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A Critique of Current and Past Norms
The current erotic landscape is contradictory: While the West sees greater sexual and erotic freedom than ever, there is also a movement to restrict the behaviour of various sexual minorities. Expanding and Restricting the Erotic addresses the way in which the erotic has been constrained and freed, both historically and at present. Topics range from the troubling way in which the mainstream media represents the erotic, to the concept of friends with benefits. Other chapters explore female eroticism, from contemporary female hip hop artists to Latin American women seeking to express their eroticism in the midst of sexual repression. Medieval and Early Modern medical conceptions of the female body are explored, as are ancient Greek erotic practices. Finally, the controversial area of teenage girls’ erotic representation is analysed.
Tributes to Prof. John Lowden from his Students, Friends and Colleagues
The twenty-eight essays in this collection showcase cutting-edge research in manuscript studies, encompassing material from late antiquity to the Renaissance. The volume celebrates the exceptional contribution of John Lowden to the study of medieval books. The authors explore some of the themes and questions raised in John’s work, tackling issues of meaning, making, patronage, the book as an object, relationships between text and image, and the transmission of ideas. They combine John’s commitment to the close scrutiny of manuscripts with an interrogation of what the books meant in their own time and what they mean to us now.
The Antique as Innovation
In Jacopo Strada and Cultural Patronage at the Imperial Court: Antiquity as Innovation, Dirk Jansen provides a survey of the life and career of the antiquary, architect, and courtier Jacopo Strada (Mantua 1515-Vienna 1588). His manifold activities — also as a publisher and as an agent and artistic and scholarly advisor of powerful patrons such as Hans Jakob Fugger, the Duke of Bavaria and the Emperors Ferdinand I and Maximilian II — are examined in detail, and studied within the context of the cosmopolitan learned and courtly environments in which he moved. These volumes offer a substantial reassessment of Strada’s importance as an agent of change, transmitting the ideas and artistic language of the Italian Renaissance to the North.
A Cultural History of the Avant-Garde in the Nordic Countries 1925-1950 is the first publication to deal with the avant-garde in the Nordic countries in this period. The essays cover a wide range of avant-garde manifestations: literature, visual arts, theatre, architecture and design, film, radio, body culture and magazines. It is the first major historical work to consider the Nordic avant-garde in a transnational perspective that includes all the arts and to discuss the role of the avant-garde not only within the aesthetic field but in a broader cultural and political context: the pre-war and wartime responses to international developments, the new cultural institutions, sexual politics, the impact of refugees and the new start after the war.
Investigating Embodied Meaning, Indigenous Semiotics, and the Nahua Sense of Reality
In her groundbreaking investigation from the perspective of the aesthetics of religion, Isabel Laack explores the religion and art of writing of the pre-Hispanic Aztecs of Mexico. Inspired by postcolonial approaches, she reveals Eurocentric biases in academic representations of Aztec cosmovision, ontology, epistemology, ritual, aesthetics, and the writing system to provide a powerful interpretation of the Nahua sense of reality.
Laack transcends the concept of “sacred scripture” traditionally employed in religions studies in order to reconstruct the Indigenous semiotic theory and to reveal how Aztec pictography can express complex aspects of embodied meaning. Her study offers an innovative approach to nonphonographic semiotic systems, as created in many world cultures, and expands our understanding of human recorded visual communication.
This book will be essential reading for scholars and readers interested in the history of religions, Mesoamerican studies, and the ancient civilizations of the Americas.

'This excellent book, written with intellectual courage and critical self-awareness, is a brilliant, multilayered thought experiment into the images and stories that made up the Nahua sense of reality as woven into their sensational ritual performances and colorful symbolic writing system.'
- Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University
The Historical Course of an Image
Justice Blindfolded gives an overview of the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries. Justice has been portrayed as a woman with scales, or holding a sword, or, since the fifteenth century, with her eyes bandaged. This last symbol contains the idea that justice is both impartial and blind, reminding indirectly of the bandaged Christ on the cross, a central figure in the Christian idea of fairness and forgiveness.
In this rich and imaginative journey through history and philosophy, Prosperi manages to convey a full account of the ways justice has been described, portrayed and imagined.

Translation of Giustizia bendata. Percorsi storici di un'immagine (Einaudi, 2008).
In The World Upside Down in 16th Century French Literature and Visual Culture Vincent Robert-Nicoud offers an interdisciplinary account of the topos of the world upside down in early modern France. To call something ‘topsy-turvy’ in the sixteenth century is to label it as abnormal. The topos of the world upside down evokes a world in which everything is inside-out and out of bounds: fish live in trees, children rule over their parents, and rivers flow back to their source. The world upside down proves to be key in understanding how the social, political, and religious turmoil of sixteenth-century France was represented and conceptualised, and allows us to explore the dark side of the Renaissance by unpacking one of its most prevalent metaphors.
Structures Behind the Cultural Success and the Political Representation of the Medici Court (1600-1660)
In Florentine Patricians and Their Networks, Elisa Goudriaan presents the first comprehensive overview of the cultural world and diplomatic strategies of Florentine patricians in the seventeenth century and the ways in which they contributed as a group to the court culture of the Medici. The author focuses on the patricians’ musical, theatrical, literary, and artistic pursuits, and uses these to show how politics, social life, and cultural activities tended to merge in early modern society. Quotations from many archival sources, mainly correspondence, make this book a lively reading experience and offer a new perspective on seventeenth-century Florentine society by revealing the mechanisms behind elite patronage networks, cultural input, recruiting processes, and brokerage activities.
The Challenge of World for Early Modern Religious Art
At the turn of the sixteenth century, the notion of world was dramatically being reshaped, leaving no aspect of human experience untouched. The Nomadic Object: The Challenge of World for Early Modern Religious Art examines how sacred art and artefacts responded to the demands of a world stage in the age of reform. Essays by leading scholars explore how religious objects resulting from cross-cultural contact defied national and confessional categories and were re-contextualised in a global framework via their collection, exchange, production, management, and circulation. In dialogue with current discourses, papers address issues of idolatry, translation, materiality, value, and the agency of networks. The Nomadic Object demonstrates the significance of religious systems, from overseas logistics to philosophical underpinnings, for a global art history.

Contributors are: Akira Akiyama, James Clifton, Jeffrey L. Collins, Ralph Dekoninck, Dagmar Eichberger, Beate Fricke, Christine Göttler, Christiane Hille, Margit Kern, Dipti Khera, Yoriko Kobayashi-Sato, Urte Krass, Evonne Levy, Meredith Martin, Walter S. Melion, Mia M. Mochizuki, Jeanette Favrot Peterson, Rose Marie San Juan, Denise-Marie Teece, Tristan Weddigen, and Ines G. Županov.
Since its invention by Andrea Alciato, the emblem is inextricably connected to the natural world. Alciato and his followers drew massively their inspiration from it. For their information about nature, the emblem authors were greatly indebted to ancient natural history, the medieval bestiaries, and the 15th- and 16th-century proto-emblematics, especially the imprese. The natural world became the main topic of, for instance, Camerarius’s botanical and zoological emblem books, and also of the ‘applied’ emblematics in drawings and decorative arts. Animal emblems are frequently quoted by naturalists (Gesner, Aldrovandi). This interdisciplinary volume aims to address these multiple connections between emblematics and Natural History in the broader perspective of their underlying ideologies – scientific, artistic, literary, political and/or religious.

Contributors: Alison Saunders, Anne Rolet, Marisa Bass, Bernhard Schirg, Maren Biederbick, Sabine Kalff, Christian Peters, Frederik Knegtel, Agnes Kusler, Aline Smeesters, Astrid Zenker, Tobias Bulang, Sonja Schreiner, Paul Smith, and Karl Enenkel.