The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.01260  Thursday, 20 January 2000.

From:           R.G. Siemens <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 19 Jan 2000 20:48:34 -0800
Subject:        Workshop Announcement: INSTITUTIONAL READINGS

 [please excuse x-posting; please redistribute]


Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
University of British Columbia
March 9-11, 2000


Should the university target an elite student population?  Should the
Humanities curriculum, especially at the undergraduate level, attempt to
foster knowledge of what has been called the Western Tradition, or
should it introduce students to a wide range of cultural traditions-even
if it means slighting canonical Western figures?  How might we begin to
reconcile opposing arguments of those who advocate interdisciplinarity
in graduate teaching and scholarship with those who view such work as
partly or altogether "undisciplined"?  How should scholars share the
credit for collaborative work?  To what degree might graduate research
assistants be entitled to a share of the credit for projects with which
they have been involved? Should we integrate or endeavor to keep apart
the traditional activities of the school and the operations of the
commercial sphere?

Institutional Readings is a workshop, to be held at the Peter Wall
Institute for Advanced Studies (9-11 March 2000), where ideas will be
exchanged about how knowledge of the past could contribute fruitfully to
present debates within the university and about how awareness of the
institutional conditions of scholarship could help to improve scholarly
practices. The meeting will bring a group of Renaissance scholars
together with a number of experts on the modern university in order to
study the interrelationship between early modem European culture and the
institutional culture of the modem academy.

The goal of Institutional Readings is threefold:

- to consider how the environment of the university has influenced
scholarly accounts of Renaissance literature, history, and society;

- to investigate the origins of academic culture, with special emphasis
on Renaissance innovations such as the expansion of market relations,
the rise of vernacular literatures, the tendency toward disciplinary
specialization, the formation of the modem idea of authorship, and the
literature of proto-feminism;

- and to discuss how we might develop a more complete long historical
view of the university, one that would no doubt involve study of other
historical periods and other academic areas such as Science, Medicine,
and Education. We will ask all participants to consider how the
knowledge of the past could help us make the future university a better
place for teaching, learning, and doing scholarship.

Since one of the purposes of the workshop is to outline a cultural
history of the academy with a special focus on the Renaissance, our
focus will not be the history of the university per se. Rather than
seeking to compare sixteenth-century Cambridge University with its
present-day counterpart or with the American university in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, we are inviting participants to elaborate a broader
account of the relationship between some element of early modern culture
in toto and the institution of the modern university.

For further information, please explore the workshop's website, at


or contact the organizers, Paul Yachnin and Nancy Frelick, at the
addresses below.

Paul Yachnin
Department of English
397 - 1873 East Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC.  V6T 1Z1
Ph: (604) 822-4226
Fax: (604) 822-6909
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Nancy Frelick
Department of French, Italian, and Hispanic Studies / Comparative
797 - 1873 East Mall
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC.  V6T 1Z1
Ph: (604) 822-2365
Fax: (604) 822-6675
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