Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Don't forget Carnivalesque coming up! I'll be hosting it here this weekend, and the theme is early modern (1400-1800, or thereabouts): history, literature, art, architecture, philosophy, politics, you name it.

Here are a few themes I've been considering, if you need a nudge:

Anything on specific content is good: comments on individuals (Brunelleschi, Elizabeth I, Christine de Pisan, Rabelais, Machiavelli...) or themes (the significance of print culture, early modern trade connections, social contract theory...).

Personally, I'm jonesing for some discussion of popular culture (and the teaching or research thereof), especially the kind drawn from case studies such as Ginzburg's The Cheese and the Worms, Steven Ozment's The Burgermeister's Daughter, and Gene Brucker's Giovanni and Lusanna.

I'm also curious to see reactions to this recent spate of books on particular years: John Wills’ 1688: A Global History, Charles Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Roger Crowley’s 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West, and of course the famous Gavin Menzies, 1421: The Year China Discovered America. It would also be great to see discussion on what you think are the best new books on early modern themes, or sites that provide early modern primary sources.

Last but not least, there's the way the early modern period is represented in our own culture. I just heard about a new television series (American-produced but showing in the UK?) on the Inquisition. Any comments on recent TV, film, or literary representations of early modern topics? The New World, anyone?

Those are just a few ideas; I'm certainly not going to restrict it to these. You want to talk periodization, politics, global connections, anything else, go for it! Please send submissions (your own, or good things you've come across) to me at valdemoro [at] sbcglobal [dot] net, or use the nifty submissions form at Carnivalesque. Thanks, and stay tuned!

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