Genoa, Columbus & the Mediterranean


9th Annual International Congress of the Mediterranean Studies Association


Università di Genova

May 24-27, 2006



Sponsored by:


1A. “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” Writing the Encounter of Old World and New World

Chair: Susan L. Rosenstreich, Dowling College, Oakdale, New York


“Mapping the New World Body: Early Transpositions of Medieval Monstrosity”

Lynn Ramey, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

This paper will consider how ideas of monstrosity were transposed onto early conceptions of autochthonous inhabitants of the New World.


“Piri Reis’ New World: Columbus, the Mediterranean and the Ottomans”

Pascale Barthe, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

This paper will consider Ottoman contributions to the European conception of the New World.


“German in Early Modern Transatlantic Studies

Dwight E. Raak Ten Huisen, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan

This paper considers the role of German expeditions to explore the New World. The author has studied Hans Staden’s journals.


1B. Medieval History I

Chair: Jo Ann McNamara, Hunter College, New York


“Ibn Khaldun and the Mediterranean World: Mediterranean North/Mediterranean South?

Clara Estow, University of Massachusetts Boston

On the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the life of the Muslim thinker Ibn Khaldun, (1332–1406) it is appropriate to examine his views on the role of the Mediterranean in the development of his theories about the rise and fall of empires. He has been rightly acknowledged as one of the precursors of what eventually became the “social sciences” (economics, sociology, political science and historiography, among them). His insights about the role of, among others, geography, natural resources, trade, population movements, accumulation of wealth, and political conflicts in the fate of empires tell us much about the Mediterranean world at the close of the 14 th century.

At the same time, it is now commonplace treat the Mediterranean as made up of two distinct areas, North and South. In many interesting ways, this distinction has become a convenient suitable euphemism to distinguish between Europe and Africa, if not to separate them further.

This paper seeks to reflect on the extent to which Ibn Khaldun’s understanding of the Mediterranean world anticipated (or not) this phenomenon.


“Cross-Cutting Circles: Medieval Mediterranean Muslim Minorities”

Brian A. Catlos, University of California, Santa Cruz

This paper examines the experiences of several Muslim minority populations in and around the Mediterranean, namely the mudéjares of the Crown of Aragon, Norman Sicily and the Kingdom of Hungary. In the late twelfth century each of these communities was apparently stable and reasonably secure under Christian dominion, yet by the end of the thirteenth century only one of these remained. The varying experiences of three populations cannot be accounted for simply by shifting attitudes to minorities in the Latin West, whether these resulted as a reaction to Muslim victories in the Crusader East, the new legalistic and reactionary spirit of the clergy or the chauvinistic dictates of the Papacy. It seems, rather, that it was the integration of minority members in majority societies which was reflected in their respective fates. Drawing on the sociological theories of Simmel, Bendix, and Blau and Schwarz, this paper suggests that “crosscutting
social circles” were a key factor in sustaining Muslim minorities in the Christian dominated Mediterranean of the Middle Ages.


“Genoese-Mallorcan Relation in the Thirteenth Century”

Larry J. Simon, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

The Genoese relationship with Islamic Mallorca in the twelfth century has been well documented, and the two extant bilingual trade agreements much studied. The antagonism and rivalry between Genoa and the Catalans in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is well known if not yet studied, and can be gleaned from statements by chroniclers such as Ramon Muntaner—”the crimes of the Genoese are so great that you could not record them on all the paper of Jativa.” But the relationship in the thirteenth century was much more ambiguous, full of rivalry and antagonism, but also of cooperation and interaction, with a surprising Genoese presence on the island. My paper, based on archival material from notary registers in Genoa’s Archivio di Stato, scattered parchments in the Arxiu del Regne de Mallorca, the Archivo de la Catedral de Mallorca, and the Archivo Historico Nacional in Madrid, and the published text of the Genoese Lay Christian (Inghetto Contardo)-Jewish Disputation of Mallorca, will explore the nature of these relations.


“Discourses on Money and Monetary Management in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean: A Comparative Study of Islamic and Latin Scholars”

Olivia Orozco, European University Institute, Florence

The paper will advance the last results of my Ph.D. research, which examines money and monetary changes in the works of Islamic and Latin scholars in the late medieval and early modern Mediterranean. During that period, scholars, economic and political agents’ perceptions of monetary issues were changing along with the transformations that Mediterranean societies and economies were undergoing at that time. These changing perceptions, in particular concerning the functions and value of money, the use of money, the issue of debasement, the control of petty change, and the relation between money and prices, form the main focus of my inquiry. A varied set of works by scholars from both the Islamic and the Latin traditions has been selected in order to examine their different views on those monetary issues (among others: al-Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Taimiyyah, Ibn Khaldun and al-Maqrizi’s from the Islamic side, and St. Thomas, Antonino of Florence, Buridan, Oresme, Copernicus, Azpilcueta, Bodin and Mariana’s from the Latin part). The monetary views of the scholars are analyzed and compared in respect to: (1) their intellectual and religious traditions, (2) their own experiences and observations of reality, and (3) the existence of a shared set of common.


1C. Rock Steady or Hanging Boulder? Turkey’s Precarious Geopolitics in the Mediterranean


Chair: Nevin Ates, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

“The Cultural Geopolitics of Being Mediterranean”

Galip B. Isen, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

The geopolitics of being Mediterranean can be interpreted as a quest to arrive at a genre of geo-political paradigms that seek to achieve security on multilateral, trans-cultural paths of understanding, forms and modes of cultural interaction based on accommodating rather than underlining differences and patterns of clash. The meaning and context of geopolitics has changed drastically with the progress in communication and technology to supersede merely the geographical. Since the end of the Cold War conflict has markedly shifted toward such new concerns as terrorism, fundamentalism, illegal migration, mass poverty or ecological deterioration which represent a risk for a whole social, political and economic way of life incorporated in the principles and goals of modernity. The paper aims to explore the cultural aura surrounding the Mediterranean to assist charting the possibilities that political praxis has to navigate through in order to achieve the objectives of stability, freedom and welfare.


“Geostrategy Never Dies: Turkey’s Newly Acquired Position in the Middle East and

Eastern Mediterranean”

Ulke Aribogan, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

Its strategic position in the middle of the “old world” has historically kept Turkey under focus in major geopolitical calculations. Its location was Turkey’s chief bargaining asset during the Cold War and not long after the Soviet collapse, the Gulf War and its aftermath kept geopolitics fairly high on the list. This paper analyzes the political aspects of Turkey’s situation in the current political situation concerning the Middle East, especially in regard to what can happen after Iraq and the possible neutralization of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors in the Eastern Mediterranean.


“Where Did the Boot Step and Where Did it Stop? Turkish-Italian Tension and Contention in the Mediterranean during the Mussolini Era”

Hilal Akgul, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey

Fascist Italy’s expansionist policies that peaked with the invasion of Ethiopia also set eyes on control of the Mediterranean, causing noticeable disturbance for Turkey, seeing implicit hostility in Rome’s declaration of the sea as Mare Nostrum. Turkey, whose foreign policy was based on avoiding any conflict that might involve change in the status quo was so anxious with Mussolini’s imperial ambitions that it felt a need to increase its war readiness. This paper looks at the crossing of swords between two major political elements in the Mediterranean.


1D. Borders and Interpretations of the Mediterranean

Chair: Maria Antonietta Mariani, Centre for Social Studies, Rome


“Quando i segni non hanno più senso: L’Ulisse senza risorse negli schemi di identità e perdita del sé: In margine a Itaca per sempre di Luigi Malerba”

Rita Venturi, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

In the literature of all the ages, from Virgil to Joyce, of Ulysses it is the nature of wandering that it enunciates, is the nature of frustrated sailor and I never tame that it returns in much production. Nevertheless it is like if us one were forgets since to you endured that Ulisse does not travel for appeals to: far island of utopia is not to the search of one earth promised neither of one. The reasons of its travel are very more concrete without alcunché than exotic taste: Ulisse has gotten lost during the return to Ithaca, Ulysses must return to house. In this c it is indeed little of magical or wonderful. Malerba returns to these elements of bottom: its Ulysses is not the traveler for antonomasia, but l archetype of $R–he who is lost. A hero smarrito in the space but also in a time, because he is astonished not to find the signs of the twenty years of attended on the ace of the moglie neither knows to recognize its island on which the time has operated heavy. “I watch myself around smarrito because I do not recognize the pebbly coast, this covered barren earth of trees undressed from twenty navy, l horizon of mountains, neither this sky of color of the sea”. But above all it has lost same himself, victim of its same one polytropia. “I am therefore being shipwrecked in my native land.”


“Utopia and Shifting Space”

Maria Antonietta Mariani, Centre for Social Studies, Rome

Myths use travels as a metaphor for reaching knowledge. A travel log therefore becomes human history itself. Ulysses is a mythical figure of Western culture, his shadow wanders around the Mediterranean looking for the identity. But in the ancient world, the boundary was fixed and no one would have dared to transgress it. Colombo steps over the known threshold. More and more the traveling experience narrows the world’s borders and defines the end of discovering.

If in the past the Mediterranean narrated the borders of the known world and of the changing empires, now, new borders are drawn. New stories of borders and conflicts, shifted axes and international political strategies lie. Economic and political changes define space changes. Space could be connected, disconnected or shared. Power signs space, it fills up or it empties. Walls, gates, check points, military bases, refugee camps, buffer zones: these are some of our daily borders. They tell stories and keep memory. It happens in Israel, Cyprus or other areas, moving on boundaries between ideologies or religions. Then travelling could mean escape.


“Prime Considerazioni sull’immagine di Cristoforo Colombo nei siti web e nel manuali scolastici italiani”

Luciano Gallinari, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Cagliari

The paper is a first test of a research that has like object the currently image of Christopher Columbus proposed in Italy in the web sites and in the Italian school handbooks. From this analysis emerges the survival of many old topoi about the Admiral and his life.


2A. Ex-Patriots Residing in Italy, 1920-1950

Chair: Elizabeth Mathias, St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York


“Sounds of Sardinian Shepherds’ Oral Poetry: Ethnographic Insights from D. H. Lawrence in the Field”

Elizabeth Mathias

The mountain villages of central Sardinia, an area labeled the Barbagia in Roman times, range in size from about 400 to 7000 inhabitants. The economy of the region is agro-pastoral, representing a combination of herding of sheep, goats, or, more rarely, cattle. Most shepherds here are transhumant. In both summer and winter seasons, however, the pastures are generally near enough to the villages that the men may return to their homes for a day or so every few days. Men generally take turns tending the herds.

Shepherds’ work is essentially gendered and men seek personal respect and social enjoyment largely within the confines of the male working group. The gara poetica, their verbal improvised poetic dueling goes on for many hours in the sheepfold, the town squares and village bars. In 1921, D.H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, traveled through the Barbagia and listened to the shepherds’ verbal dueling from their bedroom above a village bar. Lawrence hears the shouting of the men, the sounds of the ancient verbal forms of the Shepherds and is puzzled. He suggests that the sound is like dogs “yelping.” Lawrence’s early ethnographic description of highland Sardinian social life and improvised poetry is invaluable. My own field tapes of the shepherds’ verbal art and also of the women’s folk poetic form, l’attitu, funeral lamenting, will illustrate my descriptions.


“Representing the Other in D. H. Lawrence’s Italian Travel Literature”

Antonio Traficante, Concordia University College of Alberta, and Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Canada

Lawrence’s relationship to Italy connected him to the broader Mediterranean, a past to which Lawrence was especially drawn. Lawrence, I would argue, considered himself just as much a European as he considered himself an Englishman—perhaps more. Evidence of this, for example, can be seen in his three travel books—Twilight in Italy, Sea and Sardinia, and Etruscan Places where his observations on English and Italian life usually serve to introduce the reader to larger, more comprehensive issues which involve European issues. Elsewhere, his translations of the Italian Giovanni Verga lead Lawrence to speculate on the Italian writer’s connection to ancient Greece, and reminiscences on the similarity of ancient Greece to Sicily. It should also be remembered that Lawrence’s life-long quest for Rananim finally ends in the late 1920”s with his discovery of the ancient Etruscans. Finally, we should also state that in such critical pieces as “Movements in European History,” Lawrence once again establishes the clear and powerful link between England and the Continent.


“Outsider Artist Leonardo ‘Diobello’ Sileo”

Moyra Byrne, Washington, DC

Roger Cardinal defined the creativity of what he termed “outsider artists” as deeply extra–cultural. In his 1972 groundbreaking book Outsider Art, Cardinal explained that the artistic creativity of such self–taught artists springs directly from the original source of the emotions, and manifests itself with a minimal debt towards the forms and the course of cultural history. Leonardo Sileo, or “Diobello”, self-taught woodcarver, “illiterate” poet and at times apocalyptic sage, was such an artist.

“Diobello” was born in 1920 of extremely poor sharecropper parents in Basilicata—the same the southern Italian region in which Carlo Levi (Christ Stopped at Eboli), in political exile in 1936–1937, discovered a peasant world that he saw as existing “outside of history”. “Diobello” was in his 40’s when he began to expand his expression in wood from that of a chance tavern jest to the exploration of his visionary fantasy and beliefs. With the inclusion of slides, I will elaborate on how this man and artist, through the serious historical, social and personal disjunctions that a life such as his in the 20 th century encompassed, managed to construct a coherent and valid sense of himself and his place in the world.


2B. A Bridge to the 21st Century: Italian Writers from the 1950s to Today

Chair: Giose Rimanelli, State University of New York at Albany


“The Language of the Night: The Journal AltroVerso and the Creation of an Alternative Literature”

Luigi Bonaffini, Brooklyn College, New York

AltroVerso is an international multilingual quarterly review of contemporary signs which publishes original literary and artistic works by Italian and international authors. The mission of AltroVerso is to investigate - with interdisciplinary instruments (ranging from poetry and fiction, to comics and the visual arts) – the contemporary artistic and literary landscape in order to restore the original function of literature and art as poiesis of history and society.

The goal of AltroVerso is to create and disseminate an alternative literature - “militant” in nature and intercultural in scope– as an alternative to traditional market-oriented publications


“A Mediterranean Writer Confronting a New Reality: Giose Rimanelli’s Benedetta in Guysterland

Sheryl Lynn Postman, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Giose Rimanelli’s first novel written in the English language, Benedetta in Guysterland, is not a simple or easy text for the novice. The author, already established as part of the world of Italian letters of the post civil war years in the peninsula, moves to the United States at the very start of the 1960s, a decade that he describes, in his Italian book Tragica America, as “il decennio piú tormentato della storia dopo l’Unificazione e il New Deal.” Historically, these ten, pivotal years in the United States manifest the coming of age of a young nation. It is a period in which the country loses it innocence with the assassination of a president; the assassination of a potential future president; the assassination of a civil rights leader; the engagement in an unpopular war; the introduction of equality of the races and genders; and the entrance of the nation into a heightened state of fear due to a cold war between two nuclear super powers. The reader of Benedetta in Guysterland is immediately thrust into a rapidly moving and constantly changing vortex of this decisive and combative era in America, and it manifests, within this text, by the use of language, a linguistic process that in this novel, explores, evolves and expands with each passing chapter. Comparable to the numerous lights and projections that reflect from a prism and spread out rapidly and diversely on a large white screen, refashioning a multiplicity of images that may stand individually by themselves or combine into one huge surrealistic Picasso like image, the unsuspecting lector becomes a witness to a defining moment in America’s new dantean-like reality. The author presents a world in which the existing actuality is one of darkness and despair. The collective life with all its ramifications, oddities and elaborateness play out and dominate the current time. To spotlight the discernment and loss of hope of the present era in his new social environment (a defining moment in the American culture of the present day that scarred and changed the American political landscape for years to come), Rimanelli interweaves, within the current text, parallel situations of terror and dread that hurled the Italian peninsula, thirty years earlier, into its monstrous infernal of the Civil War. The author, relying on his classic, Italian medieval literary tradition, juxtaposes this contemporary historical period with the horrific reality of the Fascist era that engulfed the Italian peninsula from 1922-1945. In so doing, Rimanelli is crystallizing the gulf that exists between two very different generations that manifested itself as the “generation gap,” a socio-political dilemma that engrossed the entire nation and threatened a war-like confrontation between the groups: father and son; mother and daughter; old and new ways of lifestyles and its perspectives. The impetus for this constant battle stance between the two opposing social groups was a defining moment in American international policy: the Vietnam War. He then, carefully, juggles two different historic periods within two diverse universes at two extremely critical moments in their social and political developments. In so doing, the distinctions and barriers that separate these two realities erode away and coalesce into one, showing that they actually flow, similar to liquid, from one sphere of existence into the other.


2C. Shakespeare’s Britain: Interplay of Spaces

Chair: Geraldo U. de Sousa, University of Kansas, Lawrence


“‘Into the Wild’ in Shakespeare’s Scotland

Geraldo de Sousa

In his Scottish play, Shakespeare juxtaposes two opposite kingdoms, one of light and another of shadows; yet he may be less interested in a Manichean cosmic structure than the extraordinary dramatic effects created by an exploration of contiguous territories and the interaction of neighboring rival communities. This play explores the boundaries of the possible and the impossible, a border region where domestic life abuts a fantastical, wild world. >


“Madness in Hamlet

Kenneth Khoury, School of Medicine,University of California, San Diego, and Richard Raspa, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

Shakespeare’s greatest hero Hamlet can intensify the practice of medicine, and, inversely, psychiatry can deepen our response to the world’s greatest literary text. As a psychiatrist and a humanities educator, we will do two things in this paper. First, we will explore how the study of Hamlet can illuminate the therapist-patient relationship. Psychiatry is a search for answers in face-to-face encounters to the problems of living with other people and of negotiating their often-conflicting claims. Second, we will investigate how the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM), the standard text reference for practicing psychiatrists, expands understanding the critical role of family and social dynamics in individual suffering.


Hamlet’s England”

David M. Bergeron, University of Kansas, Lawrence

In Act Three, Claudius decides to send Hamlet on a journey to England. This paper traces the evolving strategy of this plan, specifically how it moves from benign to murderous intent. Claudius makes the mistake of assuming that this direct action and direct line of movement from Denmark to England will suffice, but the play keeps demonstrating that indirection prevails. On the actual journey Hamlet switches places with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who complete the trip to England. The experience does constitute a kind of catharsis for Hamlet, readying him for the play’s final movement.


2D. Early Modern Mediterranean History

Chair: Heleni Porfyriou, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la Conservazione e la Valorizzazione dei Beni Culturali, Sezione di Roma


“The Venetians in the Cyclades under Latin, Byzantine and Ottoman Rule, 1204 to 1715”

John Villiers, University of London, UK

This paper traces the chequered history of the Venetian presence in the Cyclades from the fall of Constantinople in 1204 to their final departure from Tinos in 1715, with particular reference to Andros and Tinos and to the relations between the Greek and Latin churches on those two islands.


“The Reinvention of an Imperial Past: The Rediscovery and Promotion of the Roman

Italica under the Spanish Habsburgs”

Zeynep Akture, Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey

The Columbian expedition marks the birth of the Spanish Monarquía Universalis and the beginning of Seville’s aspirations to become the commercial and cultural capital of the Atlantic. The re-discovery of the Roman Italica in 1535, and its later promotion, would appear as part of a re-invention process for the justification of the imperial ideas of Charles I and Philippe II in close Roman contacts established through Seville and maintained by Philippe IV who visited the site in 1632. Located close to Seville, Italica was where Roman citizens first settled in the Iberian Peninsula and the only city there with an exclusively Roman name that gives reference to Italy, wherein Columbus would later originate. Italica was, moreover, the patria of the first Roman emperors of provincial origin, Trajan and Hadrian, the latter of whom embellished it with ambitious architectural enterprises. By finding its most “authentic” roots in the imperial glory of the Roman Italica that was now named “Sevilla la Vieja”, the intellectuals of the period attempted to offer a new historic image for Seville, as part of a process that will be interpreted in the proposed presentation as the self-making of central imagery by the Habsburg dynasty of the Austrians.


Un’Italiana in Algeri: Some Thoughts on Christian Slave Women on the Barbary Coast, 1500-1800”

Robert Davis, Ohio State University, Columbus

This paper will investigate the range and nature of the enslavement of Christian, European women by Muslims of the Maghreb, from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. Although the image of the half-naked white woman placed on sale at a Muslim slave market has been an enduring one in Western popular culture, its typicality has been routinely debunked by most modern scholars, who have claimed that the great majority of Christian slaves were captured (male) soldiers and sailors and that, consequently, only extremely low numbers of females actually experienced enslavement. It turns out, however, that these historians have based their counts almost exclusively on redemption lists, which (inevitably) contain only the names of those men and women who were actually ransomed. As this paper will attempt to show, captive European women were much less likely than men to ever be offered up for ransom, due to the high value that Muslims placed on their persons and their services. For a number of structural reasons that I will take a look at, slave women were also much more likely to convert to Islam than were men, and once converted, especially if they had given birth to Muslim children, they not only could not be legally sold by their Muslim owner back to Christian redeemers, but they also effectively disappeared from the records of the redemptive organizations themselves. I will conclude by trying to come up with some new estimates as to just how extensive Christian, female was in the Early-modern era.


“Three Cities on Water: Genoa, Naples, and Venice”

Anna Proudfoot, Oxford Brookes University, UK

This paper sets out to explore what is at the heart of a ‘città d’acqua’ a city on water. It takes a comparative view of three cities whose reputation was founded on their position on the sea: Genova, the port from which Cristoforo Colombo set out to explore the globe, now one of the busiest ports on mainland Italy; Naples whose site on the Gulf of Naples first attracted its Greek settlers and continued to attract English visitors on the Grand Tour, and Venice, whose unique fascination made it better known than either Genova or Naples. Many people compare Genova with Naples, referring to it as the “Naples of the north”: the busy port, the narrow back streets, the Mediterranean atmosphere. Others allege the Genovese are in character more akin to the Venetians, at least in terms of their grasp of money.

This paper looks at what the three cities have in common, at their past fortunes under foreign domination, and at their present day status, and considers why at varying times in history, one flourished while another declined.


3A. Ancient World: Greece and Rome

Chair: Susan O. Shapiro, Utah State University, Logan


“Euripides’ Medea: Modern Psychiatry and the Construction of Madness”

Kenneth Khoury, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, and Richard Raspa, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

In the 5th century BCE, Euripides wrote a story of madness for the West. Medea, a traditional representation in Western cultures of the mad woman, is out of her mind, angry, vicious, boastful, betrayed, and maimed. She is at first mad for love, and later mad for revenge. Love and hate drive her to exceed the taboos of civilized conduct in Greek antiquity. She betrays her nation and her father, and kills her brother out of desire for the exotic stranger, Jason of the Golden Fleece. She tricks Jason’s cousins into killing and tearing to pieces their father so that Jason may reclaim his right to the throne of Iolcus. Later, Medea uses witchcraft to torture and kill Jason’s bride, Glauce, daughter of Creon, King of Corinth, the woman for whom Jason has abandoned Medea and their two sons. In the end, she commits the monstrous act of infanticide to exact revenge upon Jason for his betrayal.

What we propose in this paper as a professor of psychiatry and a professor of humanities is to explore in an interdisciplinary way how diagnostic categories in modern psychiatry can illuminate the classical construction of madness, and how, at the same time, the ancient tale of Medea can disclose understandings about madness today. Contemporary psychiatry, particularly the diagnosis of borderline personality, will help reveal Medea’s struggle with madness as a particular construction of Greek antiquity. As well, Euripides’ ancient representation of the mad woman can deepen insight into a case study of a contemporary Medea whose violent struggles with a husband and child reflect postmodern notions of mad behavior in our 21st century globalized world.


“Catiline, Northern Italy, and the Problems of the Late Republic”

Susan O. Shapiro

In 63 B.C. a nobleman named Lucius Sergius Catilina formed a plot to overthrow Rome’s Republican government. A natural leader, Catiline enlisted the help of key senators and other well-to-do Romans, and within a few months he had collected an army of 10,000 Roman citizens, based in Pistoia (120 miles from Genoa). Catiline’s conspiracy might well have succeeded, were it not for the fact that Cicero, who was consul that year, forestalled the uprising through a series of bold public speeches, supported by behind-the-scenes detective work and deft political maneuvering. Why would a patrician, a member of Rome’s exclusive inner circle, want to overthrow his own government? How could he attract scores of upper-class Romans and thousands of ordinary citizens to participate in his ill-advised scheme? This paper shows how Catiline’s conspiracy grew out of the political and social problems that plagued the late Republic. A weak and ineffective political structure, land confiscations in northern Italy, a serious debt problem in all levels of society combined with untold wealth for a few; these and other difficulties produced a volatile and unstable society that was ripe for revolution.


“Tibullus in Phaeacia: From an Island in the Middle of the Mediterranean Straight to Elysium”

Vaios Vaiopoulos, Ionion University, Corfu, Greece

The elegiac poet Tibullus (1st cent. B.C.) is temporarily quitting Rome, accompanying his friend Messalla on official business to the Eastern Mediterranean. The expedition was probably that undertaken by Messalla at Octavian’s request shortly after the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. As long as maritime journeys and military office are often rejected by Tibullus, the announcement that the poet has participated in a military expedition away from Rome, at the very edge of the Roman mare clausum, at first puzzles the audience, but the surprise quickly withers away, as the initial announcement is supplemented by Tibullus’ complaint; he is unable to accomplish his mission, as he has fallen sick in the middle of the Mediterranean, on the island of Corfu. The reference to Phaeacia-Corfu certainly constitutes a hint to Homer, but apart from that, it is known through Greek texts that this place is sited near the island of the blessed, i.d. near Elysium. Therefore, Tibullus presents himself ill in Phaeacia because his deep aim is to go to Elysium, to be immortalized. His participation to this paradise doesn’t really depend on his loyalty as a soldier accompanying Messalla or Augustus in imperialistic expeditions away from Rome; only the “soldiers” of love are entitled to this erotic Elysium. In addition, the ideal world described in el. 1.3 is a paradise that meets not only the expectations of Tibullus as a lover but also the aims of a conscientious of his literary identity poet. The pax romana established throughout the Mediterranean may be a situation of which a peaceful elegiac poet may profit, but not an ideal in favor of which Tibullus could consent to fight in the military field.


“Iasos: A Roman Harbor Town through the Middle Ages in the Light of New Archaeological Evidence”

Ufuk Serin, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

Iasos is a small Roman harbor town situated in Caria on the southwestern coast of Asia Minor, between Miletus and Halicarnassus. The indented coast of Caria provides many natural harbors, as does neighboring Lycia, and is very rich in Late Antique and Byzantine settlements, as a result of the advantageous situation of the region located at the crossroads of main shipping routes from Constantinople to the Eastern Mediterranean. The ancient site of Iasos, flanked by two protected harbors, includes vestiges from the Early Bronze Age to the Late Byzantine period.

This paper intends to offer an architectural survey of the Early Christian and Byzantine buildings (mainly churches) of Iasos on the light of new archaeological evidence, as well as a topographical analysis of the town throughout the Middle Ages. Six churches have so far been identified at Iasos, and excavations are now extended to an extra-mural Middle Byzantine church located at the Big Harbor. Archaeological evidence from this building seems to indicate a continuous urban life at Iasos throughout the Byzantine Middle Ages. This paper aims to present the results of the fieldwork carried out by the author from 1997 to 2003 in the context of the Iasos excavations, as well as an interpretation of the new archaeological evidence.


3B. Turkish Music and Folklore

Chair: Nermin Kaygusuz, State Conservatory of Turkish Music, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey


“A Brief History of Turkish Music from the 19th Century to the Present”

Nermin Kaygusuz, State Conservatory of Turkish Music, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Turkish Music, which has in a sense reached its highest peak during the period of Selim the 3rd, began to be strongly influenced by the West during the period of Sultan Mahmud the 3rd. The closing down of Mehterhane and the founding of Muzika–yı Humayun in place of it and the incorporation of important western musicians such as Donizetti Pasha in the music scene, resulted in augmentation of the effect of Western Music in the Palace.

Some of the composers in the Palace who felt disturbed by this new movement actually had left the Palace. Among those that remained, some learned the Western System and western musical notes and started a profoundly new era. By the declaration of the Republic in 1923, as a matter of the revolution, the objective of breaking with the tradition and creating a society anew from scratch, lead to the negligence of the “classical” understanding of Turkish Music prior to the period of Selim the 3rd. Therefore, Turkish Music which was formerly widely educated and flourishingly spread owing to the support from the Palace became abandoned to its fate only to be educated and practiced in Public associations and the like founded by local communities. There could not have been any attempt of serious education in the area until the opening of the Conservatorium of Turkish Music in 1976.This has been an important obstacle that prevented Turkish Music from improving and developing. Most probably that is the reason why we do not have a new and alternatively evolved Turkish Music now. The performance-notation(sheet music) difference(bifurcation) persists to our day while music written exclusively for instruments is still lacking since instruments exist in order to accompany the soloist, and a standardization in this respect is still not achieved. Furthermore, the most important concern is that Turkish Music seems to be at the threshold of an era in which it no longer preserves its respected position and qualities owing to the deterioration of conditions it undergoes, as well as gradually loosing its popularity in our society (and of course within the international community).

Nevertheless, I do not think these problems might not be overcome. However, I do believe in an urgent necessity to debate and contemplate more about the issue and to take more responsibility over Turkish Music which has formerly been an important gift of human civilization and musical discourse.


“Woman in Turkish Music from Ottoman Period to the Present”

Serife Guvencoglu, State Conservatory of Turkish Music, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

In Turkish Society, the place and importance of women have occasionally been mentioned and different opinions and topics in this respect have been matter of concern. Women have under all sorts of conditions achieved outstanding successes with their responsible, willful character and their solidarity. It is an undeniable fact that under every dimension of the Turkish History of Arts, women have had a profound importance in almost all artistic discourses. As for our concern here, we acknowledge that Music develops and flourishes in the compositions that the composers create. Composers, with the compositions they make are able to convey their historical period within the framework of the social and cultural atmosphere of that very period and thus enable us to penetrate our gaze through different historical periods. The women musicians who have always occupied a profoundly important position in Turkish Classical Music, have throughout the past until now successfully taken the roles of educators, performers, soloists, singers, chorists, composers, song–writers, choir leaders and so on and so forth in innumerable careers of utmost value. Therefore, women musicians are substantial points of reference in the history of Turkish Music in comparing the past and contemporary conditions of our social and cultural structures.


“Istanbul Meddah Stories”

Seyma Gungor, Istanbul University, Turkey

Meddah stories are urban short stories told by meddahs in oral form. The meddah tells stories to audience while sitting on a chair. His stories deal with events from daily life, folk tales, epics, stories and legends. Meddah stories have evolved into a special form in 17th-century Istanbul. These stories importance is that they reflect 17 th- and 19th-century daily life, literature and early theatres in Istanbul. Istanbul meddah stories concentrate on entertainment, love and intrigue; mostly telling adventures about historically significant people.


The Historical Development of the Music and Instruments in Mehter

Zeynep Barut, State Conservatory of Turkish Music, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Mehter is the oldest turkish military music band with a history beginning from the eighth century BC. Mehter was popular throughout the age of Ottoman Empire. It has only historical and folkloric significance currently and is played only in special performances today. The wind and percussion instruments, Cymbal, and Cevgen are main groups of Mehter instruments. Shrill pipe (zurna), Horn, Mehter whistle,Clarinet,and Kerrenay are Wind instruments. Big drum (kos), Kettle drum, Small kettle drum, Tabilbaz, and Tambourine are Percussion instruments. These instruments evolved over time and in different parts of the world such as Central Asia, Anatolia, the Arabic Peninsula, Africa, and Europe. In this presentation, they will be introduced with vignettes of mehter music. Special meanings of mehter music in political and social life of its time and its influences on world music will be discussed as well.


“The Final Techniques of Kemane and the Role of the Kemane Family in Turkish Folk Music”

S. Yücel Açin, State Conservatory of Turkish Music, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Today, it is known that the first form of the wind instruments is the “ıklığ”. In central Asia, arch and bow which were normally used for hunting were also known to be used as musical instruments and the sound was achieved through pressing the arch and bow against each other. The instrument thus formed out of that action was named “okluğ.” “Iklığ” was the instrument formed in due respect by attaching a water-pumpkin underneath and which was played by a bow of horse-strands. “Rebap” is a derivation of ıklığ and known to be the first from of viols.

This instrument Iklığ, which the Turks have brought with them to Anatolia, is encountered in regions where the immigrant culture is widespread. The most common form of the instrument widely encountered during that period was the “Kabak kemane” which is made out of water pumpkin (su kabağı).

When the kabak kemane began to appear as an instrument in many Turkish Folk Music Bands, it has gained more of a significance. In Turkish Folk Music departments of Conservatories, courses designed to educate Kabak Kemane artists were opened and Cafer Acin, who opened an Instrument Making Department in 1976 in the Conservatory, continued developing the making of the Kabak Kemane and in 1978 formed a completely new Kemane with a body of carved wood and a sound board on its skin. This Kemane was no longer to be named as Kabak Kemane since it was not made of Kabak, namely pumpkin, anymore.

Therefore, it is appropriate to call this instrument only as a Kemane rather than a Kabak Kemane. “Kabak”(pumpkin) is not used in the production of kemane as it has no Standard shape. This is why the kemane should be made with carved wood or sliced wood. Since it is an instrument of profound importance in Turkish Folk music , the Project of founding a “kemane family” has been developed for this instrument during recent times.

As a matter of these studies and researches, the balance and ratio standards have been established. Better quality wood for is now used to enhance the sound quality and aesthetic of the instrument. Different sizes of this instrument to fit alto, tenor, soprano, bass sounds have been developed and made and therefore nowadays the “viol family” for Turkish Folk Music has been formed as the hitherto mentioned “Kemane Family.


3C. Medieval History II

Chair: Joan Dusa, Los Angeles, California


“Why Did the Papacy Distrust Stephan Dushan of Serbia?”

Joan Dusa

The reasons why the papacy did not organize a crusade to defend Europe from the Turkish incusions of the fourteenth century has never been thoroughly understood.  Stephan Dushan of Serbia requested audiences with both Popes Clement VI and Innocent VI to negotiate unification with the Roman Church and have himself named  "the Defender of Christendom," as the head of a crusading army. Clement and Innocent, however, treated Dushan's offer with suspicion accusing him of infidelity and heresy.

In this paper, I will present evidence from various published sources that Dushan was persecuting Catholics in his kingdom and surrounding areas. Although this was not the sole factor in determing the papal response to him, it should be evaluated for its political and cultural ramifications. >


“Francesc de Cassassaja: A Mediterranean Merchant at the Service of the Kings of Aragon and Sicily”

Nuria Silleras-Fernandez, University of California, Santa Cruz

Francesc de Cassasaja was a citizen of Barcelona and in many ways a typical late medieval Mediterranean merchant. As a commercial agent he sold precious objects, clothing and other expensive objects to the aristocracy of southern Europe, including the Barcelona dynasty. However he did more then that, becoming a royal counselor and intimate confidant of the royal family, who used his services as courier, advisor, and diplomat. As such he became the “bo e especial servidor” (“good and special servant”) of Martí I the Human, King of the Crown of Aragon (1396–1410) and his son Martino il Giovani, King of Sicily (1392–1409), and their queens.

 Cassassajas’s position in the royal court became so important that twice he was put in charge of caring for the descendants of the monarchs of Barcelona-Aragon. In 1403, Martí I asked him to discreetly convey his two illegitimate grandchildren, which is to say the two illegitimate children of his son Martino, Fadrique and Violant, to Aragon where they were to be raised under the protection of their grandparents. Later on, Cassasaja was given the task of caring for Joan Jeroni de Vilaragut, the son of the dowager queen of Martí I, Margarida de Prades, who had secretly eloped and did not wish for her son’s existence to become known.

By examining the case of Francesc de Cassassaja and his relation to the Barcelona dynasty, we can see the importance of the merchant elite to the contemporary monarchs and appreciate the special and valuable services which—with their mobility, international contacts, and comparatively low public profile—they could render to their patrons, and the benefits which they enjoyed in return.


“Genovesi a siviglia al tempo di Colombo”

Silvana Fossati Raiteri, Università di Genova

In the literature of all the ages, from Virgil to Joyce, of Ulysses it is the nature of wandering that it enunciates, is the nature of frustrated sailor and I never tame that it returns in much production. Nevertheless it is like if us one were forgets since to you endured that Ulisse does not travel for appeals to: far island of utopia is not to the search of one earth promised neither of one. The reasons of its travel are very more concrete without alcunché than exotic taste: Ulisse has gotten lost during the return to Ithaca, Ulysses must return to house. In this c it is indeed little of magical or wonderful. Malerba returns to these elements of bottom: its Ulysses is not the traveler for antonomasia, but l archetype of $R–he who is lost. A hero smarrito in the space but also in a time, because he is astonished not to find the signs of the twenty years of attended on the ace of the moglie neither knows to recognize its island on which the time has operated heavy. “I watch myself around smarrito because I do not recognize the pebbly coast, this covered barren earth of trees undressed from twenty navy, l horizon of mountains, neither this sky of color of the sea”. But above all it has lost same himself, victim of its same one polytropia. “I am therefore being shipwrecked in my native land.”


3D. Mediterranean History II

Chair: Heleni Porfyriou, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la


Conservazione e la Valorizzazione dei Beni Culturali, Sezione di Roma

“When the han Meets the Arcade—Passage: Issues of Discontinuity or Disruption in the Use of Public Space in the Levant”

Heleni Porfyriou, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per la Conservazione e la Valorizzazione dei Beni Culturali, Sezione di Roma

Traditionally hans (along with funduks, bazars and bedestens) were among the most important commercial premises of the Islamic world. Used as centers of wholesale business and warehouses, they often carried on retail business and housed manufacturing activities. They were generally two-storey buildings with central courtyards aligned with porticoes all around. Commercial activities and storage was taking place on the ground floor while sleeping accommodation was offered in the rooms on the upper floor. The westernization of Ottoman cities and of the Eastern Mediterranean area, in the 19th century, is the context in which the spatial and functional transformation of the traditional han will be discussed in this paper, as a double process.

1. The gradual transformation of the traditional han and its uses. The existing traditional hans were gradually modified in the period under consideration hand in hand with the changes undergoing in the location of land uses in the city (due to urban extensions, or the emergence of new land uses, etc.). Accommodation facilities were taken over by hotels and hans became mostly and almost exclusively commercial places, hosting shops, manufacturing activities (such as small workshops) and storerooms. The shops occupying the ground floor were gradually opened up towards the surrounding streets and were not only looking inward (on the internal courtyard). Continuity with the past seems, however, to have prevailed in this kind of transformation.
2. The emergence of a new building type, around the turn of 20th century, out of the intermingling of Levantine and European cultures. These new buildings retained selectively the name of han (thus denoting linguistically a continuity to tradition) or took over the new European denominations: passage, cité, or stoa in the Greek territories. They also retained some of the old functions performed up to then by the traditional hans: retail shops and storage. They had shops on the ground floor and offices on the upper floors and they were built either around courtyards - which were however open through archways to the street - or along small internal, pedestrian, streets. In other words, they were outward oriented buildings looking to the streets.
These buildings showed also a new locational preference in respect to the traditional han. Instead of being close by or part of the traditional commercial areas - of the bazar, carsi, souq — they were located along newly opened streets, in new business districts and close to the residential quarters of the European minorities, or in general to the Europeanised parts of the city. The case of the Grand Rue de Pera (the “Cicek passaji” being an outstanding example), or of the Galata district is eloquent. The emergence of this new building type was related to broader changes brought about by the incorporation of the Eastern Mediterranean region and its cities into the western economic network (transport development, European financial penetration, etc.) and it was the outcome of the demand, by western businesses for a renewed environment for economic activities. In this context the contribution of the 19th century European commercial building type of the “Arcade-Passage-Galleria” should not be underestimated. The change in building style was also a result of morore general efforts and planning interventions concerning the modernization (westernization) of the form and use of urban space, such as the rebuilding of destroyed quarters, the opening up of straight streets “à la franqua” and the creation of new business areas near the new transport infrastructures (railway stations and new quays).

The paper will illustrate this process of transformation of the han (okelle or okale) from a traditional to a new building type through a number of examples drawn from Thessalonica, Izmir, Istanbul and Alexandria. Its aim is to focus on the transition from a semi-public, inward space of commerce and exchange, as represented by the han, to an outward, public space of commercial and tertiary activities, as represented by the passage, cite, stoa. The intention is to underline the resistance and adaptability of the traditional building type to new imported uses of space, as well as the potentialities inherent to the century long typology of the han. The ultimate scope is to address the issue of continuity in the use of public space in the Levant.

More specifically some of the most relevant examples which the paper will discuss, are:

- In Istanbul - Pera: the passage or cité d’Anatolie; the passage Hazzopoulo; the passage Oriental; the cité de Roumélie (Rumeli Hani); the cité d’Alep.
- In Thessalonica: the Kentriki stoa; the stoa Foroglou; the stoa Koutroumba; the Koritsa han; the cité and stoa Saoul; the Emniet han or passage Natsina; the passage Kyrtsi; the Kyrtsi han.

- In Alexandria: the Okale Passage Menasce; the Okale Monferato.


“‘Desiring to Go Learn of Virtue in Italy’: Re-examining Mediterranean Honor Culture through the Activities of Southern French and Italian Nobles, 1580-1635”

Brian Sandberg, European University Institute, Florence

In a 1602 letter, Alfonse d’Ornano explained to Ferdinando I de’ Medici that one of his pages wanted to go to Italy to “learn of virtue” and hoped that one of the Granduca’s courtiers could instruct him. This letter and other contemporary manuscript sources open fascinating windows not only into the education of young noblemen in the early modern period, but also into the mobility and fluidity of noble culture in that period. Honor conceptions and practices emerge as key aspects of “virtue’” that nobles claimed to desire to “learn.” A rich historical and theoretical literature on Mediterranean honor has adopted an honor/shame dichotomy and perceived a pan-Mediterranean conception of honor in the early modern period. In this paper, I intend to re-examine such notions of Mediterranean honor culture, focusing on examples of southern French and Tuscan nobles in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. I will develop my analysis using archival sources from various archives départementales in southern France in conjunction with documents from the Archivio di Stato di Firenze. I hope to be able to suggest some new ways of considering early modern Mediterranean honor based on these cases.


“The New Republic and the Italian Peninsula: A New Appraisal of a Two-Way Mediterranean and Atlantic Network, 1770-1840”

Luca Codignola, Università di Genova

Based on new research in Italian, American, English, and Canadian archives, this paper shows that there were many more Americans in the Mediterranean, and Italians in the North Atlantic, than it was previously thought. Historiography has so far mainly devoted its attention either to some key figures (Philip Mazzei, Luigi Castiglioni being amongst the most celebrated ones), especially when these were authors of travel books or were in some way related to the Enlightenment; or to the so-called main economic trends, represented by ships, tonnage, balance of payments, etc.. This paper shows that these “key figures” hardly represented the majority of people who regularly crossed the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. These were mainly sailors, merchants, seasonal workers, emigrants, and ecclesiastics. Also, since serial sources being are mostly unavailable or very unreliable, and it being impossible to verify the extent of any economic significance in the overall traffics, only by retracing individuals through painstaking archival work can the historian reach a clearer impression of the extent and nature of the US presence in the Mediterranean, and of the people from the Italian peninsula crossing over to North America.


“Mediterranean Problems in the Context of the International Aspects of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939”

Vera Malay, Belgorod State University, Russia

This paper is based on new archival materials and studies the place and the role of the Mediterranean problems in the international aspects of the Spanish Civil War.

Mediterranean problems were very important in the context of geopolitical aspects of the Spanish war. Main contradictions in this connection took place in Anglo-Italian relations. All their aspects as well as evolution are studied, not only on the base of printed materials, but also with a help of documents of the Russian Foreign Affair’s Archive. Nyon conference (1937) is studied as one of attempts of international isolation of the USSR.


4A. The Permeability of the Mediterranean: Reinvention and Self-Discovery in the Northern European Imagination

Chair: Bernardo Piccichè, Virginia Commonwealth University


“Inventing the Post-Columbian World: Italy and America in Montaigne’s Essais

Ayesha Ramachandran, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

This paper investigates the repeated juxtaposition of Italy and America in Montaigne’s New World essays, and demonstrates how an emerging global consciousness at the end of the sixteenth century led to a repositioning of the Mediterranean and its classical past (“middle–earth”) with regard to the Terra Nova (“new earth”) in the European imagination. 

“Our world has just discovered another world,” writes Michel de Montaigne, “and who will guarantee us that it is the last of its brothers, since the daemons, the Sibyls, and we ourselves have up to now been ignorant of this one?” In “Des coches,” one of the two celebrated essays on the discovery of the New World, the French humanist records and responds to this upheaval of historical and geographic proportions through a subtle re-imagining of “the world” itself. Yet, almost a century after Columbus’s voyage, this famous turn in the essay towards America is still framed by a lingering gaze backwards, through citations of Lucretius, to Italy and to classical Rome. A similar rhetorical structure also characterizes the opening of the much–discussed “Des cannibales,” which begins with a meditation on Pyrrhus in Italy before moving rapidly in space and time to a textual cartography of Atlantis, which serves as an imaginative double for America.

In each case, Montaigne carefully constructs a dichotomy between (renascent) classical antiquity and the nascent New World, one which mediates key themes of the Essais as a whole: the inextricable relation of civilization and barbarism, of self and other, of self and world. It is this return to Rome as a formative and shaping space, a mental landscape that counterbalances the new geography within the essayist’s weltanschauung, that frames his profoundly skeptical vision.


“Rossellini’s Naples, or the Reconstruction of Imperfect Italy”

Giuseppe Gazzola, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

The descent in Italy to broaden one’s life experience, as practical Bildungsedukation, has been considered since the early Eighteenth century by the Northern European élite as a common, almost compulsory practice. Italy has been, for a long time, Europe’s internal “other”, its pre–industrialized and folkloristic South. Roberto Rossellini, in his celebrated movie Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy), moved from this cultural commonplace using the concept of otherness to build a dynamic of self-knowledge in his characters, travelers who are forced to confront as aliens a whole new reality and, doing so, are forced to redefine their identity as well as their concept of relationship. The traditional scholarship on the movie has understood and extensively explained this concept, which is only a half, in my opinion, of Rossellini’s operation.

It is evident that the map of the movie does not reproduce a consciousness closed in upon itself; we are not presented with a homogeneous portrait of the traveling couple, sound and immutable, but with characters whose self-awareness continuously evolves according to the new experiences they are facing; rather, it is the map in the movie—that is, the city of Naples, Pompeii, the National Archaeological Museum, Capri, Cuma and the temple of the Sybil, Pozzuoli, Fontanelle and, above all, the Catholic procession of the seventh day—that negotiates the process of consciousness of our couple. The gaze of the “other,” of myth and history, changes the subjects and their parameters of identity; and I intend to claim how such gaze is reciprocated and symmetrical. The travelers, precisely in their condition of “explorers” and “tourists”, discover in the diegetic real a world new to them, of which the audience is made aware through their eyes by means of the subjective movements of the camera. The characters authorize, with their fresh perspective on the surrounding reality, an act of “reconstruction”: their gaze makes possible the double reading on the Italian territory. As it is evident in another of his celebrated movies, Germania anno zero (Germany, Year Zero) Rossellini believes that history and reality are not given facts, but cultural processes that have to be reinterpreted through human experience. Rossellini shows us how reality is, in the etymological sense, imperfect, since it is constantly changing and in need to be constantly reconstructed.


“Proust’s Italian Visions”

Johannes Türk, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany

In Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, topography plays a pivotal role: mythical landscapes compared to Homer’s not only organize Proust’s childhood memories, but specific topographic points are also at the center of his artistic search and vocation. Swann’s pictures of Venice inspire the first desires mediated by art, and Bergotte’s novels lead the hero to travel to Balbec in Normandy, where he encounters Elstir’s impressionist paintings. Artistic creation, which Proust describes as metaphoric, thus presupposes a metonymic relation to space. Two Italian towns epitomize the relevance of spatial imagination in the novel: Trieste, where hints lead Marcel to suspect lesbian adventures of his lover Albertine, and Venice, where the recovery from the end of his relationship to her takes on the form of a religious experience in the church San Marco, shared by his mother. Through these locations, Proust’s novel enters into a rich history of “Italomania” in the French realist tradition reaching from Stendhal to Flaubert. Both cities become a “lieu de mémoire”—one for a dysphoric, the other for a euphoric experience relying on topographic contiguity. A place of suffering is juxtaposed to a place of artistic and religious transcendence. If Proust’s severe asthma forced him to anxiously consider the influence of topography and favor the Mediterranean, as some critics claim, it cannot be verified, but it seems clear that Venice as a place of longing, where the novel inscribes itself into the artistic tradition of the Italian Renaissance and transfigures the anxieties of jealousy embodied in Trieste, lies at the heart of Proust’s aesthetic project. My paper will explore the role Italian topographies and visions play in one of the major novels of the Modernist tradition


4B. Medieval Literatures

Chair: Caroline A. Jewers, University of Kansas, Lawrence


“Lost in Translation: Searching for King Arthur among the Troubadours”

Caroline A. Jewers, University of Kansas, Lawrence

This paper analyzes references to King Arthur in Troubadour Lyric, and discovers that far from referring to a mythical king, the allusions are very specific, and bound up in Plantagenet politics.


A l’alta fantasia qui mancó possa: Dante and the Vision of the Paradiso

Eduardo Fichera, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Memory plays a decisive role in Dante’s Commedia.
Throughout the entire poem, and more frequently in the Paradiso, Dante openly comments on the role of memory with regard to his ability to produce an accurate textual rendition of his fantastic journey in the afterlife. In the third cantica, direct references to what the pilgrim is or is not able to retain about his alleged vision are often accompanied by the use of the ineffability topos, which declares the poet’s inability to adequately describe in words the supernatural quality of his experience.

But the faltering limitations of Dante’s memoria are often acknowledged, only to be immediately denied in the following terzina. Dante does not seem to follow a consistent thread in his assessment of the limitations of memory. This narrative strategy, made of contrasting statements, generates a dialectic which supersedes the mnemonic limitations claimed by the poet, bringing to the foreground the inadequacy of human language in its attempt to express the ineffable vision of paradise. Hiding behind the alternating declarations regarding memory, this dialectic of ineffability reveals the truth essence of the opposition that characterizes the textual construction of the Paradiso that between the supernatural quality of the experience and the limited possibilities of human language to represent it.

Although Dante blames the weakness of his memory, the successful completion of his poem has little to do wit it, depending mostly in his ability to find a successful strategy to overcome the dynamic opposition that threatens his work, that between res and figura, between vision and representation. Here the repeated use of the ineffability topos becomes the pattern that best represents Dante s effort to bring his words as close as possible to the silenzio divino which ultimately constitutes the true essence of God.


“Le Cid’s Production of Arabic and the Foreign”

Samuel T. England, University of California, Berkeley

Sid is a useful word in Arabic. It derives, as do similar titles in European languages, from a term denoting class but now is simply a term of politeness: Romance analogues include Don and Monsieur. What happens to this word when uttered in a 17th–century French play about Inquisition–era Iberia? What can we say of the word’s curious travel, from Arabic to French by way of fictionalized Spaniards? How does Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid make use of it?


This study is motivated by a simple premise: that the rendering of an Arabic title is important within the workings of the play, and that it opens a useful point of entry to the text. From that point, this study finds that the text reveals some of its most interesting machinations in its understanding of the title Cid. The questions asked here are those of an Arabist (and, to a much lesser degree, a reader of Spanish), rather than a scholar of French literature. But, in its trajectory, this study intends to be useful to comparative scholars interested in mimesis. The argument traces a succession of representations and exchanges in the play, actions that vary in style but form a coherent, dynamic operation.


“On the Verge of Romance: Exogamy and Its Discontents in the Poema de mio Cid

Clara Pascual-Argente, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

The “Poema de mio Cid” is not an epic. Or, at the very least, it does not conform to the canonical traits of the genre, as established by French epics. There has been an ongoing effort for over a century now to transform the poem’s deviations into the canonical characteristics of the Spanish epic. One consequence of this has been that the PMC has only been read against epic works—a point of view that detracts from the poem’s richness and obscures its connections with other genres and books.

In this paper, I will argue that there exist solid grounds to start reading the PMC as a romance, and that it would be fruitful to do so. First, I will examine the relations between gender and genre in the poem by concentrating on its obsession with daughters (filiafocality) and its underlying anxiety about exogamy—a concern situated at the very root of European romance. The PMC’s dual structure also relates to this preoccupation as shown in contemporary French romance, and it would support a reading of the poem as a reworking of an older epic work. Finally, I will explore the connections of the poem with the creation of a monarchic and chivalric ideology in Castile, best served in later romances and treatises.


4C. Music and Culture

Chair: Juan Francisco La Manna, State University of New York at Oswego


“Brazilian Composer M. Camargo Guarnieri: An Overview of His Nationalist Aesthetics through His Piano Solo Works and Art Songs”

Rubia Santos, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant

M. Camargo Guarnieri (1907–93) is the most prolific and internationally recognized twentieth–century Brazilian composer of art music. Guarnieri composed more than seven hundred works for a large variety of genres, which have been performed, broadcasted, and recorded worldwide. The art song genre and piano solo works appear to have been Guarnieri’s favorite compositional media, appearing throughout the composer’s life. Guarnieri performed frequently as a pianist and conductor, and is considered the founder of the first most influential compositional school in Brazil. He continuously researched the distinct Brazilian ethnic sources in his many trips to the Northeast and countryside, incorporating in his works musical elements, such as rhythm, melody, and modality, dance types, and instrumental timbres found in folk and popular music of Brazil.

Guarnieri is known as the harbinger of the nationalist style in art music, a style that he seriously promoted not only in his compositions, but also in his fervently teaching philosophy. The Brazilian nationalist aesthetic was crystalized in 1922 during the event of the “Week of Modern Art,” a Brazilian modernist movement implemented publicly in São Paulo City. The head of this movement, the art critic and poet, Mario de Andrade, was a central figure in Brazilian culture and Guarnieri’s lifelong mentor in issues relating to Brazilian culture and artistic matters.

This presentation will focus on Guarnieri’s compositional style by providing a historical overview of the modernist movement in the first half of the twentieth century in Brazil, and by examining Brazilian musical elements in the composer’s piano solo works and art songs.


Pulcinella: Massine’s Comedy Ballet”

Ligia R. Pinheiro, Wittenberg University, Ohio

This presentation will outline Massine’s process of incorporating ‘authentic’ Italian movement into his work, blending it with ballet and Commedia gestures creating a unique style that proved successful at the premiere of the comedy ballet Pulcinella in May 1920. It was Massine’s last original choreography before his break with Diaghilev’s company in 1921


“Stravinsky’s Pulcinella: The Birth of a New Style”

Elizabeth La Manna, State University of New York at Oswego, and Juan Francisco La Manna

Pulcinella, a delightful ballet with music in a Neo-Classical vein, marks the beginning of a new style of composition in the life of the Russian composer. After a brief biography, the paper will focus on Pulcinella, its genesis, its musical characteristics, and possible reasons for the radical departure from the language that characterized previous ballets such as The Rite of Spring.


4D. Contemporary Mediterranean Issues

Chair: Ángel Felices Lago, Universidad de Granada, Spain


“Africa in the First Global Economy”

Gwyn Campbell, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Much advance has been made over recent years, following the path breaking work of K.N. Chaudhuri and others, in analysing the economic development of Asia within the Braudelian paradigm of the long distance maritime exchange networks of the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. However, the role of Africa within that process has been largely ignored or described as marginal. The rare exceptions to this, reflected in the work of scholars such as M.N. Pearson and R.J. Barendse, only partially modify this bias. This paper seeks to fill this gap through re-evaluating the role of Africa through an examination of its relationship to what has been termed the first global economy not only in terms of external influences upon Africa, but also in terms of Africa’s contribution to that global economy.


“Past Influences and Modern Prospects for the Specialized Business Language Syllabus: The Case of Spanish

Ángel Felices Lago, Universidad de Granada, Spain

The languages for specific purposes (known as LSP) seem to be an Anglo-Saxon creation of the second half of the 20th century. However, deep concern about the way in which science and specialized trades are transferred and/or communicated among experts and non-experts has been of interest in all periods. Taking Spanish for business as an example, it is worth noticing the high amount of treaties about secretarial language and good writing practices for the administration in the period which goes from 16th to 19th centuries. This will be a starting point to underline the remarkable differences between past approaches to business and administration language and the ideal contents of an updated syllabus of Spanish for Business, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing areas of specialized language since the final years of the 20th century.


“The Mediterranean Moat: Portcullis to Paradise?”

Jackie Cannon, Oxford Brookes University, UK, and Fernando León Solís, Paisley University, UK

Following on from our paper presented at the Mediterranean Studies Association Conference in 2005, in which we used examples of tourism advertising texts which use the Mediterranean label to demonstrate the differing constructs of the Mediterranean when comparing and contrasting Northern and Southern European images with those produced in the Mediterranean area, this year we will examine differing constructions of the Mediterranean as perceived from accessible sources to the north and south of the Mediterranean Basin.

Since September/October 2005 there have been widespread reports in the Spanish press highlighting the plight of aspiring immigrants ten years after the adoption of the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, held in Barcelona on 27–28 November 1995. The “Barcelona Process” marked the starting point of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, a wide framework of political, economic and social relations between the Member States of the European Union and Partners of the Southern Mediterranean and comprises 35 members (25 EU Member States and 10 Mediterranean Partners).

The Euro-Med partnership clearly has a role to play in identifying and expressing common ground in the Mediterranean zone, including Mediterranean politics and identity as they are constructed and conveyed by the policy-decisions and relayed by the national press. European, particularly Spanish, press will be reviewed with the aim of identifying different constructions of identity, similar to those used for commercial purposes.


“Bucking the Trend: Spain’s Welcome to Immigrants”

John Naylon, Keele University, UK

The population of the European Union is ageing and declining, with serious negative implications for continued economic growth and social security. The situation would logically be relieved by immigrant workers but the “threat”—real or imagined—of uncontrolled immigration has provoked hostile popular reactions in some countries of Western Europe (France, Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom), a reaction which has been exploited by politicians for electoral purposes.

A refreshing contrast in attitude is provided by Spain which, along with Italy, is one of the principal points of entry into Europe for illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. The Ley de Extranjeria of 2005 has legalized the status of some three quarters of a million illegal immigrants, stressing the positive contributions which they make to Spain’s economy, consumption, social services, tax income, and professional and intellectual life. This enlightened policy could be a model in the on-going debate about immigration into Europe and the continent’s cultural identity.


5A. Franciscan Encounters

Chair: Ronald E. Surtz, Princeton University, New Jersey


“Crociata e Diplomazia nel Mediterraneo del primo Trecento: Il francescano savonese Filippo Brusserio”

Elena Bellomo, Università Cattolica, Milan

The paper aims at outlining the life and work of the Savonese Franciscan Filippo Brusserio (1260–1340), whose activity on various occasions assumed a Mediterranean dimension because of his ties with Genoa and with the Crusade. Special reference will be made to the preaching and organization done by Brusserio for both the Crusade expedition of 1301, promoted by some Genoese ladies, and to the diplomatic mission which Brusserio, as pontifical legate to Clement V, later undertook in the East. In addition to outlining the historical framework in which these events took place and the role that Brusserio had, the paper will focus on a treatise on the recovery of the Holy Land, the Speculum Terre Sancte, which Brusserio wrote and which has been lost. This work has been identified with various anonymous treatises, which are about the recapture of the Holy Land. These attributions will be the subject of a careful examination aimed at evaluating their reliability.


“Selling Salvation: Juana de la Cruz (1481-1534) and the Marketing of Indulgenced Franciscan Girdles”

Ronald E. Surtz, Princeton University, New Jersey

In 1520 the Castilian visionary Juana de la Cruz received a revelation in which Christ himself, at the instigation of the Blessed Virgin and St. Francis, proposed a remedy for the economic woes of the convent of Santa María de la Cruz. The nuns were to make replicas of the Franciscan girdle with miniature scourges in place of the knots and give them to the faithful in exchange for their alms. The girdles were supposed not only to benefit the souls of their pious purchasers, but also to offer protection against thunderstorms, to aid women in childbirth, and to help the dying. The consumers were offered a choice of colors—white, green, blue, black, gold, or red—as well as a choice of materials presumably priced accordingly—wool, linen, or silk. Aware of the dangers of the saturation of the market, Christ further proposed that the girdles of those who lived far from the convent would conserve their power for five years, while those of the faithful who lived close by would be good for only a year. While the astuteness, if not the cynicism of such marketing techniques seems transparent to modern scholars, I believe the sale of the Franciscan girdles must be placed in the context of a society intensely preoccupied with the salvation of the soul. The marketing of the girdles coincided with a time in which the Franciscan habit was believed to be imbued with special powers, and many chose to be buried in it so that St. Francis would act as their post-mortem advocate. Moreover, Christ’s revelation regarding the girdles is intertwined with warnings about the approaching end of the world, and such apocalyptic considerations could only increase the advisability and desirability of the girdles.


“Mediterranean Encounters: Is She a Virgin or a Social Man? Franciscan Sightings of the Balkan ‘Man-Woman’”

Aleksandra Djajic Horvath, European University Institute, Florence

The aim of this paper would be to look into the instances of intercultural encounters of Franciscan missionaries sent from the mid–seventeenth century onwards to tribal northern Albania by the Holy Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith.

Particular attention would be given to missionaries’ accounts of indigenous sexual practices and women and their efforts to introduce female celibacy and reform marriage practices, with the aim of imposing the model of early modern states they themselves were coming from and in which female virginity played an important role. Central to the analysis of that process, in which female sexuality was taken to be the basic signifier for denoting cultural difference, would be the analysis of representations of the traditional indigenous role of the man-woman—a biological woman who under certain circumstances and after swearing an oath of life-long celibacy was granted the public status of an honorary social male, gaining male looks and male privileges. The issue of cultural encounters would be discussed through the analysis of the ways missionaries—bringing along their cultural baggage and particular ideological framework—interpreted the phenomenon, ‘translating’ it into the binary gender discourse by naming such individuals—despite their male looks, male social status and the fact that they were wearing arms--’sworn virgins’, the term that has been in popular use until today.


5B. Mediterranean History III

Chair: Gilbert Fernandez, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville


“The ‘Lingua Franca’ and ‘Consolato del Mare’: The Mediterranean as a Free Space of Contact in the Middle Ages”

Paolo Bernardini, Boston University, Massachusetts

This paper will analyze the relations between two different realities which made the Mediterranean a free space of contact in the late Middle Ages and in the early modern times. The paper will take into account two different realities, now disappeared. On the on side, the “lingua franca,” the pidgin of trade used by almost every agent of trade, merchant, and sailor in the Mediterranean area from the 14th to the early 19th century. On the other side, I will analyze the code of law known as “Consolato del mare”, a set of rules first put together in the late 15th century in Spain, then republished and refined until the early 19th century, which were the basis of contemporary maritime law. The comparative analysis of these two systems (linguistic and legal) will demonstrate that, before the birth of the French–Napoleonic national state, and the subsequent “nationalization” of the Mediterranean, that sea was a much freer space of communication, trade, and free exchange among several nations.


“‘Saper la mente della soa Beatitudine’: Pope Paul II and the Ambassadorial Community in Rome (1464-71)”

Paul M. Dover, Kennesaw State University, Georgia

This paper examines the social topography of the papal court under the pontiff Paul II (1464–71) as seen through the eyes of ambassadors resident in Rome, Europe’s most important locale for political maneuver and diplomatic exchanges, and a vast information market. As an ambassador of the Milanese duke Francesco Sforza remarked: “at the court of Rome there are always envoys and ambassadors from all the lords of the world, and they keep an eyes on what papers are crossing the table.” They kept their ears open as well, attentive to any news or gossip that might prove useful.

My focus here is on how ambassadors, amid the many layers of ecclesiastical officials, diplomatic officials and countless hangers-on, sought to ascertain the attitude and intent of the Pope himself. This was not always possible through direct audiences with the pontiff. Paul was a notoriously difficult personality for ambassadors to deal with, stern and unyielding, yet garrulous and prone to flights of hyperbole, to which ambassadors found themselves repeatedly subjected. Thus ambassadors had to rely on cardinals, secretaries, other ambassadors and a range of associated characters to divine the mind of the Pope.


“Genoa and Lepanto (1571): The Importance of Strong Ships, Faithful Men, and Good Press: The Curious case of Doria, the Question of Corruption and Treachery, and the Challenge of Living Down Prevesa”

Jenny Jordan, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Lepanto (1571) had particular historic import to Genoa, not only geopolitical import but also because its own historical memory had become enmeshed in the legacy and ignominy of an earlier allied fleet defeat at Prevesa. In what ways were Genoa’s memorialization of 1571 unique, and in what ways do they reflect evidence of an early modern “public relations crisis”? Through the Genoese celebration of 1571 we are better able to understand the delicate balance of power between Genoa and Madrid, and the fluid nature of international politics when practiced on the waves of the Mediterranean.


“The Battle of Lepanto (1571): The Sources of Defeat According to Ottoman Archival Documents”

Onur Yildirim, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

The confrontation between the Ottoman navy and the Armada of the Christian Holy League in the year 1571 resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman navy which had been by then considered “invincible” by the Europeans. This event occupies a special place in the history of Europe in that the further expansion of Ottoman world power was halted at sea and the Ottoman navy was never able to recover from that loss. To some historians this event marked the beginning of a long period of decline that was bound to bring the eventual demise of the Ottoman Empire. Despite its historic significance, the reasons behind the defeat of the “invincible” Ottoman navy remain for the most part unexplained. The Western scholarship on the subject is content with the explanation that the technological and tactical superiority of the Allied fleet was combined with the passion and skills of the commanding staff (e.g. Don Juan) to bring home the victory. On the side of the vanquished, the sources of defeat have not been properly researched, nor has there been any attempt to examine the vast archival documents available in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. The conventional view, generated by Ottoman chroniclers, puts the blame of the defeat on the shoulders of the Ottoman naval commanders, who were either killed in the battlefield or executed upon their return to Istanbul. A perusal of the Ottoman archival materials, however, offers ample evidence to argue that the defeat of the Ottoman navy was caused by the failure of the Ottoman provincial officials in the regions nearby the locus of confrontation to provide the proper provisioning of the imperial fleet as well as the failure to recruit from the same location sufficient number of oarsmen to man the ships. The latter point can be better understood in the light of the fact that the Ottoman navy, which was demolished nearly in its entirety in the battle, had been engaged in an exhaustive assault on Cyprus before heading for Lepanto. It is the contention of the present author that the story of the Ottoman defeat at Lepanto remains incomplete unless the local circumstances are properly documented and analyzed. To accomplish this goal, this paper will examine a series of documents known as the registers of important affairs (Muhimme Defterleri) located in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul. In addition, some relatively less popular chronicles of the period such as Lokman’s Selimname will also be used to this effect.


5C. The Reception and Impact of New-World Plants in Spain and Italy

Chair: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, University of London, UK


“Strange and Horrible Things: Reactions to New World Plants and Dietary Norms in Early Modern Italy

David Gentilcore, University of Leicester, UK

Tomatoes and aubergines, disparaged as cold and moist in Galenic terms, were “strange and horrible things” that “a few unwise people” were willing to eat (Giovanni Domenico Sala, 1641). They were unhealthy, difficult to digest, generators of melancholic humours, And yet, as Sala inadvertently reminds us, someone was eating them, regardless of the dietary advice. What changed in the two hundred years separating the very different opinions that, on the one hand, “tomatoes ... give little and bad nourishment” (Castor Durante, 1585), and that, on the other, they “are to be enjoyed” (Vincenzo Corrado, 1773)?

The factors determining which New World plants were adopted, when, and in what ways, can tell us much about changing learned discourses during the early modern period, as well as the broader socio-cultural context for changing dietary and medical practices.

Did physicians and medical understanding represent a constraint on what early modern Italians ate? The paper will deal with the (possible) restrictive effects of medical literature, in terms of the establishment of rules and norms. Diet was a fundamental part of health maintenance and dietary recommendations were a mainstay of physicians until the late nineteenth century. At the same time, both medicine and diet were also matters of lay concern and knowledge, rather than of exclusively “professional” concern.


“Wonder Drugs of the New World in Mediterranean Medicine: Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, and Guaiac”

Ken Albala, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California

Three new drugs of the New World were quickly and enthusiastically adopted by Galenic medical practitioners in Southern Europe in the 16th century: sassafras, sarsaparilla and guaiac wood, commonly known as Jesuit’s Bark. Expeditions were launched with the express aim of collecting these plants and investors expected heavy profits. Each was used foremost in therapies designed to treat what was considered a New World disease—syphilis, the logic being that regions in which particular diseases originated should also, by divine providence, supply their cure. In the long term, physicians’ expectations were frustrated, investors lost money and the three plants, although retaining a place in the early modern pharmacopoeia for a variety of ailments, were slowly transformed into flavorings for soft drinks such as root beer, sarsaparilla soda and tonic water. These drugs thus follow a historical fate not dissimilar to other New World drugs such as chocolate and tobacco, but interestingly never became articles of mass consumption and never gained a place in the daily routine of Mediterranean cultures. This paper will focus on the reasons for Europe’s initial excitement over these drugs and how, with the aid of empirical investigation and practical experience, their enthusiasm gradually abated, yet never so completely as to abandon these drugs. It will also examine how these plants were adapted to other uses, primarily as flavoring agents.


“New-World Drugs and the Mediterranean in the 17th-18th Centuries: Some Aspects of Their Supply, Distribution, and Practical Impact in the Crown of Aragon”

Teresa Hughet Termes, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain

To date, the distribution, supply and practical impact of New-World plants for medicinal uses in the Mediterranean lands has been underestimated by assuming that most exotic drugs were not coming from the West Indies but from the Levant, especially during the 17th century. This fact has especially been explained until now by the monopoly of the Casa de Contratación of Seville in the controlling of the Atlantic trade, not least the restrictions the Crown of Castile imposed on the free and direct Catalan and Valencia trade with New World over the Early Modern times. This paper aims to reconsider this fact on the basis of archival research recently undertaken. I will analyze different kinds of sources such as the account books of the apothecary of the Hospital of the Holy Cross of Barcelona, merchants’ trade information related to the company which belonged to the Mascaró family of Barcelona. They not only sold New-World drugs to doctors, surgeons and apothecaries from all over the Crown of Aragon till Sardinia and Sicily, but also owned the monopoly given to them by the Castilian Crown in order to supply with drugs the hospitals of the military barracks of the Crown of Aragon from the middle of the 17th century. Finally I will study the appearance of New-World drugs in household recipes scattered trough personal and archival stuff from Catalan families of that period, today preserved at the archive of the National Library of Catalonia.


5D. Italian Art

Chair: Marilyn Stokstad, University of Kansas


“Sandro Botticelli, Prodigal Piagnone

Barbara Watts, Florida International University, Miami

This paper considers both editions of Giorgio Vasari’s “Life of Sandro Botticelli” in his Le vite d`e p`iu eccellenti pittori scultore et architettori, from the perspective of prodigality, a character flaw that, according to the author, deeply colored not only Botticelli’s successful years, but also, those of his decline. It argues that Botticelli’s “Life” provides a cautionary storia of prodigality, one that extends beyond recounting the ramifications of fiscal irresponsibility to those of prodigal misuse of time and talents. In the larger context of the Lives, the paper builds upon Paul Barolsky’s insights regarding the importance of Dante’s Commedia for Vasari’s text and, as well, his discussions of the ways in which individual “Lives” reverberate upon one another. Accordingly, it argues that Botticelli’s “Life,” from its original opening paragraph (which was deleted in the 1558 edition), is grounded in Dante’s cautionary account of the ever-turning sphere of Fortune in Inferno VII (vs. 75–96, the canto devoted to the Prodigal and Miserly shades of Hell’s fourth circle). Furthermore, it argues that Botticelli’s “Life” should be read in the context of Pietro Perugino’s “Life,” which, as Andrew Ladis has demonstrated, offers a telling lesson on the consequences of avarice. Together, these “Lives” constitute point–counterpoint narratives; as such, they offer a Dantean paradigm of contemporaries afflicted with opposite types of the same category of sin and suggest the pairing of the miserly and prodigal shades in Hell’s fourth circle (Inferno VI).

The paper then moves from Vasari’s Dantean treatment of Botticelli’s “Life” to the negative role that Dante himself plays in it, in Vasari’s account of Botticelli’s illustration of the Inferno and in a seldom considered Dantean anecdote in which Botticelli is alleged to have used Dante’s name in vain. The essay concludes that Dante’s Inferno offers a key to the understanding of Vasari’s portrayal of Botticelli and that the role of Dante in Botticelli’s Life, though consistent with Dantean themes and structures throughout the Lives, is unique.


“Stylistic and Iconographic Considerations: The Lamentation in the Church of San Sepolcro, Milan”

Ellen L. Longsworth, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts

The Milanese church of San Sepolcro was dedicated in 1100 to Santa Maria Maddalena al Santo Sepolcro, and by the early sixteenth century had become the site of special veneration of the Passion, Death, and Body of Christ. A terracotta and polychrome Lamentation group in the crypt of the church may date from this time.

Seven life-sized figures occupy the apsidal space below the main altar above. They form a composition presumably complete but for the figures of the Dead Christ lying in a nearby alcove and a Saint John recently displaced to an office of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, connected to the church and in possession of it since 1929. The identity of the artist or artists is not known, and the church archives, preserved in the reading room of the Ambrosiana, are silent regarding the sculptures. The sculptures, but for one figure, are unpublished and virtually unknown.

The popularity of the Lamentation as a subject appropriate to a realistic and emotional treatment by artists working in wood or terracotta and color, is indicated by the numbers of fifteenth-century compositions that have survived. After 1500, the demand in Italy for such powerfully evocative and immediately accessible sculpture increased. Generally then, it is in this context that the San Sepolcro Lamentation should be understood and evaluated. More specifically, however, and perhaps more significant, was the environment for the sculpture provided by the church of San Sepolcro


Correggio Among Ancients and Academicians: Mengs, Ratti and the Construction of 18th Century Criticism

Maureen Pelta, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The impact of Antiquity on artistic development was an essential component of critical discourse about Renaissance art in the 18 th century. Anton Raphael Mengs, the renowned painter-philosopher and one of the most widely-read authors of this period, posited that Correggio’s exposure to ancient works of art marked a formative moment in this 16 th century artist’s aesthetic, fundamental in shaping his mature style. While scholars interested in Correggio are familiar with Mengs’s writings, scant attention has been paid to Carlo Giuseppe Ratti’s Notizie Storiche Sincere intorno la Vite e le Opere del Celebre Pittore Antonio Allegri da Correggio, 1781. Ratti was a contemporary and almost life-long intimate of Mengs, and his Notizie was important in both dessiminating and refining Mengs’ deliberations upon Correggio’s assimilation of ancient art and its critical implications for the development of his style. This paper will not only examine the significant role of Ratti’s Notizie, in transmitting Mengs’s ideas and identifying the crucial moment of stylistic change within Correggio’s career, but also excavate the remnants of its influence in comtemporary scholarship.


“Giorgio Vasari’s Mercurial Allegory”

Liana de Girolami Cheney, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Vasari’s mercurial allegory represents a Neoplatonic iconography derived from the assimilation of ancient and recent scientific developments (Manilius, Ptolemy, and Copernicus) and reprinted editions of books on astrology Hyginus, Astronomy (1517). Vasari’s awareness of these sources depended on humanists and friends (Aretino, Borghini, Caro and Giovio). In a Neoplatonic vision, Vasari creates a unified depiction of the universe in his homes (Arezzo and Florence), public and private commission (Palazzo Vecchio) where the narrative stories about ancient gods and goddess manifests the mediation of the pagan mythology with Christian personification of virtues. Vasari’s artistic theory on drawing and nature are fused with his history painting or mythological stories. Vasari envisioned how his art can reconstruct the past and foresee the future.


6A. Literature I

Chair: Mary Nicolini, Boston University, Massachusetts


“Modern Rewriting of a Lost Medieval Manuscript: El turno del escriba and the Pains of Authorship

Aurora Lauzardo, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan

El turno del escriba, written by Graciela Montes and Ema Wolf, was the winner of the Alfaguara 2005 prize for novel. It narrates the toils and pains of the scribe, Rustichello de Pisa as he writes Le devisement du monde, Marco Polo’s famous description of his travels around the world. In a way, the book is a travel book, where traveling becomes a metaphor of writing, and the reader becomes the witness (and companion) of the travelers who are confined in a prison in Venice. Although there are around 150 versions of the book, Rusticello’s original manuscript was lost. This unfortunate event opens the door to the imagination of Montes and Wolf, who in a collaborative writing exercise (resembling that of Polo and Rusticello), write a book that may be studied in the light of the lost manuscript tradition. This paper focuses on the discursive conventions of the fictitious author and the problems of authorship and authority in El turno del escriba.


Beurettes’ Autobiographies: Intersectionality in Writing”

Hélène M. Julien, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York

This presentation will be devoted to the examination of autobiographical texts written by female writers of the second and third generation of Maghrebi immigrants in France, Beurettes. These texts represent a prime, contemporary example of the confluence of cultural and linguistic traditions that the Mediterranean has historically fostered. They also offer an exceptional locus for the expression of the tensions through which these young women define themselves and articulate their identities. In this context, intersections socio–economic status, cultural background, generation, geographical location, gender play an essential role. In this presentation, I purport to examine in particular the way in which these writers negotiate their in-between position and define for themselves a space in which to inscribe and articulate their textual and experiential identities. I will then focus more specifically on what role gender plays in the act of writing (the geste d écriture ) for these authors and, conversely, what role writing may play in their negotiation of these intersectional factors. In that context, I propose to consider how these authors challenge of the traditional dichotomies in which they are caught (Immigrant/of–French–origin; tradition/modernity; Muslim/Christian; submissive/rebellious; etc.) relates to a challenge of a traditional definition of literary genres.


“Life as a Muckheap: Becket Reads Leopardi”

Paul Ady, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts

Samuel Beckett and Giacomo Leopardi were two writers born over one hundred years apart who shared a profound existential pessimism. Beckett’s pessimism arose from temperament, a troubled familial situation, and was further cultivated by the dark times in which he lived. Though Leopardi’s pessimism had its roots as well in his own familial and personal issues, he knew nothing of world wars, genocide, or nuclear threats; a child, or rather, orphan, of the Enlightenment, his pessimism arose from his belief that the world was hostile to reason, and therefore, at its core, hostile to man. This paper will explore the ways these two writers’ darker sensibilities intersected and where they did not. Beckett’s sympathies with Leopardi reveal themselves in recurrent ideas and images; this paper will explore the image of life as mud, or a muckheap as it reappears in Beckett’s work, most particularly his landmark play Waiting for Godot. Both Leopardi and Beckett agreed that fango è il mondo. Their responses to this belief, though, differed in important ways. Leopardi could take some comfort (albeit minimal) in looking to works of classical literature. o:p>


“Silence, Sexuality and Modern Life in Merullo’s Revere Beach Boulevard

Mary Nicolini, Boston University, Massachusetts

Roland Merullo’s novel, Revere Beach Boulevard (1998), the first volume of his Revere Beach trilogy, has been recognized by reviewers for its suspenseful plot, vivid sense of place, psychologically adroit characterization, and compelling exploration of the themes of power, love, and family. Revere Beach Boulevard tells the story of an Italian American family, the Imbesalacqua’s, whose parents emigrated to America from the south of Italy in the 1930’s. The novel focuses on their second-generation adult son, Peter, a gambler and failing local real estate agent, whose struggles with a debt he owes to a loan shark provide the central conflict in the book. My paper will explore the theme of shame within the dynamics of the community Merullo portrays by focusing on two leading characters, the father, Vito, and the daughter, Joanie. Merullo’s technique of alternating first-person narrative among the leading characters creates a directness and intimacy through which both Vito and Josie’s narration discloses to the reader the malaise of family secrecy and the shame that results from it. Vito’s narrative focuses on his memory of a sexual misalliance from the past, while Joanie’s takes up the secrecy of her homosexuality. There is, moreover, Vito’s shame and disillusionment with Revere, the place where he lives his American life, his manner of revealing painful doubts about his past which are largely contained to the secrecy of the confessional, his relationship to the closeted priest, Dom who attempts to reveal his sexual preference to Vito, and Vito’s inability to grasp Dom’s revelation or Joanie’s overriding need to disclose her sexuality to her loved ones. Joanie, isolated from herself and the ones she loves, recognizes the debilitating effect of secrecy on her life, both outside and within the community.


6B. Monasteries and Jesuit Missions

Chair: Joan Dusa, Los Angeles, California


“The Presence of Greek and Eastern Monks in the Western European Mediterranean and Central Europe”

Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, University of Athens, Greece

The presence of Greek and Eastern monks in west European Mediterranean has begun at the middle of 4th century. St. Athanasios the Great (†373) was the first who introduced the ascetical tradition to this large place. The flourishing of eastern asceticism has influenced west, but this has happened in different periods and various ways. In 6th century Italy has begun to be influenced from a large wave of Eastern monks. During the next centuries Rome has begun a center of Eastern ascetism, which was a flourishing center at the end of 9th century. Also Paris or central Europe has been visited from Eastern monks, who had stayed there for years or for the rest of their life. So the eastern monks had transferred not only their ascetical tradition of East, but they had transferred a multifarious cultural tradition (language, literature, customs etc). It is obvious that this wave had stopped after the Great Schism (1051), but the eastern monks had never stopped to visit the west. It is true that the Greek monks had put the foundations of Renascence (14th—15th c.) and they had played a serious role to the renewal of the classical studies. The last wave had come from East to West after the Russian Revolution (1917), from the Russian theologians. So, our research will begin from the 4th century and it will conclude at the middle of 20th century.


“The Italian Jesuits in Late Sixteenth-Century Japan”

Daniel T. Reff, Ohio State University, Columbus

In 1549 Francis Xavier initiated the Jesuit mission enterprise in Japan. During the next thirty years the Jesuits, who were mostly Portuguese, enjoyed considerable success converting the Japanese to Christianity. Jesuit success was limited, however, by the presumption that to be Christian was to be Portuguese. In 1579 a group of Italian Jesuits, led by Alessandro Valignano, assumed leadership of the Jesuit missions of Japan. The Italian Jesuits broke with a long-standing European tradition; Valignano argued that the Japanese could (and should) remain Japanese while embracing Christianity. Perhaps even more radical was Valignano’s assertion that European Jesuits in Japan needed to adopt Japanese customs. This imperative became the organizing principle for a Treatise comparing Japanese and European customs (drafted by Valignano’s secretary, Luis Frois, S.J.), which details how Japanese customs could be considered civilized even though they differed (often radically) from European customs. This paper explores the form and content of the TRATADO as well as the variety of cultural-historical contingencies that help explain how and why Italian Jesuits came to differ with Iberian Jesuits in the execution of the Christian mission.


“The Amazon and the Enlightenment”

Beatriz Helena Domingues, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil

Since the discovery of the New World by Columbus, the north of South America was named Amazon due to the belief of its richness, like the California Island inhabited by the Women warriors from the legend. The discovery of actual gold in the region reinforced such assumption. This paper wishes to explore the continuities and discontinuities of the approaches on Amazon through the colonial centuries, focusing on the second half the eighteenth, when the Jesuits had been expelled from the region and the Portuguese crown increased its effort towards a full control of the region. It will offer a comparative view between the biographies and works of the missionary and naturalist Jesuit Joao Daniel and the official traveler of the Portuguese government Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira. If both call attention to the exuberance of the fauna, flora and potential agriculture of the region, their way of doing so, as well as the motivations, were quite different. Important here is to show that they wrote during a time when gold cycle in Brazil had switched from Minas Gerais to Mato Grosso, near the Amazon. They will be treated as part of the Catholic Enlightenment that characterized the Iberian World, attuned to the most updated issues of eighteenth century.


6C. Film and Performance Studies

Chair: Ricardo Bigi de Aquino, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil


Il Divismo in Postwar Italian Cinema: The Case of Gina Lollobrigida”

Ricardo Bigi de Aquino

A beauty icon that came to represent the loveliness of Italian women all over the world, a movie star that attained mythical status in international cinema, Gina Lollobrigida (1927-) remains one of the last examples of the great diva still in existence. About to turn 80 years-old, completing her 60th year in the public eye, the Italian actress has had an exceptionally rich and varied artistic career since her timid beginnings as an extra in Riccardo Freda`s Aquila Nera (1946). Her accomplishments as an actress, if open to dispute in some critical circles, led to her worldwide popularity during the fifties and sixties. From the seventies onwards, she abandoned films to start an award-winning career as a photographer and sculptor, occupations around which she has centered her life in the last decades. Lollobrigida`s longevity and continuous prominence as a public figure have been object of the attention of academics (Buckley 2000) and journalists alike. We deem important to define her place within the phenomenon of divismo and ascertain the particular contribution she has made to the Italian cultural scene.


“Frank Capra and Sicily”

Richard Bonanno, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts

Frank Capra, the self-styled, brash, and controversial director of timeless film classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Meet John Doe, was born in Bisaquino, Sicily in 1897 and, while still a child, emigrated to Los Angeles, California with his siblings and parents. A determined worker from an early age, Capra managed to make a name for himself and achieve greatness as a filmmaker in Hollywood. He has often been categorized as the first truly American cinematic auteur, and the populist message of his most successful films gained him international acclaim and widespread appeal. Both his autobiography and several of his films include pointed references to his humble beginnings and his experience as a Sicilian immigrant, which he willfully contrived as a major factor in his rise to fame and in his pursuit of the American dream. However, close and unbiased scrutiny of the actual biography and several individual works of the celebrated director reveals deeply ambivalent feelings concerning both his Sicilian heritage and the Italian immigrant experience at large. I intend to elaborate Capra’s romantic appropriation of his experience as a Sicilian immigrant in his cinematic and autobiographical works.


“Images of the Utopian Island from Columbus’ Diary and Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Popular Contemporary Cinema”

Patricia Nedelea, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

My interdisciplinary proposal offers a comparative and integrative perspective on the symbolic utopian location of the island, utilizing Shakespearean play “The Tempest”, as the primary tool for comparison, fragmentation and integration of this imaginary location and its relatedness with the islands described in Columbus’ Diary. Going further, I will examine and compare those Renaissance descriptions of the utopian island with the negative ones present in a number of recent popular movies as The Island, The Matrix and The Beach. I will examine the various ways the image of the utopian island has changed along centuries, its oscillations between positive and negative symbolism, between fascination and threat, in order to see till what point it preserves its ambiguity. My approach will designate the island as a queer place.

I will use a cluster of cultural studies approaches (Literary Theory, Queer Theory, Feminist Epistemology and Linguistics) to react and enact with those imagined locations. To reveal the particular role of the Utopian Island most effectively and convincingly, I will apply this cluster and examine the specificity of the island described by Columbus in that most iconic of high cultural products, the work of Shakespeare.


6D. Christopher Columbus I

Chair: Ernest Greco, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island


“The Delusions of Christopher Columbus”

Joshua B. Stein and Rachel Dannemiller, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island

I propose a paper entitled “The Self-Delusions of Christopher Columbus.” It is a joint project with a student, Rachel Dannemiller to whom should go co-author credit. We are examining the writings of Marco Polo and the subsequent journals and letters of Columbus to determine how much of what Columbus saw in America was in his head as a result of expectations based on his readings of Marco Polo, and how much was in reality. Without trying to quantify our results, we conclude that a disproportionate amount of what he reports is in his head, not in the Americas. Though he never says things along the lines of “and then we saw xyz as described earlier by Marco Polo” it is clear that some of his discoveries were in fulfillment of his desires, not his actual sightings. An example of this is his discovery of adjacent islands exclusively of men and of women. Whether such actually existed in 13th century China or not, there is no evidence that there was anything like this in the 15th century Caribbean. Our paper will explore this and several other examples of this aberrant behavior on Columbus’ part.


“The Admiral’s Vigil: Fiction and Reality”

M. Isela Chiu, Utah State University, Logan

Christopher Columbus has always been a controversial figure in Latin American history. He has been considered a hero by those who admire him for accomplishing the feat of the discovery of America, and despised by those who blame him for the destruction of the great civilizations that existed at the time. The story of his voyage in search of a new route to the Indies has occupied innumerable pages of works of literature written in several languages. Among these are five novels written in Spanish, The Harp and the Shadow (1979) by Alejo Capentier, The Dogs from Paradise (1983) by Abel Posse, Christopher Unborn (1987) by Carlos Fuentes, and The Admiral’s Vigil (1992) by Augusto Roa Bastos.

The novel by Roa Bastos was published among the enormous controversy of the celebration of the Fifth Centennial of the arrival of the Spaniards to America. In his novel the Paraguayan writer presents a quixotic image of Columbus, a man with a utopian dream. The narrative presents a dismal and lonely man who is never aware of his great accomplishment. The story of the discoverer is but a mere ploy used by the writer to induce his readers to question the power of the word and the line between reality and fiction.

The purpose of our study is to analyze the narrative strategies used by Roa Bastos in this metafictional work and how this contribute to the reader’s rethinking of the history of the discovery and the discoverer.


The Tropics of Empire in Columbus’s ‘Carta a Luis de Santángel’ (1493)”

Nicolás Wey-Gómez, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

The geographical commonplace that Columbus sought “to reach the East by way of the West” has long obscured the fact that Columbus also deliberately sailed south toward the belt of the tropics. This paper examines the pervasive tropicalism in Columbus’s instantly famous account of the Discovery, pointing to the complex epistemology that informed his assessment of the “nature” of the places and peoples he had discovered in the Bahamas and Caribbean.


“History, Heroism, and Spectacle in the Cinematic Representations of Christopher Columbus”

Phillip Drummond, New York University and University of California London Programmes, London, UK

Our cities are often identified, in the popular imagination, with the charismatic individuals whom they have produced and who, in turn, are seen as representing, embodying or typifying a perhaps amorphous sense of urban place and purpose. This is famously the case with the great city of Genoa, and its incarnation in the figure of the celebrated explorer, Christopher Columbus. The precise identity of Columbus continues to be the subject of historical analysis and speculation, as are the precise terms of his particular discovery of the New World. Across this difficult historical and geographical distance, varying controversial articulations arise concerning the broader relationships between supposedly primitive America and the equally supposed sophistication of her European visitors.

As the major figurative institutions of the twentieth century prior to the rise of television, cinema and television have returned to the magnetic figure of Columbus on a number of occasions. Beginning with from David MacDonald’s 1949 film Christopher Columbus, starring Fredric March, and continuing with Alberto Lattuada’s 1985 eponymous miniseries, starring Gabriel Byrne, the cycle was particularly emphatic in 1992, the year of the 500th anniversary, which gave rise to two competing epics: Ridley Scott’s 1492: Conquest of Paradise, starring Gerard Depardieu, and John Glen’s Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, starring Georges Corraface as well as to the British spoof, Gerald Thomas’s Carry on Columbus, starring Jim Dale.

Created at various junctures in social history, and in the evolution of the international film industry, these works offer a number of ideological perspectives on Columbus, dealing variously with ideas about individualism and the State, the commercial and scientific nature of early maritime exploration, and the politics of European Empire building. Through the varying stardoms of March, Byrne, Depardieu, Corraface and Dale, they also offer differing articulations of historic European masculinity for the modern international audience, especially in its encounters with the American other. The paper will examine these and related issues with reference to this quintet of films, anchoring its ideas in textual analysis of their particular narrativisations of structural motifs to do with quest and journey, and their stylization of the audiovisual regimes underlying the spectacle of exploration, based and centered on the adventurer’s heroic gaze and look.


7A. Mediterranean History III

Chair: Enrico Basso, Università di Torino


“From Mediterranean to Atlantic: The Genoese-English Sea Routes of the 15th Century”

Enrico Basso, Università di Torino

During the 15th century, the Ottoman expansion in the Aegean and Black Sea area progressively reduced the opportunities for the Genoese merchants which operated in that area. Consequently, the Genoese chose to enforce their presence in the Western Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in the Atlantic ports of England and Flanders, notwithstanding the competition for the control of the sea routes that already existed with the Crown of Aragon.

In my paper I will retrace, in the general context of this “changement of direction” of the balance of the main commercial axes in the Mediterranean, the specific topic of the efforts made by the Genoese to build and maintain the vital route from Eastern Mediterranean to England, along which they transported alum from Anatolia, woad from Lombardy and wine from Spain, gaining a vital role in the English economy of later Middle Ages.


“I crociati e il mare: pericoli, emozioni e impressioni nei ricordi del Sire de Joinville”

Giuseppe Ligato, Milan

The paper aims at describing the discovery of the extraordinary new ordeal of the Mediterranean crossing during the crusade of saint Louis, one of the first navy-crusades (from Southern France to Cyprus and then to the Delta of the Nile and Damietta): after centuries of knightly despisal towards the world of seamen, the warriors had to submit to the power and orders of the navy crews from Genoa and Marseille: the masterly manoeuvres of the big ships, the unknown use of ropes and sails, the storms and the winds were a new test for the value of the crusaders. The Church had already begun to teach that the sufferings during the iter had the same soteriologic value of the fighting against the Saracens, but the bold, gallant and proud knights of the feudal armies were not accustomed to the life on the ships; so they had to deal with a series of discoveries as rough waves, seasickness and all the paraphernalia of the dangers in the sea, so that they finally developed a new Christian feeling based on specific rituals on board, or the discoveries of the saints voted to the help and rescue of seafarers after the vogue of warrior saints, as we can read in the History of saint Louis by John of Joinville. His book was also conceived as a device that aimed at giving more proofs of the saintdom of the king of France, tested not only on the battlefield and in the captivity but also during the storms of the Mediterranean Sea.


“Il privilegio del re armeno Lewon II ai Genovesi (1288)”

Marco Bais, Università di Bologna

Nel 1288 il sovrano del regno d’Armenia in Cilicia Lewon II fece ai mercanti genovesi delle concessioni in materia di diritti doganali, amministrazione della giustizia e possesso di immobili entro i confini del suo regno. Tali concessioni furono sancite dall’emissione di un documento ufficiale, firmato dal sovrano. Questo privilegio è uno dei pochissimi documenti vergati nella cancelleria del regno ciliciano a essere giunto a noi e—insieme con altri tre documenti analoghi, ma cronologicamente successivi—è il solo testimone della lingua armena usata nella cancelleria di quel regno. Il documento, tuttavia, pur unanimemente ritenuto l’originale con la firma del sovrano in inchiostro rosso e in grafia diversa rispetto a quella in cui e redatto il testo del privilegio, presenta una mutilazione nelle righe iniziali che mal si concilia con la sua pretesa natura di originale.


“The Admiral and Carnival”

Carmelina Gugliuzzo, Università di Messina

The origins of the Maltese Carnival go back to the first years of the 15th century; we have a testimony of November 1482 when, during a debate of the city Council for the imposition of new tax, the Captain of the City expressed the opinion that no tax had to be collected until the successive Carnival. The Carnival really was considered similar to the religious festivities; this is testified also from the use of the name Carnival as if it were a Christian name. Later the Knights will decide to encourage it. A great impulse to this happened in 1560, when the Grand Master La Valette allowed the use of the masks in public. The occasion was represented from the presence in the Gran harbour of the Christian fleet that had been forced to the inactivity from the unfavorable weather and the diseases and the Great Genovese Admiral Doria, irritated for the forced inactivity, he allowed his men to make merry ashore. They consented gladly and for some days the flower of the European chivalry and aristocracy made noisy, fun, dance and masks as Malta had never seen before. The new entertainment enjoyed both the Maltese and the Knights till to become a peculiar characteristic of the traditional festas.


“Il Consolato della Repubblica Settinsulare (1800-1807) a Genova

Gerassimos Pagratis, University of Athens, Greece

In 1800 the Septinsular Republic (Repubblica Settinsulare) was founded in the islands of the Ionian Sea. Though nominally an independent state, it was subject to the protection of Russia and was obliged to pay an annual tax to the Ottoman Empire. Its independence mainly concerned domestic affairs and to a lesser extent foreign policy, in which it had the possibility of manœuvres to the degree that these were not contrary to the interests of the two guarantor powers. Russia’s coverage of military expenses enabled the Republic to exercise a protectionist trading policy, thanks to which the entrepreneurs in these islands were able to extend their activities throughout the Mediterranean. For this purpose, a dense network of consulates was established in the main nodes of Mediterranean trade.

The present paper deals with the organization and operation of the consular services of the Septinsular Republic in the port of Genova, and examines the mainly business aspect of the activities of the consul. The period under consideration coincides with the troubled years of the Napoleonic Wars, for which sources in the Septinsular archives, from which we draw our material, in part cover lacunae observed for many regions of Italy and possibly for Genova too.


7B. Literature and Theater

Chair: Ricardo Bigi de Aquino, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil


“The Emergence of the Professional Actress in Commedia dell’arte

Artemis Preeschl, Utah State University, Logan

During the Renaissance, female characters played the roles of servant, wife, courtesan, and young girl. Renaissance plays mirrored real life with action occurring in public squares. Because women of higher status could only go outside at certain times, their position limited involvement in the plot. Consequently, the movement and speech of female characters were restricted.
If women violated this limitation without cross-dressing as a man, they experienced a change in social standing. Günsberg (1997) elaborated considered the patriarchal association of women with the body and sexuality as the primary cause for inhibiting women on stage. In the late Renaissance, Pope Sixtus issued a new edict forbidding women to appear on stage. Yet according to the English traveller Coryate, women appeared on stage in Venice in 1611. Moreover, Cecchini (1616) suggested that women played in commedia dell’arte as early the 1560s. How did the Italian actresses achieve success on stage before their peers in other European countries? It is possible that the connections between the marital and familial relationships of the women in commedia families and the support of royalty allowed Italian actresses to perform. An in-depth approach to the origin of the professional actress in commedia dell’arte will be presented.


“Unmasking Goldoni: Venetian Loyalty in the Reform of the Pantalone Mask”

Janine Sobeck, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

In his memoirs, Carlo Goldoni described the city of Venice as a place where in “every square, street, and canals, singing is to be heard. The shopkeepers sing while they sell their wares; the workmen sing on quitting their labours; the gondoliers sing while waiting for their masters. The essential character of the people is gaiety, and the character of the Venetian language is pleasantry.” However, this picture of 18th century Venice and its people did not coincide with the depiction that was being sent around Italy and the European continent through the stock character of Pantalone, the Venetian merchant, in the commedia dell’arte troupes. Pantalone was, therefore, the initial focus of Goldoni during his attempts at reforming Italian theatre. Not only are the ties and love that Goldoni felt for his beloved Venice apparent through the reformation that he applied to Pantalone, but a clear statement about how he felt the Venetians should be regarded is made with the restructuring of this leading commedia mask. While seen as a crass, lecherous old man, Goldoni’s changes present Pantalone as a kind, wise, and respectable fatherly figure that upholds the ideals of the middle class. Through a close examination of the historical place of the bourgeoisie in Venetian history as well as its transitory state during Goldoni’s life, I will explore the messages that Goldoni was sending through the newly crafted Pantalone to his own class of people. Through the removal of the mask and the scripting of dialogue, Goldoni changed his status and presented a role model for other merchants to follow, while his speeches revealed how merchants should behave during this time of change. Through this change he was able to not only change the misconceptions of the European continent held about his city, but was able to attempt to change the way the Venetians (and especially those of the merchant class) viewed themselves. Though his other modifications spoke to the world and influenced what Italian theatre was to become, this particular reform spoke of a personal connection, and a way for him to raise the city and people that he honored.


“Italian-American Immigrant Theatre in New York City”

Emelise Aleandri, New York City Department of Education

Italian-American theatre sprang to life in New York City shortly after waves of Italian immigrants poured into this country in the 1870s. The mass migration brought both the performers and the audiences necessary for theatrical entertainment. Hungry for recognition, support, and social exchange, the men and women from Italy formed amateur theatrical clubs as one way of satisfying emotional needs. By 1900, the community had produced the major forces that created Italian-American theatre of the ensuing decades.
The Italian-American Immigrant Theatre of New York City follows the fortunes of the earliest nineteenth-century companies and introduces those that arose in the twentieth century, featuring stars such as Mimi Cecchini, Guglielmo Ricciardi, Concetta Arcamone, Antonio Maiori, Rita Berti, Farfariello, and Olga Barbato. The theatre, which is virtually nonexistent today, celebrated Italian culture in a way that will never be repeated.


“Napoleon and Italy in Stendhal’s La Chartreuse de Parme

James P. Gilroy, University of Denver, Colorado

A fervent admirer of both Italy and Napoleon, Stendhal celebrates Napoleon’s intervention in Italian history in his late novel La Chartreuse de Parme (1839). He looks upon Napoleon as the great political and moral liberator of the Italian nation. General Bonaparte’s defeat of the Austrian overlords of northern Italy in 1796 lit a spark of freedom and nationalism in Milan and the surrounding areas that eventually spread to all of Italy. Stendhal credits Napoleon for propagating the ideals of the French and American Revolutions to a country long oppressed by both foreign and domestic tyrants. Unfortunately, Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, depicted in the novel, led to a temporary return of the old conservative regimes of the past. It was left to the liberals of Italy itself, including the novel’s protagonists, to carry the torch of justice and enlightenment in Napoleon’s memory. Their struggle to defend the rights of individuals and nations to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in the face of aggressive opposition, becomes the substance of the plot of Stendhal’s novel. The high esteem in which Napoleon is held by idealistic Italians in Stendhal’s work reflects that of the Italian nation even today for the role played by Napoleon and other members of the Bonaparte family in the attainment of unity and independence for Italy.


7C. Christopher Columbus II

Chair: Gilbert Fernandez, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville


“Inventing China: Marco Polo in Genoa”

Judy Schaaf, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

In the thirteenth century, during the early years of the Mongol empire, western Europeans experienced their first contacts with the peoples of Asia. Traveling the Silk Road on errands of conscience and commerce—as ambassadors, tradesmen, and adventurers-they formed and recorded their views of the new world of the “Far East.” Although their experiences differed widely, their impressions of the nature and character of the diverse peoples of Persia, Mongolia, India, and China had a consistency that created a European image of the Asian “other” persisting long after the extensive contact created by Renaissance expansion of European empire gave Europeans opportunity to revise it.
Early in the thirteenth century, what was to become the world’s largest empire took shape under the leadership of the Great Khan Genghis; by mid-century, it had reached even into eastern Europe. This was also a century of the aggressive expansion of Islam, and of five of the eight Crusades constructed to stop it. At the same time, the prospering economies of Europe demanded trade routes to the riches of the east. This was the world when, from 1271–95, the best known Silk Road traveler of the Middle Ages, the Venetian Marco Polo, explored Asia, spending seventeen years in service to the Great Khan Kublai, grandson of Genghis.

Imprisoned by the Genoese upon his return, Polo dictated his Travels to a professional writer of romances, Rustichiello of Pisa. His book, part eyewitness account, part retold tales gathered from Persian merchants and other travelers, and part perhaps fable, has continued to have critical impact upon the way Europeans view Asians since its first publication, in French, in 1300. Polo’s stories profoundly affected a Europe just beginning to stretch beyond its own internecine borders, to imagine a larger world that would soon be effectively cut off for almost two centuries by the Mongol empire, but later made available by the Enterprise of the Indies, whose chief architect, Columbus, owned and annotated a copy of Polo’s Travels and referred to its authority in his appeals, first to Portugal and later to Spain, to discover a route to Cathay across the Ocean Sea.
This study examines the Travels in medieval European literary contexts, especially those of romance and of the medieval encyclopedia, or cursor mundi, a compendium of knowledge, speculation, and invention which provided materials for literary imitation, homiletic instruction, and cultural and geographic invention. It iterates ways in which literary conventions and “fictions,” through Polo’s powerful text, helped to shape “facts”—the designs and discoveries of actual travelers—and to remap the world. In addition, the study examines the cartographic evidence of Polo’s influence, particularly the Catalan Atlas of 1375, during an age when maps became palimpsests gathering and revising both the conventions of the past and the discoveries of the present. Rich with images, the Atlas demonstrates how classical and medieval conventions of representing the world were giving place, quite literally, to travelers’ discoveries, and even to their inventions.


“Columbus and Japan”

David Abulafia, Cambridge University, UK

Columbus set out for the Indies armed with friendly letters from Ferdinand and Isabella, addressed to the Great Khan and to unnamed rulers of lands in the Far East; the text of these letters was identified in the archives of Barcelona by Rumeu de Armas. This paper examines his expectations with particular reference to the land he thought he would probably reach first—Cipangu, Japan. What did he know about Japan? What did anyone know about Japan, beyond the words of Marco Polo? What did he plan to do if he arrived there? He had to balance the prospect of establishing a modest copy of the Portuguese feitoria at Elmina against the grand hope, mentioned in the privileges he was granted, of establishing a Castilian dominion over the Ocean Sea and the lands on its western edge. At the centre of his project lay the reputation of Japan as a land rich in gold.


“‘The Grand Khan’ and ‘The Great Mogor’: India and Islam from Columbus to Coryat”

Bindu Malieckal, Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire

When Columbus embarked on his voyage over the “Ocean Sea,” he hoped to reach the “Islas de yndia,” which he believed to be the land of the “grā Can.” Columbus, a product of medieval and early modern notices of India, from John Mandeville to Marco Polo, saw India and Asia as synonymous and believed that India was ruled by the descendants of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), a practitioner of “the false doctrine of Mahomet.” Thus, while Columbus ventured towards India “to seek gold and spices,” his additional mission was to convert Indians from Islam to Christianity. Columbus never found the real India, but his images of India were shared by subsequent explorers, such as the English adventurer, Thomas Coryat, who in 1612 did reach the subcontinent. Coryat, as well as other English and European travelers—John Newberry and Ralph Fitch, as well as Giovanni Botero for instance—encountered an India that matched Columbus’ imagination, for India was ruled by “the Great Mogor,” a titled coined by early moderns to describe the Muslim emperors of India, who, indeed, belonged to the family of Genghis Khan.

Columbus’ and others’ elision of India and Islam indicate the estrangement of India from its Classical reports in Herodotus and Plutarch. For early moderns, India was an Islamic empire and therefore, from religious and political points of view, more Ottoman than Greek. Thus, in the early modern mind, which Columbus represents, India became a familiar antagonist in the mold of Mediterranean Muslims from Morocco to the Middle East. However, post-Columbus visitors to India were forced to alter their assumptions. As Columbus had asserted, India was ruled by a Muslim and a relative of Genghis Khan, but unlike the “Grand Khan” of China and even the “Grand Seignor” of Turkey, India’s “Great Mogor,” whether Akbar (r. 1556-1605) or Jehangir (r. 1605-1628), promoted religious tolerance and friendship with Christians. As the works of early modern travelers in India reveal, India’s Muslims were unlike the Mamluks, the traditional antagonists of western Christians; rather, Indian Muslims—of the Mughal dynasty—seemed to have more in common with the “West” than with Asia or Africa, making them appear, in post-Columbus narratives, as more “Mediterranean” than “Muslim.”


7E. El humanismo en Iberia y las Américas

Chair: Roxana Recio, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska


Carnaval y festividad en la tradición triunfal: Siglos XIV y XV

Roxana Recio

Jiménez de Urrea tradujo a Ariosto en 1539. Siempre ha sido considerado un traductor pésimo. Esto se debe, según la crítica, a varios factores. Entre otros, puede mencionarse la pérdida del petrarquismo del original al presentar la traducción una pobreza de imágenes y recursos poéticos. Además, se le acusa de utilizar una gramática precaria con uso abusivo de pronombres enclíticos como “amallo”. También se ha dicho que Jiménez de Urrea se permite muchas libertades. Se entiende por libertades el cambio de orden de las palabras en función de la rima y la manipulación de algunos versos y estrofas. Por otra parte, lo más escandaloso de esta traducción, es la supresión de dos de los capítulos del original. Sin razón aparente, el traductor los hace desaparecer convirtiendo de este modo su texto en una traducción incompleta. Hasta el momento la crítica no ha podido explicarse el método de que se valió Jiménez de Urrea para traducir a Ariosto de esta manera.

En este trabajo se van a analizar, entre otras cosas, la pérdida petrarquista, la reducción de versos y la supresión de capítulos. Para ello, se hará un cotejo con el original italiano utilizando no sólo la edición castellana de 1988 de Francisco José Alcántara, sino el texto de la época que se encuentra en la Biblioteca de Catalunya. Además, para aclarar el método de traducir de Jiménez de Urrea, se lleva a cabo una comparación con el sistema de traducción de Alvar Gómez de Ciudad Real, que, como se sabe, también suprime un capítulo de su traducción del Triunfo de Amor de Petrarca. Es curioso que nadie haya relacionado a ambos traductores y, sobre todo, que, al enfocarse la cuestión de traducción como algo meramente lingüístico, no se haya visto ya establecida, una corriente de traducción nueva y diferente en la Castilla: la renacentista, donde los traductores eran independientes y presentaban sus textos según criterio propio, no según normas antiguamente establecidas.


“Los conquistadores como representantes de la providencia divina: los casos de Colón y de Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca”

Enrique Rodrigo, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

Las cartas de Colón y la relación de Alvar Núñez son citadas a menudo como modelos contrapuestos de las narraciones protagonizadas por los descubridores de nuevas tierras en América. Así, por ejemplo, lo hace Beatriz Pastor en su libro Discursos narrativos de la conquista: mitificación y emergencia cuando caracteriza las cartas de Colón como típicas del discurso mitificador y triunfante por parte del conquistador, mientras que considera la relación de Alvar Núñez un ejemplo del discurso desmitificador del modelo de Colón y Cortés, puesto que presenta a los conquistadores en una situación de derrota total, en la que tienen que luchar por su supervivencia.

No obstante, hay algunos factores muy semejantes en las dos obras, puesto que en ellas emerge la figura del narrador-protagonista como un triunfador ante las adversidades que se le presentan. Así, la visión mitificada de la empresa de conquista no sufre en lo esencial en la obra de Cabeza de Vaca, pues su propio discurso del fracaso lo agiganta ante los ojos de los lectores y, con ello, también la propia empresa de descubrimiento y conquista. En este papel es esencial la presentación de los acontecimientos como propios de la providencia y de la justicia divinas, lo cual otorga a los protagonistas un aura especial ante las autoridades correspondientes a quienes van dirigida la narración.

En este trabajo propongo un análisis de las páginas en donde el aspecto providencial de las respectivas empresas se enfatiza, comparando y contrastando las diferentes implicaciones que tiene para cada uno de los protagonistas. Sugiero que, a pesar de las obvias diferencias entre los dos textos, subyace una semejanza en cuanto a la presentación de las acciones de los protagonistas y a su caracterización de los acontecimientos.


“Preguntas y Respuestas en el Cancionero General: un marco para algunas expresiones del humanismo castellano”

Filomena Compagno, Terracina

Este trabajo es la continuación de otro que publiqué on-line para la Universida”La Sapienza” de Roma en noviembre de 2004 (Cfr.

La primera parte incluía el glosario de los siguientes sectores del Cancionero General de 1511: Canciones, Romances, Glosas de Motes, Villancicos y obras de Jorge Manrique presentes en él (junto con las Coplas del mismo, en la edición crítica de V. Beltrán de 1993).

La segunda parte comprende el glosario de las Preguntas y Respuestas del mismo Cancionero General y un estudio del léxico, con particular referencia a los sectores ya analizados.

Mi ponencia podría basarse sobre la comunicación de los resultados de este trabajo, citando los datos estadísticos correspondientes y esbozando un anális del léxico en cuestión, con particular atención para los términos exclusivos y que contienen rasgos del humanismo castellano, puesto que dos de los autores del corpus son dos humanistas por excelencia, es decir el Marqués de Santillana y Juan de Mena. Comprendo que estos autores han sido analizados por muchísimos e ilustres estudiosos, pero yo quiero detenerme sobre algunas novedades que el género literario de las Preguntas y Respuestas puede ofrecernos principalmente desde el punto de vista lexical.


7F. The Bonds That Fray: Solidarity and Conflict in the World of the Cairo Geniza

Chair and Commentator: Abraham L. Udovitch, Princeton University, New Jersey


“The Local and the Foreigner: The Power and the Limits of Cosmopolitanism in the Eleventh-Century Mediterranean

Jessica L. Goldberg, Stanford University, California

Cosmopolitanism is often seen as the essential quality of a long-distance trader. Particularly in the medieval world, where limited infrastructures and highly fragmented political power magnified physical and psychological distance, merchants profited on their ability to negotiate foreignness. Merchant are thus pictured as privileged outsiders, in opposition to parochial locals. In this paper, I explore a more complex relationship between cosmopolitanism and localism among Geniza merchants in the eleventh-century Mediterranean. These merchants have often been seen as exemplars of cosmopolitanism: members of the far-flung Jewish community, they trafficked around an Islamic Mediterranean that was more connected and culturally coherent than its European counterpart. I show that cosmopolitanism was indeed important to these merchants, but that it was both supported by and competed with local affiliations. Membership in a local business community with its attendant ties with local producers, consumers and office holders was often crucial to merchant success, especially as much merchant profit was attached to control of local production. I show that merchants expected to profit as members of a cosmopolitan group by taking advantage of associates’ local affiliations, but that the degree of advantage, and rights of association, were often subjects of struggle and conflict among individual merchants.


“Etiquette and Its Abuse in Medieval Rabbinic Politics”

Marina Rustow, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

This paper examines Geniza correspondence as a way of understanding how rabbinic leaders of tenth and eleventh centuries competed for followers. Accounts of the period focus on conflict and competition between the heads of the principal institutions of rabbinic learning, the geonim of Baghdad and Jerusalem. The geonim exchanged letters with complex networks of followers throughout the Mediterranean basin, and those letters attest to negotiations between patrons and clients, among allies, and between men who formalized their commitment to one another using a definable system of social gestures. But they also offer evidence of annoyance, indignation, and the abuse of etiquette, as when leaders poached followers, usurped privileges, and rerouted donations. This paper focuses on conflict, arguing that the nature, extent, and extension of rabbinic authority cannot be fully grasped unless one accounts for the politics of effrontery as well as fealty. Conversely, conflict and competition among rabbis and geonim represent an overlooked opportunity to understand competition between geographic centers and the politics of religious power in the medieval Near East.


“Port Cities and Pirate States: Conflict and Competition in the World of Indian Ocean Trade”

Roxani Eleni Margariti, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

This paper outlines the relatively unexplored evidence for conflict and competition among Indian Ocean maritime states in medieval times and thus problematizes the commonly drawn contrast between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean in which the latter emerges as essentially peaceful realm before the early modern era and the arrival of the Europeans on the maritime scene. My point of departure is the changing relationship between the medieval port of Aden (11th–13th centuries) and its maritime foreland: control over maritime and coastal territories in the Gulf of Aden and open conflict with rival states constitute the two faces of a single coin. I offer a new reading of a maritime blockade of Aden in the 12th century by the ruler of the Gulf island state of Kish/Qays, as narrated in two Judeoarabic Cairo Geniza letters and 13th-century author Ibn al-Mujawir. The course of events and the ultimate defeat of the besieging force offer valuable insights into the parameters of competition between two Indian Ocean maritime states and into the very nature of these states and their communities of traders. Countering the established reading of this event as unusual and atypical of the Indian Ocean commercial world, I question the medieval and modern historians characterization of certain Indian Ocean states and groups as piratical. Instead, I offer a reading of textual and material sources that conjures a geopolitical framework in which rival city states compete for resources, routes, and forelands a long time before the Portuguese brought their own kind of maritime violence to the Indian Ocean


8A. History of Art

Chair: Liana de Girolami Cheney, University of Massachusetts Lowell


“Honor and Identity in Early Modern European Portraits (1550-1800)”

Virginia M. da Costa, West Chester University, Pennsylvania

This paper will use the lens of honor and identity as an important indicator of social status in early modern Europe. The issue of cross dressing and its ambiguous nature on the stage, in war, on the streets of Venice, Paris, London and Madrid will be addressed as an inherently transgressive act that facilitates a debate regarding femininity and masculinity. These discussions began in early modern Europe in a culture where the roles of men and women underwent a revolution. Wars were fought on land and sea, nuns established hegemony, women’s honor could be legally restored, women wrote fiction, poetry and facilitated discussions in salons, courtesans were influential, boys became actresses, women dueled, men affected feminine style dress, and everywhere dangerous and subversive behavior in dress and writing occurred. Issues of gender are crucial to understanding the deeper meanings of court portraits and widely published engravings. To comprehend gender in the early modern period, one must understand the concepts of honor and identity. As indicated by early modern legal codes, specific dress for men and women was supposed to communicate beyond a reasonable doubt the honorable identity of the individual, where he or she came from, and what their status and/or occupation was. At the same time, cross dressing had the power to transform not only outward appearances but also behavioral expectations. The dialogue between the masculinized women and feminized men in the seventeenth-century English pamphlet Hic Mulier and Haec-Vir points to the changeable nature of gender roles. In María de Zayas’ 1637 novella “The Judge of Her Case” the female protagonist dresses as a man to redress the loss of her honor at the hands of her malicious suitor. The vigorous discourse that cross-dressing prompted in early modern fiction that found its visual manifestation in art provide a powerful lens through which to ask ourselves what it meant to be an honorable man or woman in early modern Europe.


“Christopher Columbus and Andrea Doria: The ‘Two Worlds’ of Renaissance Genoa”

George L. Gorse, Pomona College, California

Rarely are Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) and Andrea Doria (1464–1560) mentioned together, yet they represent the “two worlds” of Renaissance Genoa. Son of a wool merchant, Columbus used his Mediterranean trade experience in eastern Genoese colonies to sail west in search of the rich court of Khan in Cathay, becoming Admiral of the Oceans for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. From an impoverished branch of an old noble family, Andrea Doria rose to become Admiral of the Mediterranean for Spanish Hapsburg Emperor Charles V. Columbus escaped family faction ridden Genoa in the 1470s to pursue state-sponsored opportunities beyond, his brilliance as a navigator equaled by his incompetence as a governor. Doria rose through this family factionalism to throw off foreign French and Milanese over-lordship and to unite Genoa in an aristocratic Republic of 1528, allied to the Spanish as bankers of the Hapsburg Old and New World Empire. A comparison of these two titanic personalities reveals the closely interwoven worlds of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, the “two worlds” of Renaissance Genoa—overshadowed by the myths of imperial Spain and Venice La Serenissima.


“Stairs as Stage and the Strada Nuova of Genoa”

M. Rebecca Leuchak, Roger Williams University, Bristol, Rhode Island

This investigation of the design of stairs in sixteenth century Genoese palaces identifies the ways they communicate through ceremonial staging the power and humanistic values of an increasingly aristocratized society.


8B. The Mediterranean Horizon in Italian and Italian-American Cultural Practices

Chair: Norma Bouchard, University of Connecticut, Storrs, and Massimo Lollini, University of Oregon, Eugene


As Italy, along with other Western nations, is becoming increasingly traversed by the forces of globalization, it confronts former epistemologies of space, ontologies of identity, and socio-political projects of nation-building and state-formation. In this context, the Mediterranean paradigm is (re)-emerging as a crucial framework to revisit Italian cultural practices, offering models of transnational negotiation of identity and belonging as well as forms of resistance to the forces of modernity through endless reminders of the finitude and contingency that are inscribed in the limits of an inner, land-locked sea.

The papers below will address the literary, anthropological, philosophical, and culturalist (re)-emergence of the Mediterranean paradigm in the works of critic and novelist Claudio Magris (Ciccarelli), poets Umberto Saba (Massimo Lollini) and Eugenio Montale (Norma Bouchard), and Italian American writer Gattuso Hendin.


“Il Mediterraneo come ‘altrove’ nell’opera di Claudio Magris”

Andrea Ciccarelli, Indiana University, Bloomington


“The Return of Mediterranean Body-Politics? Old World Father vs. New World Daughter in Josephine Gattuso Hendin’s The Right Thing to Do

Marie Plasse, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts


“L’antico mare perduto di Umberto Saba”

Massimo Lollini


“The Mediterranean Between ‘nóstos’ and ‘éxodos’ in Montale’s Ossi di seppia

Norma Bouchard


8C. Literature II

Chair: R. John McCaw, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


El oro de los sueños y la conquista de América: ¿sueño o pesadilla?”

Elsy Cardona, Saint Louis University, Missouri

La novela El oro de los sueños del español José María Merino hace parte de su trilogía titulada Crónicas mestizas (1992). En esta trilogía, Merino explora la experiencia y consecuencias de la conquista en ambos lados del Atlántico a través de un relato de crecimiento con elementos fantásticos que es El oro de los sueños seguido por dos relatos de índole histórica, La tierra del tiempo perdido y Las lágrimas del sol. Es mi interés investigar la aproximación meriniana a una historia que tuvo tanto de sueño como de pesadilla y el uso que hace de los sueños el autor en el primero de sus relatos, El oro de los sueños, y cómo este recurso le permite llegar a una reconciliación entre el pasado y el presente, entre el aquí y el allá, el indígena y el español en la historia. En tal estudio investigaré cómo funcionan en El oro de los sueños el papel de la memoria y del olvido así como el concepto del llamado “mito de la modernidad: la civilización del bárbaro,” en el fenómeno de la transculturización que se dá en la obra. Este estudio revelará una inversión en los ejes de la ecuación transcultural tradicional en el relato meriniano.


“The Formation of a Mediterranean Identity in Don Quixote: Its Expansion to the Americas”

Joanna Courteau, Iowa State University, Ames

Don Quijote combines all of the known Mediterranean cultures from the Classical Antiquity to the Italian Renaissance. In a way it is an obra prima that defines the Mediterranean. I will just slightly touch upon its trail across the Atlantic, following the route of Columbus.


“Towards a Transatlantic Concept of Cultural Memory: The Case of Latin American and Spanish Fiction”

Kristian Van Haesendonck, Villanova University, Pennsylvania

This paper will focus on the possibilities and limitations of representation of cultural memory in recent Spanish and Latin American writings. We will briefly compare the actual debate on cultural memory in the two cultural contexts and discuss the theoretical need and constraints of conceptualizing a “transatlantic memory” in times of globalization.


“Intricate Passages: Luis de Góngora, Spanish America, and the Poetics of Exile”

R. John McCaw, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

When Luis de Góngora (1561-1627) circulated his most ambitious poems at court in the years 1611–14, he found few admirers and many detractors. Because of its convoluted neo-Latinate syntax, cryptic metaphors and allusions, and unconventional admixture of popular and elite features, the Soledades particularly received a great deal of criticism and mockery. This poem features the wanderings of a pilgrim in self-imposed exile, but more importantly, the labyrinthine language and structure of the Soledades constitutes a poetics of exile: form and theme work seamlessly to convey the message that reading and interpreting Góngora’s poetic idiom is itself a real and symbolic form of semantic displacement. Though gongorism was partially rehabilitated in seventeenth-century Iberia by culteranista writers such as Calderón de la Barca and Tirso de Molina, their aim was generally to employ Góngora’s poetics of exile in the moral and religious context of fall and redemption. In the Americas, however, gongorism found many more admirers, and became a poetic language for writers and intellectuals who felt socially marginalized due to their long distance from the peninsula, and due to their unconventional status within society’s rigid hierarchies of race, class, and gender. In this paper, I will explore how one writer in particular, the Colombian Hernando Domínguez Camargo (1606–59), uses gongorism in order to craft his own poetics of exile. I will end the talk with a brief discussion of how twentieth-century Latin American writers such as Carpentier have continued to see gongorism as a special poetic language for expressing the loss of self and the subsequent recovery of self.


8D. Genova e Napoli, due tappe mediterranee nel Grand Tour

Chair: Maurizia Migliorini, Università di Genova


“La città di Genova attraverso le guide e le realzioni di viaggio tra XIX e XX secolo”

Maurizia Migliorini

No abstract available.


“Lo sguardo su genova di John Talman”

Antonella Capitanio, Università di Pisa

No abstract available.


“Descrizioni della città di Napoli tra XVI e XVIII secolo”

Pasquale Sabbatini, Università di Napoli

No abstract available.


8E. Mediterranean History I

Chair: Francis A. Dutra, University of California, Santa Barbara


“Valladolid: Nexus for English-Spanish Relations in the 16th and 17th Centuries”

Robert G. Collmer, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Valladolid in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries provided the platform for two types of relations between England and Spain. One was quiet and secretive, the other was public. One came from the English College of St. Alban (Colegio de San Albano), established by the English Jesuit Robert Persons in 1589. Its purpose was to prepare young English Catholics to return to their homeland as missionaries (and possible martyrdom). A significant event occurred in 1600 with the presentation of a statue of the Virgin Mary damaged during the 1596 Anglo-Dutch attack on Cadiz at the chapel of the college. The King and Queen of Spain had involvement with this ceremony. The other type of relations was the presentation in 1605 of the articles signed in Old Somerset House, London, between England and Spain, which ended the two decades of war between these two countries. The articles approved in 1604 in England had to be ratified by Philip III of Spain in 1605. The key person in the latter negotiations was Charles Howard, Earl of Nottingham, who was at Somerset House and then came to Valladolid, the center of the Spanish government. The paradox of his prominence in the political negotiations is that he was the co-leader with the Earl of Essex in the attack on Cadiz in 1596. In November of 2005 the four hundredth anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot has been recognized by conferences. As background to the events of late 1605 are events of 1596, 1600, 1604, and the middle of 1605. The two levels of relations between England and Spain converge in Valladolid.  


“Austrians and Italians in the Portuguese Order of Santiago, 1640-1777”

Francis A. Dutra, University of California, Santa Barbara

Throughout the early modern period, selected foreigners had been granted knighthoods in the prestigious Portuguese Order of Santiago. During the time period under consideration, about 15% of all the new knights in the Order were foreigners. When King João V (r. 1706-1750) married Archduchess D. Maria Ana of Austria, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Leopoldo I and sister of Archduke Charles, future Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, more than a dozen Austrians plus other foreigners at the Austrian Court became knights of the Order of Santiago. This paper identifies them along with Italians who also became knights of Santiago, many of them with ties to the Papacy or Papal Nuncios serving in Portugal.