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CRRS Fellows Workshop: William Barker & Noa Yaari

April 12, 2022 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The annual CRRS Fellows Workshop offers an opportunity to two CRRS Fellows to present work in process, solicit constructive feedback from their peers, and facilitate dialogue on current topics in early modern research across the disciplines.

This year’s workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 12th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. via Zoom videoconferencing.

Please click here to register.


Erasmus of Rotterdam. Hans Holbein the Younger, 1523. Wood, 76 x 51 cm, National Gallery, London.

William Barker Inglis Professor, University of Kings College, and Professor Emeritus, English, Dalhousie University; CRRS Fellow
“Looking at Erasmus: Problems with Portraits”

This short talk looks at the ways a portrait can be used by a biographer or historian to inform us about historical figures. Erasmus was depicted in different media by Quentin Metsys, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Albrecht Dürer. Because of Erasmus’ own importance as well as that of these major artists a lot has been written about Erasmus and his portraits. The deliberately naive question posed by this talk asks “what can we learn about Erasmus from these portraits?” Can looking at depictions of his face tell us something about him? What is the truth in the image?

William Barker completed his PhD at the University of Toronto, where he worked as a researcher on The Collected Works of Erasmus, an ambitious UTPress series which became the definitive English-language version of Erasmus’ work. He edited a selection of The Adages of Erasmus (Toronto, 2001) in that series as well as the indexes in the Prolegomena to the Adages (Toronto, 2017) — spending many hours in the CRRS Library in the process — and most recently published a short biography of Erasmus (Reaktion, 2021). Barker is Inglis Professor and former President at the University of King’s College (2003-2011), where he was cross-appointed to the English Department at Dalhousie University. Now retired, he continues work on projects in Renaissance literature and intellectual history, and is studying drawing and photography at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.


Noa Yaari Artist, CRRS Fellow
“Art-Based Knowledge Mobilization at the CRRS”

Drawing on others’ scholarship is a well-known practice in academia; it shows the understanding and acceptance of “knowledge” as a communal enterprise. While knowledge moves from one agent to another, and evolves over time, however, it may take unusual forms, which raise questions about its essence and nature. In her talk, artist Dr. Noa Yaari invites us to view “knowledge” as a physical body that has spatial dimensions, which are necessary for its existence and validity. We will focus on her art project at the CRRS to explore shifts in the way we pass, preserve, and produce knowledge. This, in turn, will enable us to evaluate the field of knowledge mobilization and contemporary pop culture to advance the study of the early modern era.

Dr. Noa Yaari is an artist, interdisciplinary scholar, and the developer of Multiform Grammar, a grammatical system for verbal-visual communication. She earned her PhD in History at York University, where she explored how historians of Pre-Modern Europe combine words and images in their textbooks to create and communicate historical knowledge. She exhibited her art in museums and galleries in Israel, and her recent projects in Toronto include the curation of an exhibition at the Department of History and an art installation at the Centre for Jewish Studies, both at York University, as well as another installation at the CRRS, which is scheduled to open in October. Her art projects in learning environments practice community building, placemaking, and art-based knowledge mobilization.




April 12, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Centre for Renaissance and Reformation Studies
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