An Interdisciplinary Inquiry


The topic of mobs has resonances in a remarkable number of disciplines and provides a link between past and present—mobs are clearly of much importance today. The idea of mobs provides the context for all the essays and topics in this volume — from Heraclitus to the writings of Elias Canetti to the notion of internet mobs. The essays here speak to the complex nature of the mob: its defining characteristics and the varying consequences of its behavior. Mobs as a book brings wide-ranging clarity to a topic that touches such disciplines as medieval studies, literature, musicology, theology and philosophy, history, social theory, the development of the early university, and theatre.
Contributors are (in order within the volume): Leonard M. Koff, Ben Schomakers, Bernard S. Bachrach, Nancy van Deusen, Paul W. Knoll, Charlotte Bauer, Andrew Galloway, Robert W. Hanning, Terence Tunberg, Peter Howard, Cornelia Oefelein, Teofilo Ruiz, Richard Taruskin, David B. Rosen, Aino Paasonen and Richard Sogliuzzo.

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Nancy van Deusen, holds a Ph.D. in Musicology, Indiana University, Bloomington; is currently Professor of Musicology, Benezet Professor of the Humanities, Claremont Graduate University, and is Director of the Claremont Consortium in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Claremont Colleges and Graduate University. She has taught widely at Indiana University, the University of Basel, Switzerland, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Central European University, Budapest, and within the California State University system. She has received American Philosophical Society, numerous NEH, and Fulbright grants; and has published on music within the medieval city of Rome, music, liturgy, and institutional structure within the medieval cathedral milieu of Nevers, France, the medieval sequence within its Latin codicological and paleographical contexts, as well as its significance for the history of ideas; music as medieval science and within the curriculum of the early university.
Leonard Michael Koff holds a B.A. and M.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an associate of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, where he has taught and developed on campus and online courses, including Comparative Literature’s several-part humanities sequence: Western literature from antiquity to the 20th century and literature from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He has published Chaucer and the Art of Storytelling (University of California Press) and essays on medieval literature, the Italian trecento, and medievalism, and lectured in this country, in Europe, and in the Middle East on such subjects as the relationship between literature and philosophy, the Hebrew Bible and Western religious traditions, religious conversion, Cicero, Freud, and Emmanuel Levinas, and on distance learning. His most recent work is forthcoming in two Modern Language Association volumes, Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower and Approaches to Teaching the Canterbury Tales.
List of Contributors ... vii
List of Illustrations ... ix
Introduction: Mobs ... 1
Canetti’s “Biology” of the Crowd: Contexts and Instances ... 9
Leonard Michael Koff
The Rage of Heraclitus: Reflections on the Difficult
Relationship between the Philosopher and the Masses ... 41
Ben Schomakers
Armies as Mobs in the Early Middle Ages ... 63
Bernard S. Bachrach
Assembled in the Presence of God: Majestic Perseverance
and the Cantus Coronatus ....79
Nancy van Deusen
Nationes and Other Bonding Groups at Late Medieval Central
European Universities ... 95
Paul W. Knoll
Picturing and Promoting New Identities: The Medieval
University at Paris and its “Nations” … 117
Charlotte Bauer
Communities, Crowd-Theory, and Mob-Theory in
Late-Fourteenth Century English History
Writing and Poetry ... 141
Andrew Galloway
Boccaccio’s Mobs: Religious Devotion, Xenophobia, and
Fama in Three Decameron Novelle … 165
Robert W. Hanning
The Way Many Aspired to the Eloquence of the Few:
Th e Neo-Latin Colloquium ... 189
Terence Tunberg
Preaching to the Mob: Space, Ideas, and Persuasion in
Renaissance Florence ... 203
Peter Howard
The Signs—and Bells—of Mass Pilgrimage ... 231
Cornelia Oefelein
Philip II’s Entry into Zaragoza in 1585: A Theater of Power
or Contestation? ... 269
Teofilo F. Ruiz
The People Submissive, The People Rebellious … 285
Richard Taruskin
A Riot, a Harangue, and a (Failed) Uprising: Three Scenes
from Nineteenth-Century Operas ... 305
David Rosen
The Hourglass Figure in Manzoni’s I Promessi Sposi
[The Betrothed]: Multiplicities in Flux, Spatial Form,
and the Milanese Bread Riots of 1628 ... 339
Aino Anna-Maria Paasonen
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible: Witchcraft and MobHysteria in America ... 363
A. Richard Sogliuzzo
Index ... 383
The volume is multidisciplinary in conceptualization and outcome: interdisciplinary medieval studies, history and intellectual history particularly of the medieval and early modern periods, ancient philosophy, theology and the history of preaching, music and the arts.
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