Renaissance News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Spenser Society Conference: The Place of Spenser / Spenser’s Places

The Place of Spenser / Spenser’s Places

Dublin, 18-20 June 2015

The Fifth International Spenser Society Conference

The International Spenser Society invites proposals for their next International Conference, to be held in Dublin, Ireland. The conference will address Spenser’s places – domestic, urban, global, historical, colonial, rhetorical, geopolitical, etc. – but also the place of Spenser in Renaissance studies, in the literary tradition, in Britain, in Ireland, in the literary and political cultures of his own moment.

Additionally, a series of programmed focus panels will offer opportunities for discussion of recent important initiatives and directions in Spenser studies: editing; biography; style; Ireland; philosophy and religion; teaching; and digital approaches.

We welcome abstracts from Spenser scholars and Renaissance scholars, graduate students and faculty, for papers that address Spenser’s historical, cultural and literary environments. These include the places and spaces in which he worked and the places and positions through which we approach that work.

The conference will take place in historic Dublin Castle ( in the heart of the city, with accommodation available in local hotels. It follows the success of four previous ISS conferences, at Princeton (1990), Yale (1996), Cambridge (2001), and Toronto (2006).

An optional bus tour to Kilcolman castle, County Cork and other Spenser-related sites will take place June 21st.

Plenaries: Helen Cooper (University of Oxford), Jeffrey Dolven (Princeton University), Anne Fogarty (University College Dublin)

Confirmed speakers/presiders: Andrew Hadfield, Beth Quitslund, David Lee Miller, Julian Lethbridge, Ayesha Ramachandran, Joseph Loewenstein, Andrew Zurcher, David Wilson-Okamura, Patricia Palmer, Willy Maley, Susannah Brietz Monta, Kevin De Ornellas

Abstracts should be submitted directly to the conference website:

The closing date for submissions is 15 September 2014

Suggested topics might include (but are not restricted to) the following:
  • The reception of Spenser’s poetry
  • Spenser among the poets
  • Spenser and political writing
  • Digital Spenser
  • Spenser and the Sidneys
  • Spenser’s place in Renaissance studies
  • Spenser’s Europe
  • Spenser’s place in Irish studies
  • Spenser’s social networks
  • Spenser and the politics of space
  • Spenser’s imaginative spaces
  • Spenser and early modern Dublin
  • Editing Spenser
  • Spenser and early modern London
  • Spenser in Munster
  • Spenser and Shakespeare
  • Spenser and Raleigh
  • Spenser’s Atlantic world
  • Spenser, history and historiography
  • Spenser and archaeology
  • Material Spenser/Spenser’s materials
  • Structural/topomorphic approaches
  • Spenser’s style
  • Religion and philosophy
  • Spenser’s Books
  • Teaching Spenser

We also invite proposals for poster-board demonstrations of relevant digital and other projects.

Conference Organisers:

Jane Grogan (University College Dublin), Andrew King (University College Cork), Thomas Herron (East Carolina University)

Sponsored by the International Spenser Society

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Royal Society - Publish or Perish? Scientific periodicals from 1665 to the present

19-21 March 2015, The Royal Society, London

To celebrate the anniversary of the Philosophical Transactions, the world’s oldest scientific journal, the Royal Society will be hosting a major conference in spring 2015. At a time when the future of scientific publishing is in flux, this conference will take the long perspective by examining the transformations and challenges in the publishing of scientific journals over the last three and a half centuries, and into the future. We seek offers of papers, or proposals for three- or four-paper panels, which engage with any aspect of the commercial, editorial and distribution practices of scientific journal publishing, in any period since 1665, preferably with a comparative or longue durée perspective.

Papers or panels might address:
  • The processes of printing, publishing or illustrating scientific journals
  • The commercial practices of journal publishing
  • The development of editorial and refereeing processes
  • Distribution networks and marketing – regional, national and international
  • Issues concerning the status, reputation and reception of competing journals
Offers of papers, including a 250-word abstract, should be sent to by the 30th of November 2013.

Participants must be willing and able to prepare their paper for speedy publication in autumn 2015.

Philosophical Transactions at 350

The Philosophical Transactions turns 350 on March the 6th, 2015. To celebrate this milestone in the history of science communication, a programme of events and activities is being planned for the Anniversary year. In addition, a major AHRC-funded research project, led by Dr Aileen Fyfe at the University of St Andrews in partnership with the Royal Society, is already under way, which will produce the first full history of the Philosophical Transactions.

Dr Noah Moxham
School of History, University of St Andrews
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’ The Long Eighteenth Century (Down Under)

University of Sydney, 10-13 December 2014, proposals due 15 June

David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies XV

The Sydney Intellectual History Network and ‘Putting Periodisation to Use’ Research Group at the University of Sydney invite you to the Fifteenth David Nichol Smith Seminar (DNS), with the theme ‘Ideas and Enlightenment’. Inaugurated and supported by the National Library of Australia, the DNS conference is the leading forum for eighteenth-century studies in Australasia. It brings together scholars from across the region and internationally who work on the long eighteenth century (1688-1815) in a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art and architectural history, philosophy, the history of science, musicology, anthropology, archaeology and studies of material culture.

We welcome proposals for papers or panels on the following topics, although please note that the conference organisers are open to proposals for subjects that fall outside of these broad themes:
  • Making Ideas Visible
  • Biography and the History of Individual Life
  • Economic Ideas in Social and Political Contexts
  • Global Sensibilities
  • National Identity and Cosmopolitanism
  • Antiquaries and Alternative Versions of the Classical Tradition
  • Periodisation and the question of Period Styles
  • ‘Enlightenment’ and the Pacific
  • Spectacle, Sociability and Pleasure
  • Genres of Enlightenment
  • Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Borders and Empire
  • Historiography of the Enlightenment
  • Post-Enlightenment trajectories in literature and art

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers. Proposals consist of a 250-word abstract and 2-page cv, sent via email as a pdf attachment Deadline for submissions: 15 June 2014

Further details are at, where accommodation and keynotes will be posted soon. If you have questions about the conference, please contact the organizing committee at

DNS XV Organizing Committee: Dr Jennifer Ferng, Prof Mark Ledbury, Prof Jennifer Milam and Dr Nicola Parsons

Dacre Centenary Lectures 2014: Ideas and Society c 1600-1800 (17 Oct to 28 Nov)

Venue: Oxford University Examination schools, High St, Oxford.
Time: Fridays at 5pm.

Provisional titles:

17 October: Colin Kidd, ‘Priestcraft, the Devil and the Union of 1707”

24 October: Anthony Grafton, ‘Humanism and History in the Late Renaissance: Isaac Casaubon, Polybius, and the Political uses of the Past.’

31 October: Jonathan Israel, ‘Radical Enlightenment and the French Revolution’

7 November: David Womersley, ‘Ideas and Society in the Pays de Vaud: Edward Gibbon and Georges Deyverdun read the Classics’.

14 November: Michael Hunter, ‘The Enlightenment Rejection of Magic: New Thoughts on an Old theme’.

21 November: Brian Young, ‘Hume and History’

28 November: Noel Malcolm, ‘Hobbes’s Leviathan and Christian Doctrine’.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Johannes Tinctoris and Music Theory in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance

9–10 October 2014
Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, University of London

Keynote Speaker: Dr Stefano Mengozzi (University of Michigan), ‘Johannes Tinctoris, the Ambiguity of Language, and the Nature of Music-Theoretical Knowledge’

Birmingham Conservatoire, in association with the Institute of Musical Research, invites proposals for individual 20-minute papers (to be followed by 10 minutes of discussion) for inclusion in this two-day conference. Papers may either directly address Tinctoris’s own theoretical writings, musical compositions, biography, and their cultural, historical and intellectual contexts, or deal with broader approaches to music theory, its status and function in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. We are also interested in proposals relating to technologies of presentation for modern readers, and relationships between medieval music theory and other aspects of musical analysis and criticism.

Proposals should consist of a title, an abstract of up to 250 words and a biographical note of no more than 150 words; they should be sent to by Thursday 1 May 2014.

It is anticipated that delegate fees will be waived for speakers, though it is unlikely that other travel and accommodation costs can be supported.

This conference marks the culmination of the first phase of the research project ‘The Complete Theoretical Works of Johannes Tinctoris: A New Digital Edition’ (2011–14), which has been generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and hosted by Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University. The edition, as well as further information about the project, is ongoing at:

Information regarding booking for delegates will be circulated in May–June 2014.

Project Team and Programme Committee:
Professor Ronald Woodley: Principal Investigator
Dr Jeffrey J. Dean: Senior Researcher
David Lewis: Researcher
Christian Goursaud: PhD Student

CALL FOR PAPERS: Drama and Pedagogy

Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies 2014 Conference, 12-13 September, 2014, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Convenors: Elisabeth Dutton and Indira Ghose, University of Fribourg

In medieval England, when literacy was low and the liturgy in Latin, what did drama teach, and how? What were the implications for Middle English drama of its vernacularity, and how did it engage Latinity? The mystery plays teach scriptural material in the vernacular; the morality plays present subtle theological and philosophical teaching through allegory. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries drama is a way of disseminating theological and philosophical ideas: in the sixteenth century, with the rise of humanism, drama is one way the academic community debates those ideas. In early modern England, as the theatre came to rival the pulpit as a mass medium, leading many to attack the stage and many others to defend it, did drama teach or seduce, instruct or distract? As historical circumstances change, how does drama balance the requirements of doctrine and delight – and does it manifest any sense of contradiction between the two?

As well as pedagogy of drama, conference papers might consider pedagogy in drama – scenes in which instruction is portrayed, whether seriously or satirically. How do the Cycle plays engage with Christ as a teacher, or the Morality plays portray the pedagogical methods of Virtue and Vice figures? Humanist influence on the Tudor interlude ensures an interest in education, and examples of dramatized instruction abound in the plays of the early modern professional stage. Hamlet clearly thinks drama itself can teach and reveal – is his view typical, and is it right? Academic drama is a particularly pregnant locus for the exploration of drama and pedagogy: universities and the Inns of Court trained some of the leading playwrights of the early theatre, and, because productions were privately funded by colleges and performed in privately owned halls, the commercial constraints of the professional playhouses did not apply to university drama. In addition to exploring the role of academic drama in socio-political history and theatre history, the conference will examine the reasons for the strong connections between drama and education. Why was drama given a central role in pedagogical practice?

Confirmed keynote speakers: Prof. Lynn Enterline (Vanderbilt), Prof. John McGavin (Southampton), Prof. Alan Nelson (UC Berkeley), Prof. Michelle O’Callaghan (Reading). Perry Mills (Director of Edward's Boys) will be discussing productions of plays written for early modern boys' companies.

The conference will include a reception at the elegant, historic Grande Salle, with accompanying performance of a sixteenth century university play, William Gager’sDido, in a new translation from the Latin, directed by Elisabeth Dutton.

Papers are invited which explore, in any way:

  • relationships between drama and pedagogy in the medieval and early modern periods
  • the use of drama in varied instructional settings
  • portrayals of pedagogy in drama
  • the extent to which study of early theatre and study of historical educational practice may be mutually illuminating

Proposals for panels are welcome, too. A selection of papers will be published in a peer-reviewed volume to be edited by Elisabeth Dutton and James McBain.

For further details, please see our website:
For further information on the Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies, please visit

Please send a 400 word abstract and a short biographical note to by December 6th 2013.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 6th International Conference of European Society of History of Science

Lisbon, 4-6 September 2014

The 6th International Conference of the European Society of History of Science will be held in Lisbon, 4-6 September 2014 and is organized by the Interuniversity Centre for the History of Science and Technology(CIUHCT),a research centre associated with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon.

The theme of the conference is "Communicating Science, Technology and Medicine”.

Communicating science, technology and medicine has always been central to the scientific and technological enterprise, but across ages and spaces agents, audiences, means, aims and agendas behind this complex process have varied considerably. The interpretations put forward by historians of science, technology and medicine have also changed considerably. Historians have been compelled recently to move away from former historiographical categories opposing creative producers to passive recipients and consumers, and contrasting the production of knowledge with its transmission. The vertical model of diffusion has been superseded by a horizontal conception of circulation and appropriation of science, technology and medicine, which gives voice to various actors and to their different, often contradictory, agendas. Within this framework, science, technology and medicine are envisaged as active forms of communication, to such an extent as ultimately blurring the distinction between the making and the communicating of science, technology and medicine.

The 6th ESHS aims at stimulating historical and historiographical studies and debates on the communication of science, technology and medicine along the following sub-thematic clusters.

1) Human and non-human agents: experts, amateurs, and institutions;

2) Networks of circulation and communication of knowledge;

3) Means of communication: correspondence, papers, books, textbooks, popularization outlets, newspapers, radio, theatre, films, cartoons and internet;

4) Spaces and modes of communication: conferences, classrooms, public demonstrations, exhibitions, instruments, collections and museums;

5) Audiences: lay and specialized audiences, consumers;

6) Rhetorical devices;

7) Communication in the European Periphery;

8) Communication in a globalized world: challenges and constraints; ideology of communication, hegemonic values and commercialized science, technology and medicine

DeadlinesProposal Session Submission (Max 4 papers) and abstract of papers– 15 Dec 2013
Decision of accepted sessions – 1 February 2014
Abstract Submission (for stand-alone papers) – 20 February 2014
Decision of accepted papers – 30 March 2014

Abstracts, presentations and proceedings should be preferably in English.

A second Call for papers, with website address, fees and further information will be sent on 1 October 2013.

For any other information please contact the local secretariat Fátima de Haan (

Diplomacy and Culture in the Early Modern World

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities 31 July to 2 August.

This conference is dedicated to diplomacy in the early modern world. It will build upon the recent ‘cultural turn’ in diplomatic studies that has seen more innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to a subject that was once viewed in heavily bureaucratic and constitutional terms. Scholars are increasingly appreciating the importance of ritual and other forms of symbolic communication in diplomatic practices and the role of diplomatic processes in cultural exchanges. Diplomats were important political brokers whose actions could have profound implications for international relations, but they played an equally important role in the transfer and adaptation of cultural ideas and artefacts through their activities as cultural agents, authors and brokers. The profound impact of diplomacy on culture in this period is, moreover, seen in the increasing prominence of representations of diplomacy in literature and a range of other media. The aim of this conference is to further our understanding of early modern diplomatic practices, of the dynamics of diplomatic exchanges both within and without Europe, and how diplomatic ideas and practices interacted with other cultural and political processes. The keynote address will be given by Professor Christian Windler (University of Bern). The conference will feature two extended panel discussions. One, led by Professor John Watkins (University of Minnesota), will be dedicated to new approaches to diplomatic studies. A second will examine Professor Timothy Hampton’s idea of a ‘diplomatic moment’ in Renaissance literature.

The conference marks the culmination of the AHRC-funded international research network ‘Textual Ambassadors’ ( and aims to set its findings in broader cultural context.

We will consider proposals for papers and panel on any aspect of early modern diplomacy, but we will particularly welcome proposals for papers that take innovative approaches or address the following topics:
  • The impact of literary developments on, and use of literary texts in, diplomatic practice
  • The role of diplomatic processes and channels in the circulation of texts and literary ideas
  • Diplomacy and translation
  • Representations of diplomacy in literary texts and art
  • The wider cultural reception of diplomacy and evolving diplomatic practices
  • The material culture of early modern diplomacy
  • Ritual and protocol in diplomatic encounters
  • Diplomatic personnel, training, and careers
  • Diplomacy and cross-cultural exchange
  • Cultures of diplomatic practice
  • Gender and diplomacy
  • Early modern legal and philosophical attitudes to, and influences on, diplomacy

Proposals for 20 minute papers or panels of 3-4 papers should be sent to Tracey Sowerby and Jo Craigwood by 21 March 2014. Individual paper proposals should be no more than 300 words. Panel proposals should include abstracts of all papers (max 300 words) and a brief rationale (max 100 words) for the panel. All proposals should be accompanied by a short statement of affiliation and career. Delegates will be notified by 15 April 2014. All enquiries should be addressed to

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Creativity and Commerce in the Age of Print"

University of Edinburgh (26 July 2014)

‘What an insane thing it is to make literature one's only means of support!... 
To make a trade of an art! I am rightly served for attempting such a brutal folly.’
- George Gissing, New Grub Street (1891)

Hosted by the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh, this interdisciplinary conference will explore the sometimes-fraught connections between the ‘art’ and ‘trade’ of books from the Western invention of printing to today. Are the interests of authors and publishers always opposed, or can they lead to productive forms of collaboration? Does work undertaken for the marketplace necessarily compromise its moral and cultural standing? How does literature become property, and how has authorship evolved between the starving writer of ‘Grub Street’ and the modern book festival circuit? Can the requirements of the printing and bookselling industries constitute a form of de-facto censorship, determining the types of work that are published and circulated?

We are currently seeking papers from postgraduate and early career researchers interested in questions such as these, with potential topics including (but not limited to):
  • Authorship and other creative professions
  • The printing and bookselling industries
  • Author-publishers relationships
  • Dissemination networks
  • Subscription and patronage
  • Book advertising, illustration
  • Serial publication
  • ‘Tie-ins’, merchandise, and material culture
  • Libraries and book collecting
  • Commerce and censorship
  • Originality, copyright, and intellectual property
  • Book piracy and its national boundaries
  • Creative work and gender
  • The impact of new technologies for production and dissemination
  • The ‘rise’ or ‘death’ of print.

Proposals in all relevant subject areas and historical periods post-1450 are welcome. Please send a 200-word abstract to Natasha by 5 May 2014. Limited travel bursaries may be available; indicate if you would require one to attend. The conference will take place in Edinburgh on 26 July 2014, with registration opening in June.

Dr. Natasha Simonova
4.03, 18 Buccleuch Place
Career Development Fellow
Department of English Literature
University of Edinburgh

CALL FOR PAPERS: Eleventh International Milton Symposium

The Eleventh International Milton Symposium will be held at the University of Exeter, England, 20-24 July, 2015. The Symposium, normally held every three years, brings together scholars from across the world for five days of lively discussion and convivial exchanges about all things Miltonic.

Plenary speakers include: Maggie Kilgour (McGill), Mary Nyquist (Toronto),
David Quint (Yale), and Paul Stevens (Toronto).

Located in the beautiful Devon countryside, close to the sea and to Dartmoor National Park, the cathedral city of Exeter (founded by the Romans) is among those English cities most dramatically affected by the Civil War. Supporters of Parliament secured the city in 1642, and from early in 1643 it served as the western headquarters of the Parliamentary Army. After a determined and prolonged siege, it fell to Royalist forces in the autumn, who so strongly fortified the city that it was re-taken by the Parliamentary Army only in 1646. The rich Civil War History of Exeter will be a feature of the Symposium.

The Programme Committee warmly invites proposals for 20-minute papers on all aspects of Milton studies. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The Civil War Milton and his (near) contemporaries
  • Paces – geographical, symbolic, textual Families, children, generation(s)
  • Harmony, music, dancing, soundscapes The emotions, the passions, the senses
  • Drama, dialogue, soliloquy Controversy, polemic, satire
  • Biblical, classical, humanist scholarship Death, mortalism, memory
  • Soul/Body Historiography

Proposals for papers (500 words maximum, preferably in the form of an email attachment) should be submitted by 10 June 2014 to Karen Edwards ( and Philip Schwyzer (, English Department, Queen’s Building, Exeter University, Exeter EX4 4QH, UK.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Sir John Cheke and the Cambridge Connection in Tudor England

St John’s College, Cambridge
19-20 July 2014

Confirmed Speakers: Stephen Alford (Leeds), Alan Bryson (Sheffield), Norman Jones (Utah State), Scott Lucas (The Citadel), John McDiarmid (New College of Florida), Ceri Law (Cambridge), Anne Overell (Durham), Aysha Pollnitz (Rice), Richard Rex (Cambridge), Fred Schurink (Northumbria), Cathy Shrank (Sheffield), Jeremy Smith (Glasgow), Tracey Sowerby (Oxford), Andrew Taylor (Cambridge).

2014 marks the quincentenary of the birth of one of the most significant, but neglected, scholars of Renaissance England, Sir John Cheke (1514-57), fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and the first Regius Professor of Greek in the University. This conference offers a timely re-assessment of Cheke and of the important group of colleagues who coalesced around him at Cambridge in the 1530s. The conference title derives from Winthrop S. Hudson’s 1980 study The Cambridge Connection and the Elizabethan Settlement of 1559, which assigned members of the group a leading role in Elizabeth’s religious settlement. Roger Ascham’s The Scholemaster (1570) memorializes the beginnings of the group at Cambridge, which centred on ‘those two worthy starres’, Cheke and Thomas Smith, but also included Cheke’s brother-in-law William Cecil, Smith’s student John Ponet, John Aylmer, the future rhetorician Thomas Wilson and others. In the 1540s, Cheke’s appointment as tutor to Prince Edward began the movement of the whole group into leadership roles at court and in the church. Smith and Cecil were major figures in government during Edward’s reign, and (unlike Cheke) survived Mary I to serve Elizabeth I, Cecil of course as her famous chief minister. Other members of the group, such as Wilson and Nicholas Bacon, were also Elizabethan statesmen. Some not only practiced politics but wrote about it, including Cheke, Aylmer, and Ponet in his remarkable Shorte Treatise of Politike Power (1556), which defended tyrannicide. Texts by Smith and Wilson explored perceived socioeconomic problems of the commonwealth. Members of the group also provided leadership in the church, Cheke as an eager aid to both Archbishop Thomas Cranmer and the reformer Martin Bucer, Ponet in his catechism, both Ponet and Aylmer as bishops. Cheke, Smith and Cecil gave important encouragement to mid-Tudor students and practitioners of mathematics and the natural sciences. The Cambridge connection was a major presence in English intellectual, political and religious life into the first half of Elizabeth’s reign and had a shaping influence well into the seventeenth century.

We invite proposals for papers that consider any aspect of the life, writings, and activities of Cheke and the other members of the group surrounding him at Cambridge and their impact on Tudor England. Topics might include (but are not limited to): art and architecture, communities and networks, education and universities, gender and society, government and political reform, humanism and scholarship, ancient and vernacular languages, mathematics and the natural sciences, religious controversy and reform, translation and rhetoric. We especially welcome proposals from PhD students and other early career academics and expect to have bursaries available to cover some of the expenses of attending the conference.

Please send proposals (250 words) by 1 May 2014 to Alan Bryson (, John McDiarmid (, or Fred Schurink (

The Edition as Argument, 1550-1750

16-17 July 2014, Queen Mary University of London

From the philology of Lorenzo Valla to twentieth-century debates over copy-text to the new frontier of digital humanities, textual scholars have always argued over the making of meaning. Indeed, argument is integral to the practice of editing: to privilege one reading is to demote another. Bibliographical, historical, and textual choices: these ineluctably and often invisibly inform our larger understanding of the text, the author, and the culture from which they emerge. They can destabilise or confirm our most basic assumptions, from a single word – what is "blew"? – to the nature of the book: what is a text? what is an author? what is an edition?

This landmark two-day conference will draw together experienced and new editors, to analyse and to celebrate editions in progress and to inspire a new generation of editors and editions. Hosted by the AHRC-funded Complete Works of Sir Thomas Browne (forthcoming, OUP), the event will explore the future of editing in universities and offer perspectives from curators and publishers. Confirmed speakers include Cathy Shrank, Leah Marcus, Jessica Wolfe, David Colclough, Kate Bennett, Christopher Burlinson, Daniel Carey, Richard Serjeantson, Alice Eardley, Valerie Rumbold, Nicholas McDowell, and Henry Woudhuysen.

2 days £85/£65 (postgraduate students/unwaged)
1 day £43/£33 (postgraduate students/unwaged)

This includes tea/coffee, lunch on both days and a drinks reception on the evening of Wednesday 16th July. There will also be a conference dinner, charged separately.

Book your place at here.  If you have any questions, please contact or


Day 1

8.45-9.15 Registration

9.15-9.30 Welcome

9.30-10.30 Keynote 1 Professor Cathy Shrank (University of Sheffield)

10.30-10.45 BREAK

10.45-12.30 Panel 1
  • Leah Marcus (Vanderbilt University), 'A Man Who Needs No Introduction'
  • Jessica Wolfe (UNC), 'Annotating Browne's
  • Pseudodoxia: sources versus conversations'
  • David Colclough (QMUL), 'A Well Wrought Urn? Editing John Donne's final sermon'
  • Joe Moshenska (University of Cambridge), 'Insignificant space in manuscript letters: the case of Kenelm Digby'

12.30-13.30 LUNCH

13.30-15.00 Panel 2
  • Kate Bennett, (University of Oxford), '"My original minutes": Editing Aubrey's Brief Lives'
  • Ruth Connolly (University of Newcastle), 'Agency versus Authority: Editing Herrick's poems from print and manuscript'
  • Tom Charlton (University of Stirling), 'A faith 'kindled' or 'sharpened'? Editing Richard Baxter's life'

15.00-15.15 BREAK

15.15-17.00 Panel 3
  • Megan Heffernan (DePaul University), 'Elizabethan Metaphors, Victorian Miscellanies: Editing Sixteenth-Century Poetry Collections'
  • Joel Grossman (QMUL), 'Unediting Tottel: Editorial mythologies and the Tudor miscellany'
  • Christopher Burlinson (University of Cambridge), 'Poems and News: Textual Editions and Information Networks'
  • Alison Searle (University of Sydney), ''...a Connaturality of Spirit in the Saints that will work by Sympathy': Constructing Richard Baxter as a Letter Writer in the Context of His Correspondence Networks'




9.00-10.45 Panel 4
  • Daniel Carey (NUI Galway), 'To Edit the Editor: Protocols and Possibilities for an Edition of Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations...of the English Nation (1598-1600)'
  • David Atkinson, 'Editing without Authority: Representing the Ephemeral in a Folklore Collection'
  • Dianne Mitchell (University of Pennsylvania), 'A Forest of Variants: the strange case of Dudley North'
  • Richard Serjeantson (University of Cambridge), 'Editing manuscript drafts of early modern philosophical texts: problems of principle and practice'

10.45-11.00 BREAK

11.00-12.30 Panel 5
  • Alice Eardley (University of Southampton), 'Making the "Unreadable" Readable: A Digital Edition of Henry Cogan's Translation of Madeleine de Scudéry's Ibrahim (1652)'
  • Sukanta Chaudhuri (Jadavpur University), 'Renaissance drama as a very large textual object: the possibilities of a full-text database'
  • Rebecca Barr and Justin Tonra (NUI Galway), 'For the sake of argument: crowdsourcing annotation of Macpherson's Ossian'

12.30-13.15 LUNCH

13.15-14.45 Panel 6
  • Valerie Rumbold (University of Birmingham), 'Textual apparatus and reader engagement'
  • Nicholas McDowell (University of Exeter), 'Revising Republicanism? Political Argument and Copy Text in Milton's Regicide Writings'
  • Jeffrey Miller (Montclair State University) and Tom Roebuck (University of East Anglia), 'Editing the Table Talk of John Selden'

14.45-15.00 BREAK

15.00-16.00 Roundtable: Pitching and planning an edition

16.00-17.00 Keynote 2 Professor Henry Woudhuysen (University of Oxford)

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Edition as Argument, 1550-1750

Queen Mary, University of London, 16-17 July 2014

Keynote Speakers: Professor Cathy Shrank (University of Sheffield) and Professor Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford University)

Confirmed speakers: Kate Bennett, Christopher Burlinson, Dan Carey, David Colclough, Alice Eardley, Nick McDowell, Leah Marcus, Valerie Rumbold; Richard Serjeantson, Gary Stringer

From the philology of Lorenzo Valla to twentieth-century debates over copy-text to the new frontier of digital humanities, textual scholars have always argued over the making of meaning. Indeed, argument is integral to the practice of editing: to privilege one reading is to discard another. Bibliographical, historical, and textual choices: these ineluctably and often invisibly inform our larger understanding of the text, the author, and the culture from which they emerge. They can destabilise or confirm our most basic assumptions, from a single word – what is “blew”? – to the nature of the book: what is a text? what is an author? what is an edition?

This landmark two-day conference will draw together experienced and new editors, to analyse and to celebrate editions in progress and to inspire a new generation of editors and editions. Hosted by the AHRC-funded Complete Works of Sir Thomas Browne (forthcoming, OUP), the event will explore the future of editing in universities and offer perspectives from curators and publishers. One direct print outcome will be a handbook on editing sixteenth and seventeenth-century documents.

We invite proposals for 20-25 minute papers on these and other arguments. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • establishing copy-text
  • representing multiplicity: texts, states, revisions
  • error and the problem of authorial intention
  • non-author-centric editions
  • composing editorial mise-en-page
  • the role of annotation
  • editorial theory
  • the case for new editions and the future of editing
  • digital humanities
  • the impact of editing and textual scholarship
Abstracts should be no more than 300 words long and should be sent to Harriet Phillips and Claire Bryony Williams by 1st December 2013.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Dan Geffrey with the New Poete: Reading and Rereading Chaucer and Spenser

An international conference at the University of Bristol, Friday 11th – Sunday 13th July 2014. Supported by the Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Prof. Judith Anderson, Indiana University, Bloomington
Dr. Helen Barr, Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford
Prof. Helen Cooper, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

There is a persistent discussion between scholars of the medieval and early modern periods about how both periods are conceptualised and about the interrelations between them. How can reading, or rereading, the connections between these two poets contribute to this discussion? Chaucer is customarily read as a poet of the High Middle Ages, whose valorisation of the vernacular had a profound influence on the poetry of subsequent centuries. Spenser is often read as a poet of the High Renaissance for whom continuity with the past (literary and historical) was a paramount issue. What are the connections between these poets and how can they help to shape revisionist discussions about the periodisation of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance? This conference aims to reread the connections between Chaucer and Spenser, in the light of recent critical methodologies and reformulations of historical continuity and difference. The organisers hope to publish a selection of the resultant papers as a single volume, so the following questions seek to elicit contributions that collectively have a sense of coherence, without constraining what contributors wish to discuss.

  • How has the relationship between Chaucer and Spenser been read and how can it be re-read?
  • How do these two poets together help us periodize / deperiodize / reperiodize the medieval and the early modern?
  • What kind of continuum do they share? Is their relationship continuous, radically other, both or neither? Can we reconceptualise descriptions of poetic similarity or difference through discussing Chaucer and Spenser together?
  • Can we think of their connection in terms of anticipation as well as influence?
  • What can we learn about the phenomenon of intertextuality by rereading the connections between these two poets?
  • Does Spenser present us with one Chaucer or many? How has this affected later versions of Chaucer?
  • Do these two poets take analogous approaches to the task of making poetry?
  • How do earlier fifteenth- and sixteenth-century readings and adaptations of the Chaucerian canon affect Spenser’s readings of it?
  • How might a greater variety of critical approaches reveal new connections between the poets? (e.g. ecocriticism, posthumanism, studies of material cultures, studies of the digital humanities, cognitive approaches, histories of the emotions, disability studies)
  • How does Chaucer imagine his poetic followers? What would Chaucer think of Spenser?

Please send 300 word proposals for 20 minute papers to, including 5-10 keywords highlighting the content of the paper. The deadline for receipt of proposals is Monday, 28thOctober 2013.

For updates and further information, please see the conference website Dan Geffrey with the New Poete

or, follow us on twitter @chaucerspenser

CALL FOR PAPERS: Error and Print Culture, 1500-1800

A one-day conference at the Centre for the Study of the Book, Oxford University
Saturday 5 July 2014

'Pag. 8. lin. 7. for laughing, reade, languishing.'
Richard Bellings, A Sixth Booke to the Countesse of Pembrokes Arcadia (1624), ‘Errata’

Recent histories of the book have replaced earlier narratives of technological triumph and revolutionary change with a more tentative story of continuities with manuscript culture and the instability of print. An abstract sense of technological agency has given way to a messier world of collaboration, muddle, money, and imperfection. Less a confident stride towards modernity, the early modern book now looks stranger: not quite yet a thing of our world.

What role might error have in these new histories of the hand-press book? What kinds of error are characteristic of print, and what can error tell us about print culture? Are particular forms of publication prone to particular mistakes? How effective were mechanisms of correction (cancel-slips; errata lists; over-printing; and so on), and what roles did the printing house corrector perform? Did readers care about mistakes? Did authors have a sense of print as an error-prone, fallen medium, and if so, how did this inform their writing? What links might we draw between representations of error in literary works (like Spenser's Faerie Queene), and the presence of error in print? How might we think about error and retouching or correcting rolling-press plates? What is the relationship between engraving historians' continuum of difference, and letter-press bibliographers' binary of variant/invariant? Was there a relationship between bibliographical error and sin, particularly in the context of the Reformation? How might modern editors of early modern texts respond to errors: are errors things to correct, or to dutifully transcribe? Is the history of the book a story of the gradual elimination of error, or might we propose a more productive role for slips and blunders?

Proposals for 20-minute papers are welcome on any aspect of error and print, in Anglophone or non-Anglophone cultures. Please email a 300-word abstract and a short CV to Dr Adam Smyth ( by 14 April 2014.

Scholarship, Science and Religion in the Age of Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) and Henry Savile (1549-1622)

Oxford's Centre for Early Modern Studies 6th Annual Conference

T.S. Eliot Theatre, Merton College
Tuesday 1st - Thursday 3rd July 2014

Plenary speaker: Anthony Grafton (Princeton)

Rhiannon Ash (Oxford), Philip Beeley (Oxford), Paul Botley (Warwick), Matteo Campagnolo (Geneva), Andrea Ceccarelli (Padua), Ingrid de Smet (Warwick), Mordechai Feingold (Caltech), Robert Goulding (Notre Dame), Nick Hardy (Cambridge), Scott Mandelbrote (Cambridge), Jean-Louis Quantin (Paris), Paul Quarrie (Maggs Bros.), André-Louis Rey (Geneva), Thomas Roebuck (UEA), Richard Serjeantson (Cambridge), Robin Sowerby (Stirling), Gilbert Tournoy (Leuven), Benjamin Wardhaugh (Oxford), Joanna Weinberg (Oxford).

The conference is co-organized by the University of Oxford (David Norbrook), the University of East Anglia (Tom Roebuck), and the California Institute of Technology (Mordechai Feingold).

Henry Savile (1549-1622) and Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) were two contrasting giants of late humanism. Savile, Warden of Merton College, Oxford, was a key figure in the history of English science and a formidable presence on the English scholarly and political scene, whose translation of Tacitus led to political controversy and whose editio princeps of Chrysostom in Greek won admiration across Europe. Casaubon, perhaps the leading Greek classical scholar of his generation and a great correspondent within the intellectual exchanges of the Republic of Letters, used his scholarship to become a formidable Protestant polemicist, publishing a vast philological critique of the authorized Catholic ecclesiastical history of Cesare Baronio.

Their lives and works, when considered together, raise vital questions about the history of early-modern knowledge and erudition, the relationship between the histories of science and the humanities, the networks of early-modern intellectual communication, the history of books and archives, the importance of Hebraic scholarship, and the impact of scholarship upon literature. Our conference, timed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Casaubon's death and the 750th anniversary of Merton College's foundation (the institution Savile shaped), brings together leading scholars from across the disciplines to answer these questions.

To encourage early registration, we are offering reduced registration rates until the 1st of May 2014:

Full: £100 for three days / £50 per individual day
Graduate: £75 for three days / £40 per individual day

Final conference registration closes on the 19th June 2014. Graduate bursaries are available upon application.

CALL FOR PAPERS Ars Effectiva et Methodus: The Body in Early Modern Science and Thought

Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel, 30 June – 1 July 2014

Organised by Karin Friedrich (Aberdeen) with the support of the Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, the Aberdeen Humanities Fund/Hunter Caldwell Awards and the Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Aberdeen (Scotland)

This is a call for papers for a conference that focuses on the influence of Melanchthon’s methodus et ars on the definition and meaning of the body – both real and metaphorical and across the disciplines. It builds on a symposium on the formation of scholarly disciplines and networks spun between Scotland and Northern Europe around the Scottish polymath Duncan Liddel (1561-1613) which was held at the University of Aberdeen 8-10 May 2013. Supported by the Wellcome Trust, it initiated a research project on Liddel’s library (held in Aberdeen) and his time at the University of Helmstedt from 1595-1607.

Following Renaissance medicine’s approach, we see ars medica penetrating all innermost parts of nature and combining all disciplines, from medicine to cosmography to ethics, and employing empirical observation. Triggered first by epidemics such as the Black Death and, in the sixteenth century, the ‘French Disease’, trust in Aristotelian and Galenic medical traditions suffered a setback in favour of the rise of broadly Neo-Platonist occult concepts, reflected in the work of Paracelsus, Fracastoro, Fernel and other innovators. Alongside this shift, empirical approaches began to flourish, especially in relation to anatomy and the physical body, just as Aristotelianism began to give way to the new philosophy. In Liber de anima (1540), for example, Melanchthon insisted that knowledge of our bodies’ anatomy gave us self-knowledge about our souls and revealed God’s workmanship within us. Anatomy became a natural philosophical endeavour that could help to maintain doctrinal coherence in the church.

As Humanist scholars of medicine and related disciplines explored the possibilities of new epistemologies and methodologies, a growing European republic of letters gained significance. With a particular interest in the role of polymathic networks and their discourses, particularly Lutheran and humanist networks, we need to ask how, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, new concepts of the human body contributed to the development and differentiation of scientific disciplines in the post-medieval world, right up to what was later labelled the ‘Scientific Revolution’.

Themes for exploration are:
Bodies physical and metaphysical
Knowledge of bodies and bodies of knowledge: the development of disciplines
Teaching the Body: didactic scholarship
Heavenly bodies and down to earth: From astronomy to astrology and alchemy
The ‘Body Politic’ as an epistemological resource
‘Body of Proof’: Medicine, Method and Humanist discourses

Proposals (not longer than 350 words, or one page A4, stating the address from which you will travel) for papers addressing the themes of the conference (papers are limited to 20 minutes) are accepted in German, English or French and should be sent by 7 March (preferably via email) to:
Professor Dr Karin Friedrich
Chair of Early Modern History
Deputy Head of School (Divinity, History and Philosophy) for History
Co-director Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS)

University of Aberdeen
Crombie Annexe 207
Meston Walk
Aberdeen AB24 3FX
Tel. +44- (0) 1224-272451

Katherine Philips 350: Writing, Reputation, Legacy

Dublin, 27-28 June, 2014

2014 marks the 350th anniversary of a key year in English-language women's literary history. 1664 witnessed not only the publication of Katherine Philips's supposedly unauthorised Poems but also her untimely death at the age of 32. 'Katherine Philips 350: Writing, Reputation, Legacy' - an international conference to be held at Marsh's Library, Dublin - will celebrate this important anniversary in a city where Philips spent the most productive and high-profile year of her literary career. It will offer the opportunity not only to re-evaluate Philips's literary achievements, but also to reassess her influence on later seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century women's writing.

The conference programme will include plenary lectures by Professor Elizabeth Hageman (University of New Hampshire) and Professor Sarah Prescott (Aberystwyth University). It will also include a visit to the site of Smock Alley Theatre, where Philips's play Pompey was performed in 1663.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Texts, canon and circulation
  • Philips's life and afterlife
  • Language and form
  • Letter-writing
  • Drama
  • Translation
  • Philips as reader and critic
  • Archipelagic contexts
  • Politics and religion
  • Friendship and sexualities
  • Literary networks
Titles and abstracts (of up to 250 words) for papers should be sent to
by 31 August 2013. Please also include your name, institutional affiliation (where applicable), and email address.

A selection of essays based on papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of Women's Writing in 2015.

Further information about the conference will be posted at

We look forward to seeing you in Dublin in 2014!

Marie-Louise Coolahan and Gillian Wright, conference organisers

CALL FOR PAPERS: Garrick and Shakespeare

An International Conference

Kingston University at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames with Garrick's Shakespeare Temple
June 25th - June 27th 2014

Plenary Speakers:

Simon Callow (2014 Garrick Lecture)
Normal Clarke
Michael Dobson
Peter Holland

David Garrick’s Kingston connections date from 1754, when he bought the house beside the Thames known ever after as Garrick’s Villa, and built his Shakespeare Temple, where he would be famously painted by Zoffany. So, as part of the 2014 ‘Kingston Connections’ programme, Kingston University and the Rose Theatre will jointly host an academic conference to celebrate the great Shakespearean and commemorate his legacy to the Royal Borough.

Actor, manager, playwright, versifier, philosophical correspondent: Garrick excelled in many parts, and was possibly both the most praised and vilified cultural celebrity of his age. Authors whose plays he rejected and performers he did not employ were certainly not sparing in their attacks. ‘Garrick and Shakespeare’ therefore seeks to focus on his achievements as a Shakespeare interpreter and impresario, but also to re-examine Garrick’s controversial reputation.

Papers are invited on any aspect of Garrick’s life and work, but topics it is hoped to open for new consideration include his career as a Shakespearean actor, correspondence, celebrity status, and influence as an arts administrator. Please send a 300-word abstract together with brief cv. by March 31 2014 to:

Professor Richard Wilson
The Rose Theatre, 124-6 High Street
Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 1HL

Research, Teaching and Learning: Poems, Emblems and The Unfortunate Florinda, edited by Alice Eardley

Research, Teaching and Learning
Monday 23rd June 2014
2pm – 6pm

The Postgraduate Hub, Senate House

University of Warwick

An afternoon conference to celebrate the launch of Poems, Emblems and The Unfortunate Florinda,
edited by Alice Eardley.

Refreshments will be provided.

Alice Eardley - Southampton, Victoria Burke – Ottawa, Sarah Ross –Victoria University of Wellington, Marie-Louise Coolahan – Galway, Elizabeth Clarke – Warwick, Rebekah King – Warwick, Sophie Shoreland – King’s College London

Do let us know if you are coming: