College of Liberal Arts

"Learn to Die: Late Medieval English Images Before the Evangelical Law"

Thursday Feb 25, 2010 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM | Mezes 1.306

The Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies will present three public lectures on English Renaissance literature and religious conflict by world-famous scholars, the first of whom will be James Simpson of Harvard University.

Iconoclasm is not “somewhere else.” Instead, it lies buried deep within the Anglo-American tradition, which insistently and violently repudiates idols and images as dangerous carriers of the old regime. In this lecture I focus on the image in the century before the first iconoclastic legislation of 1538, and the twenty-five years after that legislation, up to 1563."

James Simpson, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English at Harvard University, was previously Professor of Medieval and Renaissance English at the University of Cambridge. In addition to earlier studies of such medieval topics as John Lydgate, Alan of Lille, John Gower, and Piers Plowman, in 2002 he published Images, Idolatry, and Iconoclasm in Late Medieval England (Oxford) and Reform and Cultural Revolution, 1350-1547, a volume in the Oxford English Literary History.  Simpson's work presents a much darker picture of English modernity than is customary, as he traverses the boundaries between late medieval and early modern in both directions.

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