Program Events

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Spring 2023

March 24, 2023, 10:00am, Online event

Jewish Politics in Spinoza's Amsterdam

Join us for a conversation between Anne O. Albert (UPenn) and Alexander Kaye (Brandeis) on Anne O. Albert, Jewish Politics in Spinoza's Amsterdam (Littman, 2023)

How did Amsterdam Jews come to think of their community as a theopolitical commonwealth in the age of Spinoza and Sabbatianism?

Anne Oravetz Albert is the Klatt Family Director for Public Programs at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and executive editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review. Her research focuses on early modern Jewish cultural and religious history, political thought, and historiography. She is the author of Jewish Politics in Spinoza's  Amsterdam (2023) and coeditor of Frontiers of Jewish Scholarship: Expanding Origins, Transcending Borders (2022).

Alexander Kaye is Karl, Harry, and Helen Stoll Associate Professor of Israel Studies at Brandeis University. His work explores political thought, the history of law, and theories of Jewish modernity, with a particular focus on the relation between law, religion and politics in Israel and the history of religious Zionism. He is the author The Invention of Jewish Theocracy (2020) and coeditor of The Faith
of Fallen Jews: Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi and the Writing of Jewish History (2013).

Full event flier here


Co-sponsored with the Center for Jewish Studies


March 24, 2023, 4:30pm, Art History lounge, room 3408

LYING-IN-STATE: Contradicting Constructions of Louis XIV's Sodomite Brother, Philippe
Featured speaker: Domna C. Stanton, Distinguished Professor of French

Please join us in person for the first in a new series of works-in-progress talks by faculty and students in the Global Early Modern Studies certificate program. Professor Domna Stanton will present a chapter from her current book project, The Nation and Its Others: France and Frenchness in the Age of Louis XIV, followed by a discussion and reception.



Fall 2022

November 17, 2022, 5:00pm, room 3408 
Open House/Happy Hour: Global Early Modern Studies and Medieval Studies Certificate Programs 

The Global Early Modern Studies and Medieval Studies certificate programs invite students and faculty to a fall open house. All are welcome, including students currently enrolled in the certificate programs, prospective students, and anyone with an interest in medieval and early modern studies. 

Join coordinators Amanda Wunder and Sara McDougall for an informal and friendly meeting and libation. 

Spring 2022

March 15, 2022, 5:00 p.m.
Portuguese Converso Paths Between Italy and Brazil
Speaker: James Nelson Novoa (University of Ottawa)

Prof. Novoa will introduce interconnected stories or histories which brought together the Italian world and early colonial Brazil. Drawing upon archival research, this talk will discuss examples of how members of the Portuguese converso diaspora crisscrossed the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds creating family ties and commercial networks, carrying products and information between Brazil and the Italian peninsula.

Introductory remarks by José Miguel Martínez Torrejón

Register to attend this Zoom event at

Sponsored by The Center for Portuguese Studies at Queens College. Co-sponsored by The Certificate Program in Global Early Modern Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY and The Ph.D. Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures

May 3, 2022, 5:00pm
“Games Premodern Adventures”

Four people sitting around a table

Join us on Zoom for a roundtable discussion hosted by the Medieval Studies Certificate Program and the Henri Peyre Institute, co-sponsored by the GEMS Certificate Program and the Pearl Kibre graduate student medievalists.

Register here:

“Chasing the Good Ending: Modeling Interactive Fiction in the Classroom with La Fille du comte de ponthieu”

Kay Healy is a second-year student in the French PhD program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Kay received their B.A. in Politics from Marymount University with minors in French, International Studies, and Gender Studies. Their undergraduate thesis, “Thinking in Epigrams: Wicked and Western Political Philosophy” was awarded departmental honors and their undergraduate sociological study, “Tactical Submission in Lean In For Graduates,” was published in Magnificat, winning them the Robert Reed Prize for nonfiction writing. They presented “Tactical Submission” as part of a panel on pop feminism at the Virginia Association of Communication Arts and Studies’ 2018 conference and also served as a panel moderator at the 2018 World Affairs Council of America national conference. In 2019 they worked with the Embassy Adoption Program in Washington, D.C. to promote cultural exchange in elementary school classrooms, partnering with over 80 embassies. Their current research at the Graduate Center highlights theatre, interactive fiction, and art as propaganda and moral education.

“Early Modern Roleplaying Games and Performance”

Erika T. Lin is an Associate Professor in the Ph.D. Program in Theatre and Performance at the Graduate Center, CUNY. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Materiality of Performance, which received the 2013 David Bevington Award for Best New Book in Early Drama Studies. With Gina Bloom and Tom Bishop, she edited the essay collection Games and Theatre in Shakespeare’s England (2021), supported in part by a fellowship from the American Society for Theatre Research. Her prize-winning articles have appeared in Theatre Journal, New Theatre Quarterly, and elsewhere. She is now writing a book on seasonal festivities and early modern commercial theatre, a project recognized by various honors and grants including an Andrew W. Mellon Long-Term Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She recently served as the Book Review Editor of Theatre Survey and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America, for whom she continues as the Board representative to the Bylaws Committee.

“Choose Your Own Arthur: Making Canon Interactive in Pendragon Rising”

Rebecca Slitt holds a PhD in medieval history from Fordham University and taught at the university level for eight years. Her academic research and publications focused on aristocratic and literary culture in 12th-century Britain and Normandy, including political friendship, tournaments, queenship, and historiography. Now, she is a partner, editor, and author for Choice of Games, a publisher of interactive fiction in all genres; and its spinoff romance label Heart’s Choice. She has drawn on her background in medieval history to edit Choice of Games titles such as Pendragon Rising and the Nebula-finalist Road to Canterbury; and as a contributing writer for tabletop roleplaying games such as Timewatch, Geist, and Noirlandia.

Co-sponsored by Henry Peyre Institute, The Certificate Program in Global Early Modern Studies, and the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study

May 4, 2022 and May 6, 2022
2-day Virtual Visit by Zoltán Biedermann (University College London

How might the term ‘global’ deepen engagement with Renaissance and Early Modern? Animated by this question, the GEMS faculty and students have invited the noted early-modern scholar, Zoltán Biedermann. Join us in welcoming but also thinking with Professor Biedermann over two lectures as he explores the possibilities and limits of early modern global and Atlantic History.


May 4, 2022, 3:30pm-5:30pm
“Is there a Global Early Modern and Does It Matter?”

May 6, 2022, 3:30pm-5:30pm
Rethinking the Foundations of the Atlantic World: How Indigenous Diplomacy Shaped Early Iberian Expansion

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Sponsored by the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, The Program in Global Early Modern Studies, and The Ph.D. Program in History.















Fall 2021

Gems Sept 24 Event Flyer

September 24, 2021, 5:00pm 
"The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender before Modernity"? 
Speaker: Leah DeVun (Rutgers University)

This talk explores ideas and individuals who allegedly combined or crossed sex or gender categories in Europe from 200–1400 C.E.. Focusing on several efforts to categorize sex in medical and naturalist contexts, DeVun looks at how and why efforts to define “the human” so often hinged on ideas about nonbinary sex. In a moment when questions about sex, gender, and identity have become incredibly urgent, this talk casts new light on a complex and often contradictory past. It examines how premodern thinkers contributed to a system of sex and embodiment that both anticipates and challenges modern beliefs about what it means to be male, female—and human. 

Register at to receive access to the Zoom event. 

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Certificate Program, co-sponsored by the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study, the Medieval Club of New York, Global Early Modern Studies, and the Center for the Study of Women and Society. 


Falconry flyer

October 21, 2021, 6:30pm 
"A History of Medieval Falconry in the 21st Century"
Featured speaker: Professor Anna Akasoy 

Register to access this online event

Sponsored by the Certificate Programs in Global Early Modern Studies and Medieval Studies




GEMS Nov 11 Event Flyer

November 11, 2021, 6:30pm 
"Montaigne in Pascal: From Citation to Versioning"
Featured speaker: Professor Erec R. Koch

Register to access this online event

Sponsored by the Certificate Program in Global Early Modern Studies and the Ph.D. Program in French