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Oct. 3: Colloquium highlights music, dance of Renaissance Florence

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FREDERICK, Md.— Music, dance and court life during the time of Machiavelli is the focus of the first event of the 2013 fall Colloquium series at Hood College.

Party Like it’s 1599! will be held Oct. 17 from 5:45 to 7 p.m. in the College's Brodbeck Music Hall. Professor Ken Pierce, director of the early dance program at the Longy School of Music at Bard College in Cambridge, Mass., will give a brief talk entitled Dance and the Courtier in 16th Century Italy and teach a dance from late-Renaissance Italy; Didier Course, Ph.D., professor of French at Hood, will give an introduction to the art of court social etiquette; and Hood's early music ensemble will perform selections from that era.

Pierce trained in ballet and modern dance and specializes in early dance, particularly late-renaissance and baroque. He has more than 25 years of experience as a choreographer, reconstructor, performer and teacher. He has performed with dance companies of New York, Paris and Toronto and directs his own company, the Ken Pierce Baroque Dance Company. Pierce has taught at summer dance and music workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

Course, who has taught at Hood since 1995, specializes in early modern French literature and culture. His research includes religious literature of the Counter-Reformation and the politics of appearances in the French court. He is the author of two books, one a study of the representation of the Catholic church in the early modern period and the other a critical edition of the French writing of the Marie Stuart, Queen of France and Scotland. He was twice honored as adviser of the year and was awarded a faculty professional achievement award for significant contributions to Hood through scholarship.

Future colloquium events include a poetry reading Nov. 6 by James Allen Hall from his award-winning collection of poems, Now You’re the Enemy; and a lecture Dec. 3 by Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, former associate professor at Hood, about politics and art in Machiavelli’s Florence.

The event is part the college’s annual Center for the Humanities colloquium series, which is funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. Themed The Worlds of Machiavelli, this year's events explore the social, cultural and political aspects of Florence during the Renaissance.

The Hood College Center for the Humanities was founded in 1990 by a group of faculty members from Hood's humanities departments—art, English, foreign languages, history and political science, music, philosophy and religion. During its more than 20-year existence, the Center for the Humanities has presented a distinguished roster of events and hosted internationally renowned speakers. In 1999, Hood was the recipient of a major challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which helps provide for an annual lecture series and an NEH visiting scholar.

For more information about the colloquium series, contact Katy Fulfer, NEH Libman Professor of the humanities, at