Ritual and Ceremony from Late-Medieval Europe to Early America (NEH Summer Institute)

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For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

This was a summer 2010 seminar directed by Claire Sponsler, Professor of English at the University of Iowa, and hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. For more information about current summer seminars, please visit the National Endowment for the Humanities website. The distinguished international faculty included Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford), Lawrence M. Bryant (California State University, Chico), Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), Gail McMurray Gibson (Davidson College), Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia), Roslyn L. Knutson (University of Arkansas, Little Rock), Joseph Roach (Yale University), Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly (Exeter College, Oxford), Michael Wintroub (University of California Berkeley), and Barbara Wisch (SUNY Cortland).

This seminar offered a comparative study of ritual and ceremony across related cultures from 1300 to 1700. It built on anthropological theories of the ubiquitous role of ritual and ceremony and the impact of that work in performance studies. Testing assumptions about influence and exchange among national traditions and local contexts, it sought a new understanding of the processes and effects of cultural hybridity and assimilation.