Visiting Assistant Professor at Wooster College!

...To Gabriel Hill (History), who successfully defended his dissertation!

...To Rachel Gibson (French and Italian), who will serve on the Medieval Academy of America's Graduate Student Committee for 2012 through 2014!

...And, to Jesse Izzo (History), who has received a Fulbright grant to work in Israel for the academic year 2012-2013! He'll be at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem working with Professor Reuven Amitai-Preiss on Mamluk/Mongol/Crusader relations in late 13th-c. Syria.

We Have a Trivia, April 3, 2012

Who was the youngest individual elevated to the papacy?

Congratulations to John Manke who is this week's trivia winner. Zeus chose Zagreus to be his heir, but after being consumed by the Titans his heart (or some other part of his body) was planted in Semele/Luna and was reborn as Dionysus. (An honorable mention goes to Diane Anderson for guessing Dionysus.)

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line.

April 2, 2012

Romanesque Sculpture, The Senses and Religious Experience - Thomas Dale, Art History, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Tuesday, April 3

04-03-Dale.jpgThomas E. A. Dale is a professor of Art History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where his research interests include Early Christian, Medieval and Byzantine art; Romanesque art (particularly representations of the body); San Marco in Venice; the cult of the saints; and cultural appropriation. His published work includes Relics, Prayer and Politics in Medieval Venetia: Romanesque Painting in the Crypt of Aquileia Cathedral (1997), "The Individual, the Resurrected Body, and Romanesque Portraiture: The Tomb of Rudolf von Schwaben in Merseburg" (2002), and Shaping Sacred Space and Institutional Identity in Romanesque Mural Painting: Essays in Honour of Otto Demus (contributor and editor with John Mitchell, 2004).

The re-emergence of architectural sculpture in Europe during the eleventh and twelfth centuries is often considered to be a hallmark of the period style known as the Romanesque and its ties to an ancient Roman past. In this overview of his current book project, Professor Dale explores, by contrast, how the intrinsically palpable and spatial medium of sculpture, as well as its form and content appealed to the intensely somatic theology and religious practice of the time. He further considers how sculpture was designed to stimulate the senses as part of daily religious experience. His approach is rooted in recent scholarship within medieval studies that has demonstrated the significance of the body and embodiment in medieval theology and religious practice. The specific period in question saw an intensification of interest in the relationship between the outward appearance and gestures of the body and the inner life of the soul, as well as an increasingly somatic understanding of vision/s and dreams. At the same time, there was a new insistence on the bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which was accessible to all the physical senses, and on the significance of the physical body for the resurrection, which miraculously restored the decayed or fragmented body to wholeness and commemoration of the dead. It was in this context that material images, especially in sculpture, came to be understood as essential mediators of the spiritual due to their capacity to engage the senses.