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Italian Studies Conference: Venice and Ritual

January 11-12, 2014

Vittore Carpaccio, 1460/66-1525/26, Head of a Man and a Lion (Courtesy, Princeton University Art Museum)

Venice’s unique situation both in physical space and historical imagination has allowed it to engage every strata of society in a kaleidoscopic range of sensory experiences framed, cultivated, and intensified through ritual. Venice offers the ideal venue for ritual behaviors--ingrained sequential activities performed in response to specific events: liturgical and paraliturgical ceremonies both at San Marco as well as the city’s many confraternities, churches, and convents; Carnival and the associated theatrical activities, including public opera; or civic rituals, such as the “Marriage to the Sea,” a ceremony that publicly links civic power to its environment. Private, public, religious, civic, affirmative, and subversive rituals all contribute to Venice’s identity. Far from being insular, Venetian rituals reach far beyond the lagoon--to the extensive empire upon which fortunes were built, to the terraferma, to the Eastern and Northern seas, and, finally, to the global community that continues to visit the city today.
In conjunction with the Princeton University Opera’s 2014 production of Claudio Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea, a multi-sensory event serving as exemplar, microcosm, and reflection of a uniquely Venetian ritual, Princeton’s Program in Italian Studies invites scholars in all stages of their careers to present papers that examine ritual as manifest in the artistic, socio-political, and religious milieu of Venice both historically and chronologically.

Special guest speakers include Jonathan Glixon (University of Kentucky) and Beth Glixon (University of Kentucky).


****Conference Schedule****