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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Dr Ita Mac Carthy

Mac Carthy, Ita (2013). Renaissance Keywords. Oxford: Legenda.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Certain words played a crucial role in the making of the European Renaissance, and still recur today in our shifting understanding of it. Discretion and grace, to take two examples studied here, express how individuals thought about themselves, each other and their experience of the world, yet they are as hard to define as they are ever-present in Renaissance discourse. In this collection of essays, scholars from across the Humanities offer new interpretations of these and other 'keywords', to adopt Raymond Williams's term, and investigate the vocabulary that not only accompanied, but also produced, the cultural transformations that made the Renaissance so distinctive.
A keywords approach to Renaissance Europe provides a rich contextual framework for the exploration of its central ideas. It also highlights the need for fresh thinking on current histories of the age. Renaissance Keywords engages with the ongoing debate about the term 'Renaissance' itself, perhaps more our keyword than theirs, and seeks alternative ways to understand a culture and society which produced conceptions of the self as much as it did art and science. The result is an exploration at the cutting edge of contemporary research.