Ephemerality and Durability in Early Modern Visual and Material Culture, Part 1

Organized by Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge

This colloquia at the University of Cambridge in May 2013 was the inaugural event of the CRASSH-EMSI collaborative program, "Seeing Things: Early Modern Visual and Material Culture." It brought together a range of graduate students, early career scholars, and senior scholars from the United States and Europe. The question at the heart of each of the papers was: Why did some early modern things survive while others did not? Specific topics ranged from birds of paradise, portraits of tax collectors, sugar sculptures, clothing, Ottoman flags, fortifications, and humanist texts on proportion. Peter Stallybrass (University of Pennsylvania) delivered the Keynote lecture, entitled “Ephemeral Matter.” The themes that arose during the conference, such as the relationship between early modern things and words and the relationship between the concepts of ephemerality, durability, and time will be discussed further in Los Angeles in September 2013, when many of the scholars who were present at Cambridge meet again at the EMSI annual conference of the same title.


May 24 & 25, 2013

Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge

A collaborative program from the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute and the Center for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Cambridge.