Thomas Harriot Seminar 2012

The Thomas Harriot Seminar (THS) exists to promote the study of the life and times of the Elizabethan mathematician and natural philosopher Thomas Harriot (1560-1621). The THS meets biennially in Durham (in December) and features papers both on the work of Harriot himself, and on various aspects of the history of sixteenth- and early-seventeenth century science and mathematics (including the history of navigation) and the discovery and colonisation of the New World. It publishes an occasional newsletter, and a series of Occasional Papers (details of how to purchase these are available on the website).

The next Thomas Harriot Seminar will be held at St Chad's College, University of Durham on the 15-17 December 2012. Speakers will include: Matteo Valleriani, Adam Mosley, Alexander Marr, Jim Bennett, Philip M. Sanders, Makiko Okamura, Jackie Stedall, and Robert Goulding.

The 2012 Thomas Harriot Lecture (by Professor Lesley Cormack of the University of Alberta), organised and hosted by Oriel College, Oxford, will be on the 31 May. More details of both events can be found on the website.

If you have any news items relating to Thomas Harriot, or you would like to hear more about the Seminar and its activities, please contact the Vice-Chairman of the Seminar, Dr Stephen Clucas (

Call for Papers: Popes and the Papacy in early modern English culture

An interdisciplinary conference
The University of Sussex, June 24th – 26th 2013

Confirmed speakers include Peter Lake, Susannah Monta and Alison Shell

Proposals are welcome for individual papers or panels on any subject associated with the theme of the conference. Topics may include:

· Anti- Catholic satire
· Pre-Reformation culture
· Literary representations of Popes and the Papacy
· Lives of the Popes
· English Cardinals
· Religious controversy
· Recusant culture
· Papal Bulls
· Excommunication
· Diplomacy/Ambassadors/Nuncios/Correspondence
· Architecture
· Ecclesiology
· Theology

300 word proposals for papers and panels should be sent to Paul Quinn ( by March 1st 2013. Papers should last for 20 minutes. Panels should include three papers.

Unsealed - The Letters of Bess of Hardwick

Now at The National Archives, from 27 November 2012 to the end of February 2013.

The correspondence of Bess of Hardwick (Elizabeth, countess of Shrewsbury) will be explored in a new exhibition at The National Archives – ‘Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick’.

One of Elizabethan England's most famous figures, Bess of Hardwick was an influential matriarch and dynast, lady at Elizabeth I's court, and the builder of great stately homes like Hardwick Hall. All of the Elizabethan world populated her letters: dukes and spies, queens and servants, friends and lovers. She wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life - they were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London and news from the world at large. This travelling exhibition, on loan from Hardwick Hall, features images and letter facsimiles that bring Bess and her correspondents to life, and visitors can explore Bess’s world through a series of podcasts on food, fashion and gossip.

To mark the launch of the exhibition Dr Alison Wiggins will be giving a free talk on the letters at The National Archives on 29 November at 14:00, where there will also be the chance to see some of Bess’s original letters.

Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick can be seen at The National Archives from Tuesday 27 November 2012 to the end of February 2013, and is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and supported by the National Trust and the University of Glasgow.

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444.

Dr. Katy Mair
Medieval and Early Modern Team
Advice and Records Knowledge
The National Archives
020 8392 5330 (ext. 2787)

Forum for European Philosophy Event: European Provocations, Rousseau and the State of War

Tuesday 11 December, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Chris Bertram, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Bristol

Chair: Kristina Musholt, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Rousseau’s fragment Principles of the Right of War has recently been reconstructed from various manuscript sources and we now have a coherent text expressing his views about war and so-called 'just war' theory. Here, as elsewhere, Rousseau suspects that the moral principles enunciated by philosophers and legal theorists are just rationalizations for amour propre, power and violence. This lecture will argue that in the light of recent wars and ‘humanitarian interventions’, Rousseau’s text is as relevant as ever.

Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. They can be accessed at

All events are free and open to all without registration
For further information contact Juliana Cardinale: 020 7955 7539

Forum for European Philosophy
Cowdray House, Room G.05, European Institute
London School of Economics, WC2A 2AE

Call for Papers: Women and Maps in Early Modernity

Abstracts are invited for papers about "Women and Maps in Early Modernity," for a possible SSEMW Co-Sponsored Session at the American Historical Association's annual meeting in Washington DC in January 2014.

We seek papers from a range of disciplines -- including, but not limited to, history, art history, literary studies, and historical geography -- which address the nexus between early modern women and maps/cartography in any geographical region or culture, during the time period c. 1400-1700. Paper topics might consider women as:

- Explorers contributing data from which maps are made
- map illustrators
- printers/publishers/sellers of maps
- navigators/users of maps
- writers on the topic of cartography

Abstracts (400-500 words) for papers 20 minutes in length should be submitted by January 10, 2013, by email, to Allyson Poska ( and Erika Gaffney (

Call for Papers: Women and Curiosity in Early Modern Europe

International conference, 21-22 June 2013

Paris, France
University Paris Ouest Nanterre (Quarto, CREA370)
and University Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (Épistémè, PRISMES EA4398)

The multiplication of cabinets of curiosities and the obsession with novelty are evidence of the development of a “culture of curiosity” in the early modern period. While curiosity had long been considered as an intellectual vice, associated with hybris and the original sin, and described by Augustine as “lust of the eyes”, it became a virtue in the 17th century. One of the main reasons for this transformation was the continued efforts of natural philosophers to demonstrate that curiosity was morally acceptable in order to legitimize their scientific endeavour. Francis Bacon and his followers thus insisted on the code of conduct of natural philosophers, the usefulness of the knowledge they were seeking and the discrepancy between their own research and occult sciences. All of them championed the “good curiosity” of the natural philosophers, as opposed to the “bad curiosity” of men and women interested in magic, and in trivial and superficial matters.

If there was indeed a “rehabilitation of curiosity” in the early modern period, did it have any impact on women’s desire for knowledge? The emergence of women philosophers at the time (Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Lady Ranelagh, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Catherine of Sweden, Damaris Masham, Mary Astell, Catherine Trotter, etc.) may indicate that their curiosity was now considered as legitimate and morally acceptable – or at least that it was tolerated. Yet it has been suggested that the new status of curiosity in the early modern period led instead to an even stronger distrust for women, who were both prone to curiosity and curiosities themselves. The June 2013 conference on “Women and Curiosity” aims at assessing the impact of the alledged “rehabilitation of curiosity” on women in the early modern period, by analysing discourses on women as enquirers and objects of curiosity. Iconographic and fictional representations of curious women and female curiosity might also give an insight into the relations between women and curiosity in the early modern period (for example, Cesare Ripa’s allegory of curiosity as “a huge, wild-haired, winged woman” inIconologia (1593), or representations of emblematic curious women such as Eve, Dinah, Pandora, etc.). The origins of these discourses and representations, as well as their premises, might also be investigated: to what extent did the condemnation of women’s curiosity reveal a fear of disorder and transgression? Did it betray male anxiety about female sexuality or about the mystery of birth? Was it justified by medical interpretations of curiosity, such as a specific humoural condition?

Women’s own conception of curiosity / curiosities in the early modern period might also be of interest, especially as it is rarely studied. The conference on “Women and Curiosity” will thus give us the opportunity to focus on what women themselves wrote about curiosity in their treatises, fictional works, translations, and correspondences. Did women writers consider curiosity as intrinsically female? How did they react to male discourses on women as enquirers and objects of curiosity? What representations of curiosity did they give in their texts?

Please send an abstract for 25-minute papers and a biographical note to Sandrine Parageau ( or Line Cottegnies ( by 30 January, 2013.

Research Awards in Rome 2013-14

The British School at Rome

The British School at Rome is a centre of interdisciplinary research excellence in the Mediterranean supporting the full range of arts, humanities and social sciences. Our highly competitive and prestigious awards have provided many leading scholars with a critical base for their subsequent careers.

Applications are invited for a number of residencies, for research on the archaeology, history, art history, society and culture of Italy from prehistory to the modern period. These awards offer accommodation in our residence, food, 24-hour access to our historic library collection and, in some instances, a research grant; they are tenable for three or nine months.

Further details (including eligibility criteria) and applications forms are available.

For any further information, please contact Gill Clark at
Closing date for applications: Tuesday 15 January 2013

Newton and the Origin of Civilization

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm on Tuesday 27 November 2012
at The Royal Society, London

Public history of science lecture by Prof. Mordechai Feingold and Prof. Jed Buchwald.

Event details:
Isaac Newton's Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, published in 1728, one year after the great man's death, unleashed a storm of controversy. And for good reason. The book presents a drastically revised timeline for ancient civilizations, contracting Greek history by five hundred years and Egypt's by a millennium. This lecture will tell the story of how one of the most celebrated figures in the history of mathematics, optics, and mechanics came to apply his unique ways of thinking to problems of history, theology, and mythology, and how his radical ideas produced an uproar that reverberated in Europe's learned circles throughout the eighteenth century and beyond.

Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold reveal the manner in which Newton strove for nearly half a century to rectify universal history by reading ancient texts through the lens of astronomy, and to create a tight theoretical system for interpreting the evolution of civilization on the basis of population dynamics. It was during Newton's earliest years at Cambridge that he developed the core of his singular method for generating and working with trustworthy knowledge, which he applied to his study of the past with the same rigor he brought to his work in physics and mathematics. Drawing extensively on Newton's unpublished papers and a host of other primary sources, Buchwald and Feingold reconcile Isaac Newton the rational scientist with Newton the natural philosopher, alchemist, theologian, and chronologist of ancient history.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded video will be available on this page a few days after the event.

Enquiries: Contact the events team

Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association Biennial Conference | Shakespeare and Emotions [Call for Papers]

In collaboration with
The Arc Centre of Excellence in the History of Emotions

27 – 30 NOVEMBER, 2012

at the University of Western Australia


The study of emotions in history and literature is a burgeoning field in Early Modern Studies and other areas, and Shakespeare takes a very central and influential place. We invite papers on any aspect of the ways in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries represented emotions in poetry, drama and other works, and how these have been received by audiences and readers from the sixteenth century to today. There are paradoxes to be explored – how ‘the bodily turn’ of physiological influence on emotions could in turn generate more modern models of inner consciousness alone; how concepts rooted historically in Elizabethan and Jacobean England could be adapted to fit the philosophies and concepts of later ages, through eighteenth century literature of sensibility, nineteenth century and Darwinian approaches, twentieth century psychologism stimulated by Freud, and a host of others. Did Shakespeare tap into a ‘collective unconscious’ of ‘universal’ stories, or did he arbitrarily choose stories to dramatise which his affective eloquence incorporated into world literature? Why have his works proved so durable in their emotional power, both in themselves and adaptations into other media such as opera, music, film and dance? Equal attention is invited to plays in performance and in ‘closet’ critical readings, as well as textual studies and adaptations.

The new Fortune stage will be available for original practice performances, open rehearsals, stage-based research papers, etc.

ABSTRACTS of 200 words can be submitted for consideration at:  Please bear in mind that although our venues have full capability for powerpoint and projecting files from your computers, wi-fi reception is in some rooms unavailable, so if you will need full internet reception for your presentation please make this clear in your abstract and we will try to programme accordingly.

Science in the news: regional independent television in the British Midlands during the 1950s and 1960s

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 23 November 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Dr Sally Horrocks.

Event details:
Dr Sally Horrocks is Lecturer in Modern British History at the University of Leicester.

From the outset science and technology stories were an integral part of the output of regional television news in the English Midlands, reaching an audience that went far beyond those that chose to watch dedicated science programmes. Initially these reports drew heavily on the visual style of newsreels, but gradually developed new approaches and began to exploit the possibilities offered by television, particularly for audience engagement. This talk will consider how reporting on science and technology developed in the early years of regional television and the images of science it presented to the public.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Redcrosse, performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company

'How do we think about identity in ways that don't reflect anxiety, fear of the other, uncritical adulation of our past and all the other pitfalls that surround this subject? The Redcrosse project manages to negotiate these difficulties with immense imaginative energy and honesty: no sour notes, no attempt to overcompensate by desperately overapologetic rhetoric, simply a recovery of deep roots and generous vision. As much as it takes its cue from Spenser, it's a contemporary working out of some of the great and inexhaustible legacy of Blake, a unique contribution to what is often a pretty sterile discussion of who we are in these islands.'
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, UK

On the evening of Saturday the 17th of November the Royal Shakespeare Company will be performing *Redcrosse*, the new poetic liturgy for England and St George which Ewan Fernie (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham) wrote with the major poets Jo Shapcott, Michael Symmons Roberts and Andrew Motion, and the theologian Andrew Shanks, as part of a multi-grant-winning academic project. *Redcrosse* got considerable national press last year, in *The Guardian*, on radio and television, and even in *The Daily Star*, when it was performed in Windsor Castle and Manchester Cathedral. Its RSC production in the modernist masterpiece of Coventry Cathedral will be its most dramatic and exciting instantiation to date, taking its audience on an exciting and affirming adventure into what England is and could be. Don’t miss it!

For further details and tickets, please see the link below.

A book of the project will also be launched on the 17th:

Iron from the sky: the potential influence of meteorites on ancient Egyptian culture

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 16 November 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Dr Diane Johnson.

Event details:
Diane Johnson is Project Officer (FIBSEM) at the Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space & Astronomical Research, Open University.

Ancient Egyptian belief was frequently derived from observations of the natural world, where the gods were considered to control the forces of nature; and as a society, ancient Egyptians placed great value upon order and balance. So how would the appearance of a fireball bringing meteorite iron to the ground be interpreted, and what was the perception of this iron as such a rare material? This lecture will explore the theory that meteorites may have influenced many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture with evidence in the form of artefacts, ancient texts and architecture.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities: Knowledge and its Pretenders

Tuesday 13th November 1.30pm – 3pm Room B36, Main Building

Speaker: David Bell (Visiting Professorial Fellow BIH/BISR)

Psychoanalysis centres upon the capacity to know oneself and this perspective, very clear in Freud , was given a new theoretical basis and centrality in the work of Wilfred Bion This seminar will centre on those factors which operate in the service of furthering self knowledge and those which acts against it, the latter substituting for knowledge its various 'pretenders'. These processes will be investigated in the individual, group and broader societal levels.

This workshop is free and open to all – no registration

The workshops and lectures during the year will explore our twin capacities for knowledge and self-deception as made manifest in the consulting room, in everyday life and in the socio-political contexts we inhabit.

Next Workshop in this series is on 21st May 2013 1.30pm Room B04, 43 Gordon Sq.

Information about all David Bell’s lectures with the BISR/BIH is here

Julia Eisner, Manager
Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
Birkbeck Institute for Social Research
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

T: (0) 20 7631 6612

Teaching language to the deaf in the 17th century: the dispute between John Wallis and William Holder

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 09 November 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Dr David Cram

Event details:
David Cram is Emeritus Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.

In the early years of the Royal Society an acrimonious dispute broke out between John Wallis and William Holder as to which of them had been successful in the ‘experiment’ of teaching the deaf child Alexander Popham to speak. Using evidence from the recently-discovered manual composed by Wallis for instructing Popham, this talk will aim to position the dispute in the context of the broader experimental concerns in Royal Society circles, including the schemes for a philosophical language with which both Wallis and Holder were intimately associated.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and general seating will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

The talk will be interpreted by a BSL interpreter, and priority seating will be given to those who require this service. If you do, please email Felicity Henderson ( in advance of your visit with your name and the number of people in your group.

Recorded audio and video will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Funding: BSHS Student Assistance for For Conference Fees

The British Society for the History of Science (BSHS) is pleased to offer financial assistance to its student members attending the 2013 International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Manchester. The value of each award will be 205 British pounds, which is the amount of the conference fee for early registration (ending on 14 April 2013).

These bursaries will be available to all student members of the BSHS, but you must make an application by 31 January 2013. The application should simply consist of an e-mail attachment submitted to Lucy Tetlow<>, the Executive Secretary of the BSHS, giving your name and institutional affiliation and stating that you would like to receive a bursary. (Please note that you can also apply separately for travel assistance from the BSHS Butler-Eyles fund.)

Decisions will be made by the Council of the BSHS, and announced by 28 February 2013. Funds will be made available directly after the Congress on confirmation of attendance.

Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP)

English Professor Laura Mandell, Director of the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture (IDHMC), along with two co-PIs Professor Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna and Professor Richard Furuta, are very pleased to announce that Texas A&M has received a 2-year, $734,000 development grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP, ). The two other project leaders, Anton DuPlessis and Todd Samuelson, are book historians from Cushing Rare Books Library.

Over the next two years, eMOP will work to improve scholarly access to an extensive early modern text corpus. The overarching goal of eMOP is to develop new methods and tools to improve the digitization, transcription, and preservation of early modern texts.

The peculiarities of early printing technology make it difficult for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to discern discrete characters and, thus, to render readable digital output. By creating a database of early modern fonts, training the software that mechanically types page images (OCR) to read those typefaces, and creating crowd-sourced correction tools, eMOP promises to improve the quality of digital surrogates for early modern texts. Receiving this grant makes possible improving the machine-translation of digital page images with cutting-edge crowd-sourcing and OCR technologies, both guided by book history. Our goal is to further the digital preservation processes currently taking place in institutions, libraries, and museums globally.

The IDHMC, along with our participating institutions and individuals, will aggregate and re-tool many of the recent innovations in OCR in order to provide a stable community and expanded canon for future scholarly pursuits. Thanks to the efforts of the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) and its digital hubs, NINES, 18thConnect, ModNets, REKn and MESA, eMOP has received permissions to work with over 300,000 documents from Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO), totaling 45 million page images of documents published before 1800.

The IDHMC is committed to the improvement and growth of digital projects and resources, and the Mellon Foundation’s grant to Texas A&M for the support of eMOP will enable us to fulfill our promise to the scholarly community to educate, preserve, and develop the future of humanities scholarship.

For further information, including webcasts describing the problem and the grant application as submitted, please see the eMOP website:

Project partners are:

Forum for European Philosophy Event: In the Zone: Spontaneity and Mental Discipline in Sport and Beyond

Thursday 8 November, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Michael Brearley is a psychoanalyst in London, in earlier life he taught philosophy, and was a professional cricketer

David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy, King's College London

Chair: Simon Glendinning, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

What is meant by ‘being in the zone’? Can philosophy or cognitive science help explain the combination of mental and physical effort required for sporting excellence?Michael Brearely will discuss technique and emotion, concentration and relaxation, self-criticism and self-confidence, and will consider whether the capacity to find an optimum balance of such qualities can be learned or fostered. David Papineau will speak about the way that high-level sport requires intentional mental control of reflex behaviour, and will reflect on what this tells us about both cognition and sport.

Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. They can be accessed at

All events are free and open to all without registration
For further information contact Juliana Cardinale: 020 7955 7539

Forum for European Philosophy
Cowdray House, Room G.05, European Institute
London School of Economics, WC2A 2AE

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Berlin

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Department II (Prof. Lorraine Daston), announces one Postdoctoral fellowship for two years with possibility of renewal for a third year, starting date September 1, 2013.

The fellow will join the MPG Minerva Research Group “Reading and Writing Nature in Early Modern Europe” lead by Dr. Elaine Leong. The group is part of Department II at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and is connected to the project “The Sciences of the Archive.”

Further details concerning the project may be found at >

We particularly welcome applicants whose research contributes to the working group project ‘Testing Drugs and Trying Cures in Early Modern Europe’
 (Project website).

Other possible topics include:
  • Cultures (material, social and intellectual) of selecting, collecting, preserving, classifying, and transmitting knowledge and, in particular, notebooks and paper technologies 
  • Histories of reading (e.g. investigations of reading practices and histories of book collections and libraries) 
  • Histories of book production including publishing and print, scribal publication and translation practices. 
The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science is an international and interdisciplinary research institute ( The colloquium language is English; it is expected that candidates will be able to present their own work and discuss that of others fluently in that language. Candidates should hold a doctorate in the history of science, history of medicine or related field at the time the fellowship begins.

Outstanding junior scholars are invited to apply. Fellowships are endowed with a monthly stipend between 2.100 € and 2.500 € (fellows from abroad) or between 1.468 € and 1.621 € (fellows from Germany). Candidates of all nationalities are welcomed to apply; applications from women are especially welcomed. The Max Planck Society is committed to promoting more handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply.

Applications should be submitted in English. Candidates are requested to send a curriculum vitae, publication list, research prospectus (maximum 750 words), a sample text, and two letters of recommendation no later than January 15, 2013 to:

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Administration, PD-II-Minerva
Boltzmannstr. 22
14195 Berlin, Germany

Electronic submission is also possible: For questions concerning the research project and Department II, please contact Dr. Elaine Leong (; for administrative questions concerning the position and the Institute, please contact Claudia Paaß (, Head of Administration, or Jochen Schneider (, Research Coordinator.

Wellcome's Collectors

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 02 November 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Ross MacFarlane.

Event details:
Ross MacFarlane is Academic Engagement Officer at the Wellcome Library, London.

Pharmacist, philanthropist – and Fellow of the Royal Society – Sir Henry Wellcome is now widely recognised as one of the most acquisitive of collectors during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But Wellcome’s collection of historical objects was not the work of one man acting alone. This talk will aim to bring forth from the shadows of his store rooms the men and women who bid, bought, and collected in Wellcome’s name.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Call for Papers: ‘New Directions in the Renaissance’

Friday 2 November 2012
The University of Edinburgh

The cultural movement known as the Renaissance, and the profound affect it had on the intellectual and artistic life of early modern Europe, continues to provide inspiration for new scholars across a wide range of disciplines. ‘New Directions in the Renaissance’ is an interdisciplinary conference which aims to provide a forum for those studying the Renaissance in its birthplace and heartland, Italy, to reflect on the broad range of topics and themes which characterise study in this field.

Contributors are invited to explore emerging areas of inquiry, new approaches to existing Renaissance scholarship, and the use of new media and sources in their research. Participants must be concerned with the Renaissance in Italy between c.1400-c.1600, but topics are not otherwise limited.

The conference offers the opportunity for postgraduate students and early career researchers (whether at PhD, MPhil, or MSc by Research level) from universities across the UK to present their research in a constructive, friendly environment. It is expected that funding will be available for speakers’ travel and accommodation.

Please send proposals of 300 words for papers of 20 minutes, along with a short biography, to: by Friday 1 June 2012.

New Directions
In Renaissance Italy

New Directions in Renaissance Italy

1-2 November 2012, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Lecture Theatre, doorway 5, Teviot Place, University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh will host the interdisciplinary conference 'New Directions in Renaissance Italy'. Gathering postgraduate students and early career researchers from a wide range of disciplines, the event provides a forum to explore and discuss emerging areas of enquiry related to the Italian Renaissance.

Keynote address: Dr Genevieve Warwick (University of Edinburgh), 'Looking in the Mirror: The Toilet of Venus in Renaissance Art', 1 Nov. 2012, 5.15pm, Lecture Theatre 1, Minto House

Please follow the link for information about programme, papers and registration:

Spooks and spoofs: psychologists and psychical research in the inter-war years

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 26 October 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Professor Elizabeth Valentine.

Event details:
Elizabeth Valentine is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Several physicist fellows of the Royal Society were interested in psychical research in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Between the wars, William McDougall FRS and other senior academic psychologists became involved with amateur psychical researcher and author Harry Price. They attended séances at his laboratory and were members of his University of London Council for Psychical Investigation. Why did reputable psychologists and the University of London cooperate with someone of dubious integrity who lacked scientific credentials? One reason for their mutual attraction may have been their common engagement in a delicate balancing act between courting popular appeal and asserting scientific expertise and authority.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

The Zoological World of Edward Lear

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 19 October 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Dr Clemency Fisher.

Event details:
Clemency Fisher is Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at National Museums Liverpool.

Edward Lear is most famous for his Nonsense Rhymes, such as “The Owl and the Pussycat” and “The Quangle Wangle’s Hat”, but he was also a talented zoological artist and described several new species of birds. As part of the celebrations for the bicentenary of Lear’s birth in 1812, Dr Fisher will explore Lear’s time working as an artist and tutor for the 13th Earl of Derby’s family at Knowsley Hall, near Liverpool. Lear used some of the birds and mammals in Lord Derby’s aviary and menagerie as models for his paintings and many of these individuals are now in the collections of National Museums Liverpool. Several are the types on which new species were based. A current project, shared by NML and the Western Australian Museum, is the unravelling of a knotty problem with the nomenclature of Baudin’s Cockatoo, which Lear described in 1832.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Alan Turing: Not Just a Beautiful Mind

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm on Wednesday 17 October 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture given by Dr Andrew Hodges.

Event details:
Andrew Hodges is a Tutorial Fellow in Mathematics at Wadham College, Oxford.

When Alan Turing was elected to the Royal Society in 1951, the citation was for his definition of the theory of computability in 1936, achieved when he was only 24. But he was not only a theorist. Few people then, or later, appreciated how much effort he had devoted to turning his 1936 'universal machine' into the practical electronic computer. One reason for this was that the crucial link lay within his central role in Bletchley Park codebreaking, long kept completely secret. This talk will introduce Alan Turing as someone who combined a wide range of mathematical advances with far-sighted application, entirely true to the foundation of the Royal Society, but a rarity in the modern world of highly specialised expertise.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 6pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Transforming Early Modern Identities

Early Modern Interdisciplinary Group,
The City University of New York Graduate Center,
Friday 12th October

London Shakespeare Centre and the Arts and Humanities Festival,
King’s College London,
Saturday 27th October

To register for the London day of this conference, and to view a draft programme, please follow this link:

To register for the New York day of this conference, and to view a draft programme, please follow this link:

This conference, hosted over two days in two cities, has a double focus. ‘Transforming Early Modern Identities’ will examine both how the concept of the early modern self is being transformed by recent scholarly works exploring early modern literature and culture, and also how the process of transformation itself was foundational to the ways in which early modern subject positions were negotiated. In the twenty-first century, we remain fascinated with notions of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century subjectivity. Whilst past conferences have focused on exploring specific strata of early modern selfhood – in terms of gender, sexuality, race or class – this conference will examine both the ways in which scholarly considerations of the early modern subject have changed in recent years, and also how times of transformation work to shape early modern identities.

Thus, the aims of this conference are twofold: to understand the ways in which early modern scholarship (historical and literary) has transformed our notion of early modern subjectivity in recent years; and to examine the ways in which transformation itself – and the in between times of selfhood it implies – played an important part in defining various early modern subject positions. How has the way scholars examine the early modern self changed in the last twenty years? How reliant are early modern individuals on moments of transformation?

The Notorious Sir John Hill: Georgian Celebrity Science and Attacks on the Royal Society

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 12 October 2012 at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture by Professor George Rousseau.

Event details:
George Rousseau is a Professor of History at the University of Oxford.

No man in Georgian England ever attacked the Royal Society more savagely than Sir John Hill (1714-1775), and no one in his era was more notorious for public scandal. This talk sketches Hill's multi-faceted life and assesses his attacks on the Royal Society and the changes they effected. George Rousseau's biography, the first ever written of this curious figure, has just appeared in America and will be on display during the lecture.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

Enquiries: Contact the events team.

Call for Papers: Perspective as Practice

An international conference on the circulation of optical knowledge in and outside the workshop - October 12-13, 2012, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

Organizers: Sven Dupré, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin & Jeanne Peiffer, Centre Alexandre Koyré, Paris

We invite proposals from scholars in the history of science and technology, the history of art, technical art history and conservation science and other related disciplines for an international conference on the production and circulation of optical knowledge in workshop and design practices of the visual and decorative arts and (garden) architecture between the fourteenth and seventeenth century.

This conference addresses both the practical optical knowledge produced in the context of artists’ workshops and artists’ appropriation and use of the science of optics (perspectiva), which included questions of psychology, physiology, anatomy, physics, and mathematics, for the production of art and architecture, including gardens. We welcome, in particular, papers which discuss the material practices of artists (as diverse as gardeners and goldsmiths) in imitating and representing the effects of light, creating the illusion of space and the shaping of landscape (from the use of paper and other instruments, also on real sites, to experimentation with the optical qualities of pigments and binding media). Equally welcome are papers which throw light on artists’ reading of texts on optics and their possible use in the context of the workshop.

We see this conference as a correction to the ways in which Erwin Panofsky’s "Perspective as Symbolic Form" – written more than 80 years ago – has shaped the historiography of perspective up until the present day, despite more recent important interventions by a.o. James Elkins and Hans Belting). Therefore, instead of seeking connections with worldviews and philosophies of space, this conference takes into account the polysemy of perspective associated with the practice of perspective. The conference will bring out the variety of uses and different meanings of perspectiva – during the period between 1300 and 1700 and across different sites of artists’ appropriations of optical knowledge. By situating artists’ optical knowledge in workshop and design practices, we anticipate that the conference papers will be attentive to a variety of constructions that create the illusion of space, and pay as much attention to other types of optical knowledge as to the geometry of perspective. We especially welcome innovative approaches to the study of the circulation of optical knowledge within the artist’s workshop.

Invited speakers:
Marjolijn Bol (Utrecht), Filippo Camerota (Florence), Georges Farhat (Toronto), Francesca Fiorani (Virginia), Elaheh Kheirandish (Harvard), Dominique Raynaud (Grenoble), Pietro Roccasecca (Rome)

Submission guidelines:
Deadline for proposals: March 15, 2012

Please submit a 300-words abstract as e-mail attachment along with your name, institutional affiliation and email address to

Please indicate in the subject line of your message: submission optics workshop.

Sekretariat Dupré
Max Planck Research Group
Art and Knowledge in Premodern Europe
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Boltzmannstraße 22
14195 BERLIN

Virgil and Renaissance Culture / Virgilio e la cultura del Rinascimento

A two-day international conference to be held at the Accademia Nazionale
Virgiliana di Scienze Lettere e Arti, Mantua, Italy, 15-16 October 2012


Virgil and Renaissance Culture / Virgilio e la cultura del Rinascimento

Organisers: Luke Houghton (University of Glasgow), Marco Sgarbi
(University of Verona)

Confirmed keynote speakers: Craig Kallendorf (Texas A&M University) and
Peter Mack (The Warburg Institute)

Et quis, io, iuvenes, tanti miracula lustrans eloquii, non se immensos
terraeque marisque prospectare putet tractus?

(Angelo Poliziano, Manto 351-3)

For scholars and intellectuals of the Renaissance, the poetry of Virgil
was not merely a pervasive presence in their world; it was in many
respects an embodiment of that world. In addition to the traditional
status enjoyed by the Aeneid as a 'mirror for princes', a guide to
virtuous and reprehensible conduct, and a repository of spiritual and
allegorical wisdom, poets and rhetoricians, artists and composers,
philosophers and theologians, political theorists and educators all sought
and found in Virgil's works models of good practice and expert instruction
in their respective fields. The poet's sway over Renaissance thought and
imagination was by no means confined to the library: throughout the
courts, the palaces and the public buildings of Europe, the rich
mythological apparatus of the Aeneid was harnessed to convey imperial and
dynastic claims, to assert proud traditions of civic liberty, and to
associate rulers and their subjects with particular social, moral and
ethical values, as well as to advertise the learning, taste and culture of
individual patrons.

In literate society, Virgil was everywhere; but the extent of his
influence reached far beyond the wide circle of his readers, through the
appearance of scenes and motifs from his poems - and sometimes also the
figure of the poet himself - in frescoes, sculpture and woodcuts, and even
on objects for domestic use and display. Contact with Virgil and his texts
took many forms and was shaped by a variety of external factors, in
addition to being filtered through countless previous literary and
artistic adaptations, a long tradition of critical and pedagogical
engagements, and strident expressions of both devotion and censure from
different quarters during the centuries between the poet's own day and the
age of the humanists. Among these successive interventions, a place of
particular honour is occupied by Dante, whose choice of 'the sea of all
knowledge' as his guide and master through the caverns of the Inferno and
along the slopes of Purgatory was to have a lasting impact on perceptions
of Virgil, not only as a literary character and aesthetic model but also
as a poet and historical figure.

Proposals are invited for papers in English or Italian, of no more than 30
minutes' duration, on any aspect of the place of Virgil in Renaissance
culture, in any medium. Abstracts should not be longer than 500 words, and
should include the author's name, institutional affiliation (if
applicable), and current e-mail address.

Proposals should be sent to one of the conference organisers, Marco Sgarbi
( or Luke Houghton (,
before 31 December 2011. It is hoped that papers from this event will in
due course form a substantial publication.

Virgil and Renaissance Culture
A two-day international conference on Virgil and Renaissance Culture. For scholars and intellectuals of the Renaissance, the poetry of Virgil was not merely a pervasive presence in their world; it was in many respects an embodiment of that world.
When: 10th October 2012
Where: Accademia Nazionale, Virgiliana di Scienze Lettere e Arti, Mantua, Italy
Category: Conference

The Role of the Royal Society in the Battle over Mendelism

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on Friday 05 October 2012
at The Royal Society, London

History of science lecture given by Professor Gregory Radick.

Event details:
Gregory Radick is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds.

The early years of the twentieth century saw one of the most ferocious controversies in the whole history of biology, over Gregor Mendel's experiments in pea hybridization and their significance for the scientific study of inheritance. On one side, the "Mendelians" were led by William Bateson FRS. On the other side, the opposed "biometricians" were led by W. F. R. Weldon FRS. Both men took inspiration from the work of Francis Galton FRS. In this talk I want to take seriously the 'FRSness' of these three famous scientists in order to throw light on the Mendelian-biometrician debate but also on the functioning of the Royal Society as a scientific institution at the turn of the century. I shall emphasise three organizational and ordering roles for the Society in particular, in relation to communications, committees and commendations.

Attending this event:
This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12:30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days afterwards.

The Birkbeck Early Modern Society’s 6th Student Conference | ‘Science, Magic and Religion’ [CALL FOR PAPERS]

Keynote speaker: Emeritus Professor Michael Hunter

Saturday 22 September 2012, 10.00-16.30

The Birkbeck Early Modern Society is pleased to announce its 6th annual student conference on the theme of ‘Science, Magic and Religion in the Early Modern Period’. This event is to mark the retirement of Professor Michael Hunter, specialist in the history of science in seventeenth-century England, particularly the work of Robert Boyle. Professor Hunter’s scholarly interests also include the history of the early Royal Society, visual culture, witchcraft and changing attitudes towards magic. Our conference theme reflects his work.

This conference provides an ideal forum to showcase student research as well as opportunities to develop presentation skills.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words for papers lasting 20-25 minutes (about 2,000-2,500 words). Please email your abstract to Dr Laura Jacobs, Secretary, Birkbeck Early Modern Society, by 5pm on Thursday 19 July, 2012.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Romance: Places, Times, Modes

School of English, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

21-22 September 2012

Romance has been one of the most resilient and protean of literary kinds, existing in its own right, moulding itself in other genres, and transforming itself in the long history of its aesthetic and cultural traffic from antiquity to early modern times, and between different cultures. Royal and popular, romance has absorbed, often at once, a plethora of discourses concerned with politics and privacy at crucial moments in European history and in its contacts with the worlds beyond Europe. This conference offers the chance to reassess the nature and importance of romance within the larger frame of cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, comparative, and theoretical studies. The identification of new romances, the exploration of romance in contact with other genres and modes, and cultures other than English, and the larger reflections romance facilitate in the process of absorption and reconfiguration of places and times in which it is produced—all these are topics of considerable interest and value. At a further level, such imperatives have much to suggest about the processes by which the romance itself has undergone transformation and has transformed our understanding of its place in literary history, and beyond borders and countries. Contributions to this discussion are invited, covering as wide a range in terms of period, concept and approach as critical imagination can devise, to explore the imaginative suppleness and dynamic of romance across places, times, and modes.

Topics may include but are not limited to

Ethics and politics
Movement in time and space
Travel, sea, and geography
Contacts with the East; Islam
Sources and analogues
Crossovers with other genres
Cross-national / cross-ethnic contacts
Print and manuscript
The material book
Theories of romance
Gender and Sexuality
Romance and the arts
Translations and adaptations

A 200-word abstract, including contact information, should be sent to Goran Stanivukovic ( and Sergi Mainer (, School of English, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, before 1 June 2012.

‘Fame and Fortune: The Mirror for Magistrates, 1559-1946’

An International, Interdisciplinary Conference
14th-15th September 2012, Magdalen College, Oxford

Participants: Scott Lucas, Mike Pincombe, Liz Oakley-Brown, Jennifer Richards, Angus Vine, Jane Griffiths, Jessica Winston, Kavita Mudan Finn, Cathy Shrank, Paulina Kewes, Harriet Archer, Gillian Hubbard, Meredith Skura, Matthew Woodcock, Bart van Es, Tom Davies, Michelle O’Callaghan, Anthony Martin, Andrew Hadfield.

The first major conference on the Mirror for Magistrates, ‘Fame and Fortune’ will bring together scholars from around the world to explore what’s next for this rich and undervalued work. Broadening investigation into the Mirror’s development during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, papers will take in the intellectual and political contexts of the Mirror’s inception, the later editions which appropriated and reconfigured the original text, and the profound influence the collection had on prose fiction, verse historiography, tragedy and complaint. We will consider the impact of successive editorial strategies on our interpretation of the text, while a range of interdisciplinary critical approaches will extend the framework within which the Mirror has been analysed, and prompt new directions for research.

The Mirror for Magistrates (1559) looks like a collection of verse complaints by unfortunate figures from England’s past. These complaints catalogue the fates of kings and rebels, for whom ambition, envy and betrayal have led to violent deaths, and a tendency to moralise.

But the verses alternate with a prose narrative which describes how they came to be written and collected. William Baldwin, and the poets he enlisted to help him, run into problems as they try to reconstruct late medieval history from the chronicles they have to hand: who do we trust when sources disagree? Should a bad character’s complaint be badly written? Is it right to rebel against a corrupt ruler, and is it the poet’s business to get involved in politics? Cutting to the heart of early modern debates on tyranny, duty and free speech, and critiquing contemporary historiographical practice, the hubbub of voices must be kept at a safe fictional remove to avoid the censor, or worse.
Part encyclopaedia, part project blog, the text keeps the Mirror we are promised tantalisingly out of reach as Baldwin and his band of co-authors rampage through British history, bickering about art, impersonating headless corpses, and uncovering the risks we take when we surrender the written or spoken word to interpretation.
The 1559 Mirror grew as it was reprinted in expanding editions between 1563 and 1578, to satisfy huge popular demand. Meanwhile, John Higgins and Thomas Blenerhasset wrote prequels to Baldwin’s late medieval material, extending the scope of the project back into ancient British legend and capitalising on its commercial success. The texts were read by Spenser, Shakespeare, Harvey, and Jonson; they are named-checked in Bartholomew Fair, and underpin the plots of Cymbeline and King Lear, as well as inspiring countless imitations in poetry and prose, on and off the early modern stage. In 1610, Richard Niccols brought almost all of the disparate Mirrors together in the final early modern edition; Joseph Haslewood edited the collection in 1815. Most recently, Lily B. Campbell published critical editions of Baldwin, Higgins and Blenerhasset’s work in 1938 and 1946. Unwieldy and unconventional, the Mirror has always evaded firm definitions. This conference aims to celebrate its complexity, innovation and vast influence, which even today continue to surprise.
Please visit or to register or for more information.

Reevaluating the Literary Coterie, 1550-1825

We would like to invite you to a new seminar series ‘Reevaluating the Literary Coterie, 1550-1825’. We will meet at UCL on Wednesday evenings approximately fortnightly throughout Autumn 2012. We are grateful to the UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchange and the UCL Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies for helping us organize, fund, and promote what should prove a fascinating set of discussions.

Papers will focus on: specific English language coteries active in Great Britain and Europe between 1550 and 1825; an examinations of the conditions and structures which lead to the creation, sustenance, and demise of coteries; and consideration of the viability of the coterie as a hermeneutic model useful to current criticism.

The series will comprise of four ninety-minute seminars with each session containing two chronologically-linked papers of thirty minutes, followed by thirty minutes of conversation.

We should have titles by the start of next week and for a list of dates and speakers please see our blog at:

And if you’ve got any questions about the series please email us on:

Staging the Restoration: Aphra Behn's The Rover

Monday 17 September, 18.30-20.00, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, KT8 9AU

The astonishing Aphra Behn (1640-89) was one of the first professional
female writers. The Rover, her darkly comic play of cunning courtesans
and flirtatious fops, was hugely popular in its day; indeed, Charles II
was such a fan that he commissioned a private viewing. In July 2012 it
was staged within the Baroque apartments at Hampton Court Palace in a
contemporary style, to explore where historical and modern ideas of
beauty intersect and conflict.

Join the play’s producer, as well as historical theatre expert Tom
Betteridge and HRP’s Live Interpretation Manager Chris Gidlow, for
this unique panel discussion, as they explore how they staged The Rover
for the 21st century, and what it can tell us about its enduring themes
of sensuality, love and lust.

Tickets cost £12 and include a drinks reception. For further
information and booking, please call 0844 482 7799 or see our website at

Shakespeare’s Globe: Globe Education Teaching Associate

Globe Education is seeking a part-time teaching associate to deliver undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in its thriving higher education and postgraduate programme. The candidate should have a Ph.D. or be close to finishing one. The post is available from the 1st of October and interviews will be held the week of the 24th of September.

If you are interested in applying, please send a CV and cover letter, including the name of two referees to Robert Norman, by Wednesday the 19th of September.

Farah Karim-Cooper Head of Research & Courses, Globe Education
020 7902 1439

Northern Renaissance Seminar: ‘Disability and the Renaissance’

Leeds Trinity University College, 8 September 2012

Proposals for 20-minute papers are invited on the ways in which disability can be conceptualised in/through/by the Renaissance. This seminar is particularly intended to register some of the ways that recent developments in disability theory might be applicable to scholarship on Renaissance literature and culture; to the modern tradition of Renaissance scholarship; or, indeed, might struggle to gain purchase upon the types of material and textual resources available to scholars. To that end, papers which focus on the experience or conceptualisation of disability itself, rather than disability as allegory/metaphor for the human condition in general, will be preferred.

We recognise that this is not an established field within Renaissance studies and we therefore welcome exploratory and open-ended engagements and investigations. Topics may include, but are certainly not restricted to:

  • The visibility and invisibility of disability: embodiment, Bedlam beggars, Bedlam and other sites/institutions, taxonomic practices, non-standard bodies, normativity.
  • Resistance, conformity, subversion, transgression.
  • The mind and mental disability.
  • Representations: staging, portraying, discussing disability.
  • Models of disability – how do the social and medical models bear on the Renaissance? Does the Renaissance offer further ways of modelling disability?
  • Identity, difference, abjection.
  • Technologies, adaptation, support.
  • The impact of earlier traditions: e.g. Classical formulations of disability; folklore.
  • Intersections: childhood; gender; ethnicity; class
  • Medical, legal, moral, theological and spiritual understandings/engagements.

We invite proposals (250 words) for papers addressing these questions. Comparative, interdisciplinary, and performance-oriented approaches are welcome, as are submissions from postgraduate students and early career researchers. Please send your proposals or any queries to Susan Anderson:

Deadline for proposals: 30th June 2012

Female Fury and the Masculine Spirit of Vengeance: Revenge and Gender from Classical to Early Modern Literature


Professor Alison Findlay
Professor Edith Hall

5-6 September 2012, University of Bristol, UK

Revenge is often thought of as a quintessentially masculine activity, set in a martial world of blood feuds and patriarchal codes of honour. However, the quest for vengeance can also be portrayed as intensifying passionate feelings traditionallythought of as feminine. In such instances revenge does not confirm a man’s heroic valour, but is a potentially emasculating force, dangerous to his reason, self-mastery, and gender identity. Such alternative ways of viewing revenge are also relevant when the avenger is a woman. To what extent is revenge deemed to be natural or unnatural to a woman, and what is its effect upon her psyche and perceived gender?Does the same impulse which effeminizes a man make a woman dangerously masculine? And how should we view the indirect ways that women influence retribution, such as through mourning, cursing, or goading? Are these an important means of female agency, or do they suggest women’s exclusion from active revenge, reinforcing traditional gender roles? Are certain acts of violence interpreted differently if the perpetrator is a man or woman, father or mother, son or daughter?

This conference aims to explore these questions, reevaluating the complex and varied ways that gender impacts the performance and interpretation of revenge. Proposed papers may take up any intersection of revenge and gender in texts from Classical to early modern literature, and can focus on individual texts and periods ortake an interdisciplinary or cross-temporal approach. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the ways in which revenge bolsters, threatens or transfigures an individual’s gender identity and/or role within the family; how individual acts of vengeance reinforce or undermine homosocial or female bonds; personifications of revenge; how the relationship between gender and revenge are reconfigured in a text’s translation, reception, and reinterpretation over time; the ethical, cultural and social implications for the ways in which revenge is gendered.

We invite proposals (250 words) for papers addressing these questions. Submissions from postgraduate students, and early career researchers are welcomed. Pre-formed panel proposals will also be considered. Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract. Please send your proposals or any queries to Lesel Dawson:

Deadline for proposals: 31 May, 2012.

The Reformation Studies Colloquium 2012

To be held at St. Chad's College, Durham, 4-6 September 2012.

Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2012

The plenary speakers will be Euan Cameron (Union Theological Seminary, New York), Peter Marshall (University of Warwick) and Merry Wiesner-Hanks (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).

We invite proposals for 20-minute communications on any theme related to Reformation studies. Please send proposals (c. 200 words) by email to

Italian Altarpieces in Context: Spatial and Material Environments for Sacred Art in the Renaissance Church Interior AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA) with the National Gallery

The Department of History of Art at the University of Warwick and the National Gallery, London invite applications for a three-year AHRC funded collaborative doctoral studentship to begin in October 2012. Drawing on the National Gallery’s superlative collection of Renaissance religious painting, the project will investigate the historic conditions of display for painted altarpieces in Italian churches.

Renaissance altarpieces displayed in gallery spaces are fundamentally dislocated from their original contexts. As well as the secularisation of setting, these images have lost a wealth of physical paraphernalia that circumscribed their visibility for Renaissance audiences (material trappings which have traditionally been passed over by art historical research). By gathering together disparate information from published and unpublished sources, the project aims to clarify a range of perceptual factors that regulated viewing for Renaissance audiences (natural lighting conditions, artificial lighting technology, veiling practices, the surrounding colours and textures of the Renaissance church interior).

The successful candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr Donal Cooper (University of Warwick) and Carol Plazzotta (Myojin Curator of 16th Century Italian paintings, National Gallery). Applicants should be holders of a good first degree (at least 2:1 or equivalent). A relevant Masters degree, completed or close to completion, is also expected. A background in the Renaissance period will be advantageous, as will knowledge of Italian and/or Latin, and experience of working with relevant primary sources.

The successful candidate will meet the AHRC's criteria for eligibility, including residency criteria and be able to demonstrate the potential to develop advanced research skills. The award pays tuition fees and a maintenance grant each year (£14,140 in 2012-13) for a maximum of three years of full-time doctoral study, subject to evidence of satisfactory progress.

All candidates must apply via the University of Warwick's online postgraduate admission system. You will need to submit personal details and those of two academic referees. In addition you should upload a CV and a response to the project proposal, including relevant experience and particular interests (two pages maximum). Please specify ‘AHRC CDA studentship on Italian Altarpieces’ in the section of the form under the funding being sought.

Further particulars are available to download here.

For informal enquiries, please contact Donal Cooper at

The deadline for the receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 20 July 2012. We anticipate interviewing shortlisted candidates at the National Gallery in London on Tuesday 31 July 2012.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Thomas Traherne Studies and their Future Directions / Future Directions for Traherne Studies

Selwyn College, University of Cambridge
14-15 December, 2012

Thomas Traherne (c.1637-1674) was a polymath with a distinctive theological vision. He wrote extensively, but remains a relatively obscure figure in seventeenth-century studies. Traditionally misunderstood as a figure somewhat out of his time, he is frequently considered within the contexts of medieval mysticism or post-Enlightenment Romanticism, when in fact he was strongly engaged with the thought of his age. Traherne read, noted and wrote upon a great variety of subjects – philosophical, theological, literary and scientific – perhaps remarkably considering his geographical circumstances and the relative privacy of his life. His works are grounded in many influences and reveal a great openness as to what writings, ancient and modern, could offer inspiration and guidance. This is a writer that believed, rather emphatically, that it would be possible both to discover and to communicate to others the intrinsic nature of “ALL THINGS”.

The aim of this symposium is to address the interdisciplinarity of Traherne’s work, with the hope of encouraging future interdisciplinary collaboration in Traherne studies. We are particularly interested in bringing together the endeavours of literary criticism – which cover an early and persistent association between Traherne and the metaphysical poets, the historicising of Traherne and a more recent interest in the manuscript evidence – with the fields of theology and philosophy, in which Traherne has been considered as a Christian mystic, an Anglican founding-father, a spiritual brother to the Cambridge Platonists, or a unique theological thinker with relevance to broader discussions on the practice of theology.

This will be the first academic symposium on Traherne since the discovery of the new manuscripts in 1996/7. The works of the Lambeth Palace MS (Inducements to Retiredness, A Sober View of Dr Twisse, Seeds of Eternity and The Kingdom of God) and the unfinished biblical epic, The Ceremonial Law, have opened up previously unknown aspects of Traherne’s thought and shone new light on the more well-known poems, Centuries, Thanksgivings and Select Meditations. We especially welcome papers that focus on the content of the Lambeth MS and The Ceremonial Law, and work that considers ways of responding to the overall question of the symposium: what is the way forward for Traherne studies?

Possible topics for papers might include, but are not limited, to:
  • Identifying Thomas Traherne: Thomas Traherne as Poet, Theologian, Mystic, Heretic, Career Cleric, Platonist, Aristotelian, Anglican... How do we situate Traherne in his time? Is it still appropriate to associate him with the Romantics, or the metaphysical poets? How do we arbitrate between competing pictures of Traherne?
  • Influences on Traherne: The Cambridge Platonists, the Royal Society, Thomas Hobbes, Francis Bacon, the church fathers
  • Material Texts: The formation and editing of the manuscripts
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to Traherne: Traherne as poetic-theologian / theological-poet
  • New approaches to Traherne: Traherne and music, Traherne and art, Traherne and poetry, Traherne and ecology
We invite proposals for 20-25 minute papers – please send an abstract of 300 words, along with a short biographical statement, to Cassie Gorman ( and Beth Dodd ( The deadline for abstracts is August 17th, 2012. We will inform applicants about acceptance by the end of August.

Research Fellowship at Warburg: Europe and the Arab World in the Middle Ages

The publishing house Brill (Leiden), is generously sponsoring a new annual research Fellowship at the Warburg Institute’s Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe (CHASE). The Fellowship has been made possible by the “Sheikh Zayed Book Award” which was awarded to Brill Publishers in March 2012 for publishing excellence in Middle East and Islamic Studies.

The Brill Fellowship at CHASE to be held in the academic year 2012-13 will be of two or three months duration and is intended for a postdoctoral researcher. The Fellowship will be awarded for research projects on any aspect of the relations between Europe and the Arab World from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

The closing date for applications is the 5th July 2012. Please visit our website for more details (

Tudor and Stuart Ireland Conference 2012

A provisional programme for the 2012 Tudor and Stuart Ireland Conference (31 Aug. & 1 Sept.) is now available on our website. Registration is now open, and can be completed here. The conference fee remains the same as last year (€30 or €20 for students/seniors/unemployed). We will also be going for dinner in O'Connell's Restaurant, Donnybrook on Friday, 31 August - dinner costs an additional €55.

The conference plenary address will be delivered on Friday, 31 August by Prof. John Patrick Montaño (University of Delaware), on the topic of 'Humiliation, Destruction and Death: Violence and Cultural Difference in Tudor and Stuart Ireland'.

We hope to see many of you there. If you have any queries, please let me know.

Best wishes,
Eoin Kinsella

Tudor and Stuart Ireland Conference
University College Dublin
31 August - 1 September 2012
Follow @TudorStuartIre on Twitter

Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Map of Early Modern London project, Canada

The Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) project invites applications for a post-doctoral fellowship valued at $32,500 per year for up to two years. The successful applicant will be expected to join the project on site in Victoria, BC, and work closely with the project director, developers, and research assistants in the next phase ofMoEML's development. He or she will take a leading role in the ongoing identification of all the features of the Agas Map (Civitas Londinum); textual and critical work on the map; ongoing work on the encyclopedia of early modern streets and sites; and the editing, markup, annotation, and creation of a critical apparatus for a versioned edition of the 1598, 1603,1633, and modern texts of John Stow's A Survey of London. 

 The successful applicant will also be encouraged to work on related projects, to bring his or her particular research interests to MoEML, and to help shape MoEML's future. Applicants need to have a strong background in the literature of early modern London, preferably in textual criticism, drama, chronicle histories, civic literature, pageantry, and/or the geohumanities. Facility with literary computing and some knowledge of TEI are essential. Experience with editing, historical or literary GIS, and databases is desirable.

MoEML is an established project with SSHRC funding and ongoing technical support from the Humanities Computing and Media Centre at the University of Victoria. MoEML is directed by Janelle Jenstad (Department of English, University of Victoria), and overseen by advisory and editorial boards. The summary fromMoEML's SSHRC Insight Grant can be found

The University of Victoria is committed to providing an environment that protects and promotes the human rights of all persons and and affirms the dignity of all persons. MoEML is committed to honouring the Collaborators' Bill of Rights.

Enquiries and applications may be sent to MoEML via Janelle Jenstad Electronic application packages should include a statement of relevant experience, a full CV, reference letters (or the names of referees), and links to the applicant's projects and publications. All applications received by July 17, 2012 will be acknowledged. Interviews will be conducted via Skype the following week.

Shakespeare (the journal) - new publication procedures, now ‘Online First’

The Routledge journal Shakespeare (ISSNs 1745-0918 Print, 1745-0926 Online) appears online every three months with an annual printed volume of four issues.

The electronic issues are identical to the printed volume, including in their pagination. Because the journal has a considerable backlog of accepted articles waiting for an available slot in an issue, it can take some time before they appear even in the electronic form.

The journal has decided to adopt a publication method known an 'Online First' in which articles are made available electronically even before they are assigned to an issue. In this method, articles are copy-edited, typeset and corrected as normal. They don't have their final pagination, but are in every other respect identical to the article that will eventually be published in an issue. Once online, the articles can be cited by their Digital Object Identifier (DOI) (a unique code findable online that remains the same throughout the life of the article), and when it comes time to publish the issue, the 'Online First' articles are replaced with the fully- paginated versions.

This means that authors' work is accessible sooner than before. Feedback from authors shows that it is increasingly important to publish quickly and ensure that articles are widely available. Publishing articles online earlier also increases the citation window, so it has a positive effect on impact factors.

For the purposes of the UK's Research Excellence Framework (REF) appearance in the 'Online First' stream counts as publication and such an article is returnable in the census.

Information on the journal and a link to the online submission system can be found at <>.

Call For Papers: Preternature Volume 3:1 
The Early Modern Witch (1450-1700)

The publication of early witchcraft texts created witches by creating controversy about them. Witch-dramas, pamphlets, testimonies about witch-encounters, sermons, and accounts of trials published the anxieties, recounted the long standing suspicions, and sensationalised the physical manifestations that made women into witches. Sometimes accompanied by woodcuts, many texts insisted on the reality, materiality, and immediacy of witches and their familiars. In these, the early modern witch was represented as both a perpetrator of violence and the victim of it. The early modern witch is a fascinating enigma: a legal entity and a neighbourhood resource or nuisance, she purportedly engaged in natural and supernatural forms of wisdom with the potential to heal or harm others, or even herself. The words she spoke, mumbled could become malefic by intent, if not by content. According to the sensationalist constructions of witchcraft, her body was contaminated by the magics she used: she fed familiars with blood, grew spare parts, could not weep, and would not sink. In accounts focused on bewitchment and possessions, the witch vomited pins or personified pollution and a culturally legitimate cunning-person such as a physician or minister or exorcist acted as curative. Despite the skepticism about witches that followed Reginald Scot’s assertions and the decline of legal examinations trials, the early modern witch has remained a vital force in the cultural imagination. Witchcraft remain the focus of academic articles, scholarly volumes, digital resources, archaeological digs, children's and teenage fiction, popular media and museum studies.

This issue of Preternature, in association with the “Capturing Witches” conference, invites contributions from any discipline that highlight the cultural, literary, religious, or historical significance of the early modern witch. Contributions should be roughly 8,000 - 12,000 words, including all documentation and critical apparatus, and adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (style 1, employing endnotes).

Contributions must be submitted through the Preternature CMS. Deadline for final submissions is November 30, 2012.

Queries about journal scope and submissions can be made to the Editor, Dr. Kirsten C. Uszkalo. Queries concerning books to be reviewed can be made to the Book Reviews Editor, Dr. Richard Raiswell.

Queries concerning this special volume can be sent to Professor Alison Findlay ( and Dr. Liz Oakley-Brown (

Full journal style guides are available at Information on the early English witch can be found at the WEME project at

Details on the “Capturing Witches” conference can be found at

Preternature is a bi-annual publication, published through Penn State Press, and available in print or electronically through JSTOR, Project Muse, and as a Kindle e- book.

Negotiating Early Modern Women

Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading, UK
Early Modern Studies Conference July 12th-14th 2012

A series of panels within Reading University’s Early Modern Studies Conference (2012) will be devoted to the exploration of writing by early modern women. We would welcome proposals for panels or individual papers addressing any aspect of early modern women’s writing, but we are particularly keen to receive proposals addressing the critical assumptions underlying current scholarly practice.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
  • Why do we study writing by early modern women?
  • Can we justify the study of ‘women’ as a category?
  • Is there such a thing as ‘women’s writing’?
  • What can the work of individual women, or specific groups of women, reveal about women and gender in the period more generally?
  • How do we understand the relationship between writing by men and that by women?
  • What does women’s writing reveal about the early modern canon as a whole?
  • Is it possible to reach conclusions about women and their use of literary genre?
  • What new directions might we take in the study of early modern women?
  • What, currently, is the place of theory in the study of early modern women?

Proposals for panels should consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four papers. Each panel proposal should contain the names of the session chair, the names and affiliations of the speakers and short abstracts (200 word abstracts) of the papers together with email contacts for all participants. A proposal for an individual paper 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 to Dr. Alice Eardley by January 31st 2012:

For further details see:

EMRC: Annual Conference

University of Reading Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies, 12-14 July 2012

The Reading Early Modern Conference continues to establish itself as the place where early modernists meet each July for stimulation, conversation and debate. As in previous years, proposals of individual papers and panels are invited on research in any aspect of early modern studies relating to Britain, Europe and the wider world. This year, the plenary speakers are Professor Paul Yachnin (McGill), director of the ‘Making Publics’ project, and Professor John Morrill (Cambridge).

We would welcome proposals for individual papers and panels on any aspect of early modern literature, history, art, music and culture. Panels have been proposed on the following themes and further panels or individual papers are also invited on these topics or any other aspect of early modern studies:

• Making publics • Gathered texts: print and manuscript • Politics and Biblical Interpretation • Negotiating early modern women’s writing • Passionate bodies, passionate minds • Prince Henry: role, rite, and rhetoric

Proposals for panels should consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four papers. Each panel proposal should contain the names of the session chair, the names and affiliations of the speakers and short abstracts (200 word abstracts) of the papers together with email contacts for all participants. A proposal for an individual paper 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 to the chairman of the Conference Committee, Dr. Chloë Houston, by 9 January 2012,

Proposals are especially welcome from postgraduates. The conference hopes to make some money available for postgraduate bursaries. Anyone for whom some financial assistance is a sine qua non for their attendance should mention this when submitting their proposal.

Call for Papers: The Reception of Newton

At the Edward Worth Library, Dublin
12-13 July 2012

Information and Registration:


In recent years, considerable attention has been devoted to the elucidation of the precise nature and scope of Newton’s influence on eighteenth-century science in particular, and on Enlightenment culture more generally. The Edward Worth Library is uniquely positioned to contribute to ongoing reassessment. An early eighteenth century library belonging to a Dublin physician, Edward Worth (1678-1733), the Library and its holdings bears witness to the spread of newtonianism in Ireland. Worth’s collection reminds us of the range and depth of the newtonian impact on Europe and the crucial role played by second generation newtonians in clarifying, classifying and re-presenting Newton’s ideas. To mark Dublin City of Science 2012 the Worth Library is organising a two-day conference to explore the many facets of Newton’s legacy. It is envisaged that a selection of the papers will be published.

Speakers include: Professor Mordechai Feingold (Caltech); Professor Sarah Hutton (Aberystwyth University); Professor Robert Iliffe (University of Sussex); Dr Scott Mandelbrote (Peterhouse College, Cambridge); Professor William Newman (Indiana); and Professor Lawrence M. Principe (Johns Hopkins University).

Abstracts of 300 words and a short author profile should be sent to Dr Elizabethanne Boran ( no later than 1 March 2012. Independent scholars and researchers from all disciplines are welcome. Accommodation and registration costs will be covered and a small number of travel bursaries are available.

Organisers: Dr Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian, The Edward Worth Library, Dublin.
Professor Mordechai Feingold (Caltech).
This is a partner conference of Dublin City of Science 2012.

Society For Renaissance Studies: Biennial Conference

The 5th Biennial conference of the Society for Renaissance Studies will be held at the University of Manchester, UK, July 9-11, 2012

Accompanying events are being planned in the Whitworth Gallery, Chetham's Library, the John Rylands Library, the People's History Museum, the Royal Northern College of Music, and other cultural institutions in the city.

In addition to scholarly papers, the conference will offer workshops on publishing, funding applications, teaching, and public engagement, as well as tours of libraries.

Plenary Speakers

Roger Chartier (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris/ Collège de France/ University of Pennsylvania)
Alan Stewart (Columbia University)
Bette Talvacchia (Connecticut University)

Call For Papers

We invite proposals for panels on any aspect of Renaissance history, art, literature or culture, and for individual papers on one of the following themes:

* Materiality, book history and textual culture
* Premodern gender and histories of sexuality
* Emotion and the senses
* Translation and/ or intercultural exchange
* Cities, topographies, urbanisation and visualising the urban
* Athleticism, competition, and the body
* Science and enquiry
* In addition there is an open strand

The 'Renaissance' will be broadly defined from the mid-1300s to the early 1700s (and globally understood), but papers that engage with questions of periodisation, disciplinarity and the later representation of this period are also welcomed (see

Proposals (paper: 400 words, panel: 1000 words) are welcome from postgraduates as well as established scholars and they should be sent by Friday 16 September 2011 to the conference organizer (decisions on papers to be made by the end of October):

Dr Jerome de Groot
English and American Studies
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Society for Renaissance Studies Biennial Conference

Further details (including a full programme, registration forms and information about accommodation) will be posted on the conference website as soon as they become available.

Please note that the Society is particularly keen to encourage postgraduates to offer papers, and we will be able to offer some bursaries to cover registration and accommodation expenses. Details on bursaries to follow on the conference website.

Please note that the SRS has agreed with the Renaissance Society of America: RSA members will not have to join the SRS to participate in this conference.