Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Public Lecture: "The Historian as Ventriloquist"

This just in from Sandy Baldwin:

Please note the upcoming lecture by Tom Cohen (and maybe also by
Elizabeth Cohen): "The Historian as Ventriloquist: The Joys and
Pitfalls of Speaking for Past People." The presentation will be held on
Friday, 30 September at 3:30 PM in Oglebay 118.

About Tom, from the York University (Canada) website:
"Professor Tom Cohen (*Thomas* only when in print) works on
Renaissance Italy, Rome especially, and that city*s rural hinterland.
His take is a mix of cultural and political anthropology. He studies
gestures and symbols and decodes actions. As a writer, he often uses
microhistory, telling fine-grained stories about the lives of ordinary
Romans. He looks to coalitions, conspiracies, trades, bluffs, dares, and
wily dodges. A devotee of style and vividness in scholarly writing, he
tells stories about seductions, betrayals, conspiracies, murders, and
poisonings, not just for the tales themselves, but for the clues they
offer about the culture of negotiation and the habits of coalition that
made a distant world work. As a social historian with a Humanities
inclination, employs close reading to extract the hidden esthetics of
everyday language. His current main project is a book on a rebellious
village high in mountains east of Rome."

Tom's recent books include Cultural History of Early Modern European
(Brill, 2009), and Love and Death in Renaissance Italy (Chicago,

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