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Erasmus and His Amanuenses

Erasmus and His Amanuenses
91 Charles Street West, Victoria College, Senior Common Room
Time: Nov 10th, 4:15 pm End: Nov 10th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Medieval Studies (FAS), History (FAS), History & Philosophy of Science & Technology (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in (OISE/UT), Education, 2000-
Lecture by Ann Blair, Harvard

The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University presents The Annual Erasmus Lecture:

Erasmus and His Amanuenses

Franz Bierlaire (in la Familia d'Erasme, 1968) called attention decades ago to the role of amanuenses in Erasmus's work, as gleaned from his correspondence and occasional references in print. Erasmus was not unusual in relying on helpers to take dictation, draw up indexes, copy, annotate, and correct texts, among other tasks. Despite textual and iconographic representations to the contrary, intellectual work in the Renaissance was routinely carried out with the help of others, including servants, students, or family members; but we are often at a loss for sources that shed light on these relationships. Erasmus's working methods can be traced in more detail than usual thanks to surviving manuscripts and to the trajectory of one of his secretaries who went on to become a published author himself. In this talk I will offer some general perspectives on the role of amanuenses in early modern Europe and a more focused account of Gilbert Cousin who worked for Erasmus as young man, 1530-1535, then launched a humanist career of his own.

Ann Blair is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University, where she specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe (16th-17th centuries), with an emphasis on France. Her interests include the history of the book and of reading, the history of the disciplines and of scholarship, and the history of interactions between science and religion.

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact the CRRS at 416 585 4468


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