CALL FOR PAPERS: Corruption: Deviation, Degradation, and Malfeasance in the Early Modern Period

Postgraduate Conference 28 April 2017, City Campus, University of Worcester

Plenary Speaker: Professor David Roberts, Birmingham City University

Whether perceived or actual, corruption signifies a failure in norms, order and structure, heightens anxieties concerning personal and institutional conduct, and undermines the ideal of the benevolent, disinterested exercise of power. Originally implying bodily decay, the Early Modern period witnessed the term ‘corruption’ broaden in meaning to incorporate the venality of politics, religion, monarchy, society and culture to reflect a variety of highly contested ideological positions: established religious foundations became threatened through the perceived corruption of the Catholic church and emerging religious factions; concerns about royal lineage became exacerbated by the succession of not one but two unmarried female monarchs; an expanding printing press troubled defenders of high-culture and ‘taste’ as literary standards faced apparent threats from the products of the ‘un-polite’ mass in an increasingly commodified society; and notions of gender, sexuality, and purity underwent an unprecedented refashioning in response to this transforming social, cultural and political environment.

How contemporaries of the early modern period experienced and responded to such notions of corruption is the focus of the first postgraduate conference of Worcester’s Early Modern Research Group. We welcome proposals from postgraduate students and researchers (MA, MRes, early PhD stage) for 20-minute papers that consider literary, religious, political, historical, cultural, and social notions of corruption during the early modern period, c.1550-1800. Relevant themes and topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Editing and pirating, rewriting of texts, adaptations of films or plays 
  • Corruption of genre, form, stage, literary convention 
  • Disease, decay 
  • Corruptive power – moral, legal, political, institutional 
  • Social disorder 
  • Corruption of culture, ethnicity, race or class 
  • Sexual deviation, perversion and the corruption of normative gender models 
  • Corruption of the family unit 
  • Sacred or environmental corruption 
  • Corruption of the transmission of information 

Proposals for individual papers or complete panels should be directed to Kirsty Driscoll and Lucy Cooper at EMRG by 1st March 2017.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Borderlines XXI: Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern World

This conference will be held in University College Cork, 14-16 April 2017. Proposals for both papers and panels are welcomed from postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in the fields of both Medieval and Early Modern studies.

Keynote Speaker: Prof Michael Brown, University of St Andrews

This conference will explore the concept of authority in both the Medieval and Early Modern
periods. As Sir Philip Sidney has said, “there is nothing sooner overthrows a weak head than
opinion by authority, like too strong a liquor for a frail glass” (Aphorisms of Sir Philip Sidney). Much like today’s society, authority and resistance to authority can be found in all aspects of
Medieval and Early Modern societies, such as the religious, political, social, and literary.

Borderlines XXI invites papers that address the social, historical, literary, religious and cultural significance of these roles. We welcome papers from researchers in the fields of Anthropology, Archaeology, Codicology, Drama, Digital Humanities, Folklore, History, History of Art, Geography, Languages, Literature, Music, Paleography, Philosophy and Theology. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

· Political and/or religious authority
· Literary authority
· Authority of the book
· Gendered authority
· Lack of authority
· Translation of authority
· Class/Societal authority
· Rejection of authority
· Liminal figures/places
· Authority as autonomy
· Structures of authority
· Development of authority through the ages
· Depictions of authority in art

Abstracts of 250 words for a 20-minute paper and a short biography are welcomed from postgraduates and early career researchers (MA, PhD and Postdoctoral students) from Ireland, the UK, and further afield, as are proposals for panels, and should be submitted by Friday 3rd February 2017 to

Medicine, Environment and Health in the Eastern Mediterranean World 1400-1750

Christ’s College, University of Cambridge Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 April 2017

Organized by Valentina Pugliano (Cambridge) and Nükhet Varlik (Rutgers-Newark)

Generously sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and Christ's College, Cambridge

This conference will offer, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of medicine and healing in the eastern Mediterranean and the Near East, ca. 1400-1750. While a considerable body of scholarship exists on Islamic and Byzantine science and medicine and their influence on the medieval Latin West, the state of medical theory and practice in the following centuries has been comparatively neglected and often spoken of in terms of intellectual stagnation and decline. The conference aims to challenge this narrative and reveal the continued vitality of knowledge making and transfer across the eastern Mediterranean world. Taking as our focus the politically heterogeneous southern Europe and eastern Mediterranean, the Mamluk Kingdom, and the Ottoman Empire, we will reconstruct the healthscape of this region in the early modern period, exploring its medical unity and disunity and the human and environmental factors that played a part in it.

With an introductory lecture by Professor Peregrine Horden, Royal Holloway University of London.

Full programme here: Medicine Environment and Health in the Eastern Mediterranean World

Please register here:  Eventbrite Regstration

Registration: Full £50 (per day £25); Students £25. Buffet lunch and refreshments included. We can provide support to book overnight accommodation in college for attendees who wish to do so. For any query, please contact Valentina Pugliano