Autobiography and Self-Care in Italian Humanism: The Case of Giovanni da Ravenna's 'Rationarium vite'
Presentation by Gur Zak (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem / Fellow at EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities") with Discussion in English
Introduction and moderation: Bernhard Huss
Giovanni Conversini da Ravenna’s Rationarium vite, completed in 1400, is the first full-length autobiography written in the Latin west after Augustine’s Confessions. Despite this remarkable fact, Conversini’s work received only sporadic attention in accounts of early humanism or the history of autobiography. This presentation will seek to elucidate the Rationarium’s significance to the culture of early Italian humanism by examining it in light of Petrarch’s elaborate – yet fragmentary – autobiographical corpus. The presentation will concentrate on three interrelated issues:
1. Conversini’s use of self-writing as an ethical practice aimed at fashioning himself as a free and autonomous subject.
2. His adherence to the Petrarchan project of establishing humanism as a textual community bent on critiquing contemporary society and its corrupt institutions.
3. Conversini’s ongoing oscillation between two different ideals of selfhood in his self-representation: while he often lauds his Franciscan-like compassionate and soft nature, Conversini at the same time repeatedly exalts Stoic virility and self-control as the true essence of humanity.
In cooperation with EXC 2020 "Temporal Communities"
The event will be broadcasted digitally on WebEx. Please register by Monday, Oct. 26 by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you your access details on the day before the event.