The production of culture in early modern Venice was the theme of Venice Reflected: The Making of Culture 1500-1800, organized by an interdisciplinary team of scholars, held October 11-13, 1996. Located between Eastern and Western Europe, early modern Venice was the site of complex commercial and cultural exchanges among a socially and ethnically diverse population. The conference brought to the University ten scholars from the United States, Canada, and Europe, in the fields of history, musicology, art history, and comparative literature, to investigate the intersections of art, language, clothing, and politics that produced aspects of the city's mythic cultural identity. Sponsors included the Office of the Vice President for Research, Rackham School of Graduate Studies, International Institute, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, Center for European Studies, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the School of Music Dean's Discretionary Fund, and the Academy of Early Music. Crucial staff support came from History of Art and History, and the Museum of Art.

    The conference steering committee — Diane Owen Hughes (History), Ellen Plummer (Museum of Art), Thomas Willette (Residential College), Patricia Simons and Stephen Campbell (History of Art), and Louise Stein (School of Music) — planned and coordinated the international conference, in conjunction with the exhibition "Venice, Traditions Transformed" organized by the Museum of Art. In addition, the distinguished early music ensemble, The Harp Consort, appeared at the University to perform songs of Barbara Strozzi, a 17th-century composer and singer (Oct. 13), while a performance by students in the Opera Workshop of the School of Music provided occasion for the study of Venetian musical poetry (Nov. 21).

    Thomas Willette is a faculty member in the Residential College.