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Transformation is in the Works

The Center for Premodern Studies is Coming!
June 17, 2021

Alchemist at table with examples of everyday transformations--bread, wine, cut stones, metal objects, and cooked chicken.

Alchemist at table with examples of everyday transformations--bread, wine, cut stones, metal objects, and cooked chicken.
"Perfect Nature of the Microcosm," from Antonio Neri's Il tesoro del mondo, fol. 11r (Florence, 1599). Ferguson Collection, Department of Special Collections, Glasgow University Library (MS Ferguson 67) Featured in "Alchemy, Science, and Innovations in the Decorative Arts" by Ana Matisse Donefer-Hickie. Met Museum Blog, 24 Feb. 2020.

With the Centers for Medieval Studies and for Early Modern History, the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World is becoming the Center for Premodern Studies (CPS). On an alchemical scale, this is not a lead to gold scenario but on par with more familiar, yet not unmiraculous, transformations--wine making, baking, metallurgy, etc., as celebrated in this 1599 illustration. For the CPS community, this transformation is catalyzed by the everyday actions and reactions resulting from drawing scholars together in new ways. We will maintain our consortial approaches and continue our interest in innovative research, pedagogy, and graduate training. CPS includes our Medieval Studies and Early Modern Studies communities as well as the wider array of faculty and students who have been participating in CSPW.

The Center for Premodern Studies will be led by Director Juliette Cherbuliez (French and Italian). Michelle Hamilton (Spanish and Portuguese) will serve as Medieval Studies Trustee, and Marguerite Ragnow (James Ford Bell Library) will serve as the Union Pacific Trustee for Early Modern Studies. The Associate Director for CPS will be Lydia Garver, who has been coordinating the Consortium for the past 4 years. So yes, the new Center for Premodern Studies will seem very familiar but beneath that hopefully also a wonderous and curious thing that makes us question and think about our scholarship in new ways.