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Symposium | Rethinking Lyric Communities in Premodern Worlds

Jun 20, 2023 - Jun 21, 2023

Organised by Laura Banella, Irene Fantappiè, Francesco Giusti, and Nicolas Longinotti. In cooperation with Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership and the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

From the circulation of poetic forms across different languages and traditions around the globe, through the envisioning of local, national and transnational discursive communities, to the negotiations of poetic filiations and social positions, lyric poetry seems to be a privileged site for an inquiry into community formation and its politics. Various theoretical approaches cast poetry in this peculiar role, from French and French-oriented political philosophy (exemplified in the famous exchange between Maurice Blanchot and Jean-Luc Nancy begun in the 1980s) to the reevaluations — in reader-response criticism as well as in postcolonial and decolonial studies — of poetry's roots in orality and performance.

The symposium sets out to explore the ways in which lyric poetry enabled or imagined community formation from the 11th to 17th centuries in both European and Middle Eastern worlds, investigating a variety of topics: the direct exchange of poems; the sharing of poetic codes; forms of collective writing; individual or collective performance; lyric poetry as a collective practice; the construction of collective voices; the practice of commentary for and within specific communities; the composition and circulation of manuscripts and early printed editions; transhistorical and transnational poetic communities; multilingual and homosocial literary relationships; and the role of translation in community formation.

The symposium is part of the Rethinking Lyric Communities project and aims to expand the inquiry begun with the two workshops funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership and held at Christ Church (Oxford) on 23 June 2022 and at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry on 5 July 2022, which focused on modern and contemporary poetry.

23 June, 2022: Workshop | Rethinking Lyric Communities (Part I, Oxford Session)

5 July, 2022: Workshop | Rethinking Lyric Communities (Part II, Berlin Session)


Tuesday, 20 June 2023

09:30-09:45 | Welcome and breakfast

09:45-10:00 | Introduction: Francesco Giusti (University of Oxford): The Case for Lyric Communities

10:00-11:00 | Opening Talk

Chair Irene Fantappiè (University of Cassino and Southern Latium)

Manuele Gragnolati (Sorbonne University/ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry) and Francesca Southerden (University of Oxford): Fare Lyric Community: Encounter, Possibility, Affect

11:00-11:30 | Break

11:30-13:00 | Panel 1

Chair: Manuele Gragnolati (Sorbonne University/ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry)

Ryan Pepin (University of York): Being a 'Poeta' in the High Middle Ages: Who's in, Who's Out

Almut Suerbaum (University of Oxford): Symphonia — or: How to Create Communiites through Religious Song

Francesco Feriozzi (University of Oxford): 'Li baro·m volran mal de so que ieu dic be': European Politics and Poetry in (and around) Sordello's Verse

13:00-14:30 | Lunch

14:30-16:30 | Panel 2

Chair: Laura Banella (University of Notre Dame)

Lachlan Hughes (University of Oxford): Affective and Didactic Community-Building in Jacopone da Todi's Laude

Elena Lombardi (University of Oxford): 'Per diletto'. Pleasure and the Making of Lyric Communities in the Italian Duecento

Mattia Boccuti (University of Notre Dame): The Shadow of Beatrice: Cino, Dante, and the Myth of Gentilissima

Nicolas Longinotti (Freie Universität Berlin): Empty Deixis – Transferable Communities: Petrarch's Anonymous Adressees in the 15th-century Commentaries to the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta

16:30-17:00 | Break

17:00-18:30 | Keynote

Virginia Cox (University of Cambridge): Early Modern Lyric Communities and the Print Culture

Respondent: Bernhard Huss (Freie Universität Berlin)

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

10:30-11:00 | Breakfast

11:00-13:00 | Panel 3

Chair: Nicola Gardini (University of Oxford)

Jennifer Rushworth (University College London): Some Thoughts on Petrarch, Mourning and Affective Communities

Christine Ott (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt): Extimacy and Mourning: Michelangelo Buonarroti's Lyric Communities

Alice Roullière (University of Oxford): Patrons, Friends and Family: Lyric Community in 16th-century French Elegies and Epitaphs

Sean Geddes (University of Oxford): Inspiring Company: The Metaphysical Mode of the 'Poeticall Essaies' in Love's Martyr

13:00-14:30 | Lunch

14:30-16:30 | Panel 4

Chair: Dominic Parviz Brookshaw (University of Oxford)

Nicola Carpentieri (University of Padua): A Matter of Habitus: Encoding Social Practices Through the Arabic and Italian Lyric in Medieval Sicily

Julia Caterina Hartley (University of Glasgow): The Beloved as Christ in Dante and Hafez

Pranav Prakash (University of Oxford): The Ethos of Friendship in Akhsitān Dihlavī’s Basātīn al-Uns (The Gardens of Fondness, 1325-26)

James White (University of Cambridge): Transnational Networks and Local Community: The Refrain 'Tonight' in Seventeenth-Century Persian Poetry

16:30-17:00 | Break

17:00-18:30 | Keynote

Domenico Ingenito (University of California, Los Angeles): The Measured Ecstasy of Medieval Persian Lyric: Transcending Selfhood, Performing Experience

Respondent: Simon Gilson (University of Oxford)

Time & Location

Jun 20, 2023 - Jun 21, 2023

Christ Church Research Centre

Further Information

This is a hybrid event. To receive the link, please write to Nicolas Longinotti by Thursday, 15 June 2023: n.longinotti@fu-berlin.de