CALL FOR PAPERS: International Conference Splendid Encounters VI: Correspondence and Information Exchange in Diplomacy (1300-1750)

Nova University of Lisbon
28th — 30th September 2017

Splendid Encounters 6 is one of a series of international and interdisciplinary conferences which aim to bring together scholars from the broadest range of perspectives to consider diplomacy and diplomatic activities in the late medieval and early modern period. After successful meetings in Warsaw, Bath, Florence, Budapest and Prague, we wish to invite you to join us for another event, hosted by Nova University of Lisbon.

Collecting and transferring information is a major aim of diplomacy, and one not confined to diplomats strictly speaking. People of different ranks and functions were still connected to diplomatic activity — ambassadors, nuncios, chargés d’affaires, secretaries and agents, members of ambassadorial households, consuls and merchants, and even the aides employed as middlemen or translators.

Just as varied as the agents were the methods used to obtain access to the latest news and information useful to ruler or country. As diplomatic networks grew bigger and bigger in size and reach in this period, so did the need to find reliable sources of news and to develop ways to efficiently deliver them.

These are some of the issues that will be addressed at the upcoming conference, Splendid Encounters VI. The conference will focus on the role of news and information transmitting in diplomatic practices within and outside Europe between the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries. In assessing the role of diplomats and networks in such exchanges, this edition of Splendid Encounters also breaks away from traditional chronological and geographical approaches.

Please email by 15 March 2017 to se6.lisbon@gmail.com your abstract for either 20‒minute individual papers or 90‒minute sessions (to comprisea panel, roundtable, project presentation, etc.).

We especially encourage proposals dealing with:
  • Diplomatic correspondence: evolution, importance, cyphers, etc.
  • Diplomats and diplomacy as a subject of news
  • The languages, forms and performance of (written and oral) communication
  • East–West/North–South encounters
  • Channels of contact; Europe, Africa, Asia, America
  • Diplomatic communication across cultures and the culture(s) of diplomatic communication
  • Practices of information exchange in empire, states, regions
  • The personnel of news networks
  • Continuity and change in the long run: from ‘medieval’ to ‘early modern’

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by 15th April.

Contact for general queries Dr Anna Kalinowska: se6.lisbon@gmail.com and for Lisbon arrangements Dr Tiago Viúla de Faria: tiago.faria@fcsh.unl.pt

Erotema – A Conference on Rhetoric and Literature

Karlstad University, Sweden, 14–16 September 2017

Rhetoric, literature – what’s the difference? For hundreds of years, no one bothered to ask – literature was simply seen as a species of rhetoric. The two subjects were taught as one well into the nineteenth century (as witness text-books like David Williams’s 1850 Composition, Literary and Rhetorical, Simplified), but in response to shifting social demands and artistic practices, the study of literature was gradually separated from the study of rhetoric. For most of the twentieth century they have been seen as contrasting rather than complementary practices, as a rule organized as distinct departments in the academy.

Today, we find ourselves in a situation in which many of the reasons literature emerged as a distinct discipline in the first place no longer seem to apply. Like the humanities in general, literary studies at present face a series of challenges, of an external as well as of an internal nature. Books such as In Defense of a Liberal Education, Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, and The Public Value of the Humanities make strikingly evident that the value of the liberal arts can no longer be taken for granted. Internal challenges meanwhile, include questions of what role literary studies can play in a global economy in which national boundaries no longer seem of principle importance, and distinctions between high and low culture long since have evaporated.

The time thus seems ripe to open the rhetorical question anew. Could rhetoric play a more central role in literary studies than it hitherto has? Do both fields stand something to gain by a closer collaboration? Might such a combination of perspectives even be a means to open up rhetoric and literary studies alike to other disciplines, such as media studies, language studies, art history and pedagogy?

Erotema: A Conference on Rhetoric and Literature proceeds on the assumption that even if questions of the above order to some of us may seem mere rhetorical questions – erotemata – they demand genuine answers. To that end, we invite papers that address old and new ways in which the relations between rhetoric and literature may be further explored.

Proposals of 300-400 words for 20-minute papers dealing with rhetoric and literature in relation to

  • the history of literature and/or rhetoric
  • language studies
  • translation studies
  • historical studies
  • teaching
  • subject specific teaching methodology
  • political theory
  • media theory
  • genre theory
  • gender studies
  • postcolonial studies
  • cultural studies

or any other topic, should be sent to erotema@kau.se, by January 13, 2017.

We are delighted to present keynotes from:

Roy Eriksen (University of Agder, Norway) is Professor English Renaissance Literature and Culture. He is the author of The Building in the Text. Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton (2001) and the co-editor (with Toril Moi) of Rhetoric Across the Humanities (1999).

Xing Lu (DePaul University, USA) is the author of Rhetoric in Ancient China, Fifth to Third Century B. C. E.: A Comparison with Greek Rhetoric (1998), as well as Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Impacts on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Communication (2004). Her academic interests include Chinese rhetoric, comparative rhetoric, intercultural/multicultural communication, language and culture, cultural identity, and Asian American communication.

Richard Walsh (University of York, England) is the author of The Rhetoric of Fictionality, which develops a pragmatic rhetorical perspective to articulate a fundamental critique of some basic concepts and assumptions in narratology: the narrator, story and discourse, mimesis, voice, emotional involvement, narrative creativity and fictionality itself. His research has extended to film, graphic narrative, interactive media and music.

Andrzej Warminski (University of California, USA), is professor of English and a specialist in 'literary theory'--with the stress on the word (and the question of the) 'literary'--from Plato to the present. His two most recent books, Material Inscriptions: Rhetorical Reading in Practice and Theory and Ideology, Rhetoric, Aesthetics: For De Man (both 2013), document his interest in the question of reading, of language, and of the rhetorical dimension of language.

Laura Wilder (SUNY), is the author of Rhetorical Strategies and Genre Conventions in Literary Studies: Teaching and Writing in the Disciplines, which underscores the centrality of rhetoric also to the teaching of literature and other academic subjects. Throughout her research, Wilder explores the ways literary scholars, like other disciplinary specialists, tacitly share a distinct set of rhetorical strategies for effective argumentation which support the production of new knowledge, highlighting the often unacknowledged role of these argumentative conventions in the undergraduate literature classroom.

Erotema is organized by KuFo, the culture studies research group at Karlstad University.

Renaissance College: Corpus Christi College, Oxford in Context, c.1450-c.1600

6-9 September 2017

Corpus Christi College, Oxford was founded, on humanistic principles, in 1517. Its fellows included specially-appointed lecturers in Latin literature, Greek and Theology and its new trilingual library featured works in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Throughout the sixteenth century, Corpus was a major centre of learning and religion: it played host to the Spanish humanist, Juan Luis Vives and the German astronomer and mathematician, Nicholas Kratzer; its fellows included the Catholic reformer Reginald Pole and the Protestant thinkers John Jewel and Richard Hooker.

In the College’s 500th anniversary year, we shall be holding a conference to discuss the wider context and implications of this remarkable foundation, exploring the inter-connected worlds of learning and education, prelacy and public service, charity and communal life, religion, literature and the arts, in Oxford and beyond, during a hundred-and-fifty year period of Renaissance and Reformation. 

There will be papers from Susan Brigden, Clive Burgess, Jeremy Catto, Paul Cavill, Alex Gajda, Anthony Grafton, Lucy Kaufman, Nicholas Hardy, Pamela King, Julian Reid, Richard Rex, Miri Rubin, David Rundle, Christopher Stray, Joanna Weinberg, Magnus Williamson, and William Whyte. A round table of Mordechai Feingold, Felicity Heal and Diarmaid MacCulloch, chaired by Keith Thomas, will bring proceedings to a close.

More details will become available over the next few months, but if you would like to make a provisional booking now, please contact sara.watson@ccc.ox.ac.uk; or, for more information about the academic aims and content of the conference,john.watts@ccc.ox.ac.uk

CALL FOR PAPERS: Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies: Complaints and Grievances, 1500-1750

Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading
10-11 July 2017

The theme of the 2017 Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies is ‘Complaints and Grievances, 1500-1750’. Proposals for individual papers and panels are invited on research relating to this theme in any area of early modern literature and theatre, history, politics, art, music and culture across Britain, Europe and the wider world. Suggested topics for papers and panels include, although are not confined to:

Literary Complaint:
  • Material cultures of complaint: production, transmission, reception
  • Erotic complaint: narratives of abandonment, grief and loss
  • Early modern women writers and complaint
  • Voicing others: complaint as prosopopoeia
  • Religious complaint: satire and exhortation

Medical Complaints and Grievances:
  • Experiencing or witnessing suffering and pain
  • Learning to live with disease and disability
  • Painful or pain-relieving medical/surgical treatments
  • Sensory aspects of medicine and surgery: sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and tactile sensations
  • Complaints about medical practitioners, nurses, or patients

Political and Religious Complaints and Grievances:
  • Petitioning and pamphleteering
  • From grievances to politics: the personal, the local, and the national
  • The popular and elite politics of complaint
  • Complaint, crime and the law
  • Travellers’ complaints: religion, politics and the lived experience of travel

Each panel proposal (minimum of two and a maximum of four papers) should contain the names of the session chair, the names and affiliations of the speakers and 200 word abstracts of the papers together with email contacts for all participants. A proposal for an individual paper (20 minutes) should consist of a 200 word abstract of the paper with brief details of affiliation and career.

Proposals for either papers or panels should be sent by email by Friday 16 December 2016, with the subject heading ‘2017 Conference’, to the Conference Committee, emrc@reading.ac.uk

The Gorboduc Project: Territory, Politics and Performance

June 22nd-23rd 2017, Northumbria University

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union constitutes the most momentous separation of British-European political culture since the Protestant Reformation, dragging questions of localised political autonomy into the spotlight. Ongoing nationwide movements toward political devolution are transforming notions of political agency in terms of the regional and local. As scholarly and public interest in ideas of British political identity continues to sharpen, this conference explores themes of division and devolution in drama written at the dawn of the British Empire. Looking to Britain’s uncertain future by learning about its past can tell us much about how literature responds to drastic political change, not least in terms of the territories (real and imagined) with which it is invested.

This call for papers seeks to address questions relating to territory and politics at the dawn of the British Empire, and to explore how those questions were unpacked through the medium of dramatic performance. The tumultuous reigns of the Tudors saw English dramaturgy assume a heightened political focus, and notions of local, territorial identity brought into dialogue with perspectives on the nation’s place within an emerging imperial framework. From Norton and Sackville’s Gorboduc to Shakespeare’s history plays, Tudor drama interrogated relationships between civil divisions and international connections in embodied forms – repeatedly shadowing questions of the body politic with semantics of dismemberment, disability, and malfunction. Pre-empting questions of territory and politics that saturate many of our own political debates by over four centuries, these plays use boundaries, bodies and places to question, support, and oppose regional-political authority.

Confirmed plenary speaker: Jessica Winston, Idaho State University.

We invite abstract proposals of 300 words (or less) on topics including, but not limited to Tudor dramatic performances and
  • devolution, rebellion, and insurrection
  • patronage and performance
  • political personations
  • propaganda and regionalised politics
  • borders, boundaries, and political edges
  • politics of translation
  • staging devotional loyalty and/or novelty
  • locations of performance

Please send proposals to Paul Frazer and Harriet Archer by 1st February 2017.