19 April, “Musical Handwriting and the Scriptive Revolution of c. 1400”
Graeme M. Boone, Professor of Musicology, will be giving a talk entitled “Musical Handwriting and the Scriptive Revolution of c. 1400.” One of the great transformations in the history of musical notation went unmentioned in its time: the shift from black to white as the fundamental ‘color’ of notes, which began in England, France, and Italy in the decades around 1400, and was essentially completed around fifty years later. This change has heretofore been explained as a matter of material practicality accompanying the contemporaneous shift from parchment to paper as a writing surface, but that explanation radically under-represents the scribal and musical realities of the time. In this presentation I shall illuminate the semiotics, aesthetics, and 'paleographics' of a signal moment in the history of writing generally, and music writing in particular, that is commonly, and inappropriately, overshadowed by the ‘printing revolution’ that ensued.
15 February, “The Bible in Shakespeare”
Hannibal Hamlin, Associate Professor of English, will talk about his research for his forthcoming book, The Bible in Shakespeare (Oxford, August 2013). Shakespeare alluded to no book so often and so meaningfully as the Bible. The book examines these allusions and explores how they work, especially within a culture so deeply and pervasvely informed by the Bible. The Bible was everywhere in early modern England, so Shakespeare could not only count on his audience recognizing biblical allusions, but also on their knowing how biblical characters, stories, and language connected to contemporary concerns about history and politics, marriage and childbirth, sin and redemption, gardening and trade. Prof. Hamlin will discuss some of his conclusions about Shakespeare, allusion, and biblical culture, as well as his research in archives, books, and (not least!) EEBO.
26 Oct, “Unearthing the History of a Monastery along the Via Francigena: Excavations at Badia Pozzeveri, Tuscany, Italy”
Giuseppe Vercellotti, Dept. of Anthropology
In 2010, bioarchaeologists from The Ohio State University and archaeologists from the University of Pisa, Italy joined forces to unearth the history of Badia Pozzeveri, a Camaldolese monastery founded in the 11th century about 10 km east of Lucca, Tuscany. The monastery flourished during the 12-13th centuries thanks to its location along the Via Francigena, a major trade and pilgrimage route, which connected France and Northern Europe withRome throughout the entire Middle Ages. The monastery’s decline started in the 14th century and eventually led to its dissolution in the 15th century. The monastery’s church remained as the village’s center of worship and was abandoned in the mid 1950s. Due to its religious and political importance, the archaeological site at Badia Pozzeveri is extremely important to understand health, culture, and population dynamics in Tuscany and Italy from the Middle Ages to moderntimes. Excavations conducted at the site exposed human burials dated to the middle ages, the renaissance and modern (18th-19th c.) times. Additionally, archaeological investigations revealed the buried remnants of a post-medieval building adjacent to the church, as well as structures belonging to the medieval church and cloister.