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Trinity Term 2017

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It's the last week of term - see it out with some exciting research events! 

 

Monday 12 June

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, New Powell Room, Somerville College

Professor Ali Yaycioğlu (Stanford), with response from Professor Marc Baer (LSE):  ‘Partners of the Empire and the Formation of a State-Society: Rethinking the Ottoman Order in the 18th and 19th centuries’

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Professor Ros Ballaster, Mansfield College:  ‘Being there: the fiction of presence in eighteenth-century theatre and novel’

 

Tuesday 13 June

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, History of the Book Room, St. Cross Building

Beatrice Montedoro: "Dramatic Extracting in a Newly Discovered Manuscript"

Christopher Gausden: "Laelius: Sir Henry Lee (1533-1611), Literature and Politics”

 

Wednesday 14 June

  • Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750: a one-day conference organised by the Centre for Early Modern Studies

8:30am-7pm, Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College

Please see here for the conference programme and registration.

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute, London), ‘“Arabica veritas” - Europeans’ search for “truth” in Arabic scientific and philosophical literature of the Middle Ages’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Undergraduate Thesis Session: two undergraduates will discuss their recently-completed theses. All second-year undergraduates planning to undertake research in the period are encouraged to attend. 

 

Thursday 15 June

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Nicholas McDowell (University of Exeter): ‘The Religion of John Milton’

 

In other news:

These round-ups are going on hiatus with the end of term, but there are a number of conferences in Oxford over the next couple of weeks that you don't want to miss, as well as the Oxford Renaissance Seminar Roundtable on 'The Nations in 16th-century Rome' on Wednesday, 21 June. We also continue to welcome guest posts about your research in progress or forthcoming publications - do get in touch. 

CEMS co-director Adam Smyth writes on paper for the TLS. 

 

 

Summer is icumen in but we still have many events to tempt you indoors in this penultimate week of term!

 

Monday 5 June

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Dr Cesare Santus (L’école française de Rome): ‘Forbidden contacts: Catholic and Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire (17th-18th centuries)’

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Maison française d’Oxford, the Early Modern Catholicism Network, and l’École française de Rome. 

 

Tuesday 6 June

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Harald Braun (University of Liverpool): 'Giovanni Botero, Reason of State, and Spain'

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Kathryn Murphy (Oriel College, Oxford): "The Look and the Like: Lancelot Andrewes's Real Words"​

  • Bodleian Libraries Lecture: Lorna J. Clark, "A family culture of creativity: 'Memoranda of the Burney Family'"

5:30pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library. Reception follows in Blackwell Hall.

For more information and to register for a free ticket: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2017/jun/burney-and-his-children

 

Wednesday 7 June

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Undergraduate Thesis Session
Two current undergraduates will discuss the experience and findings of their recently-completed theses.

  • Seminar in Early Modern European History

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Kerstin Weiand (Gießen): 'Dynamics of Crusades in Early Modernity'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Raphaëlle Garrod (CRASSH, Cambridge), 'A Spider's Tale. Jesuit Ingenuity at La Flèche in the Seventeenth Century’

  • Oxford Bibliographic Society

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Meeting to begin at 4.30 p.m. Lecture to follow at 5.15 after a brief interval for tea.

McKenna Room, Christ Church
Richard Serjeantson (Trinity College, Cambridge): 'The archival afterlife of Francis Bacon (d. 1626): from Hartlib to Harley, via Lambeth'

 

Thursday 8 June

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Susan Royal (University of Durham): ‘Tolerance and History Writing in Reformation England’

 

In other news: 

Registration is still open for our upcoming CEMS conference, Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750 (14 June 2017).

Registration is also open for a conference on The Book Index at the Bodleian (22-23 June).

And finally, for some catch-up conference listening: 

 

 

Marking can wait when there are interesting seminars to attend...

 

Monday 29 May

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Dr Cecilia Tarruell (History/TORCH): ‘Beyond exclusion: Migrations from the Islamic world to the Spanish Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries’

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Rathika Muthukumaran, ‘"Modesty in Nakedness": Siam and the Politics of Modesty in the Anonymous The Unnatural Mother’

Christy Edwall,  ‘How to do things with Linnaeus’

 

Tuesday 30 May

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, History of the Book Room, St. Cross Building

Niall Allsopp: 'Thinking About Ritual in Early Modern Literature'

 

Wednesday 31 May

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Catherine Bates (University of Warwick), ‘On Not Defending Poetry: The Economics of Sidney’s Golden World’

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Justin Stover (University of Edinburgh), ‘The last astronomer's lost book: Walter le Pruz between England and France in the thirteenth century’

 

Thursday 1 June

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Mark Byford (Independent Scholar): ‘Debating before Great Britain¹s Solomon: the perspective of the 'plaintiffs' at the Hampton Court Conference of 1604'

 

In other news:

"Mimesis on Trial" last week was a great success - check out the conference hashtag, #MimesisonTrial, for livetweeting of discussion.

Registration is now open for our second conference, Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750 (14 June 2017).

 

 

 

Escape from the exam marking this week  with an exciting selection of seminars and events!

 

Monday 22 May

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Professor Marilyn Booth (Magdalen), response from Dr Christina De Bellaigue (Exeter): ‘Girlhood translated? Reading Fénelon’s Traité de l’éducation des filles (1687) in twentieth-century Egypt’

  • Oxford Bibliographic Society

5.15 p.m, Weston Library Lecture Theatre

Alessandra Panzanelli Fratoni (15cBooktrade, based at the British Library): 'Reconstructing dispersed collections: Burney and Consul Smith in the British Library'

 

Tuesday 23 May

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Sophie Nicholls (University of Oxford): 'Gallicanism in the French Wars of Religion: the case of René Choppin'

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Tim Harrison (University of Chicago): "Impossible Experience: Embryology, Poetry, and the Nature of Consciousness in Early Modern England"

  • New Perspectives on the Psalms: A Series of Public Lectures

6.15pm, Ursell Room, Pusey House, St Giles

Anne Hudson: 'Devotion or language lesson? The Revision of Rolle's English Psalter'

Elizabeth Solopova: 'Englished Latin or the language of love? The Revision of the Wycliffite Psalter'

 

Wednesday 24 May

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Scott Mandelbrote (Peterhouse, Cambridge), ‘Poetry and Perversion in Mid-Seventeenth-Century Cambridge’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

4:30pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Eric Schnakenbourg (Nantes): 'Shipping and Trade in Wartime under Neutral Flags in Eighteenth-Century Europe'

  • Seminar in Early Modern European History

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Hamish Scott (Oxford): 'Succession, Inheritance and the Formation of Europe’s Aristocracies c.1300-1750'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Anna-Marie Roos (University of Lincoln; All Souls College, Oxford), ‘The travel diary of Martin Folkes (1690-1754): Newtonianism, antiquarianism, and scientific peregrination’

 

Thursday 25 May

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Lucy Kaufman (Keble College, Oxford): 'Churchwardens, Sidemen and Scavengers: Political Agency, Lay Governance, and Religious Discipline in Elizabethan London'

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Marine Ganofsky (St Andrew’s): "La Volupté à table, ou Des Petits Soupers dans la France et la littérature du XVIIIe siècle"

  • Shakespeare / Shoreditch – film screening

5.15pm, New Library, St Anne’s College

Shoreditch, 1580: rough, edgy, unsparing, and fun. Shoreditch, 1600: expensive, emptying, with its reputation for entertainment on the wane. Sound familiar? 'Shoreditch: Shakespeare's Hidden London' is a feature-length documentary uncovering Shakespeare's early career in Shoreditch and exploring how the area has been shaped by gentrification then and now. Featuring interviews with Peter Tatchell, archaeologists, actors, and academics.

Introduced by Robert Stagg (Lecturer in English at St Anne's College, Oxford), followed by discussion with Emma Smith (Professor of Shakespeare Studies, Oxford).

Free; followed by drinks reception (c/o Oxford CEMS and St Anne's College). See Robert's blog post below for more information on the film!

 

In other news: 

Registration is open for our upcoming second CEMS conference Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750 (14 June 2017). BYO mummified trout.

The EAJS Conference: "Jewish Books and their Christian Collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia" takes place at Christ Church this week, 22-23 May. Please see the Conferences section for other upcoming events.

CEMS members review things: Kathryn Murphy on the Voynich Manuscript; Natasha Simonova on "Black Sails". 

 

 

Many more events taking place this week, plus news on CEMS' two upcoming conferences and more below.

 

Monday 15 May

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Dr Hannah Skoda (St John’s): ‘ “His master’s chattel in matters superadded to nature, though in nature things all are equal” (Aquinas). Towards a legal anthropology of late medieval slavery’

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Professor Chloe Wigston-Smith, University of York:  ‘Bodkin Aesthetics: Ordinary Luxury and Material Metamorphosis in the Eighteenth Century'

  • Architectural History Seminar 

5:30pm, Lower Lecture Room, Lincoln College

Professor Maurice Howard (Sussex): 'The scholar in the study: creating and decorating private spaces in Renaissance England'

 

Tuesday 16 May

  • The Lyell Lectures: Paul Nelles (Carleton): 'The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation'

5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

4: 'Scribes in the city'. Book tickets here (free but space is limited).

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, History of the Book Room, St. Cross Building

Laura Wright: "Joan la Pucelle and the Noise of War in 1 Henry VI"

Audrey Borowski: "From The Horizon of the Human Doctrine to The Restitution (Apokatastasis): Leibniz between Finite Combinatorics and Infinite Metaphysics"

 

Wednesday 17 May

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Joseph Wallace (University of Birmingham), ‘Equality in Early Modern England: Two Diverging Accounts?’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Steve Pincus (Yale): 'Patriot Fever: Imperial Political Economy and the Causes of the War of Jenkins Ear'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Matthieu Husson (Paris Observatory), ‘Alfonsine astronomy: a research project’

 

Thursday 18 May

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

John McCallum (Nottingham Trent University):  'Welfare and the Kirk: Poor Relief in the Reformed Church in Scotland, 1560-1650'.

  • The Lyell Lectures: Paul Nelles (Carleton):  'The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation'

5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

5: 'Urbs et orbis: popes and printers'. Book tickets here (free but space is limited).

 

In other news: 

The CEMS conference Mimesis on Trial takes place at Merton this Saturday, 20 May - there's still time to register!

Registration is also now open for our second conference, Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750 (14 June 2017).

"Demons Land: A Poem Come True" is a collaborative artistic project inspired by Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and led by Professor Simon Palfrey, with an event at National Trust Stowe taking place 15 June 2017.

In the TLS (and apropos of the excellent New Oxford Shakespeare roundtable that took place last week), Emma Smith on Shakespeare the apex predator:

 

 

Dr. Robert Stagg in a Lecturer in English at St. Anne's College. His documentary 'Shakespeare/Shoreditch" will be screened at a free event in the New Library, St Anne's College, from 5:15pm on Thursday 25 May, followed by a discussion with Professor Emma Smith and drinks reception. All are welcome.

 

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: from ‘Shoreditch: Shakespeare’s Hidden London’ (2016)]

Shoreditch, 1580: rough, edgy, unsparing, and fun. Shoreditch, 1600: expensive, emptying, with its reputation for entertainment on the wane. Four hundred or so years later (in September 2014), anti-gentrification protestors attacked a new cereal café in Shoreditch. They also vandalised a nearby estate agent. The protest – known online as a Fuck Parade – was apparently organised by a group called Class War who explained their actions in a short statement: “We don’t want luxury flats that no one can afford […] We don’t want pop-up gin bars or brioche buns, we want community”.

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: Interviewing Peter Tatchell about gentrification]

In 1580 Shoreditch couldn’t offer many brioche buns, but it was home to one of the most important pop-ups of all time: The Theatre. This was perhaps the first freestanding purpose-built public theatre in England. It helped cement Shoreditch’s reputation as an entertainment district – a place to have sex (in one of its many brothels), or a drink (in one of its many taverns), or a stroll (in one of its many green spaces). The Theatre was a risky venture: it was expensive, without much recent precedent, and plagued by contractual loopholes and circumscriptions. Indeed most London residents would have bet upon the Theatre being a pop-up disappointment. It would have taken supreme confidence to imagine that it might survive for a year, especially when its prototype (The Red Lion playhouse in Whitechapel) seems to have lasted little more than six months. Yet it was such a success on opening that, one year later, another theatre was erected two hundred yards away. It was at this second theatre – The Curtain – that the Lord Chamberlain’s Men staged plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Henry V. Tap-houses sprung up to provide refreshment to audiences, and the owner of The Theatre was repeatedly fined for running an illegal “tippling-house” nearby. All of these venues combined to make Shoreditch an increasingly lucrative place for landlords and landowners. In 1596 The Theatre reached the end of its lease, and its (putative) landlord’s demands for more rent (as well as a complicated dispute about ownership) meant the venue was dismantled in the winter of 1598.

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: MOLA excavations of The Curtain Theatre site, Shoreditch]

In 2008 archaeologists from the Museum of London announced that they had found The Theatre’s remains after a series of excavations around New Inn Broadway. In 2011 they announced that they had also found the remains of the Curtain Theatre. The Curtain site was already earmarked for development by Galliard Homes, who were proposing forty storeys of luxury apartments now made all the more expensive by their richly historic location. The apartments are currently retailing on Galliard’s website for £500,000 to £1.5 million. As I write, archaeological excavations have finished, and the developers are completing construction. Over the last few years in Shoreditch, then, history has seemed to be chasing its own tail: the kind of landlords who priced the original theatres out of Shoreditch are now proposing to make money from their newly-discovered remains.

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: Galliard Homes development of The Curtain Theatre site]

There have been happier moments. The news about Shoreditch’s Elizabethan past has reoriented public perceptions of Shakespeare’s career. Where previously all eyes were focused on the Globe and the South Bank, attention has now turned a little more to Shoreditch – helped by local innovations like RIFT_’s ‘Shakespeare in Shoreditch’ festival. It seemed to me, then, that last year – the four hundredth since Shakespeare’s death, in case you weren’t reminded enough – was an opportunity both to unearth an understudied area of Shakespeare’s career, and to reflect on the gentrification of East London from a longer historical perspective.

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still
Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Stills: With Rev Paul Turp in the crypt of St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch]

Assisted by funding and filmmakers from London Film School, I made a thirty-minute documentary titled ‘Shoreditch: Shakespeare’s Hidden London’. We interviewed academics, the archaeologists responsible for The Theatre and Curtain excavations, and a group of very entertaining drunk people outside a pub. We interviewed Peter Tatchell and Owen Jones about the effects of today’s gentrification. We tried unsuccessfully to interview a representative of Galliard Homes. We visited the crypt underneath St Leonard’s Church which contains the bones of many of Shakespeare’s first actors. We presented Shakespeare’s career in Shoreditch alongside his Shoreditch contemporaries: Christopher Marlowe, Robert Greene, Ben Jonson, the actor Gabriel Spenser, the recusant nobleman Thomas Tresham, and the spy Robert Poley.

We also restaged the famous oration at the beginning of Henry V just outside the site where it was first performed. A few weeks after we completed that sequence, Museum of London Archaeology announced their discovery that the Curtain Theatre was probably rectangular rather than (as most people had assumed) round. Shakespeare scholars and theatre historians immediately began to speculate that the initial chorus of Henry V – which makes reference to a “wooden O” – must have been added or amended for a later performance at the Globe Theatre rather than being spoken at the Curtain. We wondered whether to reshoot or abandon this section of our film. But then it seemed to us that this was another example of a Globe-centric account of Shakespeare’s career, ignoring his life in other parts of London; it was just as possible that Shakespeare wrote the chorus with an eye to performance at the round Theatre (where negotiations to reopen the venue were underway).

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: On Myrtle Walk, Shoreditch – originally home to the Tresham family]

We started and ended the film with a poignant historical parallel. In late 1598, the shareholders in The Theatre began to despair about its ever being reopened. Salvation came via a clause in their contract: the land upon which the theatre was built belonged to Giles Allen, but the building itself belonged to the Burbage family (the theatre’s managers and impresarios). Allen was out of London, spending Christmas at his country estate. The shareholders knew they didn’t have much time, but they also knew exactly what they needed. Piece by piece they dismantled The Theatre; piece by piece they took the timbers to a warehouse at Bridewell Stairs. Months later, once the cold weather had passed, they ferried the materials across the river to build the new Globe Theatre – opened with fanfare in the summer of 1599.

Shakespeare/Shoreditch still

[Still: The George and Dragon on Hackney Road, Shoreditch]

In 2015, one of Shoreditch’s best entertainment spots closed: The George and Dragon, a fabulous gay pub on Hackney Road which attracted everyone from locals to fashionistas to Boy George. When the rent went up the landlords closed the pub, gathered its interiors and moved them further east – to The Queen Adelaide, in the less expensive area of Cambridge Heath. The move was uncannily like that of The Theatre in 1598/9. The location had changed but the furnishings, interiors, materials, and maybe something of the atmosphere, had remained. So perhaps the effects of gentrification – then and now – can be somewhat ameliorated; perhaps gentrification can help to keep creativity on the move, or at least on its toes (though we might conversely wonder whether creativity is a mobile thing – or can have toes). The film concludes, with provocative tongue in provocative cheek, that, in one sense, gentrification gave us the Globe and all that came with it. Perhaps, in the words which end our documentary, some things are never quite lost.

 

 

Another week packed full of Early Modern seminars, events, and announcements at Oxford!

 

Monday 8 May

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College

Nenad Filipović (Oriental Institute, Sarajevo): ‘ 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore: An attempt at a microhistorical reading of an early 16th-century Ottoman petition’

  • 'Terminus or Renovation? Francis Bacon and Crisis in Early Modern Knowledge'

5pm, History Faculty, Colin Matthew Room

The TORCH Crisis, Extremes, and Apocalypse network are hosting a talk on 'Terminus or Renovation? Francis Bacon and Crisis in Early Modern Knowledge' with Dr Richard Serjeantson (University of Cambridge). More information here.

  • Oxford Bibliographic Society

5.15pm, Christ Church Upper Library 

David Rundle (Corpus Christi College, Oxford): 'More than a house for books: collecting and Christ Church library'

 

Tuesday 9 May

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Stefan Bauer (University of York): 'Sforza Pallavicino: Writing the History of the Council of Trent'

  • The Lyell Lectures: Paul Nelles (Carleton): 'The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation'

5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

2: 'Cardinals and councils'. Book tickets for this and subsequent lectures here (free but space is limited).

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

The New Oxford Shakespeare (2016): Panel discussion with Rhodri Lewis, Laurie Maguire, Emma Smith and Adam Smyth

  • New Perspectives on the Psalms: A Series of Public Lectures

6.15pm, Ursell Room, Pusey House, St Giles

Henrike Lahnemann: 'Singing the Psalms in 16th-century Germany'

 

Wednesday 10 May

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Niall Allsopp (Oriel College, Oxford), ‘“One False Tenet in the Political Philosophy”: Hobbes and Cowley’s Poems (1656)’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5.00pm, Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Hamish Roberts (St Antony’s): 'Politicised Millennialism in the Late Eighteenth-Century British Empire'

  • Seminar in Early Modern European History

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Jan Kvetina (Charles University Prague): 'Political Dialogues and Republican Discourses in the Polis-Lithuanian Commonwealth'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Ian Maclean (All Souls College, Oxford), ‘Girolamo Cardano’s De prudentia eximia et artificiosa (1576): mathematics and decision-making’

 

Thursday 11 May

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Colin Armstrong (Queen’s University, Belfast):  ‘A Laudian in Ulster: The Irish career of Jeremy Taylor, 1658-1667’

  • The Lyell Lectures: Paul Nelles (Carleton): 'The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation'

5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

3: 'An eternal archive'. Book tickets for this and subsequent lectures here (free but space is limited).

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Julia Prest (St Andrews): "Créole Imitations: The Politics of Dance in pre-Revolutionary Saint-Domingue" 

 

In other news: 

Registration deadline approaches for the upcoming CEMS conference Mimesis on Trial (20 May 2017) - book before 10 May to register for the conference dinner, and ideally by 12 May to attend (registration will remain open but we would appreciate having numbers for catering). 

Registration is also open for 'Digitizing the Stage: Rethinking the Early Modern Theatre Archive' (10-12 July) and 'Corpus Christi College in Context, c.1450-1650' (6-9 September).

Call for papers for a new seminar series on 'Instruments of the Eighteenth Century'. 

 

 

Ringing in the month of May, this week features the beginning of the Lyell Lectures as well as a far-ranging line-up of other events.

 

Monday 1 May

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Dr Elizabeth Key Fowden (Cambridge): ‘Plato’s throne and Solomon’s temple: Graeco-Islamic historical imagination in Ottoman Athens’

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5.15pm, Old Hall, Mansfield College (note alternative venue)

POSTER DISPLAY WORKSHOP: Graduates and Postdocs present their research through posters and discussion (all welcome).

 

Tuesday 2 May

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, History of the Book Room, St. Cross Building

Ellen Ellis: "Inked, Intent and Fervent: Elizabeth Blake/Berkeley/Burnet and her Spiritual Diary"

Deborah Ramkhelawan: "'Dear Sister Moll': Reading Mary Evelyn’s Childhood Correspondence"​

 

Wednesday 3 May

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Ruth Ahnert (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Metadata, Surveillance and the Tudor State: Digital Methods and the State Papers Archive’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Geraldine Porter (Merton): '"All the reserve of his family, and all the dignity of his ancestors": Elite Political Families in the Eighteenth-Century Houses of Parliament'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Sonja Brentjes (Max Planck Institute, Berlin): ‘Teaching the sciences, medicine and philosophy at madrasas and mosques (12th-17th centuries)’

 

Thursday 4 May

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Leif Dixon (Regent’s Park, Oxford): 'The Ranter Mood: Thinking about Theology and Emotions in Regicidal England'

  • The Lyell Lectures: Paul Nelles (Carleton):  'The Vatican Library and the Counter-Reformation'

5pm, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library

1: 'Libraries, Space and Power'. Book tickets for this and subsequent lectures here (free but space is limited).

 

In other news: 

Registration remains open for the upcoming CEMS conference Mimesis on Trial (20 May 2017) - the deadline to register for the conference dinner is 10 May. The final programme and registration for our second conference, Cultures of Collecting (14 June 2017) is also coming soon.

Further afield, registration is open for Bodies in Motion in the Early Modern World at King's (16 June 2017) and the biennial Society of Renaissance Studies conference next year at Sheffield (3-5 July 2018), featuring keynotes from our own Professors Emma Smith and Lyndal Roper. 

 

 

And just like that we're about to begin another term, which means the return of regular blogs! This week we have an exciting line-up of Early Modern seminars to ease you back into things, as well as a number of conference and other announcements below. As ever, we'd also love to hear about your news and publications, particularly if you'd like to write a guest post.

 

Monday 24 April

  • New Pespectives in Mediterranean History

11:15am, Old Common Room, Balliol College 

Sir Noel Malcolm (All Souls): ‘Tracking a transnational family in the sixteenth-century Mediterranean world: the Brunis and the Brutis’

 

Tuesday 25 April

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Liesbeth Corens (University of Cambridge): 'Counter-Archives and creating communities: early modern English Catholic collecting' 

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Pascale Aebischer (University of Exeter): 'Viewing in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: Social Division and Anamorphic Vision'

  • New Perspectives on the Psalms: A Series of Public Lectures

6.15pm, Ursell Room, Pusey House, St Giles

Henrike Lahnemann: 'Singing the Psalms in 16th-century Germany'

 

Wednesday 26 April

  • Literature and History in Early Modern England

​12.15pm, Lecture Room 6, New College

Jennifer Bishop (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge), ‘Civic Writing: Cultures of Record-Keeping in Early Modern London’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

4:30pm., Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Joint-Session with the Global History Seminar

William Pettigrew and the PEIC group (Kent): 'Transoceanic Constitutions: The Corporation as a Protagonist in Global History, c.1550-1750'

  • Seminar in Early Modern European History

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Helen Watanabe O’Kelly (Oxford): 'Queens Consort, European Court Culture and Cultural Transfer'

  • Seminar in the History of Pre-Modern Science

5pm, All Souls College, Old Library 

Rob Iliffe (Linacre College, Oxford): ‘Fear and loathing of the imagination: the religious foundations of anti-hypotheticalism in early modern natural philosophy’

 

Thursday 27 April

  • Key Words in Early Modern French Culture Seminar

3.30pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Jean-Alexandre Perras (Jesus College): “Génie” 

  • Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

5pm, Gibbs Room, Keble College (in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road).

Peter McCullough (Lincoln College, Oxford): 'Lancelot Andrewes' Reformation Inheritance: The Only Way Is Essex'

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Graduate Showcase

 

In other news: 

Registration is now open for the upcoming CEMS conference Mimesis on Trial (20 May 2017) - the deadline to register for the conference dinner is 10 May. We hope you'll join us!

Further afield, registration is also open until 8 May for "Cultures of Exclusion in the Early Modern World" at the University of Warwick (18-19 May).

The Call for Papers for a conference on "Retailing and Distribution in the Seventeenth Century" at the University of Wolverhampton closes 27 April.

And finally, several members of CEMS are in the Times Literary Supplement this week discussing "Remaking Shakespeare":

 

 

 

Hilary Term 2017

Expand All

 

As another term comes to a close, why not celebrate with some Early Modern seminars (and one postgraduate conference)? Over the vacation, we will be continuing to announce upcoming events on this blog and on our Twitter (@OxfordCEMS). Please do get in touch with any seminar schedules and announcements for Trinity term, and particularly if you'd like to write a short blog post on your research or an upcoming event/publication!

 

Monday 6 March

  • Bodleian Master Classes in Early Modern Manuscripts

2.15pm, Horton Room, Weston Library (Level 1) 

Daniel Smith (KCL): 'A manuscript of John Donne's 'Goodfriday' from the collection of Robert S. Pirie – poor memorial reconstruction, or authorial early version?

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Jim Harris (Ashmolean Museum), Peter Dent (University of Bristol, Dept of Art History): ‘Ghiberti’s Commentarii: A Guide to Looking’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room

Jill Kraye (Warburg Institute, London): ‘What does Renaissance humanism have to do with Renaissance philosophy?’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5pm Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Laurence Brockliss (University of Oxford): ‘The Lure of Paris: The Republic of Letters and Eighteenth-Century Speed-Dating’

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Professor Abigail Williams (St Peter's College): 'Reading and Sociability in the Eighteenth-Century Home'

  • Oxford Bibliographic Society

5.15pm, Weston Library, Lecture Theatre

Emma Smith: 'Marital Marginalia: The Books of Thomas and Isabella Hervey (ca 1675–1694)'

 

Tuesday 7 March

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

John Hunt (Utah Valley): 'Wagering on the Red Hat: Gambling on the Promotion of Cardinals in Sixteenth-Century Rome'

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, St Cross Building, History of the Book Room

Deborah Ramkhelawan: "'Dear Sister Moll': Reading Mary Evelyn’s Childhood Correspondence"
Emily Jennings: "'Balaam's Asse': Apocalypse, Treason, and the Politics of Interpretation in Mid-Jacobean Britain"

 

Wednesday 8 March

  • Early Modern German Culture: An Interdisciplinary Seminar

2pm, Gerry Martin Room, History Faculty (followed by afternoon tea).  

Jan Zdichynec (Charles University, Prague): ‘Abbesses – Nuns – Monks. Disciplining, Communication and Culture in the Cistercian nunneries of Early Modern Upper Lusatia’

Petr Hrachovec (Institute of History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic): ‘Parish, Piety and Providence. The Case of Early Modern Zittau’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Alice Martin (Mount Stuart Trust): 'Mount Stuart: Scotland's Treasure House Past, Present and Future'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Rebekah Higgitt (University of Kent): 'Communicating Longitude after Harrison: the Board of Longitude in the late eighteenth century'

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Final discussion and display of early books in St John’s College Library. ​

 

Thursday 9 March

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Krisztina Szilágyi (University of Cambridge): "The Story of ‘Antar in Jewish and Christian Manuscripts"
 
  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Graduate student presentations:

Chloe Ingersent (Oriel), '(En)Gendering violence in sixteenth-century England'

Joseph Newall (St Cross), ‘A Greate Offendor in His Kind of Writinge': Archbishop Laud and the Prosecution of William Prynne’s Histrio-mastix, 1633–4’

Thomas Pert (Lincoln), 'The Palatine Family c. 1632-48: Experiences of exile in the Thirty Years' War'

William White (St Anne’s), 'Politics and Religion in the Sermons of the Royalist Clergy, 1642-1662'

Micheline Astley-Boden (Christ Church), ‘Religious Violence During the English Civil War’

Hayley Ross (St John’s),"'Popery' and Conscience in Late Seventeenth-Century Anti-Catholic Texts’

  • Thomas Middleton, 'A Trick to Catch the Old One'

4pm, English Faculty

Lectures by Harry McCarthy and Laurie Maguire.

7:30pm, Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall

Performance by Edward's Boys: tickets available here.

 

Friday 10 March

  • Prison/Exile: Controlled Spaces in Early Modern Europe

​Two-day conference (10-11 March), Ertegun House

See the conference website for programme and more information. Free registration is open until 8 March. 

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Professor Rodolfo Savelli, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Università di Genova: 'Printing the Corpus iuris civilis in the Sixteenth Century'

 

In other news:

The abstract deadline for our upcoming conference, "Mimesis on Trial" is 15 March; abstracts for "Cultures of Collecting, 1550-1700" will be accepted until 10 April. Please see the Conferences page for more information on both.

Next week, 13-14 March, the Oxford Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy is hosting a free two-day conference on "Philosophy of/and Education": programme and registration information here.

Registration is also open for the conference 'After Chichele: Intellectual and Cultural Dynamics of the English Church, 1443 to 1517' taking place at St. Anne's College 28-30 June

Finally, enjoy the springtime and don't forget to go outside once in a while...

St Jerome in his Study

 

 

Along with the regular schedule of seminars and events, there are a number of announcements and calls for papers this week - see below!

 

Monday 27 February

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Marco Gentile (Università degli Studi di Parma, Dept of History): ‘The Count’s Funeral. Rural Lordship and the City in Fifteenth-Century Lombardy’ 

  • E.A. Lowe Lectures in Palaeography 3: 'The Fox and the Bees; the First Century of the Library of Corpus Christi College' 

5pm, MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College

Professor Rod Thomson, 'The Library They Produced'

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room 

Mara van der Lugt (Göttingen): ‘The good, the bad, and the ugly: the problem of evil in early modern philosophy’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5 p.m. Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Andrew Kahn (University of Oxford): ‘The Enlightenment Radicalism of Alexander Radishchev’ 

  • Oxford Bibliographic Society

5.15pm, Weston Library, Lecture Theatre

Adam Smyth: "Tatters allegoricall’: reading and not reading printed waste in early modern books"

 

Tuesday 28 February

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

John Hunt (Utah Valley): 'Wagering on the Red Hat: Gambling on the Promotion of Cardinals in Sixteenth-Century Rome'

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Sophie Read (Cambridge), “Spiceworld: God & the Metaphysics of Scent in some Seventeenth-Century Poetry"

 

Wednesday 1 March

  • Engaging with the Humanities

​12.15pm, Saïd Business School, Park End Street

Professor Ben Morgan, 'Shakespeare's Conviviality'

Registration is required for this event; see here for more information.

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

William Ashworth (Liverpool): 'The Gifts of Athena Revisited: Protectionism, Regulation and the British Industrial Revolution, 1700-1800'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Clara Silvia Roero (University of Turin): 'M.G. Agnesi (1718–1799): The first Italian woman to write a treatise of calculus' 

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5 pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Torsten Hiltmann (University of Münster): 'Coats of Arms in Books and Beyond: The Objectivation of Heraldry and Its Materiality'

 

Thursday 2 March

  • Democracy and its Discontents: Rousseau, Robespierre, Paine

12.15pm, TORCH, Radcliffe Humanities Building

Olivier Tonneau (University of Cambridge): 'Justice as prudence: Robespierre's struggle to prevent terror (1789-1792)'

Yannick Bosc (Rouen): 'Thomas Paine and Robespierre: the Terror of the Rights of Man'

Daniel Thévenon (University of Cambridge): 'Rousseau, Freedom and the French Revolution'

See here for more information.

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Thomas Roebuck (University of East Anglia): "Thomas Smith (1638-1710) and His Journey to the Levant: Continuities and Transformations in Oriental Scholarship"

  • Key Words in Early Modern French Culture Seminar

3.30pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Jean-Alexandre Perras (Jesus College): “Génie” 

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Graduate student presentations:

Emily Glassford (Lincoln), ‘Excess, Corruption, and Sin: Cultural Stereotypes of Strangers in London and at the English Court, c. 1450-1558'

Joel Butler (Wadham), 'The Levant Company and Anglo-Ottoman Diplomacy in the sixteenth century: Re-Orienting Perspectives’

Christopher Gausden (Jesus), ‘The English View of the Scottish Court, 1594: The Baptism of Prince Henry’

Michael Heimos (St Cross), ‘In the night the heart doeth wander…’ – Koheleth and Expression, Practical Divinity, and Community in England, 1585 – 1603’

Matthew Ward (Kellogg), 'The political and religious thought of John Vesey: a chapter in the Anglo-Irish reception of Thomas Hobbes'

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

David LaGuardia (Dartmouth College): 'On the Practices of Memory: The Case of Jeanne d’Albret and Catherine de Médicis'

Friday 3 March

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Dr Paul Needham, Scheide Library, Princeton University Library: 'The Gutenberg Bible in the Context of Fifteenth-Century Manuscript Bibles'

  • Getting Your Hands Dirty With the Digital Manuscripts Toolkit

3-5pm, Centre for Digital Scholarship, Weston Library

Spaces are limited and advance registration is required; see here for more information.

 

In other news: 

CEMS has launched a Call for Papers for another one-day conference, titled "Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750" (14 June 2017, CFP deadline 10 April). We are also still accepting abstracts for "Mimesis on Trial" (20 May 2017), with the deadline coming up 15 March -- please see here for more information on both and email your abstracts to natasha.simonova@ell.ox.ac.uk .

The Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar is looking for DPhil students and postdocs to present posters about their research: details can be found here; the deadline for expressions of interest is 11 March, coinciding with the TORCH humanities poster competition.

Registration is now open for the Prison/Exile: Controlled Spaces in Early Modern Europe conference taking place at Ertegun House 10-11 March. 

Registration also is open for a conference on The Book Index (22-23 June 2017) hosted by the Centre for the History of the Book.

Ole Worm's Museum

 

 

As well as the first two E.A. Lowe Lectures in Palaeography at Corpus Christi College (whose founder enjoined its scholars to be like "ingenious bees" creating wax and honey day and night), this week features all manner of seminars for the cross-pollination of ideas.

Monday 20 February

  • Bodleian Master Classes in Early Modern Manuscripts

2.15pm, Horton Room, Weston Library (Level 1) 

Justin Begley (Oxford): 'Margaret Cavendish in the Bodleian: Gifts, Corrections, and Annotations'

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

James Shaw (University of Sheffield, Dept of History): ‘Women as creditors, debtors and intermediaries: the informal economy of credit in seventeenth-century Venice’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room

Catherine Wilson (York and All Souls College, Oxford): ‘The image of man in the Comte de Buffon’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5pm Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Kate Marsh (University of Liverpool): ‘Enlightenment from India? France, India and Global Exchanges, c. 1721-99’ 

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Dr Aaron Hanlon (Colby College): 'Fanny Hill and the Enlightenment History of Pain'

 

Tuesday 21 February

  • Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Legalism Seminar

4.30pm, Wolfson College

Martin Ingram  (Faculty of History, University of Oxford) 'Manners and Morals: Codes of Civility in Early Modern England'

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Jane Stevens Crawshaw (Oxford Brookes): 'Cleaning the streets: the changing place of prostitution and piety in Renaissance Genoa'

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, St Cross Building, History of the Book Room

Christopher Gausden: "Laelius: Sir Henry Lee (1533-1611), Literature and Politics"
Andrea Davidson: "Women Against Redemptive Suffering: Transverberation and the Nightingale in Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum"

 

Wednesday 22 February

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Elaine Tierney (Victoria and Albert Museum): 'Producing the City: Festival Design and 'Middlemen' in London and Paris, 1660-1715'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Benjamin Wardhaugh (University of Oxford): 'Success, failure and change in Georgian mathematics’ 

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Stephen Milner (University of Manchester): 'Book Cultures: Forensic Science and Textual Hermeneutics'

  • The Medieval and Renaissance Research Cluster of Keble’s Advanced Studies Centre presents

'Healthy Sleep and the Early Modern Household'

Dr Sasha Handley, University of Manchester

Dr Handley’s most recent monograph, Sleep in Early Modern England, explores the evolution in patterns and practices of sleep, examining particularly the ways in which accepted notions of sleep were challenged by medical thinking in the mid-seventeenth century. Arguing that sleep is as dependent on culture as it is on biological and environmental factors, Dr Handley’s research reveals the way our notions of health, the body, magic, and science have intertwined and collided over our history.

Gibbs Room, Keble College

  • E.A. Lowe Lectures in Palaeography: 'The Fox and the Bees; the First Century of the Library of Corpus Christi College' 

5pm, MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College

Professor Rod Thomson, 'The Founder as Shaping Force: Richard Fox and his Books'

Professor Thomson is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at the University of Tasmania.  He has written extensively about books, libraries and learning in medieval Europe, with special attention to the monk and scholar William of Malmesbury.  He has compiled six descriptive catalogues of medieval manuscripts in English collections.

 

Thursday 23 February

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Philipp Nothaft (All Souls): 'Franciscan Hebraism and Calendar Improvement in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century'
 
  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Sir John Holt: Courts, Corporations and the Crafting of the Constitutional Landscape after 1688 
Preparatory reading: P. Halliday, Dismembering the Body Politic: Partisan Politics in England's Towns 1650-1730 (1998), esp. ch. 8; H. Nenner, By Colour of Law, Legal Culture and Constitutional Politics in England, 1660-1689 (1977); P. Hamburger, ‘Revolution and Judicial Review: Chief Justice Holt's Opinion in City of London v. Wood’, Columbia Law Review, 94 (1994), 2091-2153. 
George Artley (University of Oxford)

  • Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music

5-7pm, All Souls, Wharton Room

Uri Smilansky (King’s College, London): 'Drugs, Sex, Medieval Cultural Politics and the Learned Musicians of 18th Century Paris: Surviving the Centuries as a Machaut Manuscript'

 

Friday 24 February

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Dr David Speranzi, Firenze, Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento: 'Greek Script and Type in the Fifteenth century. Demetrius Damilas between Milan and Florence'

  • E.A. Lowe Lectures in Palaeography 2: 'The Fox and the Bees; the First Century of the Library of Corpus Christi College' 

5pm, MBI Al Jaber Auditorium, Corpus Christi College

Professor Rod Thomson, 'The First President as Fox's Instrument: John Claymond's Donations'

 

Beekeeping, tacuinum sanitatis casanatensis (14th century)

 

 

As we pass the halfway point of term, escape the cold and the Week 5 blues with Early Modern seminars across a wide range of disciplines:

Monday 13 February

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Julian Gardner (University of Warwick, Dept of Art History): ‘Moving Pictures: Cardinals in Copes’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room (access is via the entrance to the College on the High Street – please ask at the porter’s lodge for further directions, or consult the information at www.asc.ox.ac.uk/visiting-the-college).

Theodor Dunkelgrun (CRASSH, Cambridge): 'Two concepts of purity: limpieza de sangre and hebraica veritas in Renaissance Spain’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5 p.m. Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Ritchie Robertson (University of Oxford): Discussion of Isaiah Berlin and the Enlightenment, ed. by Laurence Brockliss and Ritchie Robertson (OUP, 2016) 

 

Tuesday 14 February

  • Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Legalism Seminar

4.30pm, Wolfson College

Jan Lorenz (Department of Anthropology, Adam Mickiewicz University): 'Within the law: The ethical and legal aspects of Polish conversions to Judaism'

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Simon Smith (Birmingham), “Playgoing, Pleasure and Judgement in Early Modern England”

 

Wednesday 15 February

  • 'Senses and Sensations' Graduate Study Group 

12pm, Chough Room, St Edmund Hall

How do texts convey sounds or smells, shock or shame? How are the most subjective of bodily experiences, from sweet tastes to bitter pain, expressed in literature? There’s nothing to read in advance: just turn up ready to see, hear, and share ideas from across all time periods. (Please feel free to bring your lunch, to eat while we discuss!) All welcome. 

Week 5 discussion: 'Sight and the early modern stage' 

  • 'Reading Images' Workshops at the Ashmolean Museum

​1pm, New Douce Room, Ashmolean

Alice Little (DPhil Music, University of Oxford): 'Collecting Places: John Malchair’s drawings of eighteenth-century Oxford in the context of his music collecting'

  • Early Modern German Culture: An Interdisciplinary Seminar

2pm, Gerry Martin Room, History Faculty (followed by afternoon tea).  

Allison Stielau (UCL), ‘Souvenir of Siege: The Early Modern Notklippe’

Hannah Murphy (KCL), ‘The Arts of Measurement in Early Modern Germany’

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Eleanor Bland (Sheffield): 'Policing and the Identification of Offenders in Metropolitan London, 1780-1850'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge): 'British orientalism and the exactitude of Indian sciences'

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5 pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Stella Panayotova (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge): 'Painting on Parchment'

 

Thursday 16 February

  • ‘What’s so early modern about the Early Modern World?’, a round-table discussion with opening reflections by John Darwin (Nuffield), Christopher Markiewicz (Exeter), Christine Woodhead (Durham), and John-Paul Ghobrial (Balliol).

11:15am, in the Old Common Room, Balliol College. 

Pre-circulated readings can be obtained from john-paul.ghobrial@history.ox.ac.uk:

Jack A. Goldstone, ‘The Problem of the “Early Modern” World’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 41.3 (1998), 249-284.

Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘Connected Histories: Notes towards a Reconfiguration of Early Modern Eurasia’, Modern Asian Studies 31.3 (July 1997), 735-762.

  • Key Words in Early Modern French Culture Seminar

3.30pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Edward Nye (Lincoln College): “Pre-Romanticism” 

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Loyalist Catholicism Reconsidered: Sir Thomas Tresham and the Elizabethan regime in the 1580s 
Preparatory reading:S. Kaushik, 'Resistance, loyalty and recusant politics: Sir Thomas Tresham and the Elizabethan state’ , Midland History 21 (1996), 37-72; E. Rose, Cases of Conscience: alternatives open to recusants and Puritans under Elizabeth I and James I (1975) esp. ch. 4; G. Kilroy, Edmund Campion: a scholarly Life (2015), esp. chs. 6, 9, & 11. 
Katie McKeogh (University of Oxford)

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Kate Tunstall (University of Oxford): "The Making of Diderot-philosophe, 1765-82” 

  • Literature and Medicine Seminar

6.15pm, Green Templeton College,  Abrahams lecture theatre

Laurie Maguire (University of Oxford): 'Imitating Illness, Imitating Plays: VolponeOthello and King Lear.'

 

In other news: 

The @OxfordCEMS Twitter feed continues to be your daily one-stop shop for Early Modern events, announcements, conference CFPs, and the occasional pretty picture. As we approach 1000 followers, we welcome suggestions for what we should do to celebrate!

 

It's busy week for Early Modern research, with a number of new and one-off events across a range of time-periods and disciplines listed below! As always, please get in touch if there's anything you'd like to see featured, or if you're interested in writing a blog post to share your news or work in progress.

 

Monday 6 February

  • The Relation of Literature and Learning to Social Hierarchy in Early Modern Europe

2.00pm (ending by 3.30pm), Wharton Room, All Souls College

Richard McCabe (Merton College, Oxford): Literary Patronage and Hierarch

Lisa Sampson (UCL): Learning and Theatre in the Italian Academies

  • The third annual joint Classics and English lecture: APGRD Public Lecture

2.15pm, Ioannou Centre Lecture Theatre, 66 St Giles'. Free, all welcome, no booking required.

Victoria Moul (KCL), ‘The Other Muse: Latin and English Poetry in the Seventeenth Century’

  • Bodleian Master Classes in Early Modern Manuscripts

2.15pm, Horton Room, Weston Library (Level 1) 

Chris Fletcher (Bodleian): '"Good Mr Wagstaffe": a project team presentation showcasing new electronic student editions of early modern letters in the Bodleian'

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Hannah Kinney (University of Oxford, Dept of Art History): ‘Originality and Ownership in Grand Ducal Florence’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room (access is via the entrance to the College on the High Street – please ask at the porter’s lodge for further directions, or consult the information at www.asc.ox.ac.uk/visiting-the-college).

Niccolo Guicciardini: ‘The publication of Newton’s Opera omnia in Geneva and Lausanne (1739–1761): a chapter in the reception of Newtonianism’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5pm Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Paul Monod (Middlebury College): ‘Voltaire and the Jacobites, 1722-1733’ 

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Old Library, Hertford College

Dr Ryan Hanley (New College, Oxford): '"The poor woman's fair fame and reputation": Mary Prince, Slavery, and the Celebrity of Victimhood'

 

Tuesday 7 February

  • Early Modern Catholicism Seminar

​5pm, Wolfson College, Seminar Room 3

Aislinn Muller (Cambridge): 'Regnans in Excelsis and Catholic Missions to England'

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, St Cross Building, History of the Book Room

Natalya Din-Kariuki: "Making Friends in Strange Places: Henry Blount's Voyage into the Levant (1636) and the Rhetoric of Similitude"
Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull: "Grave Matters: New Interpretations of Mary Lady Chudleigh’s 'Epitaph'"

 

Wednesday 8 February

  • 'Senses and Sensations' Graduate Study Group 

12pm, Chough Room, St Edmund Hall

How do texts convey sounds or smells, shock or shame? How are the most subjective of bodily experiences, from sweet tastes to bitter pain, expressed in literature? There’s nothing to read in advance: just turn up ready to see, hear, and share ideas from across all time periods. (Please feel free to bring your lunch, to eat while we discuss!) All welcome. 

Week 4 discussion: Performing sound in Thomas Tomkis’ Lingua (c. 1607). 

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Emma Page (Kellogg): 'Place and Power: the Landed Gentry of the West Solent Region in the Eighteenth Century'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Richard Oosterhoff (University of Cambridge): 'Reforming Mathematical Physics in Renaissance Paris’ 

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Katrin Kogman Appel (University of Münster / Ben-Gurion University of the Negev): 'The Manuscript/Print Age in Jewish Book History: The Different Audiences of the Illustrated Passover Haggadah'

 

Thursday 9 February

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Peter Hill (Christ Church College, Oxford): "The First Arabic Translations of Enlightenment Literature: Syrians, Greeks and Franks in Damietta, 1808-1818"

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Charles I's most loyal subject: Thomas Harrison and the Sin of Uzzah 
Preparatory reading: ‘The trial of Thomas Harrison,’ in Cobbett’s Complete Collection of State Trials, vol. 3 (1809), 1369-82; Noel Malcolm, ‘Thomas Harrison and his “Ark of Studies”: An Episode in the History of the Organization of Knowledge’, Seventeenth Century, 19 (2004), 196-232; .David Cressy, Charles I and the People of England (Oxford, 2015), pp. 177-209 (‘Importunate Petitioners’); 2 Samuel 6: 1-7 or 1 Chronicles 13: 7-11. 
Prof David Cressy (Claremont Graduate University and Christ Church)

  • Seminar in Medieval and Renaissance Music

5-7pm, All Souls, Wharton Room

Christian Thomas Leitmeir (Magdalen College), ‘The Mendicants and the Motet’

 

Friday 10 February

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Dr Jeremiah Dittmar, Department of Economics, London School of Economics: 'The Price of Books in Early Modern Europe: An Economic Perspective'

 

In other news:

The Lexicons of Early Modern English project at the University of Toronto is now open access, allowing you to search a large variety of dictionaries published between 1480 and 1755. 

 

 

 

Monday 30 January

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Diana Presciutti (University of Essex, Dept of Art History): ‘Marble, Grisaille, Print: Materials and Visual Hagiography in Renaissance Italy’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room (access is via the entrance to the College on the High Street – please ask at the porter’s lodge for further directions, or consult the information at www.asc.ox.ac.uk/visiting-the-college).

Nicholas Hardy (University Library, Cambridge): ‘Biblical typology and Protestant scholarship, from Joseph Scaliger (d. 1609) to Jean Le Clerc (d. 1736)’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5 p.m. Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Peter Jones (University of Birmingham): ‘Agricultural Enlightenment: the Knowledge-Based Approach to Growth in the Rural Economy, c. 1750-1840’ 

 

Tuesday 31 January

  • Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Legalism Seminar

4.30pm, Wolfson College

Andrew Simpson (School of Law, University of Aberdeen): 'The Invention of New Law in the Poetry of Sir Richard Maitland of Lethington (ca.1496–1586)'

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Victoria van Hyning (Oxford), “English Convent Autobiography, 1630-1795”

 

Wednesday 1 February

  • 'Reading Images' Workshops at the Ashmolean Museum

​1pm, New Douce Room, Ashmolean

Vittoria Fallanca (DPhil Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford): 'Thinking drawing differently (with some help from Boucher and Montaigne)'

  • Early Modern German Culture: An Interdisciplinary Seminar

2pm, Gerry Martin Room, History Faculty (followed by afternoon tea).  

Emilie Dosquet (IMHC, Paris),  'Of Fire and Ink: the Fabrication of the Desolation of the Palatinate (1688–9). On Some German Aspects of a European Event'  

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Alice Little (St. Cross): 'What did Oxford sound like in 1784? A Musical Snapshot based on the Tune Collections of J. B. Malchair'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Davide Crippa (Academy of Sciences, Prague): 'The controversy between Gregory and Huygens on the quadrature of the circle'

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5 pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Cristina Dondi (Lincoln College): 'The Economic Dimension of Early Printing: Book Prices in Venice (1484-88), from the Zornale of Francesco de Madiis'

 

Thursday 2 February

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Ada Rapoport-Albert (University College, London): "Trans-cultural Sectarians: The Messianic Cult of Jacob Frank and His Daughter in Eighteenth-Century Poland"

  • Key Words in Early Modern French Culture Seminar

3.30pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Catriona Seth (University of Oxford): “Salon” 

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

"My Authority is Absolute”: Mapping the Political Landscape of Later Stuart Cornwall and South-West Wales 
Preparatory reading: D.W. Hayton, The House of Commons, 1690-1715: Introductory Survey (2002), pp. 124-31, 137-40; A.H. Dodd, Studies in Stuart Wales (1952), ch. 5. 
James Harris (University of Oxford)

  • Literature and Medicine Seminar

6.15pm, Green Templeton College,  Abrahams lecture theatre

Evelyn Welch,  Professor of Renaissance Studies at King’s College London, speaks about 'Renaissance Skin'

 

Friday 3 February

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Professor Stephen Oakley, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge University: 'Incunabular Stemmatics'

 

In other news: 

The Folger Shakespeare Library has launched the beta site of Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO), which provides transcriptions, metadata and images of manuscripts from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The proposal deadline for "Mobility and Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe" is on Wednesday, 1 February -- see the conferences page for details.

CEMS' own Professor Rhodri Lewis is in the Times Literary Supplement with a topical contribution:

 

 

After completing his DPhil, Niall Allsopp joined the English Faculty and Oriel College as a Departmental Lecturer in Michaelmas 2016. As part of this series of introductions to new members of staff, he tells us a bit about his current work and research interests.

 

Niall Allsopp

My core interest is in how early-modern writers fashioned ideas of social cohesion and mutual obligation, during a period in which these concepts were heavily tested and contested. I am particularly interested in the English Revolution and the works of Thomas Hobbes. I am interested in Hobbes as a literary author in his own right, but whose intellectual influence opens up new approaches to major poets—those who are neglected (Cowley, Davenant), those who need revisiting (Dryden), and those who still command wide attention today (Marvell, Milton). I am interested in critical close reading, alongside book history, archival research, and intellectual and political history.

In my doctoral thesis I explored how poets re-thought the nature of sovereignty and obligation in the ideological vacuum left behind by the collapse of the Stuart monarchy in the late 1640s. I investigated the impact of Hobbes—his theories of language, psychology, and political relations—on the key poems of the 1650s. I tried to show the vitality of a radical body of political theory from outside of the conventional royalist and republican canons: focusing on writers who abandoned the former without embracing the latter. A couple of side-projects which emerged from the thesis have been published as articles: on readers’ satirical annotations to Davenant’s poetry, and on Hobbes’s impact on the literary controversies of the 1660s. I passed my viva in January 2016, and am now working on turning the thesis into a monograph, which will be called Hobbes and the Poets of the English Revolution.

Marvell Horatian Ode

Several questions have preoccupied me since finishing my thesis. I am pondering how to teach the English Civil Wars, how to excite undergraduates about the amazing writing of this period, and how to convey the historiographical controversies which have energized so much of the scholarship in ways that will unlock (rather than stifle) engaged and sophisticated work. Conversely, teaching the Oxford course—whose period boundaries bisect my area of interest—has challenged me to think how my work interacts with longer-term trends, both from the Elizabethan and early Stuart period, and into the later Restoration, the Williamite revolution, and the early eighteenth century. As I teach these periods this year (along with the Shakespeare paper), I will be on the lookout for connections, leads, and sources.

In answering the latter question I have started on two new research projects. Both involve intersections between the history of political ideas, the history of reading, and literary criticism; and both involve Hobbes. The first concerns the changing nature of the early-modern epic, and how our view of this might change if we experiment with looking beyond the (understandable) dominance of Paradise Lost. I am currently thinking about how epic projects ideas of statehood and sovereignty, particularly in the context of seafaring narratives. My second question focuses on the experience of ritual—in texts and in everyday life—and how this was changed by the English Revolution. I want to learn more about how early-modern authors understood the ritual properties of texts themselves, their capacity to transform, affirm, or oblige.

 

 

Thanks to everyone for your kind words about the new CEMS website, and to all who have submitted profiles to be affiliated with us -- we're particularly keen to hear from current DPhil students.

Here are all of the many Early Modern events taking place this week. As always, let us know if there's anything you'd like included in future round-ups, or if you'd like to write a blog post relating to a publication/event/your current research. 

 

Monday 23 January

  • Bodleian Master Classes in Early Modern Manuscripts

2.15pm, Horton Room, Weston Library (Level 1) 

Victoria Pickering (QMUL): 'Richard Richardson and his 'Botanick friends': Bodleian correspondence and natural history in the early eighteenth century'

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Catherine Whistler (Ashmolean Museum, Dept of Western Art): ‘Drawing and Venice’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room (access is via the entrance to the College on the High Street – please ask at the porter’s lodge for further directions, or consult the information at www.asc.ox.ac.uk/visiting-the-college).

Felix Waldmann (Christ’s College, Cambridge): ‘The Chair of Ethics in the University of Naples, 1703–69’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5pm Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Vittoria Feola (Università degli Studi di Padova): ‘Prince Eugene of Savoy and the Radical Enlightenment: A Reappraisal’ 

  • Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture Seminar

5:15pm, Christ Church Library

Archive Workshop: The Brady Collection, Christ Church College Library (please congregate at the Library lobby 5pm) 

 

Tuesday 24 January

  • Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Legalism Seminar

4.30pm, Wolfson College

David d’Avray (Department of History, UCL): 'Social Systems and the Internal Legal Forum, with special reference to the Papal Penitentiary'

  • Early Modern Graduate Forum

5.15pm, St Cross Building, History of the Book Room

Edwina Christie: "Reading Seventeenth-Century Prose Romances"
Jonathon Iverson: "Philosophies of 'Taste' in English (and French) Cookery Books of the Seventeenth Century"

 

Wednesday 25 January

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Simon Lewis (University College): 'Early Anti-Methodism as a Disguise for Heterodoxy'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

David Rabouin (CNRS, Paris):  ‘A Fresh Look at Leibniz’s mathesis universalis’

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

Oren Margolis (Somerville College): 'Divine Impressions: Aldus Manutius and Catherine of Siena'

 

Thursday 26 January

  • Traditions in Motion: The Circulation of Texts, 1100-1900

2.15pm, Quarrell Room, Exeter College

Alastair Hamilton (American University in Cairo): "Johann Michael Wansleben: an early use of Arabic sources in Ottoman Egypt"

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

"The Country conquers it self” - The Idea of Conquest and the English Civil War 
Preparatory reading: John Pocock, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law: a reissue with a retrospect, (1987); Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, (2002), Vol. 3, Ch. 8 (‘History and Ideology in the English Revolution’); Johann Sommerville, ‘History and Theory: the Norman Conquest in Early Stuart Political Thought’, Political Studies, 34 (1986), 249‐261. 
Jonas Pollex (University of Oxford)

Friday 27 January

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Dr Louis-Gabriel Bonicoli, Paris: 'Parisian Early Printed Book Illustration (around 1500)'

 

In other news:

"Shakespeare's World", one of many groundbreaking Early Modern projects at Oxford (and an excellent tool for palaeographic training and procrastination), was featured in The New Yorker:

 

 

Lorna Hutson is the Merton Professor of English Literature and Co-Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, who joined the University of Oxford in Michaelmas 2016. 

 

Lorna Hutson

I’m delighted to be returning, at this late stage in my career, to Oxford, where I first studied English Literature as an undergraduate and then completed a DPhil on Thomas Nashe, under the supervision of Professor Emrys Jones. But I am also delighted, as part of my role as Merton Professor, to be taking on the co-directorship of the Centre for Early Modern Studies. The interdisciplinary mission of CEMS – which seeks to promote the study of the early modern period throughout the university – chimes with all that I’ve found most rewarding in my own research.

Back in the 1980s, when I was doing my DPhil, New Historicism was just beginning to take hold and to transform us all from literary critics into analysts of the poetics of early modern culture. These were stimulating times. I was already reading lots of social and economic history, trying to understand Nashe’s fascination with figures of scarcity and excess. I found the increasingly cultural, theoretical and material turn of literary studies in the 1990s liberating and illuminating, yet I didn’t want literary studies to become a mere branch of cultural history. At Queen Mary University of London I was lucky enough to work with Lisa Jardine, and was very influenced by her feminist critique of Renaissance humanism, but I was also a big fan of Terence Cave’s The Cornucopian Text (1979)I think in my work from that period -- Thomas Nashe in Context (1989), the article, ‘Reading for the Plot in Sixteenth Century England’ (Representations, 1993) and The Usurer’s Daughter (1994) – I tried to blend my pleasure in the figurative quality of literary language with a more sceptical analysis of the cultural work literature performs. I became interested in rhetoric and plot. I explored new ways of reading late sixteenth century prose narratives, discovering how they rework humanist and classical texts on husbandry and household governance,, on friendship, and on military strategy.

In the later 1990s I began to be intrigued by relations between legal thinking and fictional composition in sixteenth-century England. Reading the law reports of Edmund Plowden, I found that the legal fiction of the ‘King’s Two Bodies’ was part of a broader contemporary interest in the hermeneutics of interpreting laws equitably. Equitable interpretation has, as many critics have shown, affinities with fiction. Around this time, I spent a brief but enjoyable time at the University of Hull, and was then appointed Professor at the University of California at Berkeley. At Berkeley I collaborated with Victoria Kahn to edit an interdisciplinary collection on Rhetoric and Law in Early Modern Europe (Yale, 2001). Some people speak of the rise of ‘law and literature’ in these years, but I prefer Bernadette Meyler’s idea of a triangulation of law, literature and history. As early modern social history has been invigorated by turning to legal records, so literary critics have come to recognise that kinship relations and the powerful emotions associated with love and family are very often legally structured – and nowhere more so than in early modern English drama, whether revenge tragedy or city comedy. And for those who think that legal approaches are anachronistically secularising, it’s worth pondering the extent to which theology itself draws on legal ways of thinking. In all religions in which the dead are judged, noted Jacques Le Goff, the afterlife is modelled on earthly justice.

While I was at Berkeley, I was given a Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue a project on how forensic rhetoric – questions of proof and evidence – shaped aspects of the narrative form of English Renaissance drama. I found that the participatory nature of the English justice system meant that forensic forms of inquiry into fact and motive were popularly diffused in ways that resonate with the narrative and ideological forms of English drama, whether comedy, history or tragedy. This research – which critiqued the application to English drama of Foucault’s model of spectacular punishment– was published as ‘Rethinking the Spectacle of the Scaffold’ and ‘Forensic Aspects of Renaissance Mimesis’ (Representations, 2005 and 2006) and as a  monograph entitled, The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (2007).

Circumstantial Shakespeare cover

At the University of St Andrews, to which I moved in 2004, I had the good fortune to work with Professor John Hudson, an expert on mediaeval Anglo-Norman law. Together we founded CMEMLL, the Centre for Mediaeval and Early Modern Law and Literature. Since 2011, CMEMLL has been a vigorous forum for interdisciplinary research, supporting, among many other things, work for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700.

My most recent book, Circumstantial Shakespeare (2015), was based on the Wells Shakespeare Lectures at Oxford in 2012. I looked at the way in which Shakespeare’s innovative creation of imagined offstage worlds and the inner lives of dramatic characters draws on legal rhetoric, specifically, the so-called ‘topics of circumstance’ which examine time and place in relation to questions of guilt and innocence. As well as my work on law and literature, I have kept up scholarly interests in women’s writing and in the history of sexuality as well as in the writings of Ben Jonson, on whose plays I have written articles for Representations and ELH and whose commonplace book, Discoveries, I edited for the Cambridge Complete Works of Ben Jonson (2012). And in this, my first year in post as Merton Professor, I am completing the final year of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, which looks at Anglo-Scots literary and legal fictions of the two polities in the century leading up to Shakespeare’s great tragedies.

 Any profile of research, like this one, underplays the role of colleagues, students and teaching and administration in one’s intellectual life. I’ve learned so much from teaching students from all nationalities and backgrounds in institutions in three different countries. Students – both undergraduate and graduate – have,  with their energy and their scepticism, kept me interested in the important questions. Here at Oxford, I look forward to all the opportunities to engage, through CEMS and through the Faculty of English, with the full and dazzling range of colleagues’ and students’ research in the early modern period. 

 

 

As we kick off another term, here is a digest of the exciting Early Modern events taking place in Oxford this week. In addition, have a look at the newly-posted Call for Papers for the upcoming CEMS conference, "Mimesis on Trial" (deadline 15 March).

If there is anything you would like included in future round-ups, please drop us a line.

 

Monday 16 January

  • Italian Renaissance Seminar

5pm, St Catherine’s College

Heather Webb (University of Cambridge, Dept of Italian): ‘Botticelli’s Illustrations of Dante’s Paradiso: The Construction of Conjoined Vision’ 

  • All Souls College Seminar in Early Modern Intellectual History

5.00–6.45pm, All Souls, Hovenden Room (access is via the entrance to the College on the High Street – please ask at the porter’s lodge for further directions, or consult the information at www.asc.ox.ac.uk/visiting-the-college).

Dmitri Levitin (All Souls College, Oxford): 'What was the comparative history of religion in seventeenth-century Europe? And why did Pierre Bayle believe in virtuous atheists?’ 

  • Besterman Enlightenment Workshop

5 p.m. Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road)

Ruggero Sciuto (University of Oxford): ‘Diderot and d’Holbach on Causal Necessitation’ 

 

Tuesday 17 January

  • Early Modern Literature Seminar

5.15pm, Ertegun House

Maggie Kilgour (McGill): “What did Milton Learn from Shakespeare? The Matter of Macbeth”

 

Wednesday 18 January

  • Early Modern German Culture: An Interdisciplinary Seminar

2pm, Gerry Martin Room, History Faculty (followed by afternoon tea).  

Alix Cooper (Stonybrook University, NY), ‘Family Matters: Natural Knowledge in the Early Modern German Household.’  

  • Graduate Seminar in History 1680-1850

5 p.m.,  Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College (ask at the college lodge for directions). Tea and Coffee will be served from 4.45pm. All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.

Simon Skinner (Balliol): 'Pride and Partridges: Peel and Guns'

  • Seminar in the History of the Exact Sciences

5.00pm, All Souls College, Hovenden Room

Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London): 'Full Satisfaction: Early Modern Science and Patronage Revisited'

  • Late Medieval Europe Seminar: Paper and Parchment

5 pm, St John’s College, New Seminar Room

John Gagné (University of Sydney): 'Toward a History of Obliteration in the Age of Paper'

 

Thursday 19 January

  • Key Words in Early Modern French Culture Seminar

3.30pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

​Richard Scholar (Oriel College): “Ancients and Moderns” 

  • Early Modern British History Seminar

5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45)

Ned Ward and Laughter at the end of the Seventeenth Century 
Preparatory reading: Quentin Skinner, 'Why laughing mattered in the Renaissance', History of Political Thought, 22/3 (2001); Jan Bremner and Herman Roodenburg (eds), A Cultural History of Humour (1997), introduction. 
Dr Kate Davison (University of Oxford)

  • Early Modern French Seminar

5.15pm, Maison Française Library (2-10 Norham Road)

Mark Ledbury (University of Sydney):  “Playing the Game of History Painting: François Boucher’s Billiard Room Brilliance” 

 

Friday 20 January

  • The Seminar in the History of the Book

2.15pm, in the Weston Library, Visiting Scholars’ Centre (Level 2)

Professor Ian Maclean (All Souls College, Oxford): 'The Italian Trade with the Frankfurt Book Fair around 1600'

 

And from our Twitter, an Early Modern manuscript from the Bodleian with a small feline surprise: 

 

 

We're very pleased to introduce the new and improved website for the Centre for Early Modern Studies! We hope that it will become a hub for researchers in Oxford and beyond to learn more about each other’s work and relevant news and events. Although based in the English Faculty, CEMS is an interdisciplinary centre with an inclusive approach to the period in all its variety.

Some of what you might expect to find on this blog in coming weeks and months:

  • Early Modern news from Oxford
  • Announcements of conferences, seminars, and publications
  • Introductions to new members of staff
  • Guest posts from researchers about their work in progress

If you are planning an event, have recently had a book published, or have a research story to share, we want to hear from you! Please get in touch with Natasha Simonova, the CEMS Research Coordinator, at natasha.simonova@ell.ox.ac.uk; you can also find us on Twitter @OxfordCEMS.

 

List of site pages