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EMIGF III: Eva Plesnik & Lauren Weindling

January 20, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum (EMIGF) is a monthly event hosted by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) at the University of Toronto. EMIGF is a platform for PhD candidates, post-docs, fellows, and recent graduates to deliver papers in an informal setting.

Our mandate is to provide junior and emerging scholars with the opportunity to present work in progress, and to facilitate dialogue on current topics in early modern research across the disciplines. Now in its eleventh consecutive year, EMIGF meetings are well attended by graduate students, faculty, and fellows from the early modern community at the University of Toronto and beyond. Our third meeting for 2021-22 will be held on Thursday, Jan. 20th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. via Zoom videoconferencing. Please contact Jordana Lobo-Pires at to request an invitation link.


Eva Plesnik PhD Student, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
Otium and empire in Bohuslaus of Hassenstein’s Ecloga sive Idyllion Budae

This paper explores the classical topos of otium, or leisure, in the Latin poetry of the Bohemian humanist Bohuslaus of Hassenstein (d. 1510). I focus on his Ecloga sive Idyllion Budae, which is an example of the popular genre of Renaissance pastoral and which I interpret as autobiographical, politically motivated, and reflective of the Central European landscape. Inspired by Virgilian and Ovidian conceptions of otium, Hassenstein represented Buda as an idyll of humanist learning, blurring the distinctions between the countryside and the city as well as the Roman Empire and its peripheries. I argue that the goal of the eclogue was to redefine Hungary and Bohemia according to ancient ideas about the translatio imperii. The cultural inheritance of the Roman Empire was understood through the language of otium, and the reception of this space in the northern context was an attempt to geographically resituate the cultural centre in Central Europe.


Lauren Weindling CRRS Fellow and PhD, University of Southern California
“‘Infect in Similitude’: Contagion in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

This project examines the vocabulary of likeness as it relates to concepts of contagion in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, influenced by early modern disease theorists Paracelsus and Fracastoro. I argue that Hamlet portrays likeness as not only contagion’s method, but also its source, which, in this case, is a desire to perpetuate likeness into perpetuity, or, figuratively, incest. The titular character Hamlet then — in contrast with the pestilence of Denmark’s incestuous, claustrophobic systems of power and privilege — insists on the value of difference and distinction.


January 20, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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