Fourth Annual Monash Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Symposium

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The Weight of Words: Questioning the Language of Ideas in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Intellectual history primarily investigates the development of ideas in different historical contexts, yet scholars engaged in this endeavour are constantly faced with the challenge of language. Ideas are often expressed through words, but discerning the meaning of these words for those that used them, and how those words affected the lives of ordinary people, is a complex matter.

This symposium aims to explore the connection between language and ideas, asking what words meant to different individuals or societies, and to consider the weight these words carried in particular historical and linguistic contexts. Presenters will discuss ideas ‘in action’ and how words can act as storehouses of accumulating and varied meaning, contributing to an understanding of the role played by language in mediating intellectual exchange during the Medieval and Early Modern periods.


Time: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Date: Friday 27 April, 2018

Location: Monash Club, 32 Exhibition Walk, Monash University, Clayton Campus

Keynote Speaker

Dr Andrea Rizzi, University of Melbourne
Between Language and Ideas: Transnational Translators in Early Modern Europe


Emma Barlow, University of Sydney
Suicide, the selve and the City: The Moral Geography of Self-Destruction in Dante's Commedia

Professor Véronique Duché, University of Melbourne
From "Translatio" to "Traductio": Translation in Renaissance France

Dr Diana Marie Jeske, Monash University
Love is Not Just Love: The Language and Conception of Love in High Medieval Letters of Intimacy

Alexandra Rubenstein, Monash University
Prose as Power: Exploring the Impact of Language in the Case of Robert Le Bougre, France's First Inquisitor General

Jenny Smith, Monash University
The Mirror of Prudence in Medieval Europe

Lana Stephens, Monash University
De Doctrina Ficiniana: The Language of Spiritual Renewal in Marsilio Ficino's Humanist Theology

Matthew Topp, Monash University and University of Warwick
An Ars Oblivionalis: Forget it? Understanding Ideas of Forgetting in Renaissance Florence

Cassandra Whittem, University of Melbourne
"Be war be my wo”: Language, Emotion, and the Supernatural in The Awntyrs off Arthure

Dr Tomas Zahora, Monash University
Restoration or Re-Creation? Enhancing the Resurrected Body in the Late Middle Ages


Professor Guy Geltner, University of Amsterdam

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