Fall 2023 Mary Martin McLaughlin Memorial Lecture

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by Kelly Stage Mon, 09/25/2023 - 15:29

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program welcomes Professor Anna Kłosowska as this year’s Mary Martin McLaughlin Memorial Lecture speaker. Join us on September 27, at 5:15 in the Regency B/C room in the City Campus Union for Kłosowska’s lecture, “Light upon Light: Art from Syria and Africa in Gothic France.” The lecture will consider art objects—specifically enameled glass art —made in Syria and imported around the world in the late Middle Ages. The talk especially focuses on French middle class women’s patronage in this art trade. Kłosowska’s integration of material culture studies with Middle Eastern and European history, literature, race studies, and gender will provide a colorful and enlightening lecture with interdisciplinary outreach. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Dr Kłosowska is professor of French at Miami University of Ohio and a member of the Department of French, Italian and Classical Studies at MU. She is also an affiliate of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. Her talk features new work from her book in progress, Remarkable Objects: Silk, Metal, Ceramics, Paper, Ivory, which reimagines French cultural history through biographies of five objects from Afro-Eurasia.This continues some of her work medieval critical race studies, as evidenced in another recent volume, Disturbing Times: Medieval Pasts, Reimagined Futures (open access, punctum 2020), co-edited with Catherine Karkov and Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei. As well, she has been researching and writing on narratives of enslaved black women in the early Renaissance, especially focusing on the Black sapho. 

Professor Kłosowska frequently works at the intersection of gender, queer, and trans topics, as in her first book Queer Love in the Middle Ages (2005) as well as a recent essay collection, Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern (2021), co-edited with Greta LaFleur and Masha Raskolnikov. She has also published a bilingual edition of the poems of the Renaissance French poet, Madeleine de l’Aubespine (2007) as well as authored over fifty articles in many journals (including Romance Languages AnnualJournal of the History of Sexualitypostmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies, Arthuriana to name a few) and edited book collections (including Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom GuideStudies in Medieval and Renaissance TeachingFragments Toward a History of a Vanishing Humanism, and Speculative Medievalisms: Discography). She also co-teaches a Global Book Lab at Miami, a collaboration between the Rare Books Collection, the Art Museum, and the College.

The UNL Medieval and Renaissance Studies program recognizes Mary Martin McLaughlin’s landmark scholarship through this memorial lecture, and Dr Kłosowska’s career history of cutting edge research on medieval women, gender studies, and queer and trans studies makes her an especially fitting speaker for this series. We celebrate Dr. Mary Martin McLaughlin, a native of Grand Island and a graduate (BA and MA) of the UNL History Department, as a landmark scholar of women, children, and family in medieval Europe with this lecture series. Dr. McLaughlin earned her PhD at Columbia University and taught at Wellesley, Vassar, and the University of Nebraska. Two books (with co-editor James Bruce Ross) published during her lifetime, “The Portable Medieval Reader” and “The Portable Renaissance Reader,” made her work a staple of college courses for decades. Her masterwork, “Heloise and the Paraclete: A Twelfth-Century Quest” (with Bonnie Wheeler) was published in 2002, and her edition of “The Letters of Heloise and Abelard” (also with Wheeler) was published posthumously in 2009. 

The talk is free and open to the public. An informal reception will follow the lecture.