The University of Arizona

2013 Town and Gown Lecture and Reception

Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences and Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, will speak on "The 'People Who Believe in Nothing:' Intolerable Thoughts in Late Renaissance Italy."

During the 17th century the Republic of Venice and its satellite university town of Padua remained a relatively free-thinking island in the Catholic world. Due to the intermingling of ideas from Catholic skeptics, Jewish philosophers, and various heterodox foreigners, who constituted what was perhaps the most diverse population in Western Europe, Venice was unusually cosmopolitan. Padua was the only university in Italy where Protestants and Jews could actually study alongside Catholics despite the Council of Trent's prohibition of non-Catholics taking degrees. Venice had the largest publishing industry in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. Especially after the epic confrontation between Venice and Rome when Pope Paul V placed the Republic under Interdict (1606-1607), the Republic tolerated and sometimes even encouraged unconventional religious speculation and rabid anti-papal polemics.

Muir is an acclaimed scholar of Italian social and cultural history of the Renaissance. A past president of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, he is currently the president of the Renaissance Society of America. Among his many distinctions, he has been recognized with Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, and he has been a fellow at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, the Institute for Advanced Study, the National Humanities Center, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Newberry Library.  He has edited three volumes of translated essays from the prominent Italian historical journal Quaderni Storici, is a general editor of the book series "Palgrave Early Modern History: Culture and Society," and is the series editor of the "I Tatti Italian Renaissance History" monograph series with Harvard University Press. He has served on the Board of Editors of The American Historical Review and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Muir is the author of "Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice," winner of both the Herbert Baxter Adams and Howard R. Marraro Prizes; "Mad Blood Stirring: Vendetta and Factions in Friuli during the Renaissance," which also won the Marraro Prize; "Ritual in Early Modern Europe;" and "The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera." He is the coauthor of the textbook "The West: Encounters and Transformations," and is currently writing "The Fragile Sinews of Trust: The Italian Renaissance, 1350-1650." In 2010 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in 2011 was elected a member of the Academia Europaea.

March 6, 2013   7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Audience Size: 
Large (101-500)


Main Campus
School of Music, Holsclaw Hall
Tucson, AZ
United States

Contact Info & Links

Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies
Contact Person: 
Luise Betterton
Contact's Phone: 
Contact's Email: 

Ongoing Events

Exhibit - 'Curtis Reframed: The Arizona Volumes'
Docent Guided and Self-Guided Tours at UAMA
Spring Recess
Arizona Asian American Association's 20th Arizona Asian Festival
Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection
Intramural Sports Registration Opens - Season C
Intramural Sports Registration Opens - Season D
Southwest Indian Art Fair
Exhibit - 'Eva Struble: Produce'
Conference - Research Frontiers in Nutritional Sciences
Career Services Workshop - 'The Edge: Getting You Real-World Ready'
Hepatitis C Clinic
'The Full Monty'
'A Little Night Music'
Symposium - 'Queer Migrations: Homeland Insecurities, Violence and Belonging'
Exhibit - 'The Documented Border'
In Search of the Sacred: The Art of Mexico’s Indigenous Mountain Cultures
Photo ID: Portraits By Native Youth
Regarding Curtis: Contemporary Indian Artists Respond to the Imagery of Edward S. Curtis
Writing Fiction That Sells
Effective and Engaged: Mindful Meditation to Strengthen Focus and Tame Stress
Exhibit - 'The Magical Abstract World of Henry Koffler'
Bisbee Film Festival: 'One People One Planet'
Fundamentals of Project Management Course
'TED Talk Training: Engage and Inspire Audiences' Course
ASUA Early Voting Polling Site
International Education Week 2014: Nov. 17-21
Exhibit - 'Picking Up the Pieces: Artifacts From the Migrants' Journey'
Sixth International Tucson Guitar Festival
12th Annual International Symposium on Functional Rice Genomics
Exhibit - UA School of Art Fall 2014 BFA