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Renaissance Now!

The Value of the Renaissance Past in Contemporary Culture

Edited By Brendan Dooley

This volume directs a transdisciplinary gaze on the field of Renaissance Studies as currently practised in Europe, North America and beyond. The concept of the Renaissance as applied to a particular time and place is still regarded as being of central importance to the history of thought and culture. The essays collected here raise the question of the contemporary relevance of the Renaissance.
What is the significance of doing Renaissance Studies now, not only in terms of the field per se, but in terms of what the field has to say to contemporary society? In the past, the field of Renaissance Studies has drawn themes and orientations from particular concerns of the moment, without losing its rigorous focus, and has given back crucial insights to those studying it. Could the same be said today? To facilitate a multifaceted answer, this book attempts to cover some of the principal areas of this interdisciplinary field within the humanities and social sciences. Contributors include specialists in history, languages and literatures, the history of science, cultural studies, art history, philosophy, sociology and politics.


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Brendan Dooley 14 Digital Renaissance


They’re tweeting from the northwest, from the southeast, from London, from Tokyo, from the university of Heidelberg, from the university of Saskatchewan, in of fices, in conferences, in traf fic. Topics range from the Ars Nova to the Vita nova, from the De vulgari eloquentia to the De revo- lutionibus orbium coelestium, including a quotation, an aperçu, but just as often, a web link, news of a new book or chapter, a word of praise or blame, whatever can be squeezed into 140 characters. See ‘’ hope this helps, one says. What’s on at the Morgan? asks another. Or, ter- rific Persian Manuscript collection at the British. Great restaurant near the Folger. Even an apartment in Florence for rent at ‘’. The hashtag is #Josquindesprez, #dante, #renaissancestudies, whatever fits the moment. It’s the Renaissance world of Twitter, and microbloggers on the highly subscribed social networking service include scholars, students, and whoever has a penchant for talk about art, war, love, and anything that comes between the middle and the modern, plus fellow travellers more interested in the later or the earlier. Going back to the past is not the point here; the point is to congregate, for a minute, even a second, in a virtual community, an oasis of freedom outside of meetings, evaluations, projects, fundraising, promotion, and that perpetual motion that is the experience of the modern institution, maybe to learn something, to catch a whif f of what is fresh before it gets stale. Some tweeters are...

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