The Warburg Laboratory

A Laboratory for Post-Graduate and Experimental Research Projects

Cultural Encounters: Tensions and Polarities of Transmission from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

Welcome to the inaugural Warburg Institute Postgraduate Symposium, Cultural Encounters. This multidisciplinary conference was addressed to postgraduate students and early-career researchers who work in different fields across the humanities.


Organisers: Desirée Cappa, Maria Teresa Chicote Pompanin, James Christie, Lorenza Gay, Hanna Gentili, Federica Gigante, Finn Schulze-Feldmann.

The conference took place at the Warburg Institute, London, on 17 November 2016. . It explored the concept of cultural encounters and focused particularly on their productive outcomes and the dynamics of cultural change across time and space. The Symposium was multidisciplinary in focus, covering topics that fall into the unique classification system of the Warburg Library: Image, Word, Orientation and Action.

The aim of the Symposium was to map the diverse and intricate forces which have driven cultural encounters in the past and which also help define contemporary societies. Amongst the questions that we hoped to address was: the degree to which productive outcomes can be seen as a conscious reception and reformulation of external ideas and models; resistances to exchange and in what form; the long-term implications of such encounters and their outcomes.



10:15 – 10:30 Professor David Freedberg (The Warburg Institute)


SESSION 1. Image

10:30 – 10:50 Dr. Stefan Hanß (University of Cambridge) Habsburg-Ottoman Imagery in the Making. The Production and Perception of the Cambridge ‘Freshfield Album’ (1574/75)

10:50 – 11:10 Ricarda Beatrix Brosh (The Courtauld Institute of Art) On the Hybridity of Chinese Composite Landscapes

11:10 – 11:30 Daan van Heesch (KU Leuven Remodeling Hieronymus Bosch in Colonial Peru: Foreign Sources, Indigenous Responses

1:30 – 12:00 Chaired discussion Federica Gigante (The Warburg Institute) 



13:00 – 13:20 Angana Moitra (University of Kent/Free University Berlin) From Pagan God to Magical Being: The Changing Face of the Faerie King and its Cultural Implications

13:20 – 13:40 Sophie Fuller (University College London) Dante and the Romans d’Antiquité: Reconsidering Classical Epic Through Vernacular Verse

13:40 – 14:00 Alexandra Nowosiad (King's College London) Reading Across Time and Space: A Volume of Late Medieval Spanish Verse Printed in Renaissance Antwerp

14:00 – 14:30 Chaired discussion MªTeresa Chicote (The Warburg Institute)


SESSION 3. Orientation

14:40– 15:00 Ovanes Akopyan (University of Warwick) Astrology, Humanism, and ‘Latins’: Maximus the Greek and the Reception of Renaissance Culture in Sixteenth-Century Russia

15:00 - 15:20 Trude Dijkstra (University of Amsterdam) Constructing Confucius in the Low Countries: How the Western Idea of Confucius came into being through Dutch Printed-Work of the Seventeenth Century

15:20 – 15:40 Margherita Mantovani (Sapienza University, Rome) Apocalyptical and Angelic Imagination. The Reception of the Hebrew Book of Enoch in the Renaissance

15:40 – 16:10 Chaired discussion Hanna Gentili (The Warburg Institute)


SESSION 4. Action

16:30-16:50 Dr Ivan Dimitrijević (University of Warsaw) The mechanization of symbols: The wolf in the Anglo-Saxon folklore and in the new political science

16:50- 17:10 Nailya Shamgunova (University of Cambridge) Anglophone conceptualisation of Southeast-Asian sexual practices, c. 1590-1640

17:10-17:30 Dr Cristiano Ragni (University of Perugia) Necessitas facit licitum, quod in lege illicitum est. Alberico Gentili, the Puritans,  and the  Oxford  controversy  on Drama

17:30-18:00 Chaired discussion James Christie (The Warburg Institute)


18:00 – 18:30 Dr Johannes von Müller (Bilderfahrzeuge Project)