From Mêlée to Opera: The Metamorphosis of the Chilvaric Tournament

Organised by Sydney Anglo-Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London
Friday 27th April 2012, Registration from 10:00 am

Speakers include:

DAVID CROUCH (Professor of Medieval History, University of Hull). A Facsimile of the Battlefield? What was at issue in the Mêlée Tournament, 1160-1260?

TOBIAS CAPWELL (Curator of Arms and Armour, the Wallace Collection). Violence and Elegance. ChangingPriorities in the Joust, c.1200-1625

NOEL FALLOWS (Professor of Spanish, University of Georgia). From Sport to Spectacle in Renaissance Iberia: Jousting, the Game of Canes, and Bull-Running

IAIN FENLON (Professor of Music. Fellow, King's College, Cambridge). Martial Monteverdi

HELEN WATANABE O'KELLY (Professor of German. Fellow, Exeter College, Oxford). 'The Invention of Tradition?' August the Strong and his historicisingTournaments

SYDNEY ANGLO (Emeritus Professor: University of Wales). The History of the History of Tournaments


£25 (£12 .50 for concessions) including coffee/tea, and a sandwich lunch

To register please contact: warburg@sas,

History Comes to Life: Seventeenth-Century Natural History, Medicine and the 'New Science

Friday, 27 April 2012, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Royal Society, London.

This conference considers the interrelationships between medicine and the endeavour of natural history in the seventeenth-century. It will be held to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Martin Lister (1639-1712), Royal Physician and the first arachnologist and conchologist. The meeting will not only address Lister's work but will consider to what extent practices and technologies of natural history changed between the Renaissance and the seventeenth century. We will also explore how acquisition of natural history knowledge and new schemes of taxonomy affected perception and treatment of animals for medical and experimental use.

Speakers and session chairs include:

Prof. Tim Birkhead FRS, University of Sheffield;
Dr Isabelle Charmantier, University of Exeter;

Prof. Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University;

Dr Sachiko Kusukawa, Trinity College, Cambridge;

Dr Gillian Lewis, St. Anne's College, Oxford;

Dr Dániel Margócsy, Hunter College;

Dr Brian Ogilvie, University of Massachusetts, Amherst;
Dr Anna Marie Roos, University of Oxford;
Dr Charlotte Sleigh, University of Kent;
Dr Alexander Wragge-Morley, University College, London.

The conference is organised by Dr Anna Marie Roos and sponsored by Cultures of Knowledge, University of Oxford, and the Mellon Foundation; The Fell Fund; The British Society for the History of Science; the Royal Society; and the Wellcome Trust.

The conference fee is £40 (full fee), or £30 (student/retired/unemployed). The conference fee includes lunch and refreshments. An optional conference dinner will be organised at an extra cost of £35. There are a limited number of student bursaries available to assist with conference fees and other expenses.

Registration for this event is now open online at:

Please email Felicity Henderson ( with any queries about this event.

SCIENTIAE : Disciplines of knowing in the early-modern world

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
26-28th April 2012


Paper and panel proposals are invited for Scientiae: a new interdisciplinary conference on early-modern science, to be held in Vancouver, B.C. (under the auspices of Simon Fraser University), April 26th-28th, 2012. The working assumption of the conference is that interdisciplinarity is not only an option, but a necessity, for the study of early-modern culture in its knowledge of the natural world. That is because period science is itself an interdisciplinary function, emerging from Biblical exegesis, advanced design, and literary humanitas; as well as from natural philosophy, alchemy, craft traditions, etc. By the same token, emergent science lends unique coherence to the gathered diversity of early-modern or Renaissance scholarship, when it is taken as an intellectual focal point. Scientiae offers a forum for scholars of the period's art and literature, as well as its intellectual history, to illuminate aspects of early-modern science in the latter's proper strangeness.

Topics and questions may include, but are by no means limited to: -- Protestantism and science: a decisive thesis? -- Nature and scripture: which interprets which? -- Integrating the Iberian empires - a recalibration, or a transformation? -- "Experimental" reading. -- Royal Society rhetoric: how well has it really been understood? -- Renaissance philosophy and the development of a "new" cosmology and anthropology. -- Paracelsianism, Neoplatonism, alchemy: where are we now? -- Invention and discovery: separable economies? -- Theological origins of the new science. -- Hermeneutic consequences of the Newtonian settlement. -- Scholastic scientia and postmodern theory. -- Early-modern information: is there any? -- Science and mimesis: reflection, or transformation? -- Early-modern literature and the new knowledge: friends, or foes?

The plenary speakers for Scientiae will be Mario Biagioli and Peter Harrison. Dr. Biagioli is Distinguished Professor of Law and Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Director of the Center for Innovation Studies at the University of California (Davis). Dr. Harrison is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre, and a Fellow of Harris Manchester College at Oxford University.

Other prominent speakers currently expected at Scientiae include: Amir Alexander, Stephen Clucas, Sven Dupré, Angus Gowland, Hakan Hakansson, Kevin Killeen, William Newman, Lawrence Principe, Claire Preston, and Jonathan Sawday. The conference co-organizers are James Dougal Fleming (English, SFU); and Steven Matthews (History, U of Minnesota at Duluth).

All conference sessions will take place at SFU Harbour Centre, overlooking the waterfront in the heart of downtown Vancouver. A conference rate will be available at the Delta Suites Hotel, located directly across the street from Harbour Centre. Rich options for dining, shopping, and entertainment are within walking distance of the conference site. Direct transport links to Vancouver Airport, and to almost anywhere in the metropolitan area, including extensive outdoor recreational opportunities, are available from Waterfront Station, also steps away from Harbour Centre.

Paper and/or panel proposals of no more than 500 words, in Word or .pdf format, should be sent to by SEPTEMBER 30, 2011.

Believing in Shakespeare: Faith and Doubt on the Elizabethan Stage

Workshop at the Shakespeare-Tage 2012 in Bochum

Shakespeare’s plays were conceived and first performed in a climate of religious and political change, when private beliefs always had a public dimension and when religious allegiance had literally become a matter of life and death for many men and women. Our seminar aims at re-assessing the roles of faith and doubt in the public arena of the Shakespearean stage. We are not interested in examining, once again, the question of Shakespeare’s own denomination, we would rather like to enquire into the configurations of belief on the Elizabethan stage: 
  • Do the plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries support religious devotion or do they invite distrust and scepticism?
  • How can faith be established, how can it be perceived and proven? 
  • When does faith have to be realigned or even recanted? 
  • Do the plays themselves require faith on a metatheatrical level, as Paulina famously demands in The Winter’s Tale?
  • And in how far is it possible to differentiate between religious belief and the suspension of disbelief in the playhouse? 
  • In what ways do the plays relate to topical religious debates, be it at Shakespeare’s time or today?
  • What stance do they take towards more universal metaphysical questions? 
  • And how do they envision non-Christian religion, which stance do they take, for example, towards Jewish and Muslim beliefs? 
  • How have specific theatrical (or filmic) performances dealt with the religious aspects of the plays – have they suppressed, emphasised, or altered them?
Our workshop plans to address these and related questions with a panel of six papers during the annual conference of the German Shakespeare Association, Shakespeare-Tage (20-22 April 2012 in Bochum, Germany), which will focus on “Faith and Doubt in Shakespeare’s Plays”. As critical input for the discussion and provocation for debate, panellists are invited to give short statements (of no more than 15 minutes) presenting concrete case studies, concise examples and strong views on the topic. 

Please send your proposals (abstracts of 300 words) and all further questions by 15 November 2011 to the seminar convenors:

Dr. Felix Sprang, University of Hamburg, English Department:

Dr. Christina Wald, University of Augsburg, English Department:

See also:

"Popular Fiction and the English Renaissance" : Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for a conference on "Popular Fiction and the English Renaissance", to take place at Newcastle University 14-15 April 2012. Deadline for submissions: 16th Dec.

The conference aims to explore those texts and plays which were most enthusiastically received and read by sixteenth and seventeenth century readers, as well as, more broadly, the themes and approaches which Renaissance authors identified as appealing to a broad audience of readers and theatre-goers.

Topics could include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Particularly popular sixteenth and seventeenth century texts, for example John Lyly's Euphues; literary responses to these works by other writers.
  • Renaissance authors who were particularly concerned with the popularity and saleability of their works.
  • The early modern literary marketplace; tension between print and manuscript culture.
  • The rise of the sequel in Elizabethan and Jacobean literature.
  • The cult of the author in the Renaissance.
  • Renaissance recycling of classical and/or medieval material.
  • English use of popular continental models and texts.
  • Authorial interaction with/awareness of the reader.
  • Renaissance texts and authors in modern popular culture (print, film, television or theatre)
Papers which address any of these themes from an interdisciplinary perspective are also warmly welcomed. The conference will consider papers on any aspect of the theme, in the period 1500-1700.
Abstracts (250 words max) should be sent to Katherine Heavey ( by Friday 16th December.

Annual Shakespeare Lecture in Honour of Professor Stanley Wells, C. B. E.

The University of Notre Dame (USA) in London, the Shakespeare Institute and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust invite you to the inaugural event of their

Annual Shakespeare Lecture in Honour of Professor Stanley Wells, C. B. E.

The series will open with a talk by Professor Stanley Wells, “Eighty Years with Shakespeare”

As teacher, theatregoer, reviewer, lecturer, editor, critic, historian, administrator, conferencegoer and broadcaster, Stanley Wells has spent a lifetime with Shakespeare. In this talk he reflects upon the changes in the Shakespearian scene over the past eighty year, and on his involvement with them.

11 April, 2012, 6 pm

Trafalgar Hall, University of Notre Dame
1 Suffolk Street (next to the National Gallery)

The event will be followed by a reception

NB: As space is limited, please book a place by writing to