Change and Exchange

29 April 2016 - 30 April 2016
Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall

Description  Programme  Abstracts

This two-day colloquium will explore ideas of change and exchange - and their implicit interrelation - across various early modern domains engaged with ways of knowing. It will put pressure on the wider notion of ‘economy’ itself and how it inflects our knowledge, management and articulations of the world. Using literary interventions and imaginative representations as a point of entry, these ‘exchanges’ will probe the dialogue between the period’s economic thinking and practices on the one hand, and the calculus of emotional and imaginative lives on the other. Day 1 will concentrate on economies of transformation across theology, law, literature and the aesthetics of representation; Day 2 will focus mainly on the cross-overs between the technologies of change in the market-place, and transactions in the sphere of cultural production.

This event is part of the research project, Crossroads of Knowledge in Early Modern England: the Place of Literature, a five-year ERC-funded project based at the Faculty of English and CRASSH, University of Cambridge.

Register online via the link on this page.

Conference fees: £70 full (to include refreshments and lunches), £105 full (to include refreshments, lunches and conference dinner), £40 student/unwaged (to include refreshments and lunches), £75 student (to include refreshments, lunches and conference dinner)

Deadline: Thursday 21 April 2016; if you would like to attend the conference dinner please register by Thursday 14 April 2016

Subha Mukherji, Rachel E. Holmes, Elizabeth L. Swann, Tim Stuart-Buttle, Rebecca Tomlin
For practical information please contact the Crossroads Research Project Administrator.



Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) at the University of Cambridge and by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ ERC grant agreement no 617849

Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture, 1516-2016

Ariosto, the Orlando Furioso and English Culture, 1516-2016
Thursday 28 & Friday 29 April 2016, 9.30am - 5.00pm
The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Professor Jane Everson, Royal Holloway University of London
Professor Andrew Hiscock, Bangor University
Dr Stefano Jossa, Royal Holloway University of London

April 2016 marks the fifth centenary of the publication of the first edition of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. Translated into English in the 1590s by Sir John Harington, godson of Elizabeth I, the influence of Ariosto’s poem can be traced in literature, music and the visual arts, from Spenser and Milton to modern media adaptations. To celebrate this landmark centenary, and assess the impact of the poem on English culture over 500 years, a team of international scholars will discuss Ariosto’s poem through a consideration of editions and translations; critical reception; rewritings and adaptations in different media, in particular opera.

Speakers include:
Professor Albert Russell Ascoli, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Lina Bolzoni FBA, Scuola Normale di Pisa
Professor Helen Cooper FBA, University of Cambridge
Dr Luca Degl’Innocenti, University of Leeds
Dr Marco Dorigatti, University of Oxford
Professor Nicola Gardini, University of Oxford
Associate Professor Tobias Gregory, Catholic University of America, Washington
Professor Daniel Javitch, New York University
Professor Dilwyn Knox, University College London
Professor Dennis Looney, MLA/University of Pittsburgh
Dr Ita Mac Carthy, University of Birmingham
Professor Peter Mack FBA, University of Warwick
Dr Maureen McCue, Bangor University
Professor Martin McLaughlin, University of Oxford
Dr Susan Oliver, University of Essex
Associate Professor Eleonora Stoppino, University of Illinois
Professor Nigel Vincent FBA, The University of Manchester

Supported by:



Application for a bursary

Funded by the Society for Renaissance Studies and the English Association, this conference is able to offer a limited number of bursaries of up to £100 as a contribution towards conference expenses for the delegate. Applications for a bursary should be sent to and must be received by March 1st 2016.

To apply for a bursary please complete the form below and return together with:

  • a brief (1 page) curriculum vitae
  • a covering letter (no more than one side of A4) detailing the reasons why the bursary is being sought
  • a letter of support from your doctoral supervisor or a senior colleague

Please note: bursaries are available only for registered PhD candidates, and early career/post-doctoral researchers with no access to institutional funding. They are designed to assist with the costs of attending the conference in London and may be awarded on a competitive basis. Bursary holders are expected to attend the whole 2-day conference and may be asked to write a short report on the conference for publication by the Society for Renaissance Studies.


Address for correspondence:

University affiliation:

*Title of PhD thesis:

*Date of registration for PhD: *Proposed date of completion:

*Post-doctoral applicants: please list two recent publications

*Please complete as relevant

Bursaries will be paid into your current bank account by electronic transfer. Please therefore give all relevant details (Bank name and address, Swift/BIC code, account name and number) in the section below.

Bursaries will be paid in arrears and on receipt of proof of attendance. If you wish to claim for travel costs, you will be required to present the relevant receipts.

Bank Details:

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Bank Sort Code: Swift/BIC code:

Current Account name of holder:

Current Account number:

Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy

Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy 
and The British Society for the History of Philosophy

In association with the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, KCL and the Wellcome Trust

Thursday 14th April 2016
The Great Hall, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

2.30-4.0: Tea and Registration in the Foyer of the Great Hall.

4.0 – 4.30: Susan James, Welcome and Introduction

4.30- 6.0: Plenary Lecture: Michael Moriarty, The thought of death changes all our ideas and condemns our plans.

Friday 15th April 2016
Birkbeck College, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL.

9.30am – 11am:  Plenary Lecture: Ursula Renz, Our Consciousness of Being Alive as a Source of Knowledge.

11.15am – 12.45pm:
Session 1:
Meghan Robison, But a Movement of Limbs: On the Movement of life in Hobbes’ Leviathan.
Barnaby Hutchins, Descartes’s ‘Vitalism’ .

Session 2:
Steph Marston, Affects and Effects: Spinoza on Life.
Julie Klein, Life and Death in Spinoza: Power and Reconfiguration.

Session 3:
John Callanan, The Historical Context of Kant’s Opposition to Suicide.
Jonas Jervell Indregard, Kant on Beauty and the Promotion of Life.


Coinciding with meeting of agreed and likely contributors to research network.

2pm – 3.30pm:
Plenary Lecture: Martine Pécharman, The Moral Import of Afterlife Arguments in Pascal and Locke.

3.45pm – 5.15pm:
Session 1:
Hannah Laurens, An Eternal Part of the Body? Spinoza on Human Existence Beyond Life and Death.
Filip Buyse, Spinoza on conatus, inertia and the impossibility of self-destruction.

Session 2:
Andreas Scheib, Johannes Clauberg and the Development of Anthropology after Descartes.
Andrea Strazzoni, Particles, Medicaments and Method. The Medical Cartesianism of Henricius Regius.

Session 3:
Sarah Tropper, ‘When the Manner of Death Disagrees with the Status of Life. The Intricate Question of Suicide in Early Modern Philosophy.
Teresa Tato Lima, Suicide and Hume’s Perspective about Human Life.

5.30pm – 7pm:
Plenary Lecture: Mariafranca Spallanzani, ‘Tota philosophorum vita commentatio mortis est’. Death of philosophers.

Saturday 16th April 2016
Birkbeck College, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL.

9.30am – 11am:

Session 1:
Kate Abramson, Living well, well-being and ethical normativity in Hume’s ethics.
Giuliana di Biase, Human’s life as a “state of mediocrity” in John Locke’s Essay and in his other works.
Session 2:
Dolores Iorizzo, Francis Bacon’s Natural and Experimental History of Life and Death (1623): A Lacuna in Accounts of the Scientific Revolution.
Gianni Paganini, Life, Mind and Body. Campanella and Descartes’ Connections.

Session 3:
Oliver Istvan Toth, Do we really need to die? Spinoza on the Necessity of Death in the Ethics.
Piet Steenbakkers, Living Well, Dying Well: Life and Death in Spinoza’s Philosophy and Biography.

11.15am – 12.45pm:
Plenary Lecture: Charles Wolfe, How I learned to love Vitalism.


2pm – 3.30pm:
Session 1:
Sean Winkler, The Persistence of Identity in Spinoza’s Account of Individuals.
Mogens Laerke, The Living God. On Spinoza’s Hebrew Grammar and Cogitata Metaphysica II,6.
Session 2:
Piero Schiavo, Controlling Death. Democritus and the myth of a death en philosophe.
Michael Jaworzyn, Clauberg, Geulincx, and philosophy as meditatio mortis after Descartes.

Session 3:
Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero, The Ban of Death: Leibniz’s Scandalous Immortalism.
Audrey Borowski, Leibniz’s natural Mechanism. Life and Death Revisited.

3.45pm – 4.15pm: Meetings of learned societies.

4.15pm – 5.45pm: Plenary Lecture: Lisa Shapiro, Learning to Live a Fully Human Life.

5.45 – 6.0: Conclusion and Farewell

Registration is now open for this conference at:

CALL FOR PAPERS: Shakespearean Communities

University of Portsmouth, 14th-16th April 2016

To mark the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the Centre for Studies in Literature and the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth are holding a conference on ‘Shakespearean Communities’ celebrating Shakespeare’s life, work and influence. A wealth of scholarship has explored Shakespeare and his contemporary world, where communities were being created, contested and redefined. The persecution of religious minorities, the discovery of the new world, the growing importance of the mercantile class and the spread of the printed text, tested and redrew ideas of community and fellowship. Subsequently, too, Shakespeare’s work has provoked and created new communities of audience and performers in a variety of formats, from the stage to the text to the screen. Indeed, Shakespeare continues to provide different ways in which academics and theatre practitioners can work with communities. The conference organisers, from the English Literature and History Departments at Portsmouth, aim to bring together scholars working on various aspects of Shakespeare’s - or Shakespearean - communities, to reassess the ways in which community helps us to think about/reassess the legacy of his work. Confirmed keynote speakers are Professor John Drakakis, Professor Russell Jackson and Dr Felicity Heal.

The conference is open to scholars at all academic stages and those working from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (Literature, History, Adaptation, Film Studies and beyond). We would also welcome submissions from theatre and visual art practitioners with an interest in ‘Shakespearean Communities’.

 We invite delegates to submit abstracts on all aspects of this theme, including but not restricted to:
  • Early Modern Theatrical Communities
  • Local Communities in Shakespeare’s England
  • Religious Communities
  • Legal communities
  • National and/or ethnic communities
  • Textual communities
  • Communities of family and friendship
  • Writing Communities: Shakespeare’s influence & afterlives
  • Artists and Illustrators of Shakespeare
  • Acting Communities: Performers of Shakespeare, past & present 

Please submit proposals of 250-300 words for papers of no more than 20 minutes to Dr Jessica Dyson, Dr Katy Gibbons, Dr Fiona McCall and Dr Bronwen Price at by 31st January 2016.

Thanks to the generosity of the Society for Renaissance Studies, some assistance for postgraduate / unsalaried postdoc travel expenses is available.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy at ESEMP

Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy and the British Society for the History of Philosophy
Thursday 14th April to Saturday 16th April, 2016.
Birkbeck College London and Kings College London

Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy
During the early modern period, upheavals in science, theology and politics prompted philosophers to grapple with two highly-charged questions. What are the limits of life? What are the possibilities of life? Pursuing the first, they probed the relation between life and death. What is it to be a living thing? What distinguishes life from death? In what sense, if any, do living things survive death? Exploring the second question, they turned their attention to the character of a truly human life. What is it for human beings (or particular kinds of human beings) to live well? What role does philosophy play in this process? Is living well an individual project, a political one, or both?

Each of these themes has recently attracted renewed interest among historians of early modern philosophy, and the conference aims to explore them as broadly as possible. The program will be comprised of invited speakers and speakers drawn from an open call for papers. Please see below for details:

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:
Michael Moriarty, University of Cambridge, UK
Ursula Renz, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Austria
Lisa Shapiro, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
Mariafranca Spallanzani, University of Bologna, Italy
Charles Wolfe, University of Gent, Belgium

Call for Papers:
Submissions are invited from researchers of all levels, including Ph.D. students, and on any aspect of the conference theme.

To submit, please email an abstract – maximum 800 words and anonymised for blind review – to Susan James ( The heading of the email should be ‘ESEMP/BSHP abstract’ and the email should contain the author’s details (name, position, affiliation, contact details). The deadline for abstract submission is 20th October 2015.

Scholars who plan to attend the conference should register by emailing the organizer, Susan James ( by 7th March 2016 to give us an accurate idea of numbers.

Further details about registration and funding will be posted in October.

'Inexcusabiles' - The Debate on Salvation and the Virtues of the Pagans in the Early Modern Period (1595 - 1772)

8 April 2016 Organisers: Alberto Frigo (University of Reims) and Guido Giglioni (Warburg Institute)

Speakers include: Michela Catto (FBK-ISR, Trento), Alberto Frigo (Reims), Guido Giglioni (Warburg Institute), Douglas Hedley (Cambridge), Franck Lessay (Paris), John Marenbon (Cambridge), Giuliano Mori, Michael Moriarty (Cambridge), François Trémolières (CELLF and Paris Ouest Nanterre) and Han van Ruler (Rotterdam)

In his pioneering Le Problème du salut des infidèles (1912, 1934), Louis Capéran devoted a number of pages to the theological debate on pagan salvation and the limbo at the time of Fénelon and Rousseau. More recently, Michael Moriarty has produced a comprehensive study on this topic (Oxford 2011), highlighting the role played by the French moralists. Yet the multiple forms that the Medieval and Renaissance debate on the pagans took during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries remain to be addressed in full. This one-day conference intends to fill this gap by looking at the history of early modern controversies on the salvation and virtues of the pagans. The posthumous edition of Montaigne’s Essais (1595) and Johann August Eberhard’s Neue Apologie des Socrates (1772) are the chronological limits that define the context that will be examined in this conference. Its aim is to reassess the question of the moral status of unbelievers in the early modern period by analysing how some specific theological issues were reshaped at the time. Above all, the conference will explore how the theme of the virtues and the salvation of the pagans intersected the early modern reception of ancient philosophy. The modern revival of Stoicism, Epicureanism and Scepticism is well known and has been studied extensively. Little attention, however, has been devoted to the relationship between the ethical models inspired by the heroes and philosophers of antiquity and the ‘new philosophy’.


10.00 Doors open and registration

10.15 Welcome

Session 1: The Humanistic Background

Guido Giglioni (Warburg Institute) - Between St Paul and Galen: How Juan Huarte de San Juan Responded to Inquisitorial Censorship

Alberto Frigo (University of Reims) - Montaigne’s Gods

11.30 Coffee

12.00 Session 2: The Theological Debate

Michael Moriarty (University of Cambridge) - ‘Would God Have Created the World in Order to Damn It?’; or is that a ‘Stupid Question’?

John Marenbon (University of Cambridge) - Pagan Salvation and Pagan Virtues – Collius and La Mothe Le Vayer

Han van Ruler (University of Rotteram) - The Scope of Grace: Early Modern Moral Philosophy and the Metaphysico-Moral Paradoxes of Divine Assistance

13.45 Lunch

14.45 Session 3: The Philosophers and the Unbelievers

Franck Lessay (University of Paris) - Hobbes’s Covenant, a Refuge for Heretics and Atheists?

Douglas Hedley (University of Cambridge) - Cudworth and Pagan Monotheism

François Tremolières (CELLF and Paris Ouest Nanterre) - Vertu des païens et salut des infidèles dans l’oeuvre de Fénelon

15.30 Coffee break

16.00 Session 4: The New Pagans

Giuliano Mori - Historia Gentilium (ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam): Jesuits, Missionaries, and the Seventeenth-Century Quest for a Universal History

Michela Catto (FBK-ISR, Trento) - Jesuits and Chinese Atheism: Back and Forth between Europe and China

17.30 Close and reception

CALL FOR PAPERS: 'Dare to Tell': Silence and Saying in Ben Jonson

1st – 3rd April 2016, School of English, University of St Andrews

A conference in the 400th anniversary year of the publication of Jonson’s 1616 first Folio of Works.

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Martin Butler (University of Leeds)
Professor Julie Sanders (University of Newcastle)

World premiere of Ben and Jamie by Brean Hammond

‘Our looks are called into question, and our words,
How innocent soever, are made crimes;
We shall not shortly dare to tell our dreams,
Or think, but ’twill be treason’ (Sejanus (1603), 1.1.67-70)

What does it mean to be called into question, to speak out or to stay silent, to have innocent thoughts, guilty looks, or culpable dreams? Jonson’s plays, comic and tragic, foreground the processes of imaginative interpretation that condition people’s actions, values and their very being.

On this prominent anniversary of Jonson’s publication of his 1616 first Folio of Works, this conference will explore themes of publication and performance broadly conceived to include the following themes:
  • Authority, collective imagination, individual autonomy, and conscience – including as these issues relate to legal authority and questions of freedom of speech and thought, conscience and religion in 2016.
  • Self-consciousness, acting, performance, reception, re-imaginings of the canon.
  • Interpretation, defamation, equivocation, censorship, satire, criminality and innocence.
  • Cultural ideologies, political subversion, social transgressions.
Please send your abstract of 300 words, along with a brief biography that includes your title and institutional affiliation, to no later than 26 February 2016.

The conference will also include:
  • Brean Hammond’s new play about Jonson’s connections with Scotland, Ben and Jamie, at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews.
  • Viewing and Discussion of Jonsonian texts at the University of St Andrews’ Special Collections (featuring Jonson’s first Folio of Works, printed by William Stansby in 1616 and sold by Richard Meighen).
  • Performance of a Jonson play and a workshop on Jonson and drama (details to be confirmed).
General questions can be directed to the conference organisers Akihiko Shimizu, Julianne Mentzer, Peter Sutton, Rebecca Hasler and Zoë Sutherland at

Download Call for Papers as a pdf.