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The Premodern Colloquium

The Premodern Colloquium is a reading group that met for over thirty years in the home of Tom Green (Law School, History) by whom it was founded as a forum for discussion of new work in the history of law. In recent years it has evolved into a wide-ranging multidisciplinary group. Typically discussions focus on works-in-progress by local and visiting scholars or dissertation chapters presented by our own students. Discussions tend to be intense and lively, but people who present work find the experience to be friendly and helpful. We especially welcome graduate students to our regular meetings, both as discussants and as presenters of dissertation work in progress.

Semester Offerings Winter 2017


Elizabeth Allen, English, University of California Irvine

“Tresilian, Gawain, and Forms of Protection”

   Martin Walsh, Residential College, University of Michigan

“Wine Barrels, Bonfires, and Battling Beggars: TheCharity of St. Martin in 16th and 17th Century Netherlandish Art”

   Niall Atkinson, Art History, University of Chicago

“Percorrere la città: Meaning in Motion in the Streets of Florence”

   Helmut Puff, German, History, Women’s Studies, University of Michigan

“Spacium considerandi (Bedenkzeit): Timing the Reformation”

Semester Offerings Fall 2016


    Ivan Gerát, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava

“Marriage, Poverty and Bridal Mysticism in a 14th-Century Franciscan Convent: Remarks on the Pictorial Life of St Elizabeth in the Liber Depictus


    Robert Tittler, History, Concordia University, Montreal

“Portraits, Painters and Publics in Provincial England 1540-1640”


     Nathan Martin, School of Music, University of Michigan

 “Aristoxenos, Zarlino, Rameau”


     Noah Blan, History, University of Michigan

    “Trees, Place and Sovereignty in Early Carolingian Biblical Scholarship”


Semester Offerings Winter 2016

JANUARY 31    

   S.E. Kile, U-M Asian Languages & Cultures

“Science Fictions: Early Modern Technological Change and Literary Response”


    Yanay Israeli, U-M Institute for the Humanities, History

 “Petitioning as Social Practice: Local Conflicts and the Trajectories of Royal Letters in Fifteenth-Century Castilian Towns”

MARCH  20  

    Matthew Kavaler, History of Art, University of Toronto

"Ornament as a Diagnostic: Pieter Bruegel against Notions of the Vernacular and Classicism"

APRIL 10   

    Andrew Morrall, Bard Graduate Center, New York City

 "Plato Among the Artisans: Craftsmen, Mathematics, and the Pursuit of Nature"


** Please note the Prof Morrall will also present a MEMS Lecture on April 8. Details forthcoming.


Semester Offerings Fall 2015


    Pamela Stewart, History of Art, University of Michigan

“Staging the Passion in the Ritual City:  Stational Crosses and Confraternal Procession in Late Renaissance Milan”


    Andrew Casper, Department of Art, Miami University

 “Not Begotten But Made: The Shroud of Turin as Divine Artifice”


    Jonathan Farr, History, University of Michigan

“Medieval Spaces and Documentary Practices in Occitania and Northern Catalonia”


    Tarek Dika, Society of Fellows, University of Michigan

“Power, Perfection, and the Subject of Science in Descartes's  Regulae ad directionem ingenii

Semester Offerings: Winter 2015

JANUARY   No meeting to be held this month


    Jean Boutier  Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales, Paris-Marseille

       “Did Early Modern Florentine Aristocrats Ignore Conspicuous Consumption?”

 MARCH 15  

    Stephen Pender  Department of English and the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation and Rhetoric, University of Windsor

        “Rhetoric and Anthropology in Early Modern Europe”

 APRIL 12  

    Elizabeth Kamali   History, University of Michigan

        “Mens Rea and Judging in Late Medieval England”