Get in, loser. We’re going Renaissancing.

Installment 2 of cartoons on the theme of ‘I went to the Renaissance Society of America conference in New York, did I mention it was in New York?’ (some Renaissance-themed cocktails here). Anyway, it was pretty giant. Renaissancists as far as the eye can see. I’d never been to a conference that big before, and it was simultaneously pretty damn cool and sorta daunting, especially when working out which one of the dozens of parallel panels to go to next (thanks, RSA app!).

So I drew this guide when I got home. A public service (ahem). In which I (with no seriousness intended whatsoever) engage with several existing stereotypes, and invent some of my own (such as an abiding conviction that the Italianists are getting more than the rest of us).

On Thursdays, we wear lanyards with our names and institutional details on them. And on Fridays. And especially on Saturdays, because we need them to get into the open-bar reception.

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You’ll notice I haven’t added ‘Unfriendly book historian hotties’ and that is because a) Everyone I met at RSA was pretty darn friendly, and b) *inclines head and lowers voice creepily* Renaissancists, you’re all hotties.

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Things that distract me when thinking about Shakespeare’s Roman plays, a partial list

1. Bro Julius Caesar from Horrible Histories:

2. Asterix, because obviously I spent most of my childhood reading Asterix cartoons http://www.asterix.com/the-a-to-z-of-asterix/characters/julius-caesar.html

3. This. Oh lawks, the memories:

4. Coriolanus jokes.  I’ll Corio-YOUR… sorry sorry sorry

5. HOLY CRAP YOUNG MARLON BRANDO

They play the triumph bit in undergrad Shakespeare lectures and it is DISTRACTING

6. Anything Eddie Izzard has ever said about Romans/Latin:

A can of dog food for small yapper-type dogs (aka the reason I cannot think of Caesar without saying ‘I am played by JAMES MASON’ in my head)

On the audio recording of Definite Article I had on my ipod he described the Cesar dog as a ‘small dog with bushy face’. Once I was listening to it on a train and just when it got to that line I felt something brush my leg. I looked down and a small dog with a bushy face looked up at me. It had slipped its lead and gone for a walk down the train under the seats. Obviously the first thought I had was EDDIE IZZARD IS MAGIC. (Eddie Izzard IS magic. Of course).

7. Cartoons, as usual:

JC 'Danger knows full well / That Caesar is more dangerous than he.' HIGHWAY TO THE CAESAR ZONE

JC (well, his cultural presence in late C16th England) was described as ‘the ultimate Roman’ in one of our undergrad Shakespeare lectures. Related: I can’t draw arms.

Crap you can just imagine their OKCupid profiles can't you

‘Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. / And I bet he doesn’t even lift.’

'I dunno, I'm just here to wear out these shoes'

Oh yes, jokes about Pompey’s ‘triumphs’ could be no.8 on this list

Finally: one of my students alerted me to this today. I had forgotten it, as it’s shamefully long since I saw Mean Girls. It is, of course, glorious.