Melbourne Early Modern Circle – Michael Wyatt (Stanford)

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Date(s) - 16/09/2013
6:15 pm - 7:30 pm

Room 209, Old Arts Building

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Dr Michael Wyatt (Stanford)
Italian Renaissance technologies: praxis, texts, images
It is generally assumed that the ‘recuperation’ of the text of Vitruvius’s De architectura in the early fifteenth century was the watershed moment for the development of a specifically Renaissance response to technological innovations and architectural practices. But as important as Vitruvius proved to be in the period, his text had never entirely disappeared from view, and the problems it posed for Renaissance editors, translators, and interpreters were enormous. This talk will examine the complex interface of technological praxis and its representation both in texts – many of them literary in character – and images provoked by the renewed interest in Vitruvius. The resulting synergies had a significant impact on the development of a wide range of Renaissance technologies, buildings, and cities, demonstrating the interconnectedness in the period of disciplines such as philology, geometry and mathematics, natural philosophy, and the plastic arts.
Michael Wyatt works on the cultural histories of Italy, England, and France in the early modern period. He is the author of The Italian Encounter with Tudor England: A Cultural Politics of Translation (Cambridge University Press, 2005), a former fellow of Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, and co-editor with Deanna Shemek (UC Santa Cruz) of The Politics of Writing Relations, American Scholars in Italian Archives (Florence: Olschki, 2008). He is currently editing the Cambridge Companion Guide to the Italian Renaissance, co-editing ‘Devils Incarnate or Saints Angelifide’? Anglo-Italian Transactions in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, and working on a second monograph, John Florio and the Circulation of Stranger Cultures in Stuart England

Please direct any enquiries to the convenors:

Andrea Rizzi (
Upcoming seminars in the series:
  • Monday 21 October – Old Arts-209 (Seminar Room 2): Dr. John S. Wilkins (University of Sydney, University of Melbourne) ‘The theological and philosophical origins of the concept of biological species from Athanasius Kircher to John Ray.’
  • Monday 18 November – Old Arts-209 (Seminar Room 2): Dr. Gerhard Weisenfeldt (University of Melbourne) ‘The Rituals of Early Modern Academia: Explorations of Neglected Writings.’