The next NERC will be held on Saturday, November 16th, 2013, at the Mandel Center for the Humanities, Brandeis University, Waltham MA.

The theme is Thresholds of Faith and Fantasy: Spiritual Journeys and Real Spaces. 

Pre-registration is requested by November 8, 2013: Faculty and Professionals $10 registration fee to be paid at door; students and Brandeis affiliates free

To register: send e-mail to

For venue/ campus directions, see:

For map and directions to Brandeis, see (Map U9, with parking in tower lot immediately after):


9:15-10:00  (lower lobby and atrium)
Participant welcome, registration with continental breakfast

10:00 — 12:15  (auditorium G-3)

Opening remarks: Jonathan Unglaub, Chair of Fine Arts, Brandeis University

Morning Session:  Body and Spirit in Counter-Reformation Rome

Moderator: Pamela Jones, Professor of Art, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Ramie Targoff, Professor of English and Director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities, Brandeis University
Vittoria Colonna: A Life in Letters

Kenneth Gouwens, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut
The Tactile Beauty of Vittoria Colonna in Paolo Giovio’s Notable Men and Women

Oliver Tostmann, William and Lia Poorvu Curator of the Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Michelangelo’s Pietà for Vittoria Colonna and Sculptor’s Drawings in the Renaissance

12:15-1:15    Lunch (atrium)

1:15 — 3:15   (auditorium)

Afternoon Session: Sacred and Profane Geographies

Moderator: Michael Randall, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Brandeis University

Nadja Aksamija, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Wesleyan University
Landscape, Mapping and Reform in Gregory XIII’s Sala Bologna 

Tom Conley, Abbot Lawrence Lowell Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies
and of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University
A Roman Holiday: Du Bellay’s Cartography of Exile

Jodi Cranston, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Boston University
Venice’s Floating Arcadia

3:15-3:45   Coffee break (lower lobby)

3:45-5:00  (auditorium) 

Keynote address:

Leonard Barkan, Class of 1943 University Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature, Princeton University
From Image to Language: Three Vignettes of Work in Transition

5:00-7:00  (atrium)

Reception integrated with concert:

One Little Room an Everywhere: Voyages of Discovery in a Small Chamber
A one-hour interactive program with wine and refreshment, capping a full day of scholarly discovery

Nota Bene viol consort
Joanna Blendulf
Wendy Gillespie
Sarah Mead
Emily Walhout
w/ guest  Jason McStoots, tenor

The New England Renaissance Conference at Brandeis University is generously sponsored by:

  • A programing grant from the Mandel Center for the Humanities
  • The Poses Grants for the Arts, administered through the Dean of Arts and Sciences
  • The Nota Bene concert and residency is funded by the Brandeis Arts Council