research forum visiting professor seminar



Ars Imitatur Naturam and its Medieval Reception (Notes from a work-in-progress)

Thursday, 17 November 2011

10.00 - 12.00, Research Forum South Room

engraving of woman fashioning a child in a forge
Le Roman de la Rose, Lyon 1503, illustration: "Nature at her forge"

Speaker(s): Carlo Ginzburg (Professor Emeritus, Scuola Normale, Pisa, and University of California, Los Angeles)

Ticket/entry details: Free and open to postgraduate students and teaching staff. The seminar is now fully booked but please contact researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk  if you wish to be put on the waiting list. Note that is still possible that there may be places on the day in the event of "no shows"

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

The seminar will focus on some aspects of Professor Ginzburg's work in progress on the medieval reception of the Aristotelian motto "art imitates nature" - with a special emphasis on Dante.




Readings for the seminar:

  • E. H. Kantorowicz, “The Sovereignty of the Artist”, Selected Studies, Locust Valley 1965, pp. 352-65
  • Dante, Inferno, canto XI; Inferno, canto XXIX (ed. G. Petrocchi, or any recent edition) (Dante, Inferno, translated by Charles Singleton)
  • W. Benjamin, “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction”, in Id., Illuminations, intr. H. Arendt, preface L. Wieseltier, New York, Schocken Books, 2007 (or any other edition).



Carlo Ginzburg (Turin, 1939) has taught at the University of Bologna, at UCLA, at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. He has received many awards, including the Aby Warburg Prize (1992), the Humboldt-Forschungspreis (2007), the Balzan Prize for the History of Europe, 1400-1700 (2010). His many books, translated into more than 20 languages, include: The  Night Battles; The Cheese and the Worms; The Enigma of Piero della Francesca; Clues, Myths, and the Historical  Method; Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches’s Sabbath; The Judge and the Historian. Marginal Notes on a Late-Twentieth-Century Miscarriage of Justice; Wooden Eyes: Nine Reflections on Distance; History, Rhetoric, and Proof; No Island is an Island; Threads and Traces: True False Fictive.



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