Conference Programme

Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World

Conference Programme


Thursday 9 July 2015


13.00 – 13.30: Registration  [McGrath Centre, St Catharine’s College]


13.30 – 13.45:  Welcome by Domestic Devotions Cambridge team


14.00 – 15.30:  Session 1

A. Public and private [McGrath Centre] Chair: Deborah Howard

  • Jaap Geraerts (University College London) – Domestic devotions at the estates of the Dutch Catholic nobility in the Golden Age
  • Torsten Wollina (Orient-Institut Beirut) – “I did not go to the city today”: domestic space and devotional practice in early modern Syria
  • Dotan Arad (Bar-Ilan University) – When the home becomes a shrine: public prayers in private homes among Ottoman Jewry

B. Spiritual models of the family [Ramsden Room] Chair: Kate Peters

  • Naomi Pullin (University of Warwick/University of Oxford) – Spiritual housewives and ‘nursing fathers’: domestic devotions and the construction of gendered identity in the transatlantic Quaker community, c. 1650-1750
  • Tina Van Kley (Brandeis University) – “A copy and model for the parish”: the emergence and refinement of ‘the clerical domestic’ in early modern England
  • Joe McDermott (University of Cambridge) – Ancestral rites and their interested parties in late Ming China


15.30 – 16.00 Tea and Coffee: McGrath Centre lobby and College Bar


16.00 – 17.30:  Session 2

A. Church and lay [McGrath Centre] Chair: Mary Laven

  • Lucy Busfield (University of Oxford) – ‘Paper visits’: pastoral correspondence as a devotional resource in post-Reformation England
  • Cristina Osswald (Universidade do Porto) – From virtue to sin: domestic space in eighteenth-century Brazil
  • Bianca Lopez (Washington University in St. Louis) – “To her all my wordly goods”: household gifts to the Virgin Mary in Ancona, 1400-1453

B. Travel and pilgrimage [Ramsden Room] Chair: Wendy Pullan

  • Beatrice Saletti (Università degli Studi di Trieste) – Bringing home the holy land: eulogiae and relics in the pilgrim’s luggage
  • Ermanna Panizon (Independent Scholar) – Background landscape and private devotion in early sixteenth-century Venice
  • Linda Honey (Independent Scholar) – An unwitting frontierswoman’s desperate devotions

C. Sickness and healing [Rushmore Room] Chair: Katherine Tycz

  • Pau Castell Granados (Universitat de Barcelona) – “And she asked her to recite those words over the cloths of the sick”: domestic healing prayers in sixteenth-century Catalonia
  • Remi Chiu (Loyola University Maryland) – ‘Processional’ music in times of pestilence
  • Hannah Newton (University of Cambridge) – The art of recovery: spiritual responses to deliverance from disease in early modern England c. 1580-1720


17.45 – 19.00: Keynote Lecture [McGrath Centre]

Andrew Morrall (Bard Graduate Center, New York)

To `tapisse sure the chambres of thi minde and remembraunce.’ The Uses of Biblical Decoration in the Early Modern Protestant Home.


19.00: Prosecco will be served in the McGrath Centre lobby after the keynote lecture

Friday 10 July 2015

9.30 – 11.00: Session 3

A. Devotional spaces within the home I [McGrath Centre] Chair: Deborah Howard

  • Margaret Morse (Augustana College) – Solitude and domestic devotion
  • Sarah Stanbury (College of the Holy Cross) – Staging the home: English mystery plays and domestic devotion
  • Valeria Viola (Ministero Pubblica Istruzione) – Domestic devotional spaces in the residences of the nobility in Palermo in the age of the Catholic Reformation (17th – 18th centuries)

 B. Material culture: objects in the home I [Ramsden Room] Chair: Hester Lees-Jeffries

  • Erin Campbell (University of Victoria) – Reforming the family: the material culture of devotion in the Bolognese domestic interior
  • Katherine French (University of Michigan) – The material culture of domestic piety in late medieval London
  • Margarita Birriel and Carmen Hernández (Universidad de Granada) – Between ‘retablicos’, engravings and cards: devotional objects in Southern Spanish households

C. Reading, writing, image + text I [Rushmore Room] Chair: Heather Webb

  • Erminia Ardissino (Università degli Studi di Torino) – Literary and emblematic versions of domestic devotion: the rosary in Renaissance Italy
  • Bryan Brazeau (New York University) – Private devotional language in late sixteenth-century Italian lagrime poetry
  • Hanneke van Asperen (Radboud University Nijmegen) – Praying with pilgrim badges


11.00 – 11.30: Tea and Coffee: McGrath Centre lobby and College Bar


11.30 – 13.00: Session 4

A. Devotional spaces within the home II [McGrath Centre] Chair: Mary Laven

  • Hester Lees-Jeffries (University of Cambridge) – “Thou hast made this bed thine altar”: John Donne and the domestication of devotion
  • Sabrina Leps (Independent Scholar) – Domestic devotion in the bedroom of the Polish Queen: Maria Josepha of Austria and St. Francis Xavier
  • Carlo Corsato (Università degli Studi di Verona) – “In the most secret place of your house”: devotional images and performance of domestic penance in early modern Venice

B. Material culture: objects in the home II [Ramsden Room] Chair: Victoria Avery

  • Giulia Zaccariotto (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa) – ‘Holy metals’: metalwork for private devotion in Renaissance household interiors in Venice
  • Michael Brody (USciences Museum, Philadelphia) – Religious scenes on sixteenth-century Deruta piatti da pompa
  • Ingmar Reesing (Universiteit vam Amsterdam) – Pray and play: devotional micro-carvings from the early sixteenth century in the Low Countries

 C. Reading, writing, image + text II [Rushmore Room] Chair: Abigail Brundin

  • Suzan Folkerts (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) – From monastery to marketplace – and to the home: on the uses of Middle Dutch gospels in manuscript and print
  • Piotr Białecki (University of Warsaw) – The diary of Luca Landucci: writing as a devotional practice in Renaissance Florence
  • Ezra Plank (Pepperdine University) – Devotion or confessionalization: Bible reading in early modern Geneva


13.00 – 14.00: Lunch: Dining Hall, St Catharine’s College


14.00 – 15.15: Keynote lecture [McGrath Centre]

Debra Kaplan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)

Living spaces, communal places: early modern Jewish families and religious devotion


15.30 – 17.00: Session 5

 A. The body [McGrath Centre] Chair: Subha Mukherji

  • Julianne Sandberg (Southern Methodist University) – John Donne’s body and eucharistic allegory
  • Elizabeth Rhodes (Boston College) – Behind closed doors: Luisa de Carvajal and the abuse of domestic devotions
  • Jungyoon Yang (Universiteit van Amsterdam) – Prayers at the nuptial bed: spiritual guidance on consummation in seventeenth-century Dutch epithalamia

 B. Material culture: objects in the home III [Ramsden Room] Chair: Lucy Razzall

  • Angela Clarke (Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver) – Alleviating anxiety of mind: St. Francis and the four female lay saints on Renaissance Deruta maiolica, c. 1500-1550
  • Marie Lezowski (École française de Rome) – Little boxes: domestic devotions and movable objects in Early Modern Milan
  • Magdalena Mielnik (National Museum, Gdańsk) – Praying for a husband. Virtuous femininity and the moral meaning of objects in the home in sixteenth- and seventeeth-century Gdańsk

C. Female experience [Rushmore Room] Chair: Maya Corry

  • Lucia Boscolo Folegana (Università degli Studi di Padova) – The cradle, the swaddling bands, the fire: spiritual lauds in preparation for Christmas in eighteenth-century Italian domestic devotion
  • Federica Francesconi (The College of Idaho) – Confined to the house: Jewish women and new devotions in early modern Italy
  • Sharon Arnoult (Midwestern State University) – “A sort of publick-prayer”: women and domestic devotions in early modern England


17.00 – 17.30: Tea and coffee: McGrath Centre lobby and College Bar


17.30 – 19.00 Session 6

 A. The power of song [McGrath Centre] Chair: Daniel Trocmé-Latter

  • Antonio Lovato (Università degli Studi di Padova) – The devotional prayer ‘O bone Iesu’: new musical and literary sources
  • Laurie Stras (University of Southampton) – Meditative music in the early sixteenth-century convent: the case of “Musica… motetta materna lingua vocata”
  • Huub van der Linden (University College Roosevelt) – Music and domestic devotion in Bologna c. 1700: oratorios, sermons, and politics at palazzo Ranuzzi

B. Living saints/ holy women [Ramsden Room] Chair: Abigail Brundin

  • Veronika Capska (Charles University of Prague) – Between texts and textiles: Anna Katharina Sweets-Spork as a lady of the house and aspiring saint
  • Jennifer Cavalli (Pacific Lutheran University) – Gendering the holy at court: female spiritual advisors at the Gonzaga court
  • Lorenza Gianfrancesco (Goldsmiths, University of London) – Dangerous devotion in early modern Naples: the case of Suor Giulia De Marco

 C. Complicating ‘domestic’ space [Rushmore Room] Chair: Irene Galandra Cooper

  • Ranieri Moore Cavaceppi (American University) – Devotions in sixteenth-century Italian hospitaller commanderies
  • Joanna Kostylo (The British School at Rome) – The Renaissance pharmacy as a site for Protestant worship
  • Kathryn Santner (University of Cambridge) – A room of one’s own? The convent cell as a devotional space at Santa Catalina de Sena, Arequipa


19.00: Conference drinks: Sherlock Court Lawn [McGrath Centre lobby if wet]


20.00: Conference dinner (optional) [St Catharine’s College Dining Hall]


Saturday 11 July 2015

9.30 – 11.00: Session 7

A. Confessional confrontation I [McGrath Centre] Chair: Irene Galandra Cooper

  • Flora Cassen (University of North Carolina) – The sausage in the Jews’ pantry: food and Jewish-Christian relations in Renaissance Italy
  • Borja Franco Llopis (Universitat de València) – The Moriscos’ domestic devotions viewed through Christian eyes in early modern Iberia
  • Suzanna Ivanic (University of Cambridge) – The material interface of beliefs in seventeenth-century Prague burgher homes

 B. Orthodox/heterodox [Ramsden Room] Chair: Marco Faini

  • Kathleen Ashley (University of Southern Maine) – Psalm singing at home: the case of Etienne Mathieu, a Burgundian Protestant
  • Tara Alberts (University of York)  – ‘House-churches’, ‘oratories’ and lay devotional practices in seventeenth-century Vietnam
  • Igor Sosa Mayor (Universität Erfurt) – Eating bones and producing relics: martyrs’ relics and their consumption in southern Spain in 1628

C. Reading, writing, image + text III [Rushmore Room] Chair: Zuzanna Sarnecka

  • Soyeon Kim (UCLA) – The unwritten ritual: a study of the gathering of the four Buddhas
  • Silvia Nocentini (S.I.S.M.E.L. Firenze) – Hagiography: a source for private devotions?
  • Philip Gavitt (Saint Louis University) – Ritual, memory, and the body in the Decor Puellarum (1471)


11.00 – 11.30: Tea and coffee: McGrath Centre lobby and College Bar


11.30 – 12.45: Keynote lecture [McGrath Centre]

Virginia Reinburg (Boston College, Massachusetts)

The Book of Hours Between Home and Cosmos.


13.00 – 14.00 Lunch [Dining Hall, St Catharine’s College]


14.00 – 15.30: Session 8

A. Confessional confrontation II [McGrath Centre] Chair: Matthew Champion

  • Martin Christ (University of Oxford/TU Dresden) – “And may they be sung in, and in front of the houses”: Catholic domestic worship in a Lutheran region, Upper Lusatia, c. 1520-1620
  • Gabriela Ramos (University of Cambridge) – Living with the Virgin in the Colonial Andes: a study of images of private devotion of Our Lady of Copacabana in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
  • Greg Salazar (University of Cambridge) – Daniel Featley’s The Handmade of Private Devotion: a ‘Calvinist Conformist’ household devotional work

 B. The life cycle [Ramsden Room] Chair: Alessia Meneghin

  • Anna Wainwright (New York University) – Warriors of devotion: Agostino Valier’s Instruttione della vera et perfetta viduità
  • Marion Katz (New York University) – Commemoration of the Prophet’s birthday as a domestic ritual in fifteenth- to sixteenth-century Damascus
  • Emily Fine (Brandeis University) – Dying devotions: mothers’ written legacies to their children

C. Iconography [Rushmore Room] Chair: Maya Corry

  • Molly Harrington (University of Maryland) – In Her image: the style, iconography and theory of paintings of the Virgin in private Catholic settings during the Dutch Golden Age
  • Kathleen Ryor (Carleton College) – Style as substance: literati Buddhist ink painting and devotional practices in late Ming dynasty China
  • Margarita Voulgaropoulou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) – From domestic devotion to the church altar: venerating Orthodox icons in the early modern Adriatic


15.30 – 16.30: Roundup and conclusions: Members of the Domestic Devotions project [McGrath Centre]




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  1. […] 9-11 July 2015 University of Cambridge “Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World, 1400-1800: An Interdisciplinary Conference” […]


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