We seek proposals for papers that examine early modern British women who owned books, circulated books, or created libraries or book collections between 1500-1700, a period that saw increased literacy and a revolution in book production and circulation. Scholars have reconstructed and assessed the collections and libraries of Renaissance men, including Harvey, Dee, Jonson, Hales, and Drake; women’s book ownership, as a subject of scholarly inquiry, “awaits its historian,” observes David McKitterick (2000) in a study of Elizabeth Puckering’s library. What resources (commonplace books, poetry miscellanies, inventories, etc.) shed light on women’s circulation of books within communities? What are the marks — figurative, material, cultural — of women’s book usage, ownership, and collecting? What can the creation of book collections or libraries tell us about social status, family ties, confessional affiliations, education, economic status, travels? What methodologies illuminate these interrelated topics?
By Oct. 1, 2014, please send a file containing a 350 word abstract and a 50-word biographical statement to Leah Knight (firstname.lastname@example.org), Micheline White (email@example.com), and Elizabeth Sauer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration.