Thursday Seminar “In the Archives of the Inquisition: The Case of Vittoria Colonna”


Thursday, April 5, 2018, 6:00pm


Gould Hall

In 1982, a priest working on the records from the Galileo trial in the archive of the Roman Inquisition accidentally landed upon a file devoted to Vittoria Colonna, the Marchesa of Pescara. Sometime after her death, the inquisitors had prepared this file with the aim of a posthumous trial for heresy.The story that this cache of documents unfolds brings us to the heart of the Counter-Reformation, and the role that one extraordinary woman played in the world of Italian reform.

Ramie Targoff is Professor of English, Co-chair of Italian Studies, and the Jehuda Reinharz Direction of the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University. She has written books on the invention of common prayer and its influence on Renaissance devotional poetry; on the works of the poet and preacher John Donne; and on Renaissance love poetry. Her new book, Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna, is forthcoming in April 2018 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.