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Civic Symposium: The Americas and Renaissance Italy w/ Nathalie Hester

As part of its mission to promote the humanities in the broader community, the Oregon Humanities Center will embark on a new series of public talks by University of Oregon humanities faculty. On Thursday, May 30 Nathalie Hester, associate professor of Italian and French, and director of European Studies, will give a talk titled “The Americas and Renaissance Italy” at

6 p.m. at Civic Winery & Wines, 50 East 11th Avenue, Eugene.

Italian navigators, humanists, artists, and poets played a key role in the reception of the “New” World in Renaissance Italy and beyond. Hester will explore how Italians in Venice, Florence, Modena, and other city-states incorporated the conquest of the Americas in their cultural, artistic, and political agendas.

Hester is a 2018–19 OHC Faculty Research Fellow currently working on a book project, Inventing America in Baroque Italy: Columbus, Vespucci, and New World Epic, which examines the complex ways that 17th-century Italian poets represented Italy’s role in the exploration and conquest of the Americas. A 2019–20 NEH fellowship will allow Hester to complete the manuscript and prepare it for publication.

Hester teaches classes in the Cultural Legacies of Italy, Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Renaissance Women’s Writing, Italy and the Americas, Renaissance Theater in the Renaissance, and Renaissance Court Culture, among others.

Civic Winery and Wines is a new urban winery, wine bar, and bottle shop, housed in a restored 1930s building featuring reclaimed wood from Civic Stadium. Civic focuses on organic and biodynamic grape production aged on-site in locally-made ceramic amphorae.

The event is free and open to the public. Beverages and snacks are available for purchase.

Parking: the first hour is free in the Overpark Garage and free beginning at 6 p.m.; street parking is free beginning at 6 p.m.

Earlier Event: May 21
Jesse Mead
Later Event: June 2
Jesse Bird