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EMIGF IV: Joel Faber & Alice Martignoni

March 8, 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 fourth meeting for 2021-22 will be held on Tuesday, Mar. 8th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. via Zoom videoconferencing. Please contact Jordana Lobo-Pires at to request an invitation link.



The Visit of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, to Theseus, King of Athens, Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1495)

Joel Faber PhD in English, University of Toronto
“Amazons v. Amicitia: Unfriending Emilia in The Two Noble Kinsmen

Shakespeare and Fletcher’s The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613) stages the dramatic unraveling of its title characters’ idealized friendship, and the play is often cited for its skeptical take on classical amicitia. The Two Noble Kinsmen also contains one of the most eloquent expressions of ideal friendship in Shakespeare’s works, the Amazon Emilia’s memorial speech for Flavina. Emilia’s claim to amicitia redefines her gendered subjecthood and same-sex orientation. When Emilia’s sociality is framed as Amazonian it is othered, but when cast by her as idealized friendship her “persuasion” becomes legible in a way that demands respect in the hetero-normative public discourse of Theseus’s court.

I argue that Emilia’s “unfriending” over the course of the play is a key piece in the critique of amicitia, revealing amicitia as not just ridiculous, but corrupted by patriarchal power. The discourse of amicitia has always been anxious about the question of the “friend in the feminine” (in Derrida’s phrase), and by exposing the agents and strategies deployed to deny Emilia her friendship, The Two Noble Kinsmen leverages that anxiety as a core piece of its indictment of the whole edifice. And yet. Emilia makes an eloquent, determined play for friendship that is legible in the discourse, but not confined by it. Can the play’s audience imagine that she succeeds, rescuing the play from its multiple tragedies?



Alice Martignoni PhD Candidate in Italian Studies, University of Toronto
“Italian laude at the Beginning of the Early Modern Period (Béziers, CIRdOC ms. 913): Proposals for a Linguistic Localization”

The manuscript n. 913 of the Centre interrégional de développement de l’occitan (CIRDOC) of Béziers, France, contains a collection of short devotional poems, or laude, written in a Northwestern variety of Italian, a few short orisons in Occitan language, and some texts in Latin. It was produced in the town of Brignoles, France, most likely within the context of an Italian lay confraternity of Disciplinati, between the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XIV. The coexistence of texts in multiple languages into an organic unit makes this manuscript a unique witness in his kind.

My paper will focus on the Italian laude. I will present the context of this peculiar literary genre, its tradition in Northwestern Italy, and the status quaestionis prior to my research. I will then present the most significant results of my linguistic inquiry, through which I aim to provide evidence for the localization of the laude.


March 8, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies
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