CALL FOR PAPERS: Rowlandson and After: Rethinking Graphic Satire

The Paul Mellon Centre and The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, 22 January 2016
Proposals due by 25 September 2015   |   A collaborative study-day organised by Royal Collection Trust and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The prints, drawings and watercolours of Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827), which are to be showcased in the forthcoming exhibition High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, have long been recognised as offering a remarkable combination of satirical invention and artistic brilliance.This study-day, which has been co-organised by Royal Collection Trust and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, uses Rowlandson’s work as the starting-point for a broader art-historical examination of British graphic satire—whether drawn, engraved or painted on paper—between the later years of the 18th century and today.

Rowlandson and After is inspired by the recent upsurge in ambitious scholarship on the pictorial satires of the Georgian and Victorian periods, and by a desire to explore graphic satire’s long-standing identity as a fluid, hybrid form that seems always to straddle different worlds—art, journalism, literature and politics—rather than belonging fully to any one particular cultural sphere. Accordingly, submissions are invited that engage with examples of graphic satire dating from any point across the last 250 years and that address the following questions, among others:
  • What can Rowlandson’s work tell us about the broader workings of graphic satire in his period, and how has it helped shape the practice of his successors?
  • What have been the distinctive formal, iconographic, technical and textual characteristics of this particular strand of artistic practice at different historical moments, and how and why have they changed?
  • What is the relationship between graphic satire and other forms of visual art?
  • What kind of artistic persona is associated with this form of practice—how has the figure of the satirist been defined and imagined?
  • How has the history of graphic satire been shaped by developments in print technology?
  • What is the relationship between graphic satire and journalism; or graphic satire and literature; or graphic satire and political discourse?
  • How might histories of graphic satire be related to histories of British humour?
  • How does graphic satire operate today—and how might contemporary examples of the genre be compared to the work of artists such as Rowlandson?

The day will be split between The Paul Mellon Centre and The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Please send proposals (of no more than 250 words) for 20-minute papers to Ella Fleming, Events Manager, by 5.00pm on 25 September 2015.

High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson
The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, 22 November 2013 — 2 March 2014
The Holburne Museum, Bath, 27 September 2014 — 8 February 2015
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, 13 November 2015 — 14 February 2016

CALL FOR PAPERS: Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal: Women and Science Issue

The next Forum for Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 11, issue 1, to be published October, 2016, will be on women and science.

Topics to be considered may include any subject that addresses the activity of women in science (including medicine), natural philosophy, or natural history broadly conceived in the period from 1350 to 1750. Forum pieces may consider, for example, women as scientists in any field, the influence of women as patrons of scientists and academies, or the scientific study of gender.

Proposal on related topics are welcome. Please send an abstract of 300 words to either or We will respond promptly. The completed Forum essays of approximately 3000-3500 words will be due on January 15, 2016.

Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal is the only journal devoted solely to the interdisciplinary and global study of women and gender during the years 1400 to 1750. Each volume gathers essays on early modern women from every country and region, by scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines, including art history, cultural studies, music, history, languages and literatures, political science, religion, theatre, history of science, and history of philosophy.

Eleventh Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine

Thursday, 14 January 2016, 4.30pm

Seminar Room 2, Department of History and Philosophy of Science,

Free School Lane, Cambridge

Michael Stolberg (University of Würzburg) will speak about 'Curing diseases and exchanging knowledge: sixteenth-century physicians and their female patients'

In the sixteenth century, 'diseases of women' – thought to originate from their womb – and matters of generation, pregnancy and childbirth attracted growing attention in learned medical writing. So far we know very little, however, about how commonly women consulted physicians – rather than midwives and wise women – in such matters and what they could expect. Drawing on the notebooks and practice journals of sixteenth-century physicians, this lecture will examine the place of gynecological and obstetrical problems in ordinary medical practice. It will trace the ways in which physicians acquired the knowledge and the skills they needed to diagnose and treat these patients – including foetal anatomy, manual examination and the use of the speculum. And it will show that learned physicians were even prepared to take the empirical knowledge of non-academic healers and ordinary womenfolk seriously in this domain to which they traditionally had only limited access.

There will be tea before the lecture, at 4pm in Seminar Room 1, and a drinks reception afterwards, at 6pm in Seminar Room 1.


Plus, earlier in the day (11:30, Seminar Room 1), Michael Stolberg will lead a discussion about uroscopic pregnancy diagnosis in early modern Europe 11.30am in Seminar Room 1 – all welcome

Historians like Barbara Duden have lamented a devaluation of women's authentic experience of 'being with child' by modern methods of 'objective' pregnancy diagnosis. This argument is somewhat at odds with the finding that another 'objective' method – examining women's urine for signs of pregnancy – was widely requested and practised in early modern Europe. Records of inquests against unlicensed uroscopists, physicians' personal notes and case histories and visual representations of uroscopic pregancy diagnosis in early modern genre painting suggest a complex interplay of female expectations, physicians' reservations and a desire to unveil the secrets of women even against their wishes.

Suggested reading: Michael Stolberg, Uroscopy in Early Modern Europe (2015), pp. 1-2, 5-8, 105-10, 117-21, 160-6. Copies of the book and a document consolidating the selected pages are on reserve in the Whipple Library. Please email if you need help accessing the readings.

These events are a collaboration between Generation to Reproduction ( and the Casebooks Project. They are supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Visit for the latest updates to the Casebooks Project: A Digital Edition of Simon Forman's and Richard Napier's Medical Records

Dr Lauren Kassell
Department of History & Philosophy of Science University of Cambridge Free School Lane Cambridge CB2 3RH
+44 1223 767173

Pembroke College
Cambridge CB2 1RF
+44 1223 330897

CALL FOR PAPERS: Art and Articulation

8-9th January 2016, St Hilda's College, Oxford

The relationship between word and image, and the ways in which medieval art (be it visual, textual, or both) operates as a means of expressing the inexpressible, will be explored in a two-day conference held in Oxford under the auspice of the Mystical Theology Network.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together theologians, art historians, and literary scholars to examine the ways in which various forms of artistic expression have been and can be used to articulate the mystical or that which cannot easily be spoken. The principal focus will be art and articulation in medieval works and modern responses to them.

The conference will investigate the role of art and its connection to forms of mystical knowing through various strands. From visual art, through optics, apophasis and ekphrasis to mystical theology, this multidisciplinary approach to illumination will shed new light on the role of art in mystical contemplation.

Keynote Speakers:

Barbara Baert, Professor of Art History, KU Leuven.
Inigo Bocken, Director of the Titus Brandsma Instituut for the Study of Spirituality, Radboud University of Nijmegen.
Sheila Gallagher, Artist, and Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Boston College
Vincent Gillespie, J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language, University of Oxford.
Catherine Karkov, Professor of Art History, University of Leeds.
Michael Kuczynski, Associate Professor of English, Tulane University.
Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity, University of Chicago.
William Prosser, Artist and Fellow of the Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers and proposals for sessions of three 20-minute papers.

Topics may include, but are by no means confined to:
  • The interplay between mysticism and art, both visual and textual.
  • Art (visual, textual or both) as a means of communicating that which is hard to articulate.
  • Apophasis.
  • Theorisations of art and beauty and how these relate to notions of mysticism.
  • Transformative visions and the therapeutic effect of ‘seeing as’.
  • Medieval and modern ideas on optics, seeing and contemplation/mysticism.
  • The intersection between visual and textual art.
  • The role of illuminations and annotations in medieval manuscripts.
  • Ekphrasis.
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to the conference organisers by 1st September 2015.

We warmly welcome papers from graduate students.

We also warmly welcome contributions from artists outside of academia. For more information about contributing as an artist please contact Tom de Freston

For further information please refer to

CALL FOR PAPERS: Gender and Emotion

Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2016
The University of Hull

6th – 8th January 2016

The grief-stricken faces at Edward’s deathbed in the Bayeux Tapestry; the ambiguous ‘ofermod’ in The Battle of Maldon; the body-crumpling anguish of the Virgin witnessing the Man of Sorrows; the mirth of the Green Knight; the apoplectic anger of the mystery plays’ Herod and the visceral visionary experiences of Margery of Kempe all testify to the ways in which the medieval world sought to express, perform, idealise and understand emotion.

Yet while such expressions of emotion are frequently encountered by medievalists working across the disciplines, defining, quantifying and analysing the purposes of emotion and its relationship to gender often proves difficult. Are personal items placed in early Anglo Saxon graves a means for the living to let go of, or perpetuate emotion, and how are these influenced by the body in the grave? Do different literary and historical forms lend themselves to diverse ways of expressing men’s and women’s emotion? How does a character expressing emotion on stage or in artwork use body, gender and articulation to communicate emotion to their viewer? Moreover, is emotion viewed differently depending on the gendered identity of the body expressing it? Is emotion and its reception used to construct, deconstruct, challenge or confirm gender identities?

This conference seeks to explore the manifestations, performances and functions of emotion in the early to late Middle Ages, and to examine the ways in which emotion is gendered and used to construct gender identities.

Proposals are now being accepted for 20 minute papers. Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:
  • Gender and emotional expression: representing and performing emotion
  • The emotional body
  • Philosophies of emotion: theory and morality
  • Emotional objects and vessels of emotion
  • Language and emotion and the languages of emotion
  • Preserving or perpetuating emotion
  • Emotions to be dealt with: repressing, curtailing, channelling, transforming
  • Forbidden emotion
  • Living through (someone else’s) emotion
  • The emotions of war and peace
  • The emotive ‘other’
  • Place and emotion
  • Queer emotion

We welcome scholars from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology and drama. A travel fund is available for postgraduate students who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to organiser Daisy Black at by the 7th September 2015. All queries should also be directed to this address. Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable).

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Life of Testimony / Testimony of Lives - a life-writing conference

Testimony evokes first and foremost legal connotations and images of the courtroom. In this context testimony is bound by strict procedural conventions and the act of testifying in a courtroom can incur actual legal consequences. Outside of the courtroom, however, life-writing (in its broadest sense) can serve as a form of testimony which, while not necessarily causing specific legal ramifications, presents a life’s experience for judgment by the public. This relationship between an idea of testimony and the practice of life-writing is twofold: on the one hand, authors of life-writing may have certain testimonial or confessional intentions and use writing as a way of bearing witness. Readers, on the other hand, may interpret various forms of life-writing as testimony even if the author’s intentions about recording their experience are unknown. The act of interpreting or employing life-writing as testimony thus demands ethical scrutiny from readers as well as scholars using such materials.

This conference aims to explore the notion of testimony as an idea that pervades the practice, reception and interpretation of life-writing across time periods, academic disciplines and literatures. We are interested in testimony as a broad concept, and hope to investigate its scope and impact as an interpretive lens through which the breadth of life-writing can be viewed. Not only does testimony bear witness to the lives of individuals, it takes on a life (and even an afterlife) of its own as it is read and reinterpreted throughout history.

Confirmed Keynotes: Professor Paul Strohm (Columbia University), Professor Roger Woods (Nottingham University).

Papers are invited from all scholars (including postgraduate students) across the fields of (comparative) literature, history, philosophy, art, cultural studies, religious studies, curation and conservation of archival material, memory studies, and film studies. Topics could include but are not limited to:

· The ethics of producing, reading and interpreting life-writing as a form of testimony
· Stylistic, rhetorical and aesthetic dimensions of life-writing
· The relationship between authors and readers of life-writing
· Truth and subjectivity
· The afterlife of testimony
· Images as testimony
· Culture as testimony, eg. published diaries of Holocaust survivors
· Persuasion and manipulation of and within life-writing sources
· Instrumentalisation of life-writing for political purposes
· Life-writing as (historical) evidence and the act of bearing witness
· Life-writing and the law
· Reappropriation and adaptation of life-writing in popular culture
· History and the individual
· Challenges and conditions of writing lives

The conference will be hosted at Queen Mary University of London (Arts Two lecture theatre) on 5 and 6 May 2016, the registration fee will be £35,-/£20,- (non-concession/concession).

Please submit a short abstract (c. 300 words) and a short bio (c. 100 words) to Lotte Fikkers and Melissa Schuh at by Sunday 17 January 2016. Notification of acceptance will be given by 8 February 2016.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Idea of a Life, 1500-1700

Centre for Early Modern Studies at Oxford University

MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College, Friday 17 June 2016

‘I pray you, in your letters, 
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am’ 
-- Othello, Act 5, Scene 2

What was a life in early modern England and Europe? What patterns and templates were used to sort, sift, organise and represent experience? How were models for a life produced and reworked? How was a life evaluated, in terms of various sorts of good — moral, spiritual, civic, familial, economic? What were the moments, and what were the processes, by which a representation of a life was circulated? Are Burckhardtian models of the birth of Renaissance individuality and depth still useful to describe early modern culture, or do we need new paradigms? If much recent early modern work has been organised around ideas of networks, coteries and communities, how has the idea of a life
been revised? 

If autobiography is often seen as a nineteenth-century form, what kind of pre-history does it experience in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? How has the turn to the archive reformed our sense of early modern lives? For scholars today, what is the status of biography as a way of organising analysis of the period?

The Centre for Early Modern Studies at Oxford University invites proposals for 20-minute papers on topics that engage with the idea of a life, 1500-1700, from any disciplinary perspective. Papers are welcome on English or European materials, and from all disciplinary perspectives.
Papers might include (but are not limited to) topics such as:
  • Life and the archive: inclusions, exclusions, mediations
  • Memorialization: modes of remembering a life
  • Recording lives: note-taking, diary keeping, commonplace books, information management
  • Classical models of a life
  • Saints lives and martyrologies
  • Public and private lives: honour, service, love, family
  • Typology and reiterated lives
  • Interiority and inwardness
  • Experimental predestinarianism, and the search for signs of grace
  • Conduct books
  • Fulfilment, contentment, happiness
  • Posthumous lives, reputation, honour, influence
  • Forms of autobiography and experiments in life-writing
  • Lives of artists
  • Exemplary lives
  • The good life
  • The role of biography in early modern studies
  • Editing lives and letters
  • The stages of life: youth and age.

Please send a 300-word proposal and a brief (one-page) CV to Dr Adam Smyth
( by 25 April 2016.

POSITION: Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Warwick

Italian Studies at the University of Warwick is seeking a postdoctoral Research Fellow as part of the ERC-funded Starting Investigator Grant on ‘Aristotle in the Italian Vernacular: Rethinking Renaissance and Early-Modern Intellectual History (c. 1400-c. 1650)’. The Research Fellow will have an 18-month appointment and will conduct research on topics related to the interpretation of Aristotle’s works in the Italian vernacular, with particular attention to the genres of Aristotelian works written in Italian. The deadline for applications is 1 February 2016.

For full details, please see here.

Dr David Lines
Italian Studies
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Tel. +44 (0)2476 523 250

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural

"Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural" an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published biannually by Penn State Press, actively seeks submissions of articles and will consider proposals for special themed issues, subject to review.

"Preternature" provides an interdisciplinary, inclusive forum for the study of topics that stand in the liminal space between the known world and the inexplicable across cultures and historical periods. The journal embraces a broad and dynamic definition of the preternatural that encompasses the weird and uncanny-magic, witchcraft, spiritualism, occultism, esotericism, demonology, monstrophy, and more, recognizing that the areas of magic, religion, and science are fluid and that their intersections should continue to be explored, contextualized, and challenged.

Visit the journal website at:

Or contact the editor, Debbie Felton (Classics, Univ. of Mass), for further details.