Fairfax 400 | Sir Thomas Fairfax 1612-1671

University of Leicester
30 June - 1 July 2012

This two-day interdisciplinary conference will investigate the impact of Sir Thomas Fairfax (1612–1671) upon his time and contemporaries.

It will combine the approaches of historians and literary scholars to examine afresh his multiple roles as a general, politician, landowner, husband and literary figure. His memory, image and reputation in art, literature, media and film will also be assessed.

The conference also includes a guided tour of Naseby battlefield.


To register for the conferenc please send your name, address, email and contact details in an envelope marked ‘Fairfax 400 Conference’ to Lucy Byrne at the address below, no later than 1 June 2012.

Please enclose a cheque payable to ‘The University of Leicester’ for £40 per person. This will cover registration, buffet lunches, refreshments and transport to Naseby for a battlefield tour (please bring waterproofs and sturdy footwear in case of poor weather).

Ms Lucy Byrne
Centre for English Local History
Marc Fitch Historical Institute
5 Salisbury Road
Leicester LE1 7QR

Conference website, including programme and booking information:

Renaissance Old Worlds: English Encounters from the Levant to the Far East

At The British Library, 29 June - 1 July 2012

The early modern period saw England establishing its first colonies in the New World, but its ideas and expectations about foreign nations, travel and its identity as a political and economic power on the global stage were influenced largely by its experiences in other distant but familiar nations. This conference will investigate English interactions with the ‘old worlds’ of the Middle East, South Asia and the Far East. It will ask how such cross-encounters may have shaped not only the literature, art and cultures of England and the host nations, but also a broad range of intellectual, political, cultural, religious and economic determinants of England’s relationship with the wider world.

Overarching questions to be investigated by the conference include:

(1) How did English cultural memories of the Old World, from art, literature and political events such as conflicts in the Islamic Mediterranean, influence actual travel encounters?

(2) How did information and expertise about distant places circulate, and who were the agents of such circulation (from missionaries, merchants, administrators, and indigenous informants, to artisans and scholars)?

(3) What form did the information take (from maps and texts to material artefacts)?

(4) How did religion inflect political and social negotiations? (How is anxiety about piracy in the Islamic Mediterranean and North Africa, for instance, connected to anxieties about conversion between Christianity and Islam?)

(5) What role did trading companies, both those established by the English and their European trading competitors, play in determining structures of knowledge and cross-cultural encounters?

Proposals are invited for complete panels of three or four papers, as well as individual papers on one of the following themes:

· Interplay between ‘old worlds’ and ‘new’
· Circulation networks
· Visual and material culture (art, cartography, crafts)
· Trade, diplomacy, piracy
· Gift-exchange
· Religion and conversion
· Translation and transformation

Please send abstracts (250 words for individual papers and 500 words for complete panels) and a brief biographical statement (if proposing a panel, one for each participant) to Nandini Das at row@liverpool.ac.uk by 1 March 2012. Papers should take between 15–20 minutes to present, and panels should last no longer than 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Screening the Museum

June 29, 2012 16:00 - 19:00 PM
Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
Booking details
Free entry; booking required

Add to calendar
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Event description: Moving image artists investigate museums and collections - an afternoon of screenings and discussion

The moving image has transformed museums and art galleries, making the transition from the darkened room of the cinema to the white cube and beyond. Screening the Museum is an opportunity to see and discuss how moving image artists have dealt with the subject of the museum itself, from buildings and their (repressed) histories, to the objects and collections they contain.

Booking essential: please reserve your FREE ticket online

Programme includes:
User Group Disco, Elizabeth Price
The Phantom Museum, Quay Brothers
Narrative Remains, Karen Ingham
Mouse Heaven, Kenneth Anger
While Darwin Sleeps, Paul Bush
Historia Naturae (Suita), Jan Švankmajer

Speakers TBC
Contact name
Suzannah Biernoff
Further details
More information about this event…

School/department website http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/

Medieval and Renaissance Summer School

The first Birkbeck Medieval and Renaissance Summer School will be hosted by the School of Arts, for those currently in or moving towards postgraduate study.

The Summer School offers activities designed to give you a chance to develop your interests, ideas and plans, in a sociable and scholarly atmosphere. You will be introduced to a range of scholars working in English and European history, literature, theatre and art history in the period c. 1350 – c. 1650.

Date: 27-29 June 2012
Time: 9.30am - 7.30pm each day
Cost: £20 Staff and students at Birkbeck and participating institutions
 / £40 EU delegates / £140 non-EU delegates
Venue: 43 Gordon Square, WC1H
Booking: Book your place

The Summer School will start with a lecture on the medieval and Renaissance city - exploring Jerusalem, Rome and London. We will then explore maps, manuscripts and archives and have our own tour of medieval and early modern Westminster. There will be masterclasses, seminars and tours with leading scholars in their fields.

We will discuss playhouses and visit one. We will visit the new Victoria & Albert Museum Renaissance galleries and visit several other institutions connected to London’s medieval and early modern past.

The Summer School will also include lectures by Birkbeck staff: Professor Anthony Bale, Dr Dorigen Caldwell, Dr Stephen Clucas, Dr Isabel Davis, Dr Adam Smyth, and Professor Sue Wiseman.

And, of course, the Summer School will end with a party.

Please book early as places are limited.

View the Summer School programme.

Book your place

International Conference | Late Raphael

International Conference | Late Raphael

Studies Center National Museum of the Prado 26 - June 27, 2012
Congress Director: Dr. Michael Falomir Faus

June 26. Morning session

08.45 h. Reception, accreditation and delivery of documentation
Visit the exhibit, museum closed from 09.00 to 10.15 am

10.15 h. Welcome and opening of the Congress Gabriele Finaldi. Deputy Director for Conservation and Research. Miguel Prado Museum Falomir. Head of Italian and French Painting (until 1700). National Museum of the Prado


10.30 h. Paul Barolsky, The Elusive Raphael
University of Virginia. Charlottesville. USA

11.00 h. Sheryl Reiss, Raphael, Pope Leo X and Cardinal Giulio de Medici
University of Southern California. Los Angeles. USA

11.30 h. Rest

12.00 h. Carmen C. Bambach, Leonardo and Raphael, circa 1513-16
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. USA

12.30 h. Timothy Clifford, Raphael and the Decorative Arts
Former Director, National Galleries of Scotland. Edinburgh. United Kingdom

13.00. Karafel Lorraine, Raphael's Tapestries
Art History Department. New York University. New York. USA

13.30 h. Questions

14.00 h. Rest

June 26. Afternoon Session

15.30 h. Christa Gardner von Teuffel, Raphael's Visitation: law, concord, and peace female hierarchy. University of Warwick, Coventry. United Kingdom


16.00 h. Robert Bartalini, Raffaello Da Sodom. Sulla nuziale camera di Agostino Chigi alla Farnesina. Università degli Studi di Siena. Siena. Italy

16.30 h. Costanza Barbieri, Sebastiano del Piombo, Raphael, and Agostino Chigi's patronage. European Università di Roma. Italy

17.00 h. Questions

June 27. RAFAEL morning session. 


10.00 h. David Franklin, Rafaellino del Colle and Giulio Romano
Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland. USA

10.30 h. Nesselrath Arnold, Giovanni da Udine in Raphael's workshop Vatican Museums
Vatican City

11.00 h. Linda Wolk-Simon, Pellegrino da Modena
The Morgan Library & Museum. New York. USA

11.30 h. Rest

12.00 h. Jan Sammer, Tommaso Vincidor and the Flemish Romanists
Brussels. Belgium

12.30 h. Robert La France, Raphael and Timoteo Viti
University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign. USA

13.30 h. Rest

June 27. Afternoon Session

15.30 h. David Love, Gianfrancesco Penni: Overlooked panel designs for paintings
London United Kingdom

16.00 h. Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Raphael's St. Margaret in Vienna
Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna. Austria


16.30 h. Falomir Michael, Raphael and Titian
National Museum of the Prado

17.00 h. Charles Dempsey, Raphael's legacy in Italy circa 1600
The Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore. USA

17.30 h. Questions

Paul Joannides and Tom Henry.
Curators of the exhibition.

Papers in English and Italian will be translated into Spanish
Papers in Spanish will be translated into English

Venue: Auditorium of the Prado Museum (entrance door Jerónimos)

Student rates: 45 €. Professionals, professors and researchers € 60. Friends of the Prado Museum € 75. Public € 90

Registration: Prior registration in 91 330 28 91 330 28 31 and 73 and subsequent payment of the fees by bank transfer. More information area.educacion @ museodelprado.es A certificate of attendance.

Registration dates: May 28 - June 20 or until full.

Organisation: Falomir Miguel Faus. Head of Italian and French Painting (until 1700) National Museum of the Prado Esther González de Frutos. Head of the Department of Education. National Museum of the Prado

Centro de Estudios del Museo Nacional del Prado 26 – 27 de junio de 2012
Director del Congreso: Dr. Miguel Falomir Faus

26 de junio. Sesión de mañana

08.45 h. Recepción, acreditación y entrega de documentación
Visita a la exposición, a museo cerrado, de 09.00 a 10.15 horas

10.15 h. Bienvenida y apertura del Congreso Gabriele Finaldi. Director adjunto de Conservación e Investigación. Museo Nacional del Prado Miguel Falomir. Jefe del Departamento de Pintura Italiana y Francesa (hasta 1700). Museo Nacional del Prado


10.30 h.  Paul Barolsky, The Elusive Raphael 
University of Virginia. Charlottesville. USA

11.00 h. Sheryl Reiss, Raphael, Pope Leo X, and Cardinal Giulio de Medici 
University of Southern California. Los Angeles. USA

11.30 h. Descanso

12.00 h.  Carmen C. Bambach, Leonardo and Raphael, circa 1513-16 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nueva York. USA

12.30 h.   Timothy Clifford, Raphael and the Decorative Arts
Former Director, National Galleries of Scotland. Edimburgo. Reino Unido

13.00 h.   Lorraine Karafel, Raphael's Tapestries
Art History Department. New York University. Nueva York. USA

13.30 h.  Preguntas

14.00 h.  Descanso

26 de junio. Sesión de tarde

15.30 h.  Christa Gardner von Teuffel, Raphael's Visitation: law, concord, female hierarchy and peace. University of Warwick, Coventry. Reino Unido

16.00 h.  Roberto Bartalini, Da Raffaello a Sodoma. Sulla camera nuziale di Agostino Chigi alla Farnesina. Università degli Studi di Siena. Siena. Italia

16.30 h. Costanza Barbieri, Sebastiano del Piombo, Raphael, and Agostino Chigi's patronage. Università Europea di Roma. Italia

17.00 h. Preguntas

27 de junio. Sesión de mañana RAFAEL. DISCÍPULOS Y ASOCIADOS

10.00 h. David FranklinRafaellino del Colle and Giulio Romano
Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland. USA

10.30 h. Arnold Nesselrath, Giovanni da Udine in Raphael’s workshop Museos Vaticanos
Ciudad del Vaticano

11.00 h. Linda Wolk-Simon, Pellegrino da Modena 
The Morgan Library & Museum. Nueva York. USA

11.30 h. Descanso

12.00 h. Jan Sammer, Tommaso Vincidor and the Flemish Romanists 
Bruselas. Bélgica

12.30 h. Robert La FranceTimoteo Viti and Raphael
University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign. USA

13.30 h. Descanso

27 de junio. Sesión de tarde 

15.30 h. David LoveGianfrancesco Penni: designs for overlooked panel paintings 
Londres Reino Unido 

16.00 h. Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Raphael’s St. Margaret in Vienna 
Kunsthistorisches Museum. Viena. Austria


16.30 h. Miguel FalomirRafael y Tiziano
Museo Nacional del Prado

17.00 h. Charles Dempsey, Raphael ́s legacy in Italy circa 1600
The Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore. USA

17.30 h. Preguntas

Paul Joannides y Tom Henry. 
Comisarios de la exposición. 

Las ponencias en inglés e italiano serán traducidas al español 
Las ponencias en español serán traducidas al inglés

Sede:  Auditorio del Museo Nacional del Prado (entrada puerta de Jerónimos)

Tarifas Estudiantes:  45 €. Profesionales, profesores e investigadores 60 €. Amigos del Museo del Prado 75 €. Público 90 €

Inscripción:  Inscripción previa en el 91 330 28 31 y 91 330 28 73 y posterior abono de la matrícula por transferencia bancaria. Más información en area.educacion@museodelprado.es Se entregará un certificado de asistencia.

Fechas de matrícula:     28 de mayo – 20 de junio, o hasta completar aforo.

Organización:    Miguel Falomir Faus. Jefe del Departamento de Pintura Italiana y Francesa (hasta 1700) Museo Nacional del Prado Ester de Frutos González. Jefe de Servicio del Área de Educación. Museo Nacional del Prado

Forum for European Philosophy Event | How to Watch the Olympics

Monday 25 June, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

David Goldblatt, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He is author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football and, with Johnny Acton, How to Watch the Olympics

In conversation with

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

17 days, 12,000 athletes, 29 sports, 302 gold medals: the Games are almost upon us. This event will be your personal trainer for its back stories and culture. How did the Games become so caught up with symbols and expressions of national identity and national pride? Should we feel guilty about feeling a few hours of warm-hearted patriotism when athletes from our nation win a medal? And why is Greco-Roman wrestling so crucial to Kazakhstan?

Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. They can be accessed at www.philosophy-forum.org

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

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities | Conference on Empathy and Memory Studies

Saturday 23rd June 10am – 5pm Room B04, Birkbeck Main Building

Free – register here

The concept of empathy has become central to the transdisciplinary field of memory studies with the rise of interest in witnessing and trauma. Trauma studies has raised the question of primary witnessing’s relations with the unrepresentable and the problems this poses for empathy. More recently with the growing attention to mediated memory and its travels a focus has emerged on the possibilities for empathy in ‘postmemory’ (Hirsch), ‘secondary witnessing’ (Apel) and ‘prosthetic memory’ (Landsberg). This one-day conference will provide a much needed interdisciplinary forum for memory studies to engage explicitly with the question of empathy.

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
E: j.eisner@bbk.ac.uk

The Marriage of Philology and Scepticism: Uncertainty and Conjecture in Early Modern Scholarship and Thought

The Warburg Institute, 22 June 2012

Organised by Gian Mario Cao, Anthony Grafton and Jill Kraye


David Butterfield, Queens’ College, Cambridge
Gian Mario Cao, The Warburg Institute
Anthony Grafton, Princeton University
Jill Kraye, The Warburg Institute
Ian Maclean, All Souls College, Oxford
Scott Mandelbrote, Peterhouse, Cambridge
Jan Ziolkowski, Harvard University and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Philology is nowadays recognized as the foundation stone of modern scholarship: by holding on to documents and sticking to evidence, it is supposed to rescue historical knowledge from scepticism. This assumption can, however, be challenged by moving away from the conventional antagonism – philology vs scepticism – in order to identify the sceptical elements within philology itself. Instead of asking ‘how effective an antidote to scepticism is philology?', the more relevant question is: ‘how can philology cope with its own inner scepticism?’ By attempting to answer this question, the workshop will help us to see textual criticism as a fresh source for understanding sceptical trends of thought.


£25 (£12.50 for concessions: full-time students, pensioners, unemployed) including coffee/tea, and a sandwich lunch. Please email Warburg(at)sas.ac.uk to register.

Forum for European Philosophy | Sovereignty and Identity

This event is part of the Jean Monnet 'Europe Beyond Governance' Lecture Series

Philosophy and European Union

Tuesday 19 June, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

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

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

In 1785 Kant predicted that ‘in our continent, where all are so closely linked by trade’ war and threats of war would eventually lead to the formation of ‘a great political body of the future, without precedence in the past’. Nietzsche, some hundred years later, saw something similar coming too. In this lecture Simon Glendinning will explore how the views of philosophers prefigured and prepared for the reality of European Union today.

Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. They can be accessed at www.philosophy-forum.org

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

Contemporary Shakespeare | International Conference at Hildesheim University

Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier and her team look forward to welcoming you to this international conference at Hildesheim University from 14-16 June 2012. Scholars and theatre professionals will discuss Shakespeare's impact on culture and literature today. A variety of well-known keynote speakers will provide important insights into Shakespeare's significance for us and the enormous scope of meaning of his works. All participans are welcome, but everyone must register online. If you would like to practice your voice and your acting or your teaching skills, please enroll for one of our attractive workshops.

We further invite contributions to four thematical sections which deal with special topical aspects of Shakespeare's works. Each section will consist of up to 5 speakers. Papers are to be circulated among the speakers of a section before the conference. Each speaker will have circa 15 minutes to present their theses in order to allow enough time for discussion. Please send your abstract of max. 300 words directly to the respective convenor.

If you have graduated recently you might wish to present your research at our postgraduate forum.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

From 12.00 hrs. – Reception desk on Bühler Campus open
(Room LN 004)

14.00-15.30 hrs. – Opening Address/Keynote I
Prof. Dr. Aleida Assmann – "Problems of Empathy in Shakespeare'sOthello"
(Room L 131, Aula)

15.30-16.00 hrs. – Coffee break

16.00-18.00 hrs. – Section I
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Tancke – "Shakespeare's Sisters"
1) Prof. Dr. Jutta Schwarzkopf – "Elizabeth I as Author"
2) Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier – "Isabella Whitney and Aemelia Lanyer as the First English Writers in Print"
(Room L131, Aula)

16.15-17.45 hrs. – Workshop
Dr. Patrick Duggan – "Exploring Text Through Performance"
(Room LN 005)

From 18.30 hrs. – Reception at the Town Hall with Kurt Machens

Friday, 15 June 2012

9.00-10.00 hrs. – Keynote II
Prof. Dr. Graham Holderness – "Who was William Shakespeare?"
(Room L 131, Aula)

10.00-10.30 hrs. – Coffee break

10.30-12.30 hrs. – Section II
Prof. Dr. Anja Müller-Wood – "Body = Mind/ Mind = Body: 'Naturalist' Shakespeare Studies"
1) Dr. Gabriel Egan – "Shakespeare, Materialism and the Evolution of Morality"
2) Dr. Felix Sprang – "The Mirror of All Courtesy – Holding up Mirror Neuron Theory to Shakespeare's Verbal Art"
3) Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel – "My Soul's Imaginary Sight – A Cognitive Approach to William Shakespeare's Sonnets"
4) Laura Seymour – (tba)

10.45-12.15 hrs. – Workshop
Hugh Hodgart – "Speaking and Playing Shakespeare"
(Room LN 005)

12.30-14.00 hrs. – Lunch break

14.00-15.00 hrs. – Keynote III
Prof. Dr. Ros King – "What are we doing when we're doing Shakespeare? The embodied brain in theatrical experience"
(Room L 131, Aula)

15.00-15.30 hrs. – Coffee break

15.30-17.30 hrs. – Section III
PD Dr. Christiane Schlote – "Shakespeare on Stage"
1) Tony Kingston – On a Midsummer Night's Dream (tba)
2) Dr. Carmen Szabo – "'The Madness of Hamlet' – A Zimbabwean Performance in London"
3) Hugh Hodgart – On Directing Hamlet (tba)

15.45-17.15 hrs. – Workshop
Sandra Heldt & Antonia Winter – "Teaching Shakespeare"
(Room LN 005)

17.30-18.00 hrs. – Coffee break

18.00-19.00 hrs. – Keynote IV
Samuel West – "On Acting and Directing Shakespeare"
(Room L 131, Aula)

From 19.30 hrs. – Conference dinner

Saturday, 16 June 2012

9.00-10.00 hrs. – Keynote V
Prof. Dr. Hugh Grady – "Shakespeare's Brechtian Drama: Usury and Fornication in Measure for Measure"
(Room L 131, Aula)

10.00-10.30 hrs. – Coffee break

10.30-12.30 hrs. – Section IV
Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier – "Shakespeare on Screen"
1) Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier – "From Stagecraft to Screencraft: Richard Loncraine's Richard III"
2) Dr. Stefanie Hundt – (tba)
3) Dr. Simone Broders – "'TaH pagh, taHbe' –Shakespeare as Cultural Constant in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek"

10.45-12.15 hrs. – Workshop
Sandra Heldt & Antonia Winter – "Teaching Shakespeare" (tbc)

12.30-13.30 hrs. – Light farewell lunch

13.30-14.30 hrs. – Round Table Discussion in German (Podiumsdiskussion)
Prof. Dr. Stefani Brusberg-Kiermeier, Prof. Dr. Annemarie Matzke,
Prof. Dr. Jens Roselt

15.30-17.30 hrs. – Postgraduate Forum
1) Matthieu Leloup-Bellon – "Shakespeare's Emotive Actions"
2) Anke Sandleben-Krah – "Othello, Braunschweig 2012 AD vs. "O" – Two Examples of Interpreting Shakespearean Drama in the 21st Century"
3) Alexandra Mieth – "To Boldly Go Where No Bard Has Gone Before"
4) Heidemarie Christine Schorr – ""Both Alike in Dignity": Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"
(Room LN 304, conference room)

Call for papers: News in Early Modern Europe

University of Sussex, 5th-7th June 2012

The Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Sussex is to host a multi-disciplinary postgraduate conference on the subject of News in Early Modern Europe. We invite proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes or panels of up to three speakers that address any aspect of this theme. Although the conference is particularly directed towards postgraduates, we welcome scholars at all levels of their career.

Plenary speakers include: Joad Raymond (University of East Anglia), Andrew Pettegree (University of St Andrews).

Please send abstracts of papers (of no more than 200 words) or panel theme with list of speakers and abstracts to Simon Davies (S.F.Davies@sussex.ac.uk) by 31st January 2012.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
  • News in print
  • Manuscript news
  • The changes in news reporting across the period
  • Reading the news
  • Politics in the news
  • Religion in the news
  • Censorship and regulation
  • News and the state
  • Sermons and the delivery of news
  • News and the stage
  • News ballads
  • News from capital to provinces / from city to country
  • The international exchange of news
  • The reporting of new ideas and discoveries
  • Sensational news
  • The consumption of news across genders
  • Specialist news
  • Coteries and news networks
  • Secrecy vs sharing
  • Private vs public
  • Current events in literature
  • News and credit
  • The relationship between news and history
  • Digital approaches to working with early modern news

Missing Texts

A Conference organised by the Material Texts Network
at Birkbeck, University of London, Saturday June 2, 2012
Call for Papers

The Material Texts Network at Birkbeck convenes and encourages innovative work on the materiality of texts. We invite 300-word proposals, from scholars working in any period and discipline, on the theme of ‘Missing Texts’. Papers might consider

  • Texts or works that have been erased, over-painted, defaced, cancelled, or destroyed
  • Missing works that exist only through photographs or other archival traces
  • Texts or works that are better known through photographs, and are themselves rarely on display
  • How do we know a text is missing? How do archives record missing texts? If a missing text must leave a trace to be felt as missing, are texts ever really missing?
  • Texts or works overlooked for ideological, or other, reasons, in catalogues, inventories, & canons
  • The role of missing texts in literary works
  • The fetishisation of the 'missing' ur-text in textual studies and editorial procedures
  • Pages torn from books, lost quires, blanks, unfilled miniatures, incomplete jottings on fly-leaves
  • Letters, in which only one side of the correspondence is preserved
  • The use by authors of the topos of the lost text, the text-in-the-making, the text-never-finished (‘all this will be properly explained in our forthcoming masterpiece…’)
  • What happens when we find a long-missing text or work? How do we identify and read it?
  • How do scholars address the loss of archives when writing, for example, histories of African and
  • Asian nations where there are more Western texts than local ones? What kind of scholarship develops around these gaps?
  • How do missing texts relate to redactions?
  • Why do texts go missing in archives? What are the historical moments of great archival loss (for example, the archives destroyed in the 1755 earthquake of Lisbon, or the losses in German libraries during the World War II)
  • Are texts more likely to go missing in particular media (manuscript more than print? Print more than digital?)
  • Can a text ever go missing in the digital world?

Please send 300-word proposals (for a 20 minute paper) and a brief CV to

Dr Adam Smyth (adam.smyth@bbk.ac.uk) and Dr Gill Partington (g.partington@bbk.ac.uk), by 1 February 2012.

Birkbeck Institute for Humanities | Missing Texts

One day conference on excisions, deletions, lost manuscripts, destroyed archives, blanks, scattered pages, imagined originals, digital disappearance …

Saturday June 2nd 9.45am Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1.
For other details and information visit the Material Texts Network and to reserve a place (£15/10 for students), please email