Tag Archives: Kenneth R. Bartlett

  • Shared Values: A Partnership between UTP and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

    upweek2016_LogoSmallToday marks the start of University Press Week. The goal this week is to highlight the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society. In 2016, our theme is "Celebrate Community," which is meant to include a range from academic or campus communities, to communities of readers across North America, to the very geographically-based communities in which we are based. To kick off the discussion as part of the UP Week Blog Tour, our history editor, Natalie Fingerhut, offers the following thoughts on how the Higher Education Division of University of Toronto Press has found a role for its authors in a like-minded community of seniors in downtown Toronto who are eager to learn more about why history matters.

    Besides being the acquisitions editor in the Higher Education Division of University of Toronto Press, I also sit on the Board of Directors at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNJcc) in downtown Toronto.

    Several years ago, I helped conduct a needs assessment of the MNJcc’s “Active 55 Plus” demographic. I asked them: “What kind of programming do you want the Jcc to provide to you?” These are the answers I received:

    “We want stimulating lectures!”

    “We want history and politics and current events and book clubs!”

    “We want to learn. Just because we are in our 70s doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything new!”

    “Our bodies may hurt, but our minds are intact!”

    “We are lonely. We want to be with people learning!”

    I kept their voices in my head.

    In the fall of 2015, I collaborated with Lisa Roy, the dynamic programmer for our Active 55 Plus group, to launch a new series called “Why History Matters Today.” The series features authors I have published through University of Toronto Press. They come to the Jcc and lecture on historical events that remain relevant today.

    HistoryMatters_flyer_v3_Oct26Our first lecture in fall 2015 attracted about 80 people. It featured Steven Bednarski, a professor of medieval history at the University of Waterloo, who spoke about the relationship between climate change, the plague, and medieval anti-semitism. Next was award-winning Renaissance lecturer Kenneth R. Bartlett from the University of Toronto who spoke on Andrea Palladio and Palladianism, demonstrating to listeners Palladio’s influence on Venetian villas as well as on Toronto condos. The final lecture of fall 2015 was a Canadian Jewish historian, Professor Franklin Bialystok from the University of Toronto, who spoke about the history of the Jews of Canada.

    At all lectures, the audiences were alive with questions and curiosity. The “Question and Answer” periods went into overtime. Project evaluations were all 10 out of 10.

    The following spring, we had Trent University’s Dimitry Anastakis, who energetically dispelled the common perception that Canadian history is boring. Professor Harold Troper from the University of Toronto shared his vast knowledge of a shameful event in Canadian history, the participation of Canadian athletes in the Munich Olympic Games.

    This past September, we welcomed back Kenneth R. Bartlett and Franklin Bialystok and asked them to focus on the theme of historical demise. Kenneth spoke about the demise of Renaissance Florence at the hands of a fiery populist preacher, Savonarola, and warned the audience that we were facing another fiery populist south of the border. Frank took on the contentious and emotional issue of the demise of one of Canada’s major Jewish organizations, the Canadian Jewish Congress.

    After every lecture, people came up to thank me for helping to put this series together.

    “Well,” I said. “I think history is important. It is a good teacher for anyone at any age.”

    This belief in the value of history as a teacher is both my motivation for being a history editor and for engaging the Active 55 Plus group at the Jcc. As Steven Bednarski said in his inaugural lecture, it’s not that historians believe that if we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it. It’s more that history can help us predict outcomes: climate change leads to disease which results in scapegoating, and often scapegoating minorities.

    History is also a warning bell. Kenneth R. Bartlett, in his lecture on Savonarola, outlined a list of factors that contributed to the rise of a religious populist—some of which contributed to Trump’s recent victory. History can also dispel popularly held beliefs about the past. Franklin Bialystok, for example, implored the largely Jewish audience to know their stories better to understand that Canadian Jewish history is not simply about anti-semitism, but rather a proud history of contribution and accomplishment.

    I believe that knowing one’s past makes us more caring, more curious, and more critical citizens of today. And no one is too old to be caring, curious, or critical!

    The “Why History Matters Today” series at the MNJcc is an example of two organizations sharing the same values and then working together to put those values into action. The Higher Education Division at University of Toronto Press believes in sharing knowledge by publishing accessible books for generations of students. The MNJcc believes in providing accessible programming for older generations. Together, these two communities have joined forces to provide accessible programming devoted to the sharing of knowledge.

    Natalie Fingerhut
    History Editor, Higher Education Division

    For more great content during University Press Week, follow the hashtag #UPWeek on Twitter. And don't forget to check out other stops on today's UP Blog Tour, including Fordham University Press, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Athabasca University Press, and the University Press of Florida

  • The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe

    To mark the publication of The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe, editor Margaret McGlynn provides some background on the Reformation, as well as the principles that guided the editing of this fantastic new collection. 

    The Reformation was not an event that happened in 1517, when Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, but a process. 1517 marked a pivotal moment in that process, but it was a moment that was possible because reformers had been calling for change in a number of different ways, because humanists had been altering the way that theologians and scholars and laymen could interact with the Bible, and because the printing press allowed new ideas to travel more quickly than ever before. There was no way of knowing what Luther’s revelation might lead to but it proved to be the opening blast in an astonishing eruption of new ideas: calls for change in church, state, and community which would set Europe ablaze in the century that followed.

    The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern EuropeThough we can study the Reformation primarily as a religious event, The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe also encourages readers to consider its reverberations through European society. In his declaration of the importance of sola scriptura, Luther unwittingly laid the groundwork for questioning all other forms of authority and his followers quickly, and often to his frustration, pursued all the possible implications of his dictum. The Bible was used as justification for peasants to revolt against their masters, for lords to kill peasants, for new forms of church organization and social organization, for women to claim a new role in the church and for men to deny it to them. Those who found themselves living in the brave new world of a disunited Christendom faced many more choices than ever before as they sought to re-structure their societies.

    In the midst of new problems and new opportunities most people continued to grapple with age-old problems: the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children; the desire for wealth and the fear of poverty; the sadness of death and the hope of salvation. Few, however, remained untouched by the vast and sweeping changes of the period, and the texts in The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe allow the reader to see the various interconnections between the new approaches to learning and teaching expounded by the humanists, the new approaches to religious and social life propounded by the reformers, and the new societies imagined and created by men and women of all creeds and stations. Some big themes run through the entire collection, such as legitimate forms of authority and the nature of obedience, but there are lots of sub-themes to explore: the hierarchical structures of society, the role of history in understanding the present, the ways in which knowledge is transmitted and absorbed, the value of experience over book-learning, and the proper—and improper—relations between men and women, masters and servants. And all of these are in the voices of the people who lived through this process, who theorized and argued, recalled and explained, dreamed and imagined. Their views are not tidy or clear cut and certainly not consistent—they were figuring things out as they went along, just like we do today. But the views are authentic: each invites us to consider a slice of a real life and someone else’s experience, belief, hope, fear, or plan.

    The first half of our collection is laid out in roughly chronological order while the second half is more thematic. Some of the texts here will be familiar to instructors—a course on the Northern Renaissance and Reformation must have Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and Loyola and will probably have Montaigne, Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Rabelais, but beyond the core there are always options. We wanted a variety of geographical perspectives so we included Conrad Celtis and Juan Luis Vives, both of whom are clearly in the same tradition of Northern humanism as Erasmus but who bring very different perspectives on the reform of both the church and the state. When Celtis declares that Italians and Germans “would never have been restrained from mutual slaughter if provident nature had not separated us by the Alps and by cliffs raised up to the stars” he gives us a whole new perspective on both the transmission of Italian humanism to the north and the kinds of emotions that would feed into the Reformation.

    We wanted to explore the role of women in the early Reformation so we turned to Katherine Zell, Argula von Grumbach, and Anne Askew to see how women from different places and social contexts interpreted their own role in the Reformation and its implications for them. Zell declared herself “a church mother, a nurturer of the pulpit and school,” packaging a radical claim in a traditional female box, while Argula von Grumbach asked “Which doctor has made a greater vow in baptism than I have? Which pope, or emperor, or prince?” and Anne Askew affirmed that “those Scriptures that Christ has left here with us are sufficient for our learning and salvation so that I believe we need no unwritten truths to rule his church with.” Their views reflect the attitudes of the male Reformers but also raise questions about the role of women in the new church and how that might affect attitudes to and of women in other contexts, from Marguerite de Navarre to John Knox to Elizabeth I.

    We also wanted to explore the importance of economic turmoil and the numerous ways in which it appears in the sources all across Europe, from the articles of the Swabian peasants, which claimed that according to Scripture “we are and will be free” to Fish’s “Supplication” berating the clergy who divert alms from the needy whose “number is daily so sore increased that all the alms of all well-disposed people of this your realm is not half enough for to sustain them,” to the proposals for social assistance put forward by Vives, since “in the state the weak may not be neglected without danger to the strong” and the radical suggestions for the reform of criminal law voiced by More’s Raphael Hythloday. Even the explorers who went both east and west were looking for markets in which to sell the products of their workers as well as markets from which to buy the wonders of the East.

    Some of the texts were edited or modernized for this edition to provide voices that often are not heard. William Caxton, for example, lets us hear the musings of an early printer on what he can sell and to whom—not to a “rude uplandish man to labour therein nor to read it, but only for a clerk and a noble gentleman that experiences and understands feats of arms, love and noble chivalry”—taking us inside the business of printing at the very beginning. In contrast, Cervantes gives us a sense of a reading public—and one with clear expectations—in the early seventeenth century. The N-Town Mary and Joseph play gives us a vivid glimpse of what medieval people imagined had happened when the neighbours discovered that Mary “made a vow never to lie with a man, but to live a chaste and clean virgin. How ever it be, her womb does swell and is as great as yours or mine!” This unusual approach to the holy family interacts nicely with the sources on family, gender, and hierarchy as well as the concerns of both the reformers and the reformed. John Shute lets us see the early transmission of Italian ideas on architecture to England while Thomas Elyot helps us understand how, to a humanist, everything, even dance, could be humanism.

    Each text comes with a brief introduction, just enough to provide context rather than interpretation, and each text is short enough to be assigned in combination but long enough to give a real sense of the author and the issues it presents. We have taught with some of these sources for close to twenty years. Over that time we’ve re-worked the selections to interact in as many different ways as we could, not just to provide us with a variety of ways to present the culture and the cadence of the period but to also give our students as wide a range of jumping-off spots for their own interests as possible. We hope you’ll find that the sources are rich enough to be mixed and matched in whatever ways suit your style and interests and that you have as much fun teaching with them as we’ve had.

    Margaret McGlynn is Associate Professor of History at Western University in London, Ontario.

    Note: If you are an instructor and would like to consider The Renaissance and Reformation in Northern Europe for an upcoming course, please email requests@utphighereducation.com to request an examination copy.

  • In Memory of Thomas F. Mayer

    It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our authors, Thomas F. Mayer, Professor Emeritus of History at Augustana College. Below, we have posted a few words written by his friend and colleague, Kenneth R. Bartlett. You can also read more about his teaching and scholarship on the Augustana College website.

    The Trial of GalileoTom Mayer’s death has silenced one of the most authoritative and articulate voices in Early Modern Studies. Tom’s work at the beginning of his career focused on the role of humanism at the court of Henry VIII, producing a definitive volume on Thomas Starkey in 1989 as well as a new edition of A Dialogue Between Pole and Lupset. This interest in Reginald Pole led to a series of profound studies of Mary I’s archbishop, culminating in his Reginald Pole, Prince and Prophet in 2000, as well as important work on Pole’s correspondence and manuscripts. From there, Tom shifted naturally and seamlessly into his several studies of the institution of the Roman Church: its operation, personnel, structure and mission in the 16th and 17th centuries. In particular, he became interested in the operation of the Roman Inquisition, producing The Trial of Galileo, 1612-1633 in 2012 and, soon after, his monumental The Roman Inquisition:  A Papal Bureaucracy and Its Laws in the Age of Galileo. He had just completed the manuscript of his subsequent volume on the Inquisition at the time of his death; it will appear posthumously.

    This catalogue of Tom Mayer’s extensive and brilliant scholarship does not do sufficient justice to the man or the scholar. His work has always been characterized by exhaustive archival research, probing questions and fearless conclusions. His papers at conferences were always eagerly anticipated because of their new insights and cogent, pointed positions. Many of these papers later became journal articles, adding to the already remarkable testimony to the life work of a dedicated and incisive historian. The community of scholars in our field will keenly feel Tom’s loss but rejoice in the work he left behind. Thomas Mayer, Ave atque vale.

    Kenneth Bartlett, Victoria College
    University of Toronto

  • The Year of the Viking in Kalamazoo, Michigan

    We came. We saw. We conquered Kzoo.

    This year’s International Congress on Medieval Studies began with boxes and boxes full of The Vikings and Their Age (the first book in our new Companions to Medieval Studies series), and we are now safely on the Ontario side of the border without a single copy left.

    Additionally, in the first 24 hours of the conference, all copies of Medieval Medicine: A Reader were in the hands of professors eager to create new courses around it. Thomas F. Mayer’s new primary source reader, The Trial of Galileo, followed suit. (Kelly DeVries, author of our Medieval Military Technology overview, came by to rave about how well Mayer’s reader worked in his recent first-year course.)

    Despite being slightly out-of-place at a Medieval Studies conference, Kenneth R. Bartlett’s reader and overview for courses on the Italian Renaissance were greeted with shouts of: “These are the perfect books for my fall course on the Renaissance!”

    Also at the UTP booth, Suzanne Rancourt’s books leapt into the hands of medievalists eager to read them—especially Traditional Subjectivities by Britt Mize and The Ends of the Body and Seeing Through the Veil by Suzanne Conklin Akbari.

    But the big hit—the topic of conversation that permeated the congested aisles of the Book Exhibit Hall—was not a book but a bag. Our UTP Viking bag was on everyone’s must-have list and we promptly sold our entire inventory. There was an outpouring of admiration for the artwork on the bag (created by brilliant illustrator Britt Wilson), and in this, the Year of the Viking, we were pleased to see our bags marching across the Western Michigan campus all weekend, stuffed with books.

    Celebrating 19 years of attendance at Kalamazoo, Suzanne once again was the centre of attention as her authors paraded into the booth to chat. Leslie Lockett, Britt Mize, Lisi Oliver, and Nicole Marafioti all came by to thank Suzanne for her hard work on their projects.

    The Higher Ed group was busy with its own fan club. Paul Dutton, our series editor and one of the pillars of our medieval list, stopped by to meet with Natalie Fingerhut about future projects (hint: medieval warfare) as did Michael Burger, whose Shaping of Western Civilization is set to make its Kzoo debut next year (along with new editions of our market-leading A Short History of Middle Ages and Reading the Middle Ages).

    On the last morning, the line outside the booth grew quickly with medievalists buying up the last of our books, and we witnessed a friendly battle between two Viking specialists, each claiming ownership of the very last copy of The Viking Age: A Reader.

    Other notable highlights of the weekend included a medieval smelting demo near the pond outside the Exhibit Hall where the Canadian Geese watched in horror, as well as a new joke:

    How do scholars know that Beowulf was never married?
    Because everyone knows that Beowulf's impossible to date.

    And so, from our offices in Toronto and Guelph, we can safely say that UTP rocked the Zoo. We can’t wait until next year’s conference, when we will have many new books and accomplishments and anniversaries to celebrate, Kalamazoo-style!

    -Team Zoo, University of Toronto Press

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