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EMIGF III: Claudia Wier & Barry Torch

November 26, 2020 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. 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 2020-21 will be held on Thursday, November 26th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. via Zoom videoconferencing. Please contact Jordana Lobo-Pires at to request an invitation link.




Claudia Rene Wier PhD Theatre and Performance Studies, York University 
“Performing the Bellatrix Queen in Venetian Opera”

Antonio Cesti’s 1654 opera La Cleopatra is based on Cleopatra VII who in 48 B.C.E raised a mercenary army to fight her brother Ptolemy XIII. During the summer 31 B.C.E., she provided and commanded a fleet of 200 ships to fight a naval battle at Actium where she fought in several skirmishes. Francesco Cavalli’s 1657 opera Artemisia, is based on the 5th-century B.C.E. Anatolian queen Artemisia I who commanded six ships into battle against the Greeks. I will discuss how the actual Bellatrix queen’s stories were altered and adapted in literature, legend, and in libretti. I furthermore look to how the diva’s performance of the Bellatrix queen in the “continuous present” or “real time” and place of performance worked to re-animate the ancient warrior queen (Bhabha). On this, I examine how the diva’s performance of the foreign warrior queen served as a hybrid link between life and literature in the “foreignness of cultural translation” (Bhabha).

Barry Torch Department of History, York University
“Translating Friendship into Latin: Giovanni Bussi, Theodore Gaza, and Vat.Lat.5991”

One of the greatest ironies of Giovanni Andrea Bussi’s editing career is that the work for which he was most lambasted, was the work that received the most edits and preparation. His edition of Pliny’s Natural History from 1470 has a corresponding manuscript associated with it, where Bussi and Theodore Gaza have gone back and forth making emendations and translations. This presentation looks at this manuscript, Vat.Lat.5991, and argues that the back-and-forth edits and translations reflect a culture of intellectual friendship and collegiality in fifteenth-century Rome. By noting the marginalia with an eye to where and what Bussi and Gaza were doing with preparing a text for print, this paper suggests that the translating process relied upon the social culture of Renaissance friendships and networking, rather than simply a process of intellectual engagement and the ad fontes desire of Renaissance humanists.


November 26, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:




Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies