Premodern Studies Seminars at the Newberry Library

The Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago is hosting a series of Premodern Studies Seminars, which will all be held virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Premodern Studies Seminar theme this year is Premodern Crises and the seminar presentations focus on climate change, plague, and disease in the premodern world.

Graduate students and Honors students who are studying ancient, medieval, and early modern history at Northern Illinois University will be interested in these seminars.

Here is the announcement from the Center for Renaissance Studies:

CRS is pleased to announce the winter and spring meetings of the Premodern Studies Seminar. This seminar provides a forum for new approaches to classical, medieval, and early modern studies, allowing scholars from a range of disciplines to share works-in-progress with the broader community at the Center for Renaissance Studies. Every meeting is free and open to the public, and participants are encouraged to attend as many seminars as they are able. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all seminar meetings will take place virtually over Zoom.

The theme of the 2020-2021 seminars is “Premodern Crises.” We aim to explore the many ways in which ancient, medieval, and early modern people responded to disruptive events of all kinds: epidemic, war, famine, mass migration and displacement, religious schisms, ecological catastrophe, popular revolt, the rise and fall of empires, and crises of political legitimacy. How were these crises experienced by different segments of premodern societies throughout the world? What do the official and private responses to moments of crisis tell us about the structures and workings of premodern institutions? What impact did these crises have on thought, belief, art, and society? What categories other than “crisis” did premodern people use in order to understand such events? Finally, what does it mean to do scholarship on premodern crises in these times of radical uncertainty? How has the present moment forced or invited you to re-examine approaches to engaging with the past through research and teaching?

See below for further information about the upcoming meetings. Individual announcements, including registration information, will be made for each seminar 2-3 weeks in advance. For more information about the Premodern Studies Seminar, visit our website here:

Friday, February 19, 2021
1-3 pm CST
Shannon Gayk, Indiana University
“Everyday Apocalypse: Middle English Literature and Climate Catastrophe”

Friday, March 26, 2021
1-3 pm CST
Ryan Kashanipour, University of Arizona
“Epidemics and Epistemologies: Experiencing Illness in Colonial Yucatán”

Friday, June 4, 2021
1-3 pm CST
Joshua Teplitsky, Stony Brook University
“Quarantine in the Prague Ghetto: Plague and Public Health between Jews and Christians in an Early Modern City”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.