Contributed by
the city of Auburn

The Auburn Public Library is pleased to host a lecture series by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). All programs are free and open to the public. All lectures begin at 2 p.m.

July 14, “Buying French in Alabama” – Dr. Donna Bohanan will talk about the appeal of French design and decorative goods among Alabama consumers of the early 19th century. Bohanan is professor emerita in the History Department at Auburn University. She is a specialist in the history of early modern Europe, and her research focuses on France during the 17th century. Her book, “Fashion beyond Versailles: Consumption and Design in Seventeenth-Century France,” looks at the consumption of household and decorative goods in a distant province of France.

Aug. 18, “The Florentine Way of Death” – Dr. Anne Leader will present her award-winning research on burial customs in early Renaissance Florence, providing an overview of the memorial landscape of the city as Boccaccio and his contemporaries knew it. She will also discuss the ways in which Florentines reformed and renewed their interrupted memorial traditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended cherished burial rituals worldwide and has renewed interest in the pandemic of 1348 that killed upwards of 60% of Europe’s population. Fourteenth-century authors have become newly relevant as their vivid descriptions of the plague seem ripped from today’s headlines.

Leader is visiting fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities where she is developing Digital Sepoltuario, an interactive website that chronicles the memorial landscape of medieval and Renaissance Florence. She holds a History-Art History B.A. from Emory University and earned her M.A. and PhD in the History of Art and Archaeology from the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU). She was Rush H. Kress Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, where she completed her monograph, “The Badia of Florence: Art and Observance in a Renaissance Monastery” (2012). More recently she edited and contributed to, “Memorializing the Middle Classes in Medieval and Renaissance Europe” (2018).

For more information, email Library Events at or call 334-501-3296.