Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Lecture by Etienne Anheim, “The Role of the Renaissance in the Transformation of the Western Political Imaginary: Petrarch’s Africa and Death for the ‘Fatherland’”

Apr 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
236 Royce Hall, 10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
+ Google Map

Abstract: The ideal of “death for the fatherland” (Pro patria mori) may seem to be an invariable reality of human society, from Sparta and Athens to today’s wars. In fact, it is a political imaginary whose periodization can be traced. Ernst Kantorowicz, in a famous article published in 1951, proposed an analysis of this problem. In this lecture, I will propose a new interpretation, both historical and historiographical, based on Francesco Petrarca’s (1304-1374) epic poem Africa. In particular, I will highlight the role of the Renaissance in the construction of a new imaginary of war in the West, quite different from the ancient and medieval tradition, which has served as the foundation for the national and colonial wars of the contemporary era.

Etienne Anheim‘s research is oriented towards the economic, social, and material history of painting as well as the history of written practices between the 13th and the 15th century, from scholars like Petrarch to library inventories or accounting entries, at the same time, addressing questions of historiography and epistemology of history. He also collaborates on the editorial boards of the Revue de Synthese, Médiévales, and Annales.

This lecture is part of the UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory (ECT) and the ECT Spring 2024 seminar on “Ternary Positionality: Relationality, Decoloniality, and Interpretation”, taught by Zrinka Stahuljak (Comparative Literature/ELTS).

The Spring 2024 ECT Seminar is generously sponsored by the Deans of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department of Comparative Literature and the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI).

This lecture is co-sponsored by the CMRS Center for Early Global Studies.

Register to attend in Royce 236

Register to attend via ZOOM


Apr 15
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:


Experimental Critical Theory Program
View Organizer Website


236 Royce Hall
10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
+ Google Map