Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Arts of Intimacy @ the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute

Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

Join Dr. Jerrilynn D. Dodds and Dr. María Rosa Menocal as they engage in a dialogue on the subject of their recent publication, The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture (co-authored by Abigail Krasner Balbale).

This lavishly illustrated book explores the vibrant interaction among different and sometimes opposing cultures, and how their contacts with one another transformed them all. It chronicles the tumultuous history of Castile in the wake of the Christian capture of the Islamic city of Tulaytula, now Toledo, in the eleventh century and traces the development of Castilian culture as it was forged in the new intimacy of Christians with the Muslims and Jews they had overcome.

The authors paint a portrait of the culture through its arts, architecture, poetry and prose, uniquely combining literary and visual arts. Concentrating on the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the book reveals the extent to which Castilian identity is deeply rooted in the experience of confrontation, interaction, and at times union with Hebrew and Arabic cultures during the first centuries of its creation. Abundantly illustrated, the volume serves as a splendid souvenir of southern Spain; beautifully written, it illuminates a culture deeply enriched by others.

Jerrilynn D. Dodds is distinguished professor and senior faculty advisor to the provost at the City College of the City University of New York. She is author of the prize-winning Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain and numerous books and catalogs concerning cultural interaction in Spain, Bosnia, and the United States, including NY Masjid: The Mosques of New York and Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, which she edited for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

María Rosa Menocal is director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. She has written The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage, Writing in Dante's Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccaccio, and Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric, and coedited a volume in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series, The Literature of al-Andalus. Her most recent book, The Ornament of the World, has been translated into eleven languages.

Please R.S.V.P. to Meryl 212-628-0420 or mhorn@queensofiasi.org

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