CALL FOR PAPERS: Printing Mathematics in the Early Modern World

Monday 16 December 2013
All Souls College, Oxford

The early modern period saw the printing, in large numbers, of mathematical tables, primers, textbooks and practical manuals, as well as the incorporation of mathematical notation into a wide range of works
on other subjects. Algebraic notation, diagrams and even printed mathematical instruments all raised unusual problems for print. The development of appropriate layouts and conventions, the establishment of workable print-shop procedures, and the detection and management of error all potentially required distinctive solutions where the printing of mathematics was concerned. Those problems and their solutions are the subject of this one-day workshop, to be held in All Souls College, Oxford.

Confirmed speakers:

Katherine Hunt, Birkbeck
Alexander Marr, Cambridge
Robin Rider, Wisconsin
Leo Rogers, Oxford
Benjamin Wardhaugh, Oxford

Proposals for papers are invited on, but not confined to, the following subject areas:
  • Print shop practice in relation to mathematical works 
  • Mathematical page layouts and their evolution 
  • The design and printing of mathematical diagrams 
  • Mathematical authorship and its display 
  • Error and accuracy in printed mathematics

Proposals for papers should include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a brief CV, and should be emailed to by 16 September 2013. The conference can contribute to travel costs for speakers.

British Society for the History of Mathematics: Christmas Meeting

Members of the mailling list may be interested to know about the forthcoming Christmas meeting of the BSHM: A ‘History of Mathematics’ Day.  An eclectic mix of interesting historical issues chosen by Robin Wilson in celebration of his 70th birthday.

Venue: The Birmingham and Midland Institute, Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS

Date: Saturday 7th December. Cost: £20 members, £25 non-members to include coffee and buffet lunch


For further information contact

The British Society for the History of Mathematics exists to promote research into the history of mathematics and its use at all levels of mathematics education.

Jane Wess (Meetings Secretary)

Antiquity in a World of Change: Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Thomas Smith (1513-77)

A study day sponsored by the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Institute of Classical Studies (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and organised by Fellow Richard Simpson.  Date, Friday, 6 December 2013

Early booking is strongly advised, as space is limited. Registration will cost £10 per person and includes lunch and refreshments. To book, please email Executive Assistant Jola Zdunek ( or call 020 7479 7080. Please contact the Communications Officer Renée LaDue ( if you have any questions.
About the Study Day

Antiquity in a world of change will explore how engagements with the past stimulated innovation and change in sixteenth-century England.

The study day marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Sir Thomas Smith (1513-77). A series of speakers bring together, for the first time, new studies investigating the exceptional range of Smith’s activities, helping us to understand how the analysis of antiquity in the sixteenth-century provoked not only a desire for the recovery of the past, but also a critical and creative questioning of the present.

Speakers balance investigations of Smith’s scholarly studies with his practical engagements. An early proponent of the recovery of Greek language at Cambridge, Smith’s readings in Greek philosophy and medicine informed a view of the natural world which provoked practical undertakings in medical chemistry and alchemy. His early reading in Roman law suggests the beginnings of an engagement with Roman building, realized in his house at Hill Hall, witness to a rich complexity of cultural ambition and technical innovation. One of the early English collectors of antique coins, Smith’s work on Roman, Greek, and early English money, directly informed his critical analysis of mid-sixteenth-century English economic and social distress. Wider questions of good governance – informed by his ambassadorial work in France and the Low Countries, as well as his study of ancient history – stimulated his examination of English monarchy, parliament, and magistracy. The De republica Anglorum remained influential after his death in 1577, but did his influence spread more widely? Speakers explore the ‘singularity’ of his architectural achievement in terms of developments in English building in the later sixteenth century, and the way that his intellectual and practical investigations can be tracked in the rich diversity which informed late-Elizabethan thinking from poetry to colonial schemes.

Tentative Programme

9.30 - 10.00am - Registration

Session 1: Early studies at Cambridge - antiquity and new studies
Carlotta Dionisotti, 'Thomas Smith and Greek'
Richard Simpson, 'Studying Roman law - reading about building'

Tea and coffee break

Session 2: Ideas in practice - money and economy, society, governance and politics
Andrew Burnett & Deborah Thorpe, ‘On the wages of a Roman footsoldier’
Anne McLaren, 'Sir Thomas Smith’s body politic'

Lunch break

Session 3: Ideas in practice - experiment and investigation (architecture, medicine, metallurgy, mind)
Paul Drury, 'Sir Thomas Smith as architect'
Guido Giglioni, 'Medicine, metallurgy and the mind: models of inner and outer transformation of nature in Thomas Smith’s experimental pursuits'

Tea and coffee break

Session 4: Smith’s influence and impact
Edward Town,'Architecture, building, and technology after Smith'
Andrew Hadfield, 'The impact of Sir Thomas Smith'

Session 5: Round table chaired by Maurice Howard, President of the Society of Antiquaries of London

17.00 - Study day concluded

The London Renaissance Seminar: Religion on the Early Modern Stage

Please join us for an informal discussion of religion on the early modern stage.

Dr. Alison Shell and Dr. Emma Smith will lead discussion starting with

Shakespeare’s Unreformed Fictions (OUP, 2013)
By Dr. Gillian Woods

Friday 29th November 2013 6 -7.30pm
Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square

Birkbeck College, University of London. Contact

CALL FOR PAPERS: Melancholia/æ

The religious experience of the ‘disease of the soul’ and its definitions in the early modern period: censorship, dissent and self-representation


In its various historic-artistic, medical, literary, philosophical and psychological manifestations, melancholy has been the subject of a vast literature. Moreover, ‘melancholy’ – the word itself – is a polysemic term historically associated with a large variety of groups of distinct meanings.

In particular, it underwent a sort of semantic expansion between the 16th and 17th century. It became the name of what the physiologic-medical tradition, going back to antiquity, considered a humoral pathology of the black bile, of an experience of ‘moral’ suffering and also of a mental or emotional disorder, a discomfort sometimes described by sufferers as ‘abandonment’, ‘dark night’, ‘dryness’, ‘sorrow’ etc. and often lived out in imitatio Christi. In the light of all this, the notion of melancholy became an established means for carefully analyzing a large range of cases and their various symptoms and discerning the origin (whether divine, demonic or natural) of spiritual suffering; at the same time, it became a polemical category for transgression and individual or collective patterns of behaviour that were regarded as abnormal. Within the spheres of medicine, theology and law, the idea emerged that melancholy may be the expression of dissent, of the subject’s incapacity or unwillingness to conform to social rules and customs, and went as far as to polemically present melancholy as a collective phenomenon of given social groups, to denote a ‘national’ malaise (English malady) or, by reference to seventeenth-century political and religious instability, to designate the ‘disease of the century’.

The proposed seminar aims at exploring the different meanings of the term ‘melancholy’ in early modern religion, both Protestant and Catholic.  One of its main purposes will be to enquire into, clarify, and emphasise both elements of continuity and what was specific to each of the diverse discourses on melancholy within the historical, socio-cultural, political, geographical and linguistic contexts that framed its production.

It will be, therefore, a question of analysing the ways these discourses came to be structured, who made use of them and how, how they intersected one another – for instance, what points of contact existed among the medical, philosophical, literary, artistic and religious discourses – how they changed through time and what forms of social practice and types of texts were involved. Given this point of view, an interdisciplinary and transcultural approach will be privileged, one which goes beyond the traditional confessional perspective to emphasize intersections and comparisons even among different areas of historical study from cultural to gender history, from the history of medicine to that of emotions.

Proposals may be presented (although not exclusively) on the following themes either in the form of individual case studies or in a more theoretical and methodological mode.

1) Analysis of the language(s) of melancholy with particular attention to the medical and spiritual treatments proposed for its understanding, examination and/or cure. We would like to reflect on individual and group perceptions of spiritual suffering, on discursive definitions of its causes (natural and supernatural alike) and on the lines of reasoning that contributed to the stigmatisation/censorship of the experience or, conversely, to its spiritual appraisal. Proposed topics: melancholy and devotion, melancholy as a spiritual trial, tristitia spiritualis, religious interpretations and elaborations of the theme of suicide, body/soul and ‘anatomies of the soul’, etc.

2) The derogatory use of the term ‘melancholy’ by the various confessional orthodoxies to stigmatize the unbridgeable gap that separated not only individuals but also entire groups from the imposed imperatives of social and religious models as well as deplete the term’s potential subversive power. We intend to define and study the procedures that excluded dissidents from the community and thereby fixed the borders of rightness but which, by so doing, often, paradoxically, provoked the opposite effect of legitimising groups or individual ‘sectarians’ or ‘eccentrics’, who ended up identifying precisely the stigma as the distinctive feature of their own identity. Proposed topics: melancholy as the ‘disease of the century’, melancholy and atheism, the ‘monasteries’ sickness’, the critique of scrupulous and zealous religiosity, etc.

3) The connection between melancholy, demonic possession and ‘inordinate devotions’ provided the leitmotiv for much contemporary, disputed spirituality and mysticism within the Catholic ground. On the other hand, debate in both Catholicism and various Protestant contexts on melancholy combined with the wider debate concerning religious fanaticism or ‘enthusiasm’, which terms were used to label chiliastic groups, radical sects, the early Quakers and the Camisards, all of whom became the object of detailed theological, social and medical analyses in an attempt to distinguish between true and false inspiration, the natural and supernatural dimensions and melancholy and possession. Proposed topics: melancholy as a sign of fanaticism, enthusiasm or millenarianism; melancholy and demonic possession; melancholy and ‘pretended sanctity’; etc.

The seminar will be held in Venice, 28-29 November 2013 (date to be confirmed); its proceedings will be published either in a monographic issue of an academic periodical or as a dedicated volume.

Proposals will be considered for 20-minute papers and/or written contributions (up to a maximum length of 40,000 characters).

Scientific committee: Alessandro Arcangeli, Federico Barbierato, Adelisa Malena, Chiara Petrolini, Lisa Roscioni, Xenia Von Tippelskirch, Daniela Solfaroli Camillocci, Stefano Villani.

Proposals for papers or written contributions (max. 3000 characters), supplemented by a short cv and bibliography, must be sent by 15 February 2013 to Adelisa Malena ( or Lisa Roscioni (

Languages: Italian, English, French.

If funding will be available, hospitality will be offered to speakers. A reimbursement of travel expenses also may be provided pending the availability of budgetary resources.

Further information:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Medieval & Early Modern Cultures of War and Peace: Women and War

Saturday 23rd November 2013 at Homerton College, University of Cambridge

This one-day conference is part of an ongoing annual academic series focusing upon the many and various medieval and early modern cultural investments in armed combat and conflict resolution. This interdisciplinary conference explores these cultural investments with particular reference to questions of the role of women in terms of both warfare and the construction of peace. It is envisaged that delegates will be addressing this subject from a number of disciplinary perspectives, and presentations on the following subjects relating to the medieval and early modern periods would be particularly welcome: 

  • the representations of martial women across a range of media, especially but not exclusively those Thomas Heywood chose as 'the most worthy women in the world' in 1640 (e.g. the Biblical Deborah and Judith, the Pagan Bunduca and Penthisilea, and the Christian, Elpheda, Margaret (wife of Henry VI) and Elizabeth I)
  • writings by women who discuss their experiences of war;

  • representations of women's experience in medieval conflicts, as non-combatants and combatants, victims and aggressors, subjects and authors. In particular, this panel invites contributions on Joan of Arc and/or her literary legacy; Christine de Pizan and women's writings on the ethics of war; or any other subject concerned with women's experience of medieval warfare and/or its ethical/literary representation;

  • the way women are represented on stage in plays that deal explicitly with their experience of war; this session will relate to a performance of Jane Lumley’s Iphigeneia that will be staged on the evening of the conference.
These and other related subjects will be considered for presentation at this conference. Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to the conference organizers, Professor Geoff Ward ( and Professor Marion Wynne-Davies ( no later than Friday 27th September.

All abstracts should include the proposer’s name, title, mailing address, email address, institutional affiliation, student/employed status. Please note that there will be four panel sessions: of these some will require papers (no longer than 2000 words) to be circulated beforehand by the panel chair in order to facilitate discussion, while others will ask panel members to address key questions circulated by the panel chair.

PhD Studentships in Renaissance/Early Modern Literature at the University of Leicester

The School of English, University of Leicester, welcomes applications, through the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Programme, from potential PhD students interested in the literature, culture and thought of the early modern period (1500-1750). Current staff have research and teaching interests in topics including literature and medicine, political thought, reading networks, the classical tradition, textual editing, religious writing, the history of emotion, crime, libertinism, early modern London, libraries and collecting, censorship, and in authors such as Donne, Greville, Burton, Milton, Marvell, Pepys, Rochester and Defoe.

Further information about staff interests can be found at:

Funding for these studentships is conditional on successful application to the AHRC Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Programme. The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) will be awarding 410 PhD studentships over a five year period to excellent research students in the arts and humanities. The DTP, a collaboration between several Midlands Universities, provides research candidates with the potential for cross-institutional mentoring, expert supervision including cross-institutional supervision where appropriate, subject-specific and generic training, and professional support in preparing for and developing a career. Research skills training in early modern editing, book history, palaeography and Latin will be available to successful applicants. For full details, see their website:

The deadline for AHRC funding applications is 9 January 2014, by which time students must have applied for a place to study and have provided two references to a university within the DTP. For further details about the particulars of the AHRC scheme, please email Professor Philip Shaw

For informal enquiries concerning areas of interest, please email Professor Martin Dzelzainis (

History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminar

The next seminar in the 2013-14 History of Pre-Modern Medicine academic seminar series, will take place on Tuesday 19th November.

Details: Emilie Savage-Smith (Oxford)

A Literary History of Medicine: The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿah (d. 1270)


In the mid-13th century, a practising physician in Syria by the name of Ibn Abi Usaybi`ah set himself the task of recording the history of medicine throughout the known world. His book "The Best Accounts of the Classes of Physicians" covers 1700 years of medical practice, from the mythological beginnings of medicine with Asclepius through Greece, Rome, and India, down to the author's day.

Written as much to entertain as to inform, it is not only the earliest comprehensive history of medicine but the most important and ambitious of the medieval period, incorporating accounts of over 442 physicians – their training, their practice, and their medical compositions – interlaced with amusing poetry and anecdotes illustrating the life and character of the physicians.

Written by a man who was himself a medic and a poet, this highly readable history reflects considerable medical experience and lies at the interface of the serious medical practice of the day with society's interest in biography and gossip. A team has now been assembled, with the support of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award in Medical Humanities, to edit and translate the entire treatise and make it available both to scholars and the general public.

The seminar will take place in the Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, NW1 2BE ( Doors at 6pm prompt, seminar will start at 6.15.

CALL FOR PAPERS: British Society of Science, Postgraduate Conference

The British Society for the History of Science is holding its post-graduate conference at the University of Leeds on 8-10 January 2014.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 5pm on Friday 8th of November.

For further details and the CFP please visit and do not hesitate to contact the Organising Committee should you have any questions.

Inaugural F T Prince Memorial Lecture: Sir Christopher Ricks - 'Blaspheming Tongues'

The inaugural lecture at the University of Southampton will be given by Sir Christopher Ricks, 'Blaspheming Tongues' 6pm, Tuesday 15 October 2013.  Chaired by Dr Will May, Senior Lecturer in English

F.T. Prince's poems - as well as his literary criticism, literary history, and editorial work - learn from and teach us about Milton. Blasphemy is one of the enduring human concerns central to Milton's art and to Milton's heirs, Prince among them. Christopher Ricks is Warren Professor of the Humanities and Co-Director of the Editorial Institute at Boston University. He taught previously at Oxford, Bristol, and Cambridge, and was Professor of Poetry at Oxford 2004-2009. With Jim McCue he is completing a two-volume critical edition of the poems of T.S. Eliot, to be published by Faber & Faber in 2014. His first book was Milton's Grand Style (1963).

This is the inaugural F.T. Prince Memorial Lecture. These lectures will be given every year in honour of the poet and scholar F.T. Prince, who was one of Southampton's first English professors.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Classical Philosophers in Seventeenth Century English Thought

28 May 2014, CREMS, University of York

A day symposium – Keynote speakers: Prof Jessica Wolfe (North Carolina) and Prof Sarah Hutton (Aberystwyth)

This one day symposium will look at the reception of classical philosophers in seventeenth century English thought and culture, in philosophy, religion, natural philosophy, poetry and literature, the university, or other areas of early modern intellectual life. The focus will be on England, but not on English, and we encourage papers on the Latin reception of classical philosophy.

We will take the term ‘classical philosophy’ broadly speaking, and with a generic latitude, so that Homer or Hesiod might be considered, as they certainly were in the early modern period, as contributors to the philosophical outlook of the ancients, and so that while Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, Seneca or Cicero are central and protean in their seventeenth century reception, so too Virgil, Ovid and Lucretius were seen as containing an important philosophical core. Of interest also might be the collations and compendia of classical thought that served as a digest of ancient ideas, whether those of the ancients themselves, such as Diogenes Laertius, or of the early modern writers, such as Thomas Stanley’s History of Philosophy. How did early modern writers accommodate, transpose or circumvent the pagan elements in ancient philosophy? How concerned were early modern thinkers with the systematic and with completeness in their use of classical philosophers? How was the pagan religion transposed to a Christian era?

Abstracts by 15th December (c. 250 words)

Contact: Kevin Killeen,

CALL FOR PAPERS: Shakespeare Seminar at the Shakespeare-Tage 2014

Strike up, pipers.
Shakespeare’s Festivities

As we celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday we turn to merriment and commemoration in Shakespeare’s plays. There is reason to believe that Shakespeare, if he were still alive today, would shun the festivities in his honour. Shakespeare, in contrast to many of his contemporaries, never contributed to the royal entries or city pageants in his lifetime. We also know that Shakespeare’s festive comedies cast a shadow of doubt about what is being celebrated and by whom. Equally, it is often the wreath of victory or the lascivious pleasing of a lute that foreshadows a crisis. Without ignoring that there is a place for merriment and festivity in Shakespeare’s oeuvre, we would like to investigate why and how celebration turns awry in so many of his plays. That investigation allows for revisiting, among other issues, notions of genre, the place of rhetoric as well as constraints of production. Are Shakespeare’s feasts tapered by the amalgamation of religious, political and economic constraints? And in how far does the historical context influence our reading of these feasts? Is the “feast of Crispian” a feast? Can it survive as a legacy stripped from the commemoration of Marian martyrs and resonances with the nursery rhyme “Remember, remember, the fifth of November”? Identifying merriment and commemoration as ritual, and addressing the cultural and textual forces at play, this workshop aims at getting closer to understanding why Shakespeare arguably sympathised with Mistress Page in preferring to “go home, and laugh this sport o’er by a country fire”.

Our seminar plans to address these and related questions with a panel of six papers during the annual conference of the German Shakespeare Association, Shakespeare-Tage (24-27 April 2014 in Weimar, Germany). As critical input for the discussion and provocation for debate, panellists are invited to give short statements on the basis of pre-circulated papers 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 2013 to the seminar convenors:

Felix Sprang, University of Hamburg:
Christina Wald, Humboldt University of Berlin:

See also:

Stuart Successions

An Interdisciplinary Colloquium to be held at Jesus College, Oxford, 27-28 September 2013

Moments of royal and protectoral succession in the early-modern period generated huge quantities of writing across a range of forms: from panegyric to polemic, sermon to satire, history to drama. This two-day colloquium, organised as part of the AHRC-funded ‘Stuart Successions Project’, will bring together speakers from Europe and the US to investigate how this body of succession literature reflected on unpredictable transitions of power, discussed the political values of the nation, and shaped contending perceptions of key political personalities in 17th-century Britain.

For further information and registration please visit:

Erudition and Confessionalisation in Early Modern Europe

Friday 20 September, Old Combination Room, Trinity College, Cambridge.

This one-day colloquium brings together an international group of leading historians of scholarship and historians of religion to examine how historical erudition was shaped by, and in turn shaped, confessional identity and broader patterns of religious change in early modern Europe. The last decade has witnessed some revolutionary historiographical interventions in this field: the purpose of the colloquium is to build on that work, and to continue the dialogue between the history of scholarship, intellectual history, and the history of religion that is producing such fruitful results.

Participants include: Simon Ditchfield, Aurélien Girard, Anthony Grafton, Jan Loop, Scott Mandelbrote, Jean-Louis Quantin, John Robertson, Arnoud Visser, Alexandra Walsham.

The full programme is available at:

Registration is FREE but numbers are limited: please email to register.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Healthy Living in Pre-Modern Europe: the Theory and Practice of the Six Non-Naturals (c.1400-1700)

Conference Venue: Institute of Historical Research, Bloomsbury, London.
Conference Dates: 13-14 September 2013

This conference seeks to bring together scholars working on topics related to the role played by the six Non-Naturals in health maintenance in the late-medieval and early modern period. It is well-known that health was thought to depend on the regulation of the six key factors affecting body functions: the air one breathes, sleep, food and drink, evacuations, movement and emotions. In pre-modern medicine careful management of these spheres of life was regarded as crucial if one wished to prevent disease. Yet the study of the Non Naturals has been neglected, as scholars have focused on the development of the concept in medical thought rather than on the advice regarding the individual non-naturals. The only exception concerns the recommendations related to food and diet while the other Non-Naturals have been the object only of general surveys. Even less attention has been paid to the relationship between preventive advice and practice. This conference intends to address these gaps. Moreover we hope to stimulate discussions which will enable us to compare different regions and countries and to explore changing approachs to the Non-Naturals (and to the underpinning humoural principles) over the period under consideration.

More specifically the conference aims to:
  • Compare the contents of medical advice about the Non-Naturals (how these activities should ideally be performed) and the actual practices associated with keeping healthy. What relationship did practices bear to prescription? In order to address these questions scholars might use a range of ‘extra-medical’ sources, such as letters, diaries, literature and imagery.
  • Explore change within the body of medical theory on the Non-Naturals. Were definitions of what was regarded as harmful or beneficial to health modified over the period? And is the idea of the body and its vulnerabilities that underpins these views subject to any transformations? It has widely been assumed that humoural theory was essentially static and unchanging during the early modern period. Is this view in need of revision?
  • Explore the extent to which both recommendations about healthy living and the preventive measures adopted in everyday life changed over time. And were these transformations medically or socially driven? In other words were they a consequence of shifting ideas about the working of the body or of changing lifestyles?
  • Stimulate comparisons between different regions and countries. For example, did the medical traditions in different countries place different emphases on the six Non-Naturals? Did they all conceptualise the humours in similar ways? Were there different lay approaches to keeping healthy in different national contexts? Did people focus on any particular Non-Naturals –giving more weight to diet, for example, or to taking exercise- in order to maintain their health?

Papers will be 30 minutes long with discussants for groups of papers. Papers must be submitted at least two weeks before the conference to facilitate the work of the discussants.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words by 24th March 2013 to the conference secretary, Tessa. We are currently in the process of seeking funding for this conference. If successful we hope to pay speakers for their travel, conference dinner, and accommodation: More details will be available in the near future.

Please e-mail the Organisers with any questions: and

Professor Sandra Cavallo, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Dr. Tessa Storey, Royal Holloway, University of London.

The HISTORY OF EMOTIONS email list is run by the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions

The Centre also hosts the History of Emotions Blog

Theatrum Mundi: Latin Drama in Renaissance Europe

12-14 September 2013, Magdalen College, University of Oxford

Organized by the Society for Neo-Latin Studies in tandem with the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Oxford, the conference will bring together scholars working on early modern Latin drama. The conference will include a staged reading of an Oxford college play translated into English by Elizabeth Sandis (Oxford) and directed by Elisabeth Dutton (Fribourg), both researchers on the Early Modern Drama at Oxford (EDOX) project. An exhibition of institutional drama manuscripts and early printed books will be on display in St John’s; participants will also have the chance to visit the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama and to participate in a pedagogical forum, ‘Teaching Classical Drama’, in the Classics Faculty. The keynote speakers are: Thomas Earle (Oxford), Alison Shell (UCL), and Stefan Tilg (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck).

The programme and registration details can be found at:

Some postgraduate bursaries are available. The conference has been generously funded by the MHRA, CEMS, Society for Renaissance Studies, and the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections. Please contact Sarah Knight (Leicester) with any questions (

Place and Preaching

6-7th September 2013, Place and Preaching
The Wren Suite, St Paul's Cathedral London

Sponsored by the AHRC in its support of The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne, this is a conference which will reassess the 'place' of preaching in Early Modern Europe in all its aspects.

Plenary Lecture: Brian Cummings (York)

Confirmed Speakers: Hugh Adlington (Birmingham); David Colclough (Queen Mary); Joshua Eckhardt (Virginia Commonwealth); Katrin Ettenhuber (Cambridge); Lori Anne Ferrell (Claremont); Kenneth Fincham (Kent); Erica Longfellow (Oxford); Mary Ann Lund (Leicester); Peter McCullough (Oxford); Charlotte Methuen (Glasgow); Mary Morrissey (Reading); Jean-Louis Quantin (Sorbonne); Emma Rhatigan (Sheffield); Andrew Spicer (Oxford Brookes); Sebastiaan Verweij (Oxford); Philip West (Oxford)

All further conference details – including graduate bursaries to attend the conference - and information on booking will be posted on this site later:

Call for Papers

The organisers welcome proposals (250-500 word abstracts) for further papers on any of the following aspects of sermon culture in Early Modern Europe: Roman Catholic preaching; architectural settings and auditories of preaching; sermons in manuscript and print; performance and delivery; sermon hearing, note taking, and commonplacing; production and reception of patristic and other theological works; rhetoric; and more.

Please send your proposals to Professor Peter McCullough and Dr Sebastiaan Verweij: /


Dr Sebastiaan Verweij || Fulford JRF, Somerville College, Oxford
Research Associate, The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne
a: English Faculty, St Cross Building, Manor Road, Oxford OX1 3UL
t: 0044 (0)1865 271931 || skype: seb.macv

CFP: Reconsidering Popular Comedy, Ancient and Modern

Date: Wed 28 - Fri 30 August 2013.
Location: University of Glasgow
Convenors: Costas Panayotakis and Ian Ruffell

The comic theatre of Greece and Rome, like that of many other crucial periods
of comic history (e.g. Elizabethan and Jacobean drama; music hall; vaudeville)
is often described as popular comedy. This conference aims to investigate the
extent, limits and utility of considering comic drama to be "popular". We are
particularly interested in the modes of performance and reception of comedy.
How far does performance in front of a mass audience shape the form and
language of comedy? How genuinely "popular" are different comic traditions? To
what extent and in what ways do "elite" and "popular" interact in the original
and subsequent contexts of reception? Is "popular comedy" a useful term or is
it subsuming other more challenging concepts (such as, for example, class)?
And to what extent can parallel themes in the production and reception of
popular comedy be seen across cultures? The conference begins with the comic
traditions of Greece and Rome, but is intended to broaden out the question to
consider popular comedy in other periods and modes.

Confirmed speakers:
Martin Revermann (Toronto), James Robson (Open), Ralph Rosen (Penn), Alan
Sommerstein (Nottingham), Gonda van Steen (Florida) and Peter Wiseman

The conference is supported by a grant from the Institute for Classical

We would like to invite proposals for papers of around 30 minutes in length
on any aspect of the above. Titles and abstracts of no more than 250 words
should be sent to Ian Ruffell ( by January 31, 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, please don't
hesitate to contact either of us.

Costas Panayotakis

Ian Ruffell

CALL FOR PAPERS: Inventing Science: Iconography of Scientific Instruments in the Early Modern Period"

Wuppertal, 28-30 August, 2013

Call for Papers

The workshop " Inventing Science: Iconography on Scientific Instruments in the Early Modern Period" is organised by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies (IZWT) at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal.

The development, production and use of scientific instruments is a well-established research field in the history of science and technology and it is with the aim of expanding the scope of research that we wish to devote our conference to systematically exploring the worlds of images appearing upon the instruments and their place within the visual culture of the time. We hope that this interdisciplinary approach will open up new perspectives on the historical and scientific significance of the instruments and foster a closer collaboration between scholars of different background, such as historians of art or of science and technology, curators of museum collections, philosophers and scholars from cultural studies. The first step in the investigation of the iconography on scientific instruments will be an attempt at mapping the landscape: beside pictures offering information on how the instruments had to be used, we may expect to find inscribed on them images connected to a multitude of visual contexts, for example aimed at constructing traditions, evoking myths and legends, transmitting and popularizing knowledge, or positioning instruments and their makers within theoretical debates or scientific frameworks.

The workshop’s aims at promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and therefore proposals contributing to any aspect of the topic are welcome. Special consideration will be given to proposals from young scholars.

The language of the workshop is English. Submissions must include a title, an abstract (about 1 page) of a 30 minute presentation, and a short CV. Submissions should be sent to Volker Remmert at no later than April 5, 2013.

Contributors’ overnight accommodation costs will be covered. But because funds are limited, please let us know well in advance if you will need support to cover travelling expenses.

The organisers, Arianna Borrelli and Volker Remmert, look forward to your participation and would also be grateful if you could inform others, especially young academics, about the workshop and this call for papers.

Prof. Dr. Volker R. Remmert
Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte
Historisches Seminar Fachbereich A - Bergische 
Universität Wuppertal Gaußstraße 20
42097 Wuppertal

Four-year PhD Studentship "In the footsteps of Newton? ‘s Gravesande’s Scientific Methodology"

1 January 2014 – 31 December 2018; full-time

Based at the Free University of Brussels (Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science; the project "In the footsteps of Newton? ‘s Gravesande’s Scientific Methodology" runs from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018. The research project is funded by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) ( The doctoral student will conduct his or her doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. dr. Steffen Ducheyne.

Description of the research project

This research project will scrutinize W. J. ‘s Gravesande’s (1688-1742) scientific methodology. ‘s Gravesande was one of earliest advocates of Newtonianism on the Continent and his works were highly influential. Surprisingly, there are few detailed studies of ‘s Gravesande’s methodological views proper and their relevance for his scientific practice. This research project seeks to fill in this scholarly gap by providing a historical and philosophical account of ‘s Gravesande’s methodology both in precept and in practice. Following ‘s Gravesande’s own statements, many scholars have been led to believe that he was a follower of Newton’s methodology without, however, providing detailed justification for this claim. The overarching goal of this research proposal is to explicate ‘s Gravesande’s scientific methodology and to determine whether or not his methodology may be rightfully considered as ‘Newtonian’. Given its set-up, this research proposal will have broader implications for the study of eighteenth-century Newtonianism in general. (The extended version of this research proposal is available upon request.)

  • The candidate should have a strong interest in the history of science from historical as well as philosophical perspectives and be able to combine both in his or her doctoral research. Knowledge of early eighteenth-century physics is a plus.
  • The candidate has a Master’s degree in Philosophy or a Master’s degree with clear affinity to the research project.
  • The candidate is an enthusiastic team player and is highly motivated.
  • The candidate is willing to travel abroad.
  • The candidate will be expected to publish in international journals, to present his or her research at international conferences, to engage actively in departmental life and research, and to assist in the organization of workshops and conferences.
  • The doctoral research should lead to a PhD dissertation which is to be completed in a four-year period.
  • The candidate should be able to read – if necessary, with the help of dictionaries – French, Dutch, and Latin and be able to present research results in English both orally and in writing.


A four-year contract as a full time scientific member of the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Opportunity to follow an individualized PhD-programme at the university’s Doctoral School of Human Sciences.

Extra benefits: free public transport between home and campus, biking fee, access to university sports facilities and university restaurants.

How to apply

Please send – preferably in a single file – (1) a cover letter describing your interest in and suitability for this PhD studentship, (2) a full curriculum vitae (including the topic of your MA dissertation and your MA grades), (3) at least one letter of recommendation, and (4) a representative writing sample (such as an extract from your MA dissertation) to before Monday 7 October 2013. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed (if necessary, via Skype).

CALL FOR PAPERS: Henry of Blois and the Twelfth-Century Renaissance

Grandson of William the Conqueror and brother to King Stephen, Henry of Blois
(1101-1171) was undoubtedly one of the most significant figures in twelfth-century England, yet no substantial academic study of him in English exists. By turns, kingmaker, ecclesiastical politician, diplomat, and elder statesman, Henry of Blois played a central role in shaping the course of the Anarchy that characterized much of his brother’s reign and, towards the end of his life, presided over the trial of Thomas Becket. For over four decades he held the bishopric of Winchester and the abbacy of Glastonbury in plurality and, between 1139 and 1143, effectively governed the English Church as Papal Legate. Raised and tonsured at Cluny, he considered himself a spiritual son of Peter the Venerable and, if no great thinker or writer himself, he was intimately engaged with those that were. Henry’s influence and activities extended across Europe; he travelled extensively and became twelfth-century England’s most prolific collector and patron of the arts. Despite all this, the only major monograph written on him was published in German (by Lena Voss) as long ago as 1932, and remains untranslated. In part, this surprising omission in the literature results from the extraordinary range of Henry’s own activities and spheres of influence. Scholars have tended to focus on his importance only within their discipline, and as such there remains no comprehensive account of this influential and complex figure, nor any study that posits Henry in relation to the wider intellectual and cultural developments associated with the Twelfth-Century Renaissance.

Papers are therefore sought for a volume of collected essays from across the relevant disciplines that explore the breadth of Henry of Blois’ life, influence and legacy. The aim of this volume is to bring together a range of scholars working on Henry of Blois in a variety of disciplines. A number of distinguished academics have already undertaken to contribute, including historians, art and architectural historians, manuscript specialists and archaeologists, from Europe, the United States and Australia.

Please send a brief CV (no longer than 2 pages) and abstracts of no more than 500 words by 15th September 2013 to:

We will solicit first drafts in August 2014 in order to go to press in the third quarter of 2015 with a publication date in spring or summer 2016.

For further details please contact the editors: Dr John Munns (Cambridge) and Dr William Kynan-Wilson (Cambridge) on the email address above.

News and the Shape of Europe, 1500-1750

Queen Mary, University of London, 26-28th July

How did news cross Europe, and how did news make Europe? News in early modern Europe was a distinctively transnational phenomenon; its topics were international in scope; the forms and terminologies of news, as well as the news itself, crossed national boundaries; practices of news-gathering relied on networks of international agents; it was widely translated; it travelled along commercial routes, or through postal networks that developed in express imitation of one another and were designed to be mutually connected; and the forces attempting to control the press operated, or attempted to operate, well outside of their actual jurisdiction. 

The spread of news and the appetite for it reflect changes in the geopolitical and confessional maps of Europe, spreading through ethnic and religious diasporas as well as diplomatic, mercantile and scholarly networks. It helped forge communities on a local, national and international scale. The purpose of the conference is to explore ways in which this history can be written. 

News and the Shape of Europe is the final stage of the Leverhulme international network, News Networks in Early Modern Europe, a two-year investigation of news communication laying the groundwork for a European history of news.

International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Registration for the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine (iCHSTM 2013), to be held in Manchester, UK from Sunday 21 to Sunday 28 July, is now open.

To register, please go to <> and follow the link to open the registration form. Registration will be available at the early discounted rate until Sunday 14 April, and at a higher rate until Monday 1 July, which is the final deadline.

Please note that the registration process is managed by the University of Manchester's conference services group. If you have any queries about registration, please direct them to .

Also, the first draft listing of of pre-arranged symposia, including individual abstracts for around 1100 papers, is now available and can be seen at<>.

Stand-alone papers are not yet listed: they are still in the process of being grouped, and will be added to the programme around the beginning of March. Timetable / scheduling information will also be added around the same time.

If you are involved in the Congress as a presenter, symposium organiser, session chair or commentator, you should recently have received further details directly. If not, please contact us at and we will advise.

For the latest updates, you can also sign up to the Congress mailing list at<>.

'Forging the Moon, or, How to Spot a Fake Galileo': A talk by Nick Wilding on Galileo’s Sidereus Nunciusas

The Bibliographical Society in conjunction with the British Library is pleased to announce that Nick Wilding, Assistant Professor in Early Modern History at Georgia State University, will talk about his recent work recognising a copy of Galileo’s Sidereus Nunciusas a forgery. It had been authenticated in 2011 by a team of experts as Galileo's autograph proof copy, and valued at $10m.

Dates: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 18:00
Location: British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London

Educating Women, an inter-disciplinary conference

Thursday 18 July 2013 | Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent UK

There have been issues around women and education since before Christine de Pizan wrote in 1404 that 

"Not all men (and especially the wisest) share the opinion that it is bad for women to be educated. But it is very true that many foolish men have claimed this because it displeased them that women knew more than they did."

Progress since then has been varied. Lady Margaret Beaufort founded two Cambridge colleges in the early 1500s but it is less than 60 years since women were first awarded degrees from Cambridge. In the UK, although STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are integral to our economic success this is still a male dominated sector and in the last 10 years there has been no improvement in the uptake of women in mathematical sciences – 38% of students – or engineering and technology, where just 15% of students are women. Globally while the gender gap has narrowed over recent years, statistics from UNESCO in 2011 showed that girls are still at a disadvantage: in South and West Asia for example only 1 in 2 women can read or write compared with 7 out of 10 men. 

The idea for this conference, which will consider the education of and by women from the middle ages to the present day, came from a mother and daughter’s interests in education and early modern women. Scholars from all disciplines are invited to discuss issues around educating women (and girls) with a view to understanding the realities. 

Guidelines for submission of paper/symposia abstracts 

Abstracts for papers should not exceed 300 words. Symposia proposals and submissions from postgraduate students are welcome. The conference language is English. Possible topics could include (but are not restricted to): 
  • informal and formal education of women and girls 
  • pre-modern scholarly women 
  • attitudes to educating/educated women 
  • global inequalities 
  • girls, women and lifelong learning 
  • women leaders in education 
  • feminist/anti-feminist influences on educating women 

All abstracts for papers or other suggested presentations must be submitted by Monday 28 January 2013 to 

Acceptance will be confirmed by Thursday 28 February 2013. 

It is hoped to publish a book of papers from the conference. 

For questions and enquiries about submissions, please contact or 

Further details about the conference will follow.

BSHS Outreach and Education Committee Grant Scheme 2013

Are you an independent scholar working in the history of science, technology and medicine? Do you need to visit an archive as part of your research? If so, then why not apply for one of our OEC research grants? These awards, of up to £150, are specifically designed to cover travel, or similar costs, associated with archival visits. Please send all enquiries and completed application forms to Grant recipients will be invited to write a short account of their most exciting archival find for the BSHS magazine, Viewpoint.

The application form is available from the OEC website:

The deadline for applications is 4pm on Friday 19th July.
Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 16th August.

James Stark (OEC Chair)

Dr James F. Stark
Research Fellow

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Instruments & arts of inquiry: natural history, natural magic and the production of knowledge in early modern Europe

Journal of Early Modern Studies is seeking contributions for a special issue (Spring 2014)

Editors: Dana Jalobeanu & Cesare Pastorino
Deadline 1 October 2013

We seek papers exploring the intersections between the disciplines of natural history, natural magic and the books of secrets tradition in the early modern period. We are particularly interested in the various ways in which texts and practices in the tradition of natural magic and the books of secrets were absorbed, transformed and integrated in the renovated natural histories of the seventeenth century.

Further details at:

Guidelines for authors:

Please send your contribution by 1st of October 2013 to

dr. Dana Jalobeanu
University of Bucharest
Faculty of Philosophy
Splaiul Independentei 204

Performance of "Lady Jane Lumley, Iphigenia at Aulis (c. 1555)"

performed by The Rose Company, directed by Emma Rucastle
8.30 pm, Tuesday 9 July, 2013 at the Minghella Theatre, University of Reading

‘The Tragedie of Euripedes called Iphigeneia’ was first ‘translated out of Greake into Englisshe’ c.1555 not by a male classicist but ‘by Lady Jane Lumley’, as the title page of her script announces.

Lumley’s prose translation of the tragedy, where Iphigenia is to be sacrificed in Aulis so that the Greek ships can sail to Troy, emphasizes the heroine’s agency. Iphigenia transcends the arguments between her father (the Greek leader Agamemnon), and her mother Clytemnestra, declaring ‘I will offer my selfe willing to deathe, for my countrie’. At the same time, Lumley’s stark prose emphasizes Agamemnon’s cruelty and the raw pain of parting felt by the family. Her translation is daring in finding moments of dark comedy in the ludicrous situations faced by the protagonists. It also speaks out against a tradition of male, military valour, since Lumley’s Greek hero is Iphigenia.
The Rose Company was established in 2013 out of the love of classic and historical performance texts and a belief in gender justice. This first production represents their commitment to bringing historical texts to contemporary life.
Tickets £5 on the door. To book a seat for the performance, email Jan Cox

Knowledge, Exchange, Encounter: Europe and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1718

An interdisciplinary conference convened by Simon Mills (CRASSH), Scott Mandelbrote (Peterhouse) & Kate Fleet (Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies, Newnham College) with the support of CRASSH, University of Cambridge. Two minute video introduction on YouTube here.

8-9 July 2013 at CRASSH
The aim of this conference is to further our understanding of the ways in which knowledge was exchanged between Europe and the Ottoman Empire during the period from the conquest of Constantinople to the Treaty of Passarowitz. The conference, and the resulting collection of essays, will make an important contribution to the growing body of research concerned with the transfer of information between European and Ottoman societies in the early modern period which has emerged to challenge the long-held assumption that these societies developed along separate, and largely isolated, intellectual trajectories.

One key objective of the conference is to cover a broad disciplinary field. The six panels will focus on different kinds of knowledge, broadly construed to cover both a number of fields of intellectual enquiry – botany, geography, and antiquarianism – and a number of practical disciplines: architecture, health, military technology, and economics. The conference will also engage substantially with questions concerning the mechanics of cross-cultural exchange: how, where, and by whom was theoretical knowledge and practical information conveyed between Europe and the Ottoman world? In order to answer these questions, the three panels on the second day will investigate broader concerns such as the ‘culture of collecting’ in its European and Ottoman contexts and the functioning of ‘knowledge networks’. Significant attention will also be devoted to the relations between intellectual exchange and the diplomatic, mercantile, and religious infrastructures which connected Europe and the Ottoman Empire during the period.

A second key objective is to ensure that both the Ottoman and the European sides of these questions are equally addressed. In order to work against the grain of long-established disciplinary boundaries, each panel will combine a specialist in Ottoman history with a specialist in European history. This will ensure that the presentations, and the planned publication, draw on a range of sources rarely accessible to an individual scholar. Participants will include a number of historians who have been at the forefront of developing new approaches to delineating the workings of cross-cultural exchange in the early modern period. This will be complemented by the work of well-established scholars in various fields of Ottoman and European history. The conference is jointly organised by Kate Fleet (Newton Trust Lecturer in Ottoman History and Director of the Skilliter Centre for Ottoman Studies, Cambridge), Scott Mandelbrote (Director of Studies in History and Perne Librarian, Peterhouse College, Cambridge), and Simon Mills (Mellon/Newton Postdoctoral Research Fellow, CRASSH, Cambridge.

Speakers include: 
Doris Behrens-Abouseif (SOAS)
Ebru Boyar (METU)
Sonja Brentjes (MPIWG) 
Kate Fleet (Cambridge)
John-Paul Ghobrial (Oxford)
Carmelina Gugliuzzo (Messina)
Feza Günergun (Istanbul)
Gottfried Hagen (Michigan)
Peregrine Horden (Royal Holloway)
Deborah Howard (Cambridge)
Colin Imber (Manchester)
Scott Mandelbrote, Simon Mills (Cambridge)
Andrei Pippidi (Bucharest).

Full details and online registration.

Transitions Conference: CFP

The research centre hosts a biannual conference devoted to early modern literary culture, place, and the history of the book. Following upon the success of our inaugural conference, Book Encounters, 1500-1750, this year’s conference will focus on the theme of Transitions, whether material, spatial and/or temporal in the period 1500-1750. This conference will held 4-5 July, 2013 at our wonderful Corsham Court centre, just outside Bath.

Plenary Speakers:
Professor Julie Sanders (University of Nottingham)
Professor Marcus Walsh (University of Liverpool)
Professor Henry Woudhuysen (Lincoln College, University of Oxford)

Transitions 1500-1750 aims to explore a wide range of transitions from a variety of critical and historical perspectives. We are particularly interested in papers that reflect on the impact that such transitions had on early modern subjects, institutions, material culture, habits of thought as well as literary, social and cultural practices. Different disciplinary perspectives are especially encouraged.

Possible topics of study include:
  • Transitional years (eg, 1534, 1558, 1603, 1660, 1707)
  • Celebrating/marking/remembering transition
  • Continuity/discontinuity
  • Succession literature
  • From stage to page
  • From manuscript to print (and vice versa)
  • Generic shifts
  • Shifting author-patron, author-readership relations
  • Progression/relocation/translocation
  • Historical/literary historical constructions of transition
  • The intersection of the residual and the emergent

Please send proposals for papers (20mins) and any queries to by 1 March 2013.

London Critical Theory Summer School

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
1st July – 12th July 2013

The London Critical Theory Summer School will take place at Birkbeck College, London University from 1stJuly – 12th July 2013.. This unique opportunity is for graduate students and academics to follow a course which will foster exchange and debate. It will consist of at least 6 modules over the two weeks, each convened by one of the participating academics. This course does not offer transfer of credits.

Information and the application form is here – the deadline for applications is Friday 22ndMarch 2013.

Participating academics
Etienne Balibar
Drucilla Cornell
Costas Douzinas
Stephen Frosh
Esther Leslie
Catherine Malabou
Laura Mulvey
Slavoj Zizek

Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century

Durham University, 30 June-2 July 2013

Durham’s Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies – now part of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies – has, since its foundation in 1985, organized over a dozen high-profile international conferences. Next year’s event, which both continues that tradition and celebrates the Centre’s new role within one of Durham University’s flagship research institutes, will address the topic of ‘Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century.’

The conference will explore the emergence and consolidation of systems of intellectual and cultural exchange during the long seventeenth century, while assessing their lasting influence on the history of scholarship, literature, diplomacy, science, and religious communities. The sub-topics listed below offer some guidance for the submission of proposals. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between the British Isles and the wider world.

  • Erudite correspondence
  • Academic networks: knowledge transmission and cultural change
  • Diplomacy, high and low
  • Literary circles
  • Scientific institutions and the history of medicine
  • Intellectual exchange among/within religious communities
  • Book trade and collectorship
  • Counter-intelligence and the political and religious underground
  • Women and intellectual exchange
  • Popular cultural exchange

Proposals for 20-minute papers and full panels should be submitted to by 15th January 2013. Replies will be sent in early February 2013. Details concerning travel and accommodation for both speakers and delegates will be made available around the same time. It is hoped that the conference will give rise to an edited volume of selected essays.

The conference is taking place at an exciting time for seventeenth century and early modern studies at Durham. Recent significant developments include:

  • The re-opening of Cosin’s Library (1699) on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palace Green following a major restoration project; the collection, now part of Durham University Library, was assembled by the great seventeenth-century book collector John Cosin, Bishop of Durham (1595-1672)
  • The joint custodianship of the library and archive of Ushaw College, shared between the trustees of the archive and Durham University Library
  • A related international conference on Early Modern English Catholicism taking place at Ushaw College (28 June to 1 July 2013), with which the present conference will share a joint keynote lecture from Professor Eamon Duffy (Cambridge) on the evening of 30 June

For further details visit

Call for Papers: Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century

Durham University, 30 June-2 July 2013

Durham’s Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies – now part of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies – has, since its foundation in 1985, organized over a dozen high-profile international conferences. Next year’s event, which both continues that tradition and celebrates the Centre’s new role within one of Durham University’s flagship research institutes, will address the topic of ‘Intellectual Networks in the Long Seventeenth Century.’

The conference will explore the emergence and consolidation of systems of intellectual and cultural exchange during the long seventeenth century, while assessing their lasting influence on the history of scholarship, literature, diplomacy, science, and religious communities. The sub-topics listed below offer some guidance for the submission of proposals. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship between the British Isles and the wider world.

• Erudite correspondence
• Academic networks: knowledge transmission and cultural change
• Diplomacy, high and low
• Literary circles
• Scientific institutions and the history of medicine
• Intellectual exchange among/within religious communities
• Book trade and collectorship
• Counter-intelligence and the political and religious underground
• Women and intellectual exchange
• Popular cultural exchange

Proposals for 20-minute papers and full panels should be submitted by 15th January 2013. Replies will be sent in early February 2013. Details concerning travel and accommodation for both speakers and delegates will be made available around the same time. It is hoped that the conference will give rise to an edited volume of selected essays.

The conference is taking place at an exciting time for seventeenth century and early modern studies at Durham. Recent significant developments include:

• The re-opening of Cosin’s Library (1699) on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palace Green following a major restoration project; the collection, now part of Durham University Library, was assembled by the great seventeenth-century book collector John Cosin, Bishop of Durham (1595-1672)
• The joint custodianship of the library and archive of Ushaw College, shared between the trustees of the archive and Durham University Library
• A related international conference on Early Modern English Catholicism taking place at Ushaw College (28 June to 1 July 2013), with which the present conference will share a joint keynote lecture from Professor Eamon Duffy (Cambridge) on the evening of 30 June

For further details visit

The conference is supported by Durham University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Department of English Studies, Department of History, and School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

‘Exiturus: In Between Times and Spaces on the Early Modern Stage’

London Renaissance Seminar, Saturday 29th June 2013, 13.00-16.00

The Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 46 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

In 'A Dictionary of Stage Directions in English Drama, 1580-1642', Alan Dessen and Leslie Thomson define 'exiturus' as 'offers to go', or 'going'. A rare stage direction, 'exiturus' applies to characters who are in the process of leaving, somewhere between on and off stage, on the edges of the tiring house or stage door. For this seminar, we have brought together scholars interested in liminal times and spaces on the early modern stage. Papers will discuss the nature of on- and off-stage fictional worlds and characters who inhabit the ambiguous times and places between those worlds, the representation of waiting and delay on the stage, and the performance of transitional and transformative identities (in temporal as well as spatial terms) in early modern drama.

13.00-13.30: Coffee

13.30-14.30: Panel 1

‘Ere I Go’: Time, Space, and the Act of Leaving in King Lear
Matthew Wagner, University of Surrey
‘Tis very like my wife’s voice’: Echo, Time and Identity on the Early Modern Stage
Sarah Lewis, King’s College London

14.30-15.00: Tea

15.00-16.00: Panel 2
‘Shall I draw the curtain?’: Playing with Boundaries in the Discovery Space
Sarah Dustagheer, King’s College London

Prosper on the top (invisible): Folio stage directions
Emma Smith, Hertford College, Oxford

The London Renaissance Seminar meets at Birkbeck College to debate issues in the study of the literature and culture of the Renaissance. All interested are welcome to attend.

Organisers: Sarah Dustagheer ( and Sarah Lewis ( Mailing list: LRS contact:

Translation and the Circulation of Knowledge in Early Modern Science

A one-day colloquium at the Warburg Institute, London
Friday 28 June, 2013

Organized by Sietske Fransen (Warburg Institute) and Niall Hodson (Durham University) in collaboration with Prof. Joanna Woodall (Courtauld Institute), Dr Eric Jorink (Huygens ING), and Prof. Peter Mack (Warburg Institute).

Keynote speaker: Prof. Sven Dupré (Freie Universität Berlin)

Paper proposals are invited for a one-day colloquium on the role of translation and translators in the circulation of knowledge in Early Modern science.

In recent decades, scholars have offered myriad new insights into the exchange and propagation of scientific ideas in the early modern Republic of Letters. Within this vibrant field, however, the part played by translation and translators remains little studied. This colloquium will explore the role of translation in early modern science, providing a forum for discussion about translations as well as the translators, mediators, agents, and interpreters whose role in the intellectual history of the period remains ill defined and deserves greater attention.

The topics listed below offer some guidance for proposals:
  • Philosophy and theory of translation
  • The practice of translating texts and images
  • The ‘professional translator’
  • The function and use of translations
  • Translation in academies
  • The use of auxiliary languages
  • Translation in learned correspondence
  • The readers of translations
  • Informal translations: adaptations, paraphrases, summaries

Proposals for 25-minute papers should be submitted to Niall Hodson (n.d.hodson(at) and Sietske Fransen (sietske.fransen(at) by 28th February 2013. A dedicated committee will evaluate the proposals and respond to submissions by 15th March 2013.

For further details, please visit the colloquium website at:

This colloquium is supported by the Warburg Institute and Durham University, and is organized in collaboration with the Visualizing Knowledge in the Early Modern Netherlands project at the Courtauld Institute, London.

ESRA Shakespeare Conference 2013 | Shakespeare and Myth [Call for Papers]

Wednesday 26– Saturday 29 June 2013

  1. Early Modern Nature: Shakespeare, Science and Myth
  2. The Early Modern Reception of Shakespeare in Print and Manuscript: The Rise of Shakespearean Cultural Capital?
  3. Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance
  4. “Myth” in Relation to Truth, fable, history, legend, folklore
  5. Myth, Romance and Historiography
  6. Mythical Performance and its Afterlife
  7. Mythologies of Childhood
  8. Protean Shakespeare: Adapting, Tradapting, Performing Early Modern Plays
  9. Shakespeare and Classical Mythology: European Perspectives
  10. Shakespeare, Myth and Asia
  11. Shakespeare and the Myth of the Feminine
  12. The Shakespeare Myth Reloaded: Demythologizing and Re-mythologizing Shakespeare Today
  13. Staging the Shakespeare Myths, 2000-2012
  14. Translating Myths and Mythologizing Translations
Deadlines for all seminars

Please submit an abstract (200-300 words) and a brief bio (150 words) by 1 October 2012 to the convenors of the seminar you choose. Full details are on the website.

All participants will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by 1 November 2012.  The deadline for accepted seminar participants to send their completed paper is 1 April 2013.  Information about plenaries, registration costs and other practical aspects will be given in due

Popes and the Papacy in early modern English culture

The University of Sussex, June 24th – 26th 2013

Confirmed speakers include Peter Lake, Susannah Monta and Alison Shell

Proposals are still welcome for individual papers or panels on any subject associated with the theme of the conference. Suggested topics include:
  • Anti-Catholic satire
  • Literary and pictorial representations of Popes and the Papacy
  • Pre-Reformation and recusant culture
  • Diplomacy and correspondence
  • English Cardinals
  • Art and architecture
  • Religious controversy/ Theological dispute.
Or any topic related to the theme of the conference.

Papers on the later 17th century are particularly welcome.

The conference will include a tour of the historic town of Lewes, from the scene of the burnings of the 17 Lewes Marian martyrs to the remains of Lewes Priory, one of England’s most important medieval religious houses.

300 word proposals for papers and panels should be sent to Paul Quinn ( by March 15st 2013 (extended deadline). Papers should last for 20 minutes. Panels should include three papers.

Women and Curiosity in Early Modern Europe (Paris)

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 hubris 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 legitimise 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 alleged “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” in Iconologia (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.

"Teaching and Publishing Mathematics and Science in the Society of Jesus in Early Modern Europe"

Wuppertal, 12-13 June, 2013

The workshop "Teaching and Publishing Mathematics and Science in the Society of Jesus in Early Modern Europe" is being organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies (IZWT) at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. The Society of Jesus was a key player in the systematic dissemination of up-to-date knowledge of science and mathematics during the early modern period. The aim of the workshop is to take stock of the scope and impact of Jesuit mathematical and scientific teaching and publishing in early modern Europe. Special attention will be paid to the question of how to assess the Jesuit's influence in these fields in ways that go beyond the study of particular Jesuit authors or colleges.

For further information on the topic, please get in touch with Volker Remmert:

The workshop's ambit invites interdisciplinary collaboration.

Proposals for papers from all who can contribute to the topic are therefore welcome. Special consideration will be given to proposals from young scholars.

The language of the workshop will be English. Submissions must include a title, an abstract (1-2 pages) of a 20 minute presentation, and a short CV (maximum one page). Submissions should be sent to Volker Remmert at no later than February 22, 2013.

Contributors: overnight accommodation costs will be covered. But because funds are limited, please let us know well in advance if you will need support to cover travelling expenses.

We look forward to your participation and would also be grateful if you could inform others, especially young academics, about the workshop and this call for papers.

Prof. Dr. Volker R. Remmert
Wissenschafts und Technikgeschichte
Historisches Seminar Fachbereich A
Bergische Universität Wuppertal Gaußstraße 20
42097 Wuppertal
Tel. 0202-439-2897


The Medici and the Levant

The Medici Archive Project is organizing a one-day conference in English and Italian at the Archivio di Stato in Florence dedicated to new research trajectories on the relations between the Medici and the wide cultural, social and geographic area that in time has come to be identified as ‘the Levant.’ The period covered will extend from 1532, when the Medici received the ducal title, until the death of the last member of the dynasty in 1743.

The House of Medici established an extensive network of mercantile, political and cultural relations connecting Florence and the Eastern Mediterranean since the time of Cosimo the Elder (1389-1464). However, the nature of that exchange evolved rapidly once the Medici became dynastic rulers of Florence and assumed an increasingly active role in Mediterranean and Eastern European politics. First as Dukes of Florence and then as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, the Medici became players in an area that extended from Safavid Persia to the Republic of Venice, passing through the era’s superpower, the Ottoman Empire. The great number of letters in the Medici epistolary collection (the “Archivio mediceo del principato”) relating to ‘Levantine’ topics bears witness to a profound and persistent vested interest that wavered between reproach and fascination, and that went beyond military, religious or diplomatic concerns.

Contributions highlighting any of the connections between the Medici state and the Levant are welcome. Preference will be accorded to papers dealing specifically with the Medici and their perception of the East/Orient, or with their reception in that part of the world.

The major themes to be addressed at this conference include:
  • Material culture exchange
  • Early modern mercantile routes and commercial activity
  • Mediterranean warfare
  • Medici Eastern diplomacy and political strategies
  • The historical and philological East
  • News dissemination; Mediterranean contemporaneity
  • Cartography; travel literature and correspondence
  • The Typographia Medicea; the use and study of Eastern languages
  • Mediterranean Jewry
  • Scientific exchange
  • Inter-religious dialogues and conflicts
  • Slavery, emigration and immigration

Contact Dr. Maurizio Arfaioli and Dr. Marta Caroscio at:
Partial travel funding may be possible.

The Radical Enlightenment: The Big Picture and its Details

16-17 May 2013 – Brussels

The international conference ‘The Radical Enlightenment: The Big Picture and its Details’ seeks to bring together state-of-the-art research on the so-called ‘Radical Enlightenment’, which refers to a distinct yet multi-faceted line of thought within the Enlightenment movement that puts great emphasis on – inter alia – political reform and activism, personal freedom, social equality, and critique of religion. The objectives of this conference are: to push forward our historical and philosophical understanding of the ‘Radical Enlightenment’, to identify important figures (materialists, atheists, freethinkers, Spinozists, pantheists, freemasons, philosophes, etc.) within the Radical Enlightenment and to unravel their significance and influence, to understand the origins and spread of the Radical Enlightenment and the reactions against it (with attention to correspondence networks and communities, manuscripts, pamphlets, clandestine literature, etc.), and to reflect on the impact of the Radical Enlightenment on contemporary thinking. We welcome general historical and philosophical contributions and detailed case-studies of both well-known and lesser known figures.

‘The Radical Enlightenment: The Big Picture and its Details’ is organized by the Centre for Ethics and Humanism and the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, which are both part of the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences at the Free University of Brussels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel). The conference is made possible by funding from the Research Foundation – Flanders (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen) and VisitBrussels.

Invited speakers
We are proud to announce the following invited speakers:

Jonathan I. Israel (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
Beth Lord (Department of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen)
Eric Schliesser (Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University)
Winfried Schröder (Institut für Philosophie, Philipps-Universität Marburg)
Wiep van Bunge (Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Else Walravens (Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Free University of Brussels)

Call for papers
We welcome contributed papers that fall within the scope of the conference. Abstracts consisting of 500 words should be sent as a .doc or .docx file to A separate sheet containing the author’s affiliation should be included. 30 minutes are allotted to contributed papers (including Q&A). The deadline for submission is 31 March 2013. Notification of acceptance will be given by 5 April 2013. A selection of the presented papers will be published afterwards.

University Foundation, Egmontstraat 11, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium

The conference fee is 150 EURO (this includes the conference dinner). Authors whose paper has been accepted will receive further information with regards to registration and accommodation via e-mail.

Shakespeare, Music and Performance

An international conference to be held at Shakespeare's Globe 3-5 May 2013

To find out more or register go to: Shakespeare's Globe Conferences
For more information contact Farah Karim-Cooper 
Head of Research & Courses, Globe Education
020 7902 1439

Conference Schedule:

Friday 3rd May

Coffee & Registration

10.00am – 10.30am: 
Welcome & Introduction
Professor David Lindley (University of Leeds) 
Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare’s Globe)

10.30am – 11.30am: 
KEY NOTE: Professor Linda Austern (North Western University) 

11.30am – 11.45am: Coffee Break 

11.45am – 1.15pm: 
PANEL - Music in the Shakespearean Theatre 
Simon Smith (Birkbeck)
Paul Faber (University of Leeds)
Katherine Hunt (London Consortium and Birkbeck)

1.15pm – 2.15pm: 

2.15pm – 3.30pm: 
PANEL - Song
Professor Tiffany Stern (University of Oxford) 
Bill Barclay (Shakespeare’s Globe)

3.30pm – 3.45pm: 
Coffee Break 

3.45pm – 5.00pm: 
Composer Q&A 
Todd Barton (Composer and Sound Designer)

7.30pm – 9.30pm:
Early Modern Music Concert

The remainder of the conference schedule

Renaissance Society of America | Annual Meeting 2013 [Call for Papers]

We are pleased to announce the call for papers for our 59th annual meeting, to take place in San Diego, 4–6 April 2013.

The Program Committee welcomes submissions for individual papers or panels on any aspect of Renaissance studies, or the era ca. 1300–1650. Proposals will be evaluated by the Program Committee for their original scholarly contribution to an aspect of the field.

Members are invited to submit proposals for individual papers or full sessions to the Program Committee for review.

If you wish to organize a session and invite others to participate, you may post your own calls for papers on blogs set up for this purpose. You must sign in as a member to post. There are four blogs: one for art history, one for history, one for literature, and one for interdisciplinary and other CFPs. You may cross-post to as many blogs as you wish. They are available on our San Diego page (midway down the page), or via our site's main menu. Please remember that these blogs are set up to help you organize a session; neither a blog post nor a reply to a post constitutes a submission. All submissions—papers or sessions, whether organized by Discipline or Association Representatives or by individuals—must be submitted via our online submissions system in order to be considered for the program. Sessions organizers are responsible for submitting all the materials for that session, including individual abstracts and supporting information.

The online submission system is not yet open. The link will be posted on the San Diego page when it becomes available. The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2012. You need not be a member of RSA to submit a proposal for a session or a paper, but all presenters whose proposals are accepted must be(come) members.

If you have questions please contact the RSA office.

We are already looking forward to another successful meeting.


Ann E. Moyer
Executive Director
Program Committee Chair