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Istanbul Harper Lecture: Getting Lost in the Renaissance: The Geography of Urban Disorientation
Includes program and refreshments 7:00–7:45 p.m. Registration and reception 7:45–9:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion

Cost: Free
Registration Required: Click Here to Register

A merchant in 14th-century Naples relieves himself at night in an alley, a wood carver in 15th-century Florence ignores a dinner invitation, the poet Petrarch arrives in Rome for the first time, and a Roman servant returning to his native city can't remember where his mistress's palace used to be. What do these characters have in common? They are all hopelessly lost. Premodern city dwellers constructed their sense of self by linking their fates to the people and structures with which they lived. But what if they found themselves in unknown territory or discovered that the streets they thought they knew had become a series of alien encounters? Contrary to prevailing assumptions about the emergence of the modern individual as a self-made entity, these episodes reveal just how unstable one's identity was and how difficult it was to "know thyself." Atkinson will explore the relationship between familiar and unfamiliar urban spaces in the Renaissance and what this can tell us about how we can participate in the construction of modern cities and make them meaningful to our everyday lives.

Niall Atkinson is the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Art History and the College. His research has focused on the urban experience of the Renaissance city. He just completed a book manuscript on the soundscapes of Renaissance Florence. His current research explores the more immersive sensorial perception of the urban environment, which has led him to study travel writing and personal descriptions of foreign territories, cities, and monuments by travellers in the premodern Mediterranean world.

Watch Niall Atkinson’s lecture at Humanities Day 2012: Digital Humanities Forum

Listen to a lecture by Niall Atkinson on urban experience in the Italian Renaissance at the Franke Institute

Read about the conference, Digital Mapping and Techniques of Visualizing the Pre-modern Italian City

Event Contact
Kelly Doody

Staff Liaison
Renee Finnell


Event Information
Tuesday, Apr 8 2014 at 7:00pm - 9:30pm [ iCal ]

Istanbul, Turkey