Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places, The Open University

The Open University will be hosting their annual two-day conference on spaces and places on 23-24 February 2018

The conference will examine life in buildings, institutions and broader geographical areas from a variety of perspectives and will consider the following questions:
  • How were medieval and early modern spaces adapted and transformed through the movement of material and immaterial things?
  • Which particular aspects of political, social and economic infrastructures enabled the exchange of objects and ideas?
  • To what extent did a sense of place depend upon the activities taking place there?

Further details here    Register Here

Provisional Programme

Friday 23 February

9:45-10:00 Registration

10:00 Introductory remarks (Helen Coffey and Leah Clark)

10:15 Spaces and Bodies
  • Anuradha Gobin, University of Calgary: ‘Subverting Spaces of Control: Transformation, Deviance and Identity Formation in the Dutch Republic’
  • Michael Grillo, University of Maine: ‘Spatial Memory, Mapping and Perspective in the Wake of the Plague’
  • Naomi J. Barker, The Open University: ‘Intellectual polyphony: Music at the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome, 1600-1630’

11:45 Break

12:15 Travels and Movement
  • Jennifer Allport Reid, Birkbeck, University of London: ‘‘Fallen Am I in Dark Uneven Way’: Wandering from the Road in Early Modern Folklore’
  • Lisa Regan, University of California, Berkeley/IES, Vienna: ‘When the City Gates Close: Wayfaring Chapels and the Disciplining of Space’

13:15 Lunch

14:15 Sacred Spaces I
  • Zahra Ahari, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran: ‘Transformation of Mosalla into space of spectacle in Safavid Isfahan’
  • Judith Utz, Freie Universität Berlin/Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome: ‘Materiality and Space. Southern Italian Exultet scrolls in their liturgical setting’

15:15 Break

15:45 Sacred Spaces II
  • Julia Kotzur, University of Aberdeen, ‘Performing Spatial Change: Transformations and Redefinitions of Religious Space in Jonson’s The Alchemist and Bartholomew Fair’
  • Kader N. Hegedüs, University of Lausanne, “A scant map of this”: John Donne and the (Un)mapping of the Reformation’

17:15 End (Reception/Dinner in evening)

Saturday 24 February
10:00 Domestic Spaces
  • Stephanie Bowry, University of Leicester: ‘”A goodly Gallery with a most pleasaunt Prospect […]”: Early Modern Gardens and Galleries as Entangled Spaces’
  • Lynsey McCulloch, Coventry University: ‘Choreographing the Early Modern Garden’
  • Audrey Thorstad, Bangor University: ‘”When thou comes to a lordis gate”: Hospitality and Socialising Spaces in Tudor Castles’

11:30 Break

12:00 Women and Domestic Space
  • Ja Young Jeon, City University of New York: ‘“Enter my closet”: The Gendered Early Modern Closet in The Changeling’
  • Eva Lauenstein, Birkbeck, University of London: ‘Within these tombes enclos’d’: Interring Renaissance Love in Mary Sidney Herbert’s Antonius

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Urban Spaces
  • Luise Scheidt, University of Cambridge: ‘An Iconography of Warfare: The Representation of Battle and Military Success in Early Modern Venetian Spaces’
  • Koching Chao, University of York: ‘Constituting Public Piazza in Trecento Communal Statues: Framing Montepulciano’s Piazza Grande in 1337’

15:00 Break

15:30 Performance Spaces
  • M.A.Katritzky, The Open University: ‘Transnational interpretations of theatrical space at the 1589 Florentine intermedi’
  • Michael Gale, The Open University: ‘Music-making and identity-formation in the Elizabethan universities’

17:00 End

Annual London Shakespeare Lecture: 'Shakespearean Comedy and the Curse of Realism'

Wed 7 February 2018, 18:00 – 20:00 GMT
University of Notre Dame, London Global Gateway, 1-4 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

The seventh Annual London Shakespeare Lecture in Honour of Professor Sir Stanley Wells, at the University of Notre Dame (U.S.A.) in England organised in collaboration with the Shakespeare Institute and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Michael Dobson (Director of the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Professor of Shakespeare Studies, University of Birmingham) gives this year's lecture, 'Shakespearean Comedy and the Curse of Realism':

Put them into Elizabethan dress and they may look merely quaint; put them into modern dress and their plots may look hopelessly implausible. What should Shakespeare’s comedies look like on the present-day stage? Did they really lose their potential for magic when the Elizabethan open stage gave place to the proscenium arch, and how successfully has that potential been reclaimed by directors who have chosen settings which suggest neither Shakespeare’s time nor ours but somewhere in between? After five decades of watching Shakespearean comedy, one of them largely spent reviewing it, Michael Dobson looks in particular at the recent fortunes of 'Love’s Labour’s Lost' and 'Much Ado About Nothing'.

Register for this free lecture and reception by Monday, February 5. Please direct any questions to  To register go to Annual London Shakespeare Lecture

British Society for the History of Pharmacy: Byzantine Pharmacology between East and West

British Society for the History of Pharmacy
Maplethorpe Lecture Theatre, 
UCL School of Pharmacy, 
29-39 Brunswick Square, 
London WC1N 1AX 

Monday 5 February 2018, 17:30

Lecture by Dr Petros Bouras-Vallianatos, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Medical Humanities.

All welcome, no need to book, no admission charge. Refreshments from 17:00

The Byzantine Empire, with its capital in Constantinople (now Istanbul), then a mainly Greek-speaking region, constituted a natural crossroads between East and West for more than a millennium (AD 324–1453). This lecture aims to determine the degree of influence on Byzantine pharmacology from Arabic, Persian, and Latin pharmacological traditions, and reassess the notion of the primacy of tradition over empiricism. Decisively overturning the view that Byzantine medical tradition was ‘stagnant’, simply preserving the best ideas from antiquity, and that Byzantine literature consisted of mere compilations, this paper aims to demonstrate that Byzantine pharmacology in particular was far more open to outside influence than has hitherto been thought and that Byzantine physicians were eager to inform their material with observations derived from their daily contact with patients.

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