You are here: Home / IJsewijn Lecture & Laboratorium

IJsewijn Lecture & Laboratorium

The Seminarium Philologiae Humanisticae organizes the new IJsewijn Lecture & Laboratorium. This initiative revives the annual Jozef IJsewijn Lecture in a novel format, but preserving some classical ingredients.

As of 2023, the Seminarium Philologiae Humanisticae organizes the annual IJsewijn Lecture & Laboratorium. This initiative revives the annual Jozef IJsewijn Lecture in a novel format, but preserving some classical ingredients.

2nd IJsewijn Lecture & Laboratorium (23-24 May 2024)

The 16th Jozef IJsewijn Lecture will take place on Thursday 23 May 2024, at 5pm, in the Justus Lipsius Room of the Erasmushuis (8th floor; Blijde Inkomststraat 21, 3000 Leuven), and will be delivered by Professor Eric MacPhail (Indiana University). The lecture's subject will be:

Erasmus and the Latin Deficit in Leuven

Now the hotbed and very epicenter of Neo-Latin studies, Leuven once suffered from a deplorable Latin deficit in the age, or at least in the eyes, of Erasmus. Many have studied the numerous quarrels that broke out between Erasmus and the Leuven theologians around 1520, and these quarrels are usually understood in the context of humanism vs. scholasticism or philology vs. theology. A more helpful context might be the phenomenon that Ann Moss called “the Latin language turn.” I propose to study one particular quarrel, between Erasmus and Jan Briart of Ath, from the vantage point of Erasmus’ Apologia pro declamatione in laude matrimonii (1519) and his correspondence from his time in Leuven. To an accusation of heresy for infringement of monastic values, Erasmus responds with an argument centered on Latin lexicography. Curiously, in 1533, facing his own challenge from the Leuven theologians, Henricus Cornelius Agrippa uses the same tactics and the same arguments as Erasmus did, deploying these arguments as a matter of fact rather than of dispute, to defend his De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum et artium. What does it mean to displace a controversy from the ground of religious orthodoxy to the very different arbiter of linguistic usage and meaning? When Erasmus appeals to the dictionary against the church, does he affirm a new or renewed kind of orthodoxy? These are some of the questions we will ask, if not answer, in our lecture.

The lecture will be followed by a reception at 6pm in the big hall of the Erasmushuis on the ground floor. Attendance is completely free, but registration will be required.

The next day, on Friday 24 May 2024, the 2nd IJsewijn Laboratorium will be held at the Couvreurzaal (M01.E50; Edward Van Evenstraat 4, 3000 Leuven, on the Social Sciences Campus). The Laboratorium will have a full-day program devoted to ongoing Neo-Latin research, and has two main aims: (1) showcasing state-of-the-art research in Neo-Latin studies, in terms of both subject and methodology, and (2) bringing together young scholars with established researchers, including the Jozef IJsewijn Lecturer. There is, in other words, no specific thematic focus, and everyone is encouraged to present work-in-progress, paying due attention to both successes and pitfalls in Neo-Latin research, and how to build on, or deal with, them.

The Laboratorium aims to create an active exchange among the participants, in order to address and discuss promising research perspectives. All sessions will be plenary, including a research pitch by local Neo-Latin students. Each session will last one hour and include two presentations of 15’ each, followed by 30’ discussion time. Presenters will be asked to pre-circulate their materials and ideas in a way they see fit (e.g. a Neo-Latin text with translation and/or commentary, a short paper summarizing the main points of their work-in-progress, an advanced paper not yet submitted for publication, a poster file, …). The only prerequisite is that these materials contain two to three questions you want to see addressed during the discussions. The pre-circulated materials will be shared only with those registered for the workshop and will serve to encourage in-depth discussions. The scientific committee will make a competitive selection of ten papers, in order to guarantee a high-quality exchange.

The main workshop language will be English. Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to raf.vanrooy[æt] and adriaan.demuynck[æt] before 15 December in Word and PDF format. Notifications of acceptance will be given before 15 January. The registration fee for the IJsewijn Laboratorium will be €25 to cover catering. We unfortunately do not have any means to cover the travel and accommodation costs of all participants, but we will be able to provide an exception for up to four junior researchers without any means of their own (please indicate this in your proposal). A link for registration will be made available in late February.

Organizing committee:
Marijke Crab (KU Leuven Libraries), Nicholas De Sutter (KU Leuven), Adriaan Demuynck (KU Leuven), Christian Laes (University of Manchester / University of Antwerp), Maxim Rigaux (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona / Ghent University), Raf Van Rooy (KU Leuven)

Scientific committee:
Susanna de Beer (Leiden University), Gianmario Cattaneo (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale), Marijke Crab (KU Leuven Libraries), Ingrid De Smet (University of Warwick), Nicholas De Sutter (KU Leuven), Martine Furno (Université Grenoble Alpes / ENS Lyon), Han Lamers (University of Oslo), Marc Laureys (Universität Bonn), Vasileios Pappas (University of Ioannina), Maxim Rigaux (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona / Ghent University), Florian Schaffenrath (Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Neulateinische Studien, Innsbruck), Toon Van Houdt (KU Leuven), Raf Van Rooy (KU Leuven)

Previous editions

1st IJsewijn L&L (25-26 May 2023)