2016 Events

Islam in 16th-17th Century Europe: Identity, Dissimulation, and Visibility

Please join us for a lecture by Dr. Luis Bernabé-Pons on the perceptions and presence of Islam and muslims in Early Modern Europe, from Spain to France, Italy, and Great Britain.

Helen C. White 7191

Friday, February 5, 4:00 PM








The Unassembled Grammar of the Drawing in the Era of Reform

Dr. Shira Brisman, Department of Art History 
March 4 at 4:00 PM in Helen C. White 7191










CEMS Conference 2016: Happiness in the Early Modern Period


The CEMS is pleased to announce our 2016 conference. This interdisciplinary event explores the concept of “happiness” in the early modern period.


March 10




Opening Remarks: Susan Zaeske, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities; Stefania Buccini, CEMS Interim Director




Ullrich Langer (University of Wisconsin-Madison): “Why Literature Is Happiness (in the Early Modern Period)”


3:30-3:45 | Refreshment Break


3:45-6:00 | SESSION I, Presiding: Kristin Phillips-Court


Christopher Celenza (Johns Hopkins University): “Happiness and the ‘History of the History of Philosophy’ in Fifteenth-Century Italy”  
                                    Respondent: Ullrich Langer


Virginia Krause (Brown University):  “Montaignian Happiness: Lessons in Landscape”  
                                            Respondent: Jan Miernowski




March 11


9:30-11:45 | SESSION II, Presiding: Ricardo Court


Christia Mercer (Columbia University): “Anne Conway and the Pain of Happiness”  
                                           Respondent: Hadley Cooney


Donald Rutherford (University of California-San Diego): “Perfection and Happiness in Seventeenth-Century Philosophy”
                                         Respondent: Steven Nadler


12:00-1:15 | Lunch Break (on your own)


1:30-3:30 | SESSION III, Presiding: Nicolas Russell


Katherine Eggert (University of Colorado-Boulder): “Othello’s Happiness”  
                                  Respondent: Karen Britland


Andrea Frisch (University of Maryland): “‘Heureux celuy qui devient sage/en voyant d’autry le dommage’: Tragic Spectacle                                 as a Source of Happiness in Early Modern France” 
                                       Respondent: Richard Goodkin


3:30-3:45 | Refreshment Break


3:45-5:00 | SESSION IV, Graduate Student Forum: “Expressions of Happiness”, Presiding: Elizabeth Bearden

Aria Cabot: “‘No Happiness in These Kinds of Pleasures’: (In)felicità and the Eighteenth-Century Italian Autobiography”
Jennifer Morgan: “A Joyful Noise: Music in the Early Modern Period”
Anna Rockwell: “L’’Archiatro dell’Anima’: Theater’s Cures for ‘Malumore’”
Jillian Slaight: “Chasing after Happiness? Runaway Girls in Eighteenth-Century Paris”




Edo Japan and the Islamic World: Tokyo’s Inter-Asian Commerce during the Career of Arai Hakuseki (d. 1725)

114 Van Hise

Friday, April 8, 4:00 PM

The CEMS is excited to welcome Ali Humayun Akhtar, PhD, a Robert M. Kingdon fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities and an Assistant Professor at Bates College. This talk will investigate the history of Japanese commerce with the Islamic World during the career of the Neo-Confucian administrator Arai Hakuseki, one of the first Japanese thinkers and politicians to write extensively about Muslims and the Near East. Dr. Akhtar will highlight the two-way movement of objects and ideas between Japanese and Indo-Persianate centers, via China and the Dutch, in a reconceptualization of Inter-Asian global trade networks before the modern period.


The Book That Made Philosophy Modern  

April 15-16, 2016

The Institute for Research in the Humanities presents a Burdick-Vary Symposium, an interdisciplinary exploration of Descartes’ Treatise on Man.