Congratulations to Jacobs School of Music musicology alumna, Dr. Elizabeth Grace Elmi, whose paper entitled “L’arboro captivo fa captivo fructo: Pastoral Politics in the Lyric Song of Late-FifteenthCentury Southern Italy” was awarded 2021 Susan J. Ridyard prize at the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium.
Dr. Elmi’s paper addresses the substantial portion of the surviving Neapolitan lyric repertory that emphasizes a nostalgic and often embittered focus on rural, wild, and untamed settings. She argues that such pastoral and naturalistic imagery and aesthetics had clear political implications related to the shifting power structures influencing the Kingdom’s social hierarchies under Aragonese rule. Dr. Elmi considers the notated Neapolitan song repertory alongside Iacopo Sannazaro’s Arcadia as contrasting, yet complementary, examples of a cultural impulse to both lament and reassert the feudal aristocracy’s land ownership and rural cultural identity, lost to a destabilizing foreign power.
The Susan J. Ridyard prize is awarded yearly to an excellent paper addressing topics most related to the colloquium theme, which this year was “Privilege and Position.” Dr. Elmi’s paper addressed the colloquium theme in the process of exploring the shifting privileges and positions of the Neapolitan aristocracies living under Aragonese rule through the aesthetics and imagery of their song practices.
Dr. Elmi presented her paper at the the Forty-Sixth Annual Sewanee Medieval Colloquium hosted by the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, on April 9-10, 2021. Presentations and papers related to this year’s theme engaged with privilege and position in global medieval cultures. The Sewanee Medieval Colloquium provides a space for interdisciplinary scholars and audiences to discuss topics ranging from ecclesiastical and royal hierarchies, the production of artistic forms, analysis of international trade, the literature of class, status, or caste identity, the structures of visual or musical composition, ordering of public space, to popular medievalism from any geographic area.