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Workshop | Affects and Community-Formation in the Petrarchan World

Mar 11, 2021 - Mar 12, 2021
Affects and Community-Formation in the Petrarchan World

Affects and Community-Formation in the Petrarchan World

Organised by Timothy Kircher (Guilford College), Gur Zak (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), and Bernhard Huss (EXC 2020, Research Area 1: "Competing Communities").

The workshop concentrates on the function that affective bonds have for Petrarch’s formation of intellectual and social communities. Affects, or emotions, are omnipresent in Petrarch’s writings. Love, anger, compassion, grief – all repeatedly come up in his works and underlie his interactions with friends, patrons, favorite authors, and readers. Indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to say that affective bonds were a decisive feature in Petrarch’s revival of antiquity, occupying a crucial role in his formation of a devout community of friends dedicated to his humanistic cause. The aim of the workshop will be to offer an in-depth analysis of the role of the affects in Petrarch’s community-formation and by extension in his humanism as a whole. Looking at both his Latin and vernacular works, we will explore how Petrarch utilized the affects in his interactions with friends and patrons, how his understanding and representation of emotions departed from those of other “emotional communities” of his day, and the tensions between his Stoic mistrust of emotions on the one hand and deeply affective tendencies on the other. Particular attention will be given to a comparative analysis of the role of the affects in Petrarch’s Latin and vernacular works: in opposition to the scholarly tendency to regard these two corpora as distinct entities, we will look for the entanglements and overlaps between them, especially as they relate to affective bonds. These tensions and overlaps resonated with humanist readers of Petrarch’s writings, and the workshop will also examine how his writings fostered this broader community of readers in the Renaissance, who in turn often became authors themselves and produced petrarchistic texts to create communities.

The conference will be held on the platform Webex. Please register by email (bernhard.huss@fu-berlin.de) until Tuesday, March 9.


Thursday, 11 March

16:00 | Welcome address and introduction (Bernhard Huss, EXC 2020) 16:15 | Hannah C. Wojciehowski (University of Texas at Austin): Petrarch and the Vaucluse: Building a virtual community through place attachment

16:45 | Discussion

17:05 | Break

17:15 | Timothy Kircher (Guilford College): Petrarch’s poetic conscience: Time, truth, and community

17:45 | Discussion

18:05 | Break

18:15 | Bernhard Huss (EXC 2020): Affectivities of Reason, reasoning of affects: Strategies of community-formation in Petrarch’s De remediis

18:45 | Discussion

19:05 | Break

19:15 | Romana Brovia (Università degli Studi di Torino): Psicomachie petrarchesche: Il disordine degli affetti tra Secretum e De remediis

19:45 | Discussion

Friday, 12 March

16:00 | Igor Candido (Trinity College Dublin): Linking the ancients to posterity: Petrarch's ideal readership in the De vita solitaria

16:30 | Discussion

16:50 | Break

17:00 | Gur Zak (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Sharing in common: Petrarchan humanism and the history of compassion

17:30 | Discussion

17:50 | Break

18:00 | Aileen A. Feng (The University of Arizona): Gendered Mourning in the Epistolary Collections of Petrarch and Isotta Nogarola

18:30 | Discussion

18:50 | Break

19:00 | Jennifer Rushworth (University College London): ‘Comune dolor’ or dolore unico? Petrarch, mourning, and community

19:30 | Discussion

19:50 | Conclusion