Public Lectures - 2014 Archive

"Accompanied in our tears": Women, Shakespeare and sentiment in the eighteenth-century theatre

Covent Garden Theatre

Henry Brookes, English, Covent Garden Theatre, Etching on paper, 9.1 x 17.7 in.

Associate Professor Fiona Ritchie
Tuesday 9 December 2014

Room S325
John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Sponsored by Sydney Intellectual History Network Putting Periodisation to Use Group

This talk will examine the development of a sentimental response to theatre in the eighteenth century, particularly amongst women and particularly with regard to the staging of Shakespeare. Letter and diary accounts by female audience members frequently attest to them crying in the playhouse as they watched actors renowned for their emotional acting style (such as David Garrick) perform in adaptations of Shakespeare plays designed to augment the affective impact of the text. I will argue that the emphasis in these accounts on the shared nature of this emotional response with others in the audience enabled sentimental playgoing to function as an important form of affective community. The tears shed by female playgoers as they watched Shakespeare on stage therefore allowed women audience members to play a crucial role in the eighteenth-century cultural phenomena of sensibility and sociability.

Chair: Professor Penny Gay


Fiona Ritchie is Associate Professor of Drama and Theatre in the Department of English at McGill University, Montreal. Her recent monograph Women and Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press) examines the part played by women in eighteenth-century bardolatry, analysing the ways in which actresses, critics and playgoers responded to and shaped Shakespeare. She has also edited, with Peter Sabor, a collection of essays entitled Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century (also published by Cambridge University Press). Her next project, funded by a five-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is a study of women and regional theatre in the long eighteenth century, which will investigate the working lives of actresses outside London, as well as women performing off-stage labour (for example as theatre managers). She is currently an Early Career International Research Fellow at the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions.

The Lie of the Land

Professor John Dixon Hunt
Friday 5 December 2014

Lecture Theatre 1
B117, Basement
Melbourne School of Design
The University of Melbourne

Landscape architecture requires an attention to topography and geology, to how land lies on the surface of the earth and to what the architect does to what they find. All landscape architecture is essentially and excitingly a “lie”, a falsehood, or what Shakespeare calls a “feigned truth”. To explore this paradox, Professor John Dixon Hunt will invoke six different designs from the 16th and 20th centuries.


John Dixon Hunt is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the former Director of Studies in Landscape Architecture at Dumbarton Oaks. He is the author of numerous articles and books on garden history and theory, including a catalogue of the landscape drawings of William Kent, Garden and Grove, Gardens and the Picturesque, The Picturesque Garden in Europe (2002), The Afterlife of Gardens (2004), and A World of Gardens (2013), as well as editor of the journal Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. Professor Hunt is also the inaugural series editor of the Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture, in which was published his own theoretic study of landscape architecture, Greater Perfections: The Practice of Garden Theory (1999).

Professor Hunt’s visit to Melbourne is supported by: The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, The Australian Garden History Society, The University of Melbourne and The Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Network Victoria.

The Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism: Hegel and the History of Painting

Folies Bergere

Édouard Manet, French, 1881-1882, Oil on canvas, 37.8 x 51.2 in.

Professor Robert Pippin
Monday 17 November 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School LT 106
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

In his Berlin lectures on fine art in the 1820s, Hegel made two famous and very controversial claims. The first was that the content of fine art, religion and philosophy was essentially the same, and the second was that all the fine arts had become for us a "thing of the past," no longer an important vehicle of human self-knowledge. The "modern" art that Hegel considered was early nineteenth century romantic art. He died in 1831, and so did not witness the most revolutionary change in the history the arts, what we now loosely call "modernism." This lecture concentrates on modernist painting and asks about the bearing of both Hegel’s general approach to the meaning of art, and of his historical and diagnostic analysis, to modernist pictorial art. One version of the basic question would be: what should Hegel, given his philosophical and aesthetic commitments, have said about the achievement and historical significance of Édouard Manet’s revolutionary paintings of the 1860’s, generally credited with being the among the first modernist paintings? Or: what sort of crisis in the credibility of conventional painting was modernist experimentation responding to, and what would it mean to consider these issues as being of philosophical significance?

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.


Robert B. Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on German idealism and the relation of philosophy to modern culture. These include, Hegel's Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness (1989); Modernism as a Philosophical Problem (1991); and Idealism as Modernism: Hegelian Variations (1997), Henry James and Modern Moral Life (1999), and After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Pictorial Modernism (2014). He is a winner of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities, is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Reading the New Testament: The Book and its Significance

new testament

Professor Vrasidas Karalis
Monday 27 October 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Lounge
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

It would be an understatement to say that the whole of the Western culture revolves around the New Testament. Both as a point of reference and a point of departure, the New Testament has shaped all forms of thinking from politics to aesthetics, from sociology to psychology and of course from religion to spirituality. No aspect of social, intellectual and creative life has been unaffected by the New Testament over the last eighteen centuries. Furthermore despite its ruthless critique, the New Testament still retains a remarkable ability to renew its own interpretation, remain constantly relevant and be embraced by philosophers, researchers and politicians, Christians, lapsed Christians and atheists alike. The lecture explores the continuing significance of the foundational book of Christianity under the light of modern scholarship and the perspectives of recent discussions.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.


Professor Vrasidas Karalis has published extensively on Greek language, Byzantine literature and Christian tradition, as well as on the New Testament. He is currently working on a translation of two of Paul’s letters, with special emphasis on Paul’s psychological and existential anthropology.

Sensuality and the subterranean: Jean-Jacques Lequeu’s Maison gothique (1777-1814) during the late Enlightenment

Maison gothique (1777-1814)

Jean Jacques Lequeu. 1777-1814. Section perpendicular to an underground gothic house, Pen, wash, watercolor, 22.3 x 14 in.

Dr Jennifer Ferng
Monday 13 October 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Foyer
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

As one of the French utopian designers of the late Enlightenment, Lequeu is regarded by many architectural historians as having an enigmatic inventory of unbuilt work. He envisioned Grecian-Egyptian temples, Masonic grottoes, and neoclassical tombs and civic monuments. Enhanced by his training as a draughtsman, his studies of human anatomy verged on the edge of explicit prurience. This lecture surveys some of his fanciful imagery in relation to the intellectual discourses surrounding the subterranean, focusing on how myth and occult knowledge came to define his ideas of architecture and the body.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.


Dr Jennifer Ferng is Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Sydney. She received her PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves as co-editor of Architectural Theory Review. Her research examines eighteenth-century European architecture and art in the context of the geological sciences.

The rhetoric of Bach’s St Matthew Passion: Text and performance

Bach’s St Matthew Passion

Dr Alan Maddox
Monday 15 September 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Lounge
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

Music has always had an ambivalent place in intellectual history. Can music really convey ideas, or is it just a pleasantly emotive context for words, which convey real meaning? What kinds of knowledge can be embodied in music, and how do its meanings change over time? In this talk I will explore some of these issues through one of the key texts of western art music, J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion, exploring how it was understood in Bach’s time, and when transposed to the very different context of colonial Sydney.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.

Alan Maddox

Dr Alan Maddox is Senior Lecturer in Musicology at Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His research focuses on rhetoric in early modern Italian vocal music, and on Australian colonial music. He is an Associate Investigator with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, musicologist to the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, and in a previous life worked as a singer with Opera Australia.

The Project of European Unification and the Case of Greece

Professor Vrasidas Karalis
Inaugural Professorial Lecture
Thursday 4 September 2014
5:30-7 pm

General Lecture Theatre 1
The University of Sydney

From Modern to Ancient Greece with Vrasidas Karalis, Sir Nicholas Laurantus Professor of Modern Greek.

During the last six years, the European financial crisis led to fresh reconsiderations about politics, identity and the character of the European Union itself. As the most affected country, Greece became a very significant discussion point in the European stage about the principles of the Union, its central system of governance, its civic practices, even its very cultural physiognomy. The former President of France Giscard d’ Estaing forcefully declared that “Europe without Greece is like a child without birth certificate’ while more recently Jean Claude Juncker proclaimed that in the united Europe “Plato cannot exist as an inferior member.”

The significance attributed to the Greek presence within the context of the European Union gives us the opportunity to study certain important aspects of contemporary Greece, the structure of its modern identity, its relationship with classical Greece, its position in modern Europe and its formation as a modern state. The lecture discusses these controversial issues and tries to make sense of the contemporary crisis both politically and culturally, as it considers the economy only as an epiphenomenon and a by-product of a structural asymmetry and a cultural incommensurability.

Why the Scientific Revolution Wasn't a Scientific Revolution

Content pic Rosa Democritus

Salvator Rosa, Italian. 1650-1651, Democritus in Meditation, Oil on canvas, 135.43 × 84.25 in.

Professor Daniel Garber
Monday 25 August 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law LT 101
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

When Thomas Kuhn was writing the Structure of Scientific Revolutions, it was common to refer to the period in the history of science roughly from Copernicus to Newton as the Scientific Revolution. One might reasonably assume that his book might give us a theoretical structure to understand the transformations in our understanding nature that happened in the period. I will argue that the political analogy behind the idea of a scientific revolution is singularly inappropriate to describe what happened in this crucial period in the history of science and Western culture. Instead of one paradigm, that is scientific orthodoxy replacing another, I claim, what really happened in the period was the eclipse of the idea that we need a single scientific orthodoxy. The so-called Scientific Revolution of the early-modern period, I claim, was the opening up of an intellectual world of new ideas in competition.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas and Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.


Daniel Garber is Stuart Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. He is also affiliated with the Program in History of Science and the Department of Politics. He is the author of Descartes’ Metaphysical Physics, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad, and with Michael Ayers, the editor of The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, among other books and articles, and is the co-editor of the Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy.

How Jesus Celebrated Passover: Renaissance Scholars and the Jewish Origins of Christianity

Última Cena Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian. 1494-1498, Last supper, Tempera and oil on plaster, 181 × 346 in.

Professor Anthony Grafton
Wednesday 13 August 2014
6-7:30 pm

The Great Hall
The University of Sydney

In the 14th and 15th centuries, patrons and painters multiplied images of the Last Supper across Europe: images that represented Jesus’s last meal as a Christian event. In the same period, however, Christian scholars also began to wonder what it meant that Jesus had celebrated the Jewish Passover with his disciples. Some tried to recreate the rituals in which the Savior would have taken part. As Christians learned more about Passover and applied their new knowledge to the Last Supper, their vision of that founding event in Christianity shifted in radical ways. This lecture uses multiple forms of evidence to explore that shift - and the wider ways in which early modern scholars and artists recast the story of Christian origins.

Poster (PDF)

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.


Professor Antony Grafton is the Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University. His special interests lie in the cultural history of Renaissance Europe, the history of books and readers, the history of scholarship and education in the West from Antiquity to the 19th century, and the history of science from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Professor Grafton is the author of ten books and the co-author, editor, co-editor, or translator of nine others. Two collections of essays, Defenders of the Text (1991) and Bring Out Your Dead (2001), cover most of the topics and themes that appeal to him. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (1993), the Balzan Prize for History of Humanities (2002), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2003), and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the British Academy. In 2011 he served as President of the American Historical Association.

Professor Grafton's current project is a large-scale study of the science of chronology in 16th- and 17th-century Europe: how scholars attempted to assign dates to past events, reconstruct ancient calendars, and reconcile the Bible with competing accounts of the past. He hopes to reconstruct the complex and dramatic process by which the biblical regime of historical time collapsed, concentrating on the first half of the 17th century.

Reflections on Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith

Professor Tony Aspromourgos
Monday 18 August 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Lounge
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

This lecture will provide an overview of the man and the scope and content of his famous book, followed by five reflections on the significance and meaning of Smith’s thought in relation to: his originality; the character of social science; Smith’s economic theory today; the question of inequality; and policy in relation to theory.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.

tony aspromourgos

Tony Aspromourgos is Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He has published The Science of Wealth: Adam Smith and the Framing of Political Economy (2009). Professor Aspromourgos is also Co-editor of History of Economics Review and Secretary of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought.

Nelson Mandela and My Long Walk to Freedom: the making of a text

My Long Walk to Freedom

Professor Barbara Caine
Monday 28 July 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Foyer
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

Nelson Mandela's best selling autobiography, My Long Walk to Freedom, is a compelling story of struggle, pain and ultimately triumph. But it is also a complex text that was long in the making. As Mandela makes clear, it was a collaborative work from the start, suggested to him and carefully critiqued by friends and fellow prisoners on Robben Island, copied, hidden and smuggled out of prison by others and completed once he was free with the aid of Richard Stengel, later to become managing editor of Time magazine - and probably the most talented ghost writer of all time! Recently Mandela's original 1970s manuscript has been made accessible, showing just how indebted the final work is to Stengel, not just in softening some of his political views, but also in humanisng him. This lecture will explore the making of My Long Walk to Freedom and raise questions both about how it fits in to a longer history of autobiography and about different ways in which one can read it.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.


Barbara Caine AM is Professor of History and Head if the School of Philosphical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney. She has written extensively on biography and History in relation to Britain and South Africa. her most recent work is Biography and History (Palgrave, 2010) and she is currently writing a bistory of autobiography.

The Political Origins of Global Justice


Professor Samuel Moyn
Tuesday 22 July 2014
6-7:30 pm

Law School Foyer
Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

This lecture examines why philosophers in our time consider our social contract a potentially global affair – in a sharp break with the theory of the social contract before. The lecture contends that the invention of the idea and field of "global justice" occurred in reaction to a postcolonial revolt of the global south at the height of its power in history, in the middle of the 1970s, before the world debt crisis and global economic governance of the 1980s.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas and the Laureate Research Program in International History.

Professor Samuel Moyn has taught history at Columbia University since 2001. His most recent book is Human Rights and the Uses of History. He is now at work on the relationship between human rights and global economic transformations.

Painted Women in the Age of Madame de Pompadour

portrait of madame de pompadour

Francois Boucher, French, 1756, Portrait of Madame de Pompadour (1721-1764), Oil on canvas, 83.5 × 64.6 in.

Coffee Lecture
10th June 2014
10.00am Coffee
10.30am-11.30am Lecture

Domain Theatre
Art Gallery of New South Wales

In this lecture, Prof Melissa Hyde considers the role that cosmetics played in the court politics and social identities of women at the court of Versailles. Focusing largely on portraits of the most famous mistresses of Louis XV, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, Hyde will discuss ‘making up’ the face as a symbolic practice. The lecture also considers the historical irony and significance of Madame Du Barry’s eventual refusal of rouge.

For the artists like François-Hubert Drouais and Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who portrayed Pompadour, Du Barry (and Marie-Antoinette after them), the problem of depicting an unpainted, natural face through inherently artificial painterly means presented something of a paradox. This lecture will also look at how artists grappled with that paradox and will demonstrate how the painterly performance of the natural was a perfect vehicle for portraying Du Barry’s own performance as a natural woman.

Co-presented with the Art Gallery Society New South Wales.

Click here for further information.

The Dauphin and His Doubles: Visualizing Royal Imposture after The French Revolution

Portrait of Jean-Marie Hervagault, from Le Faux Dauphin actuellement en France, ou histoire d’un imp

Portrait of Jean-Marie Hervagault, from Le Faux Dauphin actuellement en France, ou histoire d’un imposteur, se disant le dernier fils de Louis XVI (Paris: Lerouge, 1803)

10 June 2014

Law LT 106
Level 1
Sydney Law School Annex
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney

This lecture considers the authenticating agency attributed to images of the dauphin Louis-Charles, the son and heir of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, as they circulated globally in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Louis-Charles died at the age of ten in the Temple prison in 1795, yet rumours soon spread that he had been freed in a secret royalist escape plot and continued to live somewhere, most probably in the French colonies or North America. During the course of the nineteenth century the numerous images of Louis-Charles produced before, during and after the French Revolution were invoked regularly as the primary standard of proof against which to judge the many imposters who subsequently came forward from around the world, accompanied by lurid tales of adventure, to announce themselves the "lost" dauphin.

The appropriation of eighteenth-century images of Louis-Charles by these pretenders, as well as the paintings, prints and photographs they had made of themselves, were, in a rapidly transforming media ecology, closely connected to competing claims about the utility of different media in the production of the French past.

Co-presented with Sydney Ideas.

Richard Taws

Richard Taws teaches eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art, with a particular interest in the visual culture of the French Revolution and its aftermath. He taught previously at McGill University, Canada, and has been a Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (2006-7) and a Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2010). He is a member of the editorial board of Art History and the current recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2013-15).

Richard’s recent research focuses on everyday, ephemeral and obsolete forms of visual culture and related issues to do with time, materiality and value in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His first book, The Politics of the Provisional: Art and Ephemera in Revolutionary France (2013), examines how provisional images and objects made in 1790s France mediated both the Revolution’s memory and its future, with important implications for how citizens became constructed as political subjects.

Philosophy in the Age of Democracy

sydney ideas lecture

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Law School Foyer
Level 2, Sydney Law School
The University of Sydney

Plato notoriously condemned the democratic way of life as the second-to-worst form of life, and he equally notoriously recommends rule by philosophers as the only available cure. This suggests a traditional hostility between philosophy and democracy, with philosophers casting themselves as the would-be overlords of politics and culture. Suspicions of this hostility were re-activated after the Second World War by concerns about barbaric political movements supposedly inspired by philosophical outlooks, and in a diminished form, similar suspicions towards philosophy as of interest only to non-representative “elites” sometimes reemerge in discussions of government funding of the humanities.

For good reasons, we have trouble accepting both Plato’s cure and his image of philosophy. Yet his indictment of democratic life and culture is as pertinent as ever. How then, if it at all, might a refigured practice of philosophy play a central, vital role within a flourishing democratic culture? How does healthy democracy both depend on and inform philosophical education? Furthermore, how might philosophical research into apparently non-practical matters be of general relevance to the community? What benefits might tax-payers expect to flow from public support of philosophical research? In the light of comments made in last year’s federal election campaign about research funding for philosophy projects, a panel of philosophers address different aspects of these pressing questions.

Professor Paul Redding
is ARC DORA Fellow in the department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. He works on the continental idealist tradition in philosophy and its relation to contemporary movements in philosophy. He is the author of Hegel’s Hermeneutics (1996), the Logic of Affect (1999), Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought (2007) and Continental Idealism: Leibniz to Nietzsche (2009).

Professor Richard Eldridge is the Charles and Harriett Cox McDowell Professor of Philosophy, at Swarthmore College, USA. He specialises in aesthetics and theory of criticism, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy and literature, German idealism and Wittgenstein. Recent publications include Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism (Editor with Bernie Rhie, 2011), the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature (editor, 2009) and Literature, Life, and Modernity (2008).

Dr Dalia Nassar (participating chair) is an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. Her areas of research include German romantic and idealist philosophy, history of the idea of nature, environmental philosophy, aesthetics, and theories of interpretation. She recently published The Romantic Absolute: Being and Knowing in Early German Romantic Philosophy 1795-1805 (2013) and is editor of The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays on German Romantic Philosophy (2014).

Verdi: visions and re-visions of Risorgimento music

Verdi by Boldini 1886

Professor Sergio Durante
Monday 17 March 2014

Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Macquarie St

Sponsored by the Putting Periodisation to Use Group.

Prsented as part of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music - 'About Music' lecture series.

The contribution of Giuseppe Verdi's music to the cause of Italian Risorgimento and to the unification process of the country (ca. 1848-1870) has been a matter of controversy among music historians over the past two decades. Some believe in fact that the traditional image of Verdi as 'bard' of Risorgimento is really a later ideological construction. The terms of the problem are re-examined against the background of the broader soundscape of the revolutionary years in Italy, including rare relics of popular music.

Sergio Durante was born in Padua in 1954 and studied music and musicology in Bologna and at Harvard University. He has published extensively on the history of singers and of the singing profession, developing among other things a historical dictionary of Italian vocal terminology (Lessico italiano del canto) which is soon to be published online. After his earlier research on Frescobaldi, Corelli and Tartini, he turned his main focus to Mozart studies with numerous essays devoted to vocal music, opera, oratorio and theory of dramaturgy and music analysis. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Mozart Akademie in Salzburg, and since 2012, a member of the Directorium of the International Musicological Society. He is Professor of music philology at the University of Padua.

Selected publications
Tartini and his Texts (2007); Die Opera seria zu Mozarts Zeit (2007); Studi su Mozart e il Settecento/Studies on Mozart and the 18th Century (2007); Musicological introduction to W.A. Mozart. La clemenza di Tito K. 621. Facsimile of the Autograph Score (2009); The trouble with Betulia (2013).

'Putting periodization to use': reflections on the idea of historical 'periods' in general, and on the 'Baroque' in particular

Monteverdi, Purcell and Bach

Professor Sergio Durante
Wednesday 12 March 2014

Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Room 2174
Macquarie St

Sponsored by the Putting Periodisation to Use Group.

Presented as part of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music - Musicology Colloquium Series.

The paper examines theoretical aspects of music historiography, relating them to the use and meaning of periodization in the context of recent musicological debate as well as in teaching practice. Special attention is given to selected aspects of the ‘baroque’ concept and of its periodization, in the context of music history vis-à-vis other disciplines.

The paper will be followed by drinks and an informal reception. All members of the university community are welcome to attend.

Sergio Durante was born in Padua in 1954 and studied music and musicology in Bologna and at Harvard University. He has published extensively on the history of singers and of the singing profession, developing among other things a historical dictionary of Italian vocal terminology (Lessico italiano del canto) which is soon to be published online. After his earlier research on Frescobaldi, Corelli and Tartini, he turned his main focus to Mozart studies with numerous essays devoted to vocal music, opera, oratorio and theory of dramaturgy and music analysis. Since 2000 he has been a member of the Mozart Akademie in Salzburg, and since 2012, a member of the Directorium of the International Musicological Society. He is Professor of music philology at the University of Padua.

Selected publications
Tartini and his Texts (2007); Die Opera seria zu Mozarts Zeit (2007); Studi su Mozart e il Settecento/Studies on Mozart and the 18th Century (2007); Musicological introduction to W.A. Mozart. La clemenza di Tito K. 621. Facsimile of the Autograph Score (2009); The trouble with Betulia (2013).

So what?

Manfred Frank

Professor Manfred Frank
Wednesday 12 March 2014
6pm Reception
6:30-7:30pm Lecture

University of New South Wales
Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building, Kensington

There is a long-standing prejudice that early romantic philosophy developed in the footsteps of Fichtean foundationalism, and that it was uncritical of the totalitarian seizure of power of subjectivity over Being or Difference allegedly characteristic of J.G. Fichte’s thought. Drawing on the recently developed research method of ‘Constellation Research’, this lecture shows that in fact Early Romanticism was skeptical about foundationalist pretensions, respectful of subjectivity without promoting it into a ‘highest point of philosophy’, ironical with regard to ultimate knowledge claims, ontologically realistic, and in general more modern than so far thought.

Manfred Frank is Emeritus Professor of philosophy at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. His work focuses on early German idealism and romanticism, theories of self-consciousness, hermeneutics, theory of literature, aesthetics, and contemporary French philosophy. Among his many books are What Is Neostructuralism? (1984), the 950-page study of German romanticism Unendliche Annäherung (1997), The Subject and the Text: Essays on Literary Theory and Philosophy (1997), The Boundaries of Agreement (2005) and The Philosophical Foundations of Early German Romanticism (2004).

Looking closely: interpreting Rembrandt's 'The abduction of Ganymede'

The Abduction of Ganymede, 1635

Special lecture by Dr Barbara Gaehtgens

Monday 24 February 2014
2pm Lecture
3pm Refreshments

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain

The abduction of Ganymede 1635 - an early work by Rembrandt van Rijn - has puzzled many generations of Rembrandt scholars.

The painting illustrates the classical Greek myth of the abduction of Ganymede, most beautiful of male mortals, by an eagle-guised Zeus, who desires the beautiful youth as his cup bearer. The theme was not new in art and had been represented by many other artists, including Michelangelo and Peter Paul Rubens. Rembrandt’s representation is unusual, however, in that Ganymede is not a beautiful, ephebic nude but a screaming, urinating toddler, dressed in a linen smock, who is squirming to free himself from the scarf in which the eagle is carrying him.

An independent art historian based in Los Angeles, Dr Barbara Gaehtgens made her mark in art history with her book titled Deutscher Kunstverlag (1987) about Adriaen van der Werff, a painter who is little known today but in his time was among the most famous Dutch artists in Europe. She has also written numerous book essays and articles on Dutch, German and French art, in addition to editing a book on genre painting and co-authoring a book on the 19th-century German painter Max Liebermann. Her special interest is the relation between art and politics, and her talk on Rembrandt’s Ganymede will demonstrate that this strange painting may have a political significance.

The lecture is presented in association with the Undoing the Ancient research group at the Sydney Intellectual History Network.