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Renaissances

The Renaissances Graduate Research Series

While the Renaissances Focal Group has met for over twelve years, its current format, called the Renaissances Graduate Research Series, was launched in the autumn of 2015 and continues to serve our community.

In this format, one Ph.D. candidate associated with the Renaissances Group at Stanford is given the opportunity to invite a scholar from his or her field to a conversation. During a two-hour evening event, the student and her or his guest briefly present their research and engage with each other's papers, which are circulated beforehand. The two speakers respond to each other's ideas before the floor is opened to discussion. Earlier on the day of the event, the visiting scholar is invited for lunch with all the interested graduate students who are part of the Renaissances Group.

The series includes graduate students from Comparative Literature, French and Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, English, Art History, History, and Philosophy, and is open to all other humanities departments. Modeled on the manuscript reviews for untenured faculty members that are now common in peer institutions, the Renaissance Graduate Research Series is designed to give graduate students a productive setting in which they can engage with scholars in their field, find contexts for their own research, and learn more about current projects in the period we call, broadly, the Renaissance.

In 2017-18 we held two events. In January 2018, Cécile Tresfels, a Ph.D. candidate in French and Italian, invited Professor Andrea Frisch of the University of Maryland to discuss their work together. Cécile presented a chapter of her dissertation titled "Apprehending the Devil: Cognitive Uncertainties in Léry’s History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil." Professor Frisch shared an essay, "Decorum and the Dignity of Memory," which is part of her current project on the multiple discourses on memory.  And in May 2018, Dan Kim of the Department of English presented a dissertation chapter, "'These Natures Have Strange Outsides': Tragicomedy and Metanoia in The Island Princess and The Renegado." Dan's interlocutor was Professor Marjorie Rubright of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who circulated an essay titled "Trans * Archipelogics," from her book in progress, A World of Words: Language and Earth in the Renaissance.

For more information about Renaissances, please contact Michael Lind Menna