London Renaissance Seminar: On the Road

21 February, 10.30am-1.30pm NB
Room 114, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1

10.00am Coffee

10.30am Sue Wiseman (Birkbeck) 'Lucy Hutchinson walks in the park: Elegy, Monument, Epitaph'
Becky Tomlin (Birkbeck)' "I trac'd him too and fro"; narratives of neighbourhood on the early modern stage'

11.30 am Coffee

12.00pm-1.15pm Prof James Loxley (Edinburgh) 'Performative Choreography: Ben Jonson Walking'

In this talk, I will discuss the ways in which our understanding of the meaning and implications of Ben Jonson's celebrated walk to Edinburgh in the summer of 1618 has been altered by the account of the journey discovered in Cheshire Archives in 2009. The 'Foot Voyage' narrative has presented us with numerous editorial and interpretative questions. Why did Jonson go? What did it mean for him to walk all the way? What is the status of the surviving account? Who accompanied him? What can we make of his interactions with his hosts? In seeking to answer these questions, it has been possible to build a detailed and, in some respects, surprising picture of this unique event.

1.15pm Coffee and tea

2.00pm close

The London Renaissance Seminar meets at Birkbeck College, University of London to discuss topics in the culture of the Renaissance. Anyone with an interest in the Renaissance is welcome to attend. Seminars are usually held in the School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

London Renaissance Seminar
London Renaissance Seminar mailing list:

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Making of Measurement

CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 23-4 July 2015

Proposals are invited for individual papers and sessions for The Making of Measurement, an interdisciplinary conference that seeks to consolidate an emerging international community of scholars interested in the history, philosophy and/or sociology of measurement. The conference will be held at the University of Cambridge, hosted by the Centre for Research in Arts Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT, on the 23rd and 24th July, 2015. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Nancy Cartwright, Terry Quinn, and Graeme Gooday, and in addition a number of sessions with contributed papers will be organized. The conference webpage is located at:

Inevitably, tensions exist between methodologically-diverse approaches across the fields of philosophy, history, and sociology of science, particularly with respect to whether measurement outcomes reflect facts about nature, or about human tools and concepts. An important aim of this conference is to bring together scholars to review recent advances and to identify key issues for further development.

This decade is also seeing dramatic changes in the metric system because four scientific units are being redefined in terms of fundamental constants; the contemporary relevance of a systematic approach in the humanities to the study of measurement is therefore particularly strong.

The new wave of humanistic scholarship concerning measurement is still in an embryonic stage and no agreed general conceptual frameworks have emerged. All proposals relating to the making of measurement will therefore be considered, although contributors might choose to address one or more of the questions listed under the following themes:

Philosophies of Measurement: Under what conditions is the world justifiably deemed quantifiable? How do existing philosophies of measurement, for example operationalism, fit specific historical cases? Can measurements of the properties of macroscopic bodies and microscopic entities be analyzed in the same way? When measuring instruments disagree, is it always possible to ascertain which one is in error? Do the relationships between measurement and theory in the natural sciences hold true for the social and human sciences? How does measurement function in areas of scientific enquiry where entities under study have a dubious ontological grounding?

Units, Standards, and Metrology
: Are measurement standards accurate by virtue of fact or convention? What are the social, political, and scientific aims for which units and standards are established? What are the means of their establishment? What impact have specialized metrological institutions had on processes of standardization?

Practices of Measurement: What kinds of conceptual approaches, methodological and mathematical tools, and practical steps have been necessary for ensuring sufficient reliability and precision? How have these varied from sites ranging from the elite laboratory to the workshop, factory, and home? What kinds of exchange (of personnel, instruments, apparatus, techniques, and so on) have taken place between these sites? What determines judgments of the level of acceptable error, and how do these relate to the various purposes of measurement, and economic and technological development?

Proposals for individual papers and sessions are both welcome. Sessions comprising researchers from different stages in their career are encouraged. Proposals for individual papers should include an abstract of up to 500 words. Sessions in a standard format, of up to two hours, should consist of three or four papers, with or without a commentator; proposals for such sessions should include an overall description as well as a 500-word abstract for each paper. All proposals should include the names and institutional affiliations of all participants, and contact details (including e-mail address) of one person who will serve as the main point of contact.

The conference organizers would be delighted to receive proposals for innovative and unconventional session formats. With this in mind, we offer the following templates:
Classic work: contributors prepare responses to a classic work before opening up discussion to the audience.

Review of the field: between them, contributors offer a critical review of a particular aspect of the field for scrutiny by the audience.
Pre-circulation: contributors pre-circulate their draft papers, leaving the majority of the session for open-ended discussion.
Round table: panelists present briefly on a prescribed theme and then discuss questions from the audience (but round table sessions can take many formats).

The formats above, however, are only suggestions, and proposals of any format, including ‘conventional’ ones and adaptations of the above, will be considered on equal footing. Please send all proposals to Dr. Daniel Jon Mitchell ( and feel free to contact the organizers with any questions.

The deadline for proposals is 28th February 2015.

Students will receive a discount on the registration fee and may be granted travel bursaries depending on the availability of funds.

Daniel Jon Mitchell
Eran Tal
Hasok Chang

Dr. Eran Tal
Marie Curie Research Fellow
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Cambridge

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue of the Journal of Early Modern Studies

The Journal of Early Modern Studies is pleased to invite contributions to its fall 2015 special issue on 'The Care of the Self in Early Modern Philosophy and Science' (editor Sorana Corneanu).

The practice of early modern philosophy and science involved an important measure of concern with the care of the self. The pursuit of the theoretical or the experimental components of the various philosophies and sciences from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries were often understood to be grounded in and/or to contribute to the good constitution or moulding of their practitioners. The ways in which this was so are still in need of detailed investigation. We invite contributions that address this historiographic line of inquiry and pay focused attention to relevant authors and themes. Among the latter, we propose: the connections between regimens of the self, whether cognitive, affective or corporeal, and the rationales, goals and methods of the practice of the various philosophies and sciences; the interplay between the individual and the communal in such care of the self; the conceptualization of bodies, minds and their relation presupposed or shaped by such concerns; notions of self emerging out of this picture.

JEMS is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal of intellectual history, dedicated to explorations of the interactions between philosophy, science and religion in Early Modern Europe. It is edited by the “Foundations of Modern Thought” Research Centre, University of Bucharest, and published and distributed by Zeta Books. For further information on JEMS and its previous issues, please visit

Please send your contributions by the 1st of April 2015 to

FUNDING: Visiting Scholarships, Aberdeen

Allow me please to draw your attention to this recent notice of a new round of Visiting Scholars Awards, which provide financial support for travel and accommodation up to £2,000 to cover expenses over a two to four week period while carrying out research relating to the University’s Special collections. Details can be found here:

There is scope within the scheme for you to make applications on behalf of colleagues from outwith Aberdeen if part of their includes discussion of their research and its findings on campus via a lecture or seminar, etc.

Rev’d Dr. Philip G. Ziegler
Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
King's College, University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 3UB, United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1224 272 378

CALL FOR PAPERS: Literature and Philosophy 1500-1700

A Postgraduate Conference at the University of Sussex

Plenary speakers: Katrin Ettenhuber (Pembroke, University of Cambridge); Neil Rhodes (University of St Andrews); Christopher Tilmouth (Peterhouse, University of Cambridge).

The Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies (CEMMS: at the University of Sussex is pleased to announce its forthcoming Postgraduate Conference on the theme of ‘Literature and Philosophy 1500-1700’, which will take place on the 14th-16th July 2015.

This conference will explore the relationship between early modern literature and philosophical thought, theories and issues. How philosophical was literature in this period? Did literature and philosophy work in symbiosis or discordantly? How are philosophical ideas approached in early modern literary texts? In what ways could literature function to promote or critique philosophical ideas? What was the role of commercial literature in disseminating philosophical thought? How did circulation of courtly literature influence contemporary political and philosophical thinking? What was the role of different textual mediums (such as codices, pamphlets or newsbooks) in disseminating philosophical ideas? How were philosophical theories engaged with in poetry, prose or drama? Did the genre or medium matter?

We welcome abstracts of 200-300 words for individual papers of 20 minutes or of 600 words for panels of three related papers. These could be on topics including but not limited to:








Ethics/ Moral philosophy

Figures of Space




Philosophy of Nature

Philosophy of Religion


Political philosophy







Please submit your abstract along with your institution, paper title and a brief biography to by 16th February 2015.

London Shakespeare Seminar: Spring Term

Monday 26 January, 17:00-19:00
Senate Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London

To start off the new year, Margreta de Grazia (Shakespeare Verbatim; Hamlet Without Hamlet) will be speaking on ‘The Origin of Shakespeare’s Life’. This will be followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity to go out for dinner and continue the conversation.

Monday 23 February, 17:00-19:00
Senate Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London

This week, our theme is Shakespeare, Religion, and Usage. To discuss this, we will hear papers from Brian Cummings (Mortal Thoughts: Religion, Secularity and Identity in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture; The Book of Common Prayer: The Texts of 1549, 1559, AND 1662) and Michael Silk (The Classical Tradition: Art, Literature and Thought; Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy). This will be followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity to go out for dinner and continue the conversation.

Monday 16 March, 17:00-19:00
Senate Room, Senate House, Malet Street, London

In March, our topic is stanza forms in Shakespeare’s narrative poems. Delivering papers this week will be Sarah Ross (Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain; Katherine Austen’s Book M) and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Forms of Engagement: Women, Poetry, and Culture, 1640-1680; The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, 1558-1680). This will be followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity to go out for dinner and continue the conversation.

CALL FOR PAPERS: BritGrad 2015

The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, 4-6 June 2015

We invite graduate students with interests in Shakespeare, Renaissance, and Early Modern Studies to join us in June for the Seventeenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference.

This interdisciplinary conference, celebrating its seventeenth anniversary in 2015, provides a friendly and stimulating academic forum in which graduate students from all over the world can present their research on Shakespeare, the Early Modern period, or the Renaissance. In accordance with the Shakespeare Institute’s emerging reputation as a place for creative criticism, we also encourage creative responses. The conference takes place in an active centre of Shakespeare and Early Modern scholarship in Shakespeare’s home town, Stratford-upon-Avon. Undergraduate students in their final two years of study are also invited to attend the conference as auditors.

Plenary speakers include Chris Laoutaris (University of Birmingham), Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford), and Andy Kesson (University of Roehampton). See our blog for information on plenary speakers as they are confirmed. Delegates will also have the opportunity to attend the RSC production of Othello, directed by Iqbal Khan (Much Ado ’12), and starring Hugh Quarshie (Faust, Julius Caesar ’96) and Lucian Msamati (Pericles ’06) at a group-booking price. Lunch will be provided on each day, and we will be hosting a party and a reception for the delegates. We invite abstracts of up to 200 words for papers twenty minutes in length on subjects relating to Shakespeare, Early Modern, and/or Renaissance studies. More creative forms of criticism, including original writing, may be submitted, also requiring a 200 word abstract. We welcome papers from a wide variety of disciplines, from literature to art history and beyond.

Delegates wishing to give papers must register by 23 April 2015. (Abstracts cannot be considered until the delegate has registered.) Auditors are encouraged to register by 21 May 2015 for early-bird pricing. Due to the growing success of this annual conference, we strongly encourage early registration to ensure a place on the conference programme.

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