Cultures of Collecting, 1500-1750
a one-day conference organised by the Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Oxford
Wednesday 14 June 2017, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
On the 400th anniversary of the birth of Elias Ashmole, we invite proposals that address any aspect of the cultures of collecting in England and Europe, ca. 1500-1750, from any disciplinary perspective, including material culture, art history, visual studies, museum studies, social history, and literary scholarship. Papers might focus on major early modern collectors (Hans Sloane, Elias Ashmole, John Tradescant Jr and Sr), but also lesser-known figures. What were the motives and mechanics of collecting? How did early moderns understand curiosity and preservation; wonder and taxonomy; variety and system? What was the relationship between utility and display? How did Wunderkammern shape and transmit new categories of knowledge? What were the links between cabinets of curiosities and book collections and libraries? How did the practices of collecting shape broader cultural trends? How do literary texts respond to collecting? Is there a connection between collecting objects and the circulation and gathering of commonplaces; between gathering things and gatherings words (or literary invention)? What were the relationships between collecting, biography, and self-expression? How ideological were collections, and how was the politics of collecting expressed and understood? What are the methodological challenges of reconstructing collections today? How can we read catalogues and textual records of now-dispersed collections?
Registration now open.
8:30 – 9:00 Coffee, registration and welcome
9:00 – 10.30 Collecting and Identity
- Laura Moretti (St. Andrews), ‘The collection of prints and drawings of the Florentine Niccolò Gaddi (1536–91)’
- Tim Somers (Queen’s University Belfast), ‘Collecting printed ephemera as a form of early modern autobiography’
- Peter Davidson (Oxford), ‘Athanasius Kircher's Museum: the Jesuit Microcosm’
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45 Methodologies and Digital Curation
- Kathryn Eccles and Howard Hotson (Oxford), ‘CABINET: Curating Digital Collections for Teaching and Research’
- Beatrice Montedoro (Oxford), ‘Collecting Dramatic Extracts in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century’
11:45 – 12:00 Break
12:00 – 1:30 Text, Leaf, Book, Collection
- Ted Tregear (Cambridge), ‘Shakespeare in the Word-Museums’
- Esther Osorio Whewell (Cambridge), ‘Devotional Dialectics: Lancelot Andrewes’s Preces Privatae and the logic of collecting prayers’
- Didi van Trijp (Leiden), ‘Pressing Fish Between Leaves: Collecting the World Underwater in Eighteenth Century Europe’
1:30 – 2:15 Lunch
2:15 – 3:45 Collecting Spaces
- Joshua Eckhardt (Virginia Commonwealth University), ‘The shelf life of historical context: resorting the Bridgewater library’
- Jill Whitelock (Cambridge University Library), ‘Cabinets and curiosities: the Dome Room at Cambridge University Library in the early eighteenth century’
- Leah R Clark (Open University), ‘Objects, Sociability, and the Spaces of Collection in Renaissance Italy’
3:45 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 5:30 The Social Work of Collecting
- Federica Gigante (Warburg Institute/SOAS), ‘From Florence to Bologna: Ferdinando Cospi, Cosimo III and exotic collecting as a means of social and political affirmation’
- Maria Franchini (Reading), ‘Collecting for Oneself and Collecting for Others: Constructing and Reconstructing Two 1730s English Parochial Libraries’
5:45 – 6:45 Wine reception
7:00 Dinner at Al Shami
Oxford Early Modern South Asia Workshop
Professions in Motion: Culture, Power and the Politics of Mobility in Eighteenth Century India
Danson Room, Trinity College, Oxford
1-2 June 2017
hursday 1 June
9.15 am Coffee
9.45 Opening Remarks
10.00 Artists and astronomers on the move
Katherine Butler Schofield (King’s College, London) ‘Genealogy, Geography and Gharānā: Indian musicians’ networks in the late eighteenth century’.
Christopher Minkowski (Oxford) ‘An Open, International Search: Bringing Euclid, Al-Ṭūṣī and Copernicus to Jaisingh’s Observatory’’.
11.45 Military and administrative competencies in central India
Hannah Archambault (University of California, Berkeley) ‘The business of war: raising and maintaining armies in the early eighteenth Deccan’.
Nandini Chatterjee (University of Exeter) ‘Kayasthas in Rajput land: family lore in a dynasty of qanungozamindars in early modern Malwa’.
1.15 Lunch in the Danson Room, Trinity College. All welcome.
2.30 Flight of the poets
Arthur Dudney (Cambridge) ‘‘Chasing in the desert of greed’: when Delhi’s intellectuals left for Lucknow’
Francesca Orsini (SOAS) ‘Between Courts and Cities: Literati, new courts and changing dynamics of multilingualism in eighteenth century Awadh’.
Richard David Williams (Oxford) ‘Dreams, songs and letters: How sectarian poets documented the tensions between their gurus, gods and kings’.
7.00 Dinner for paper givers
Friday 2 June
8.45 am Coffee
9.00 The Deccan and Its Political Imaginaries
Purnima Dhavan (University of Washington, Seattle) ‘Networks and Fault Lines in Eighteenth century Deccani Literary Communities’.
Roy S. Fischel (SOAS) ‘Post-imperial Present, pre-imperial Pasts: Elites, Locality and the state in the Deccan, c. 1660-1720’.
Naveena Naqvi (University of California, Los Angeles) ‘Documenting Loss and Vitality in inter-imperial North India, c.1780- 1830’.
11.30 Émigré Horizons in South India
Anand Venkatkrishnan (Oxford) ‘Khana Khazana: Brahmins, Scholars and Cooks in the Long Eighteenth Century’
Devesh Soneji (University of Pennsylvania) ‘Mēḷakkārar Mobility, Literature-as-Performance and Tañjāvūrī Cosmopolitanism in Eighteenth Century South India’
13.00 Lunch in the Danson Room, Trinity College. All welcome.
2.00 Maratha Brahmans and their networks
Dominic Vendell (Columbia) ‘Politics at a Distance: Diplomacy and Merchant Networks at Eighteenth Century Maratha Courts’.
Polly O’Hanlon (Oxford) ‘Pious envoys: Maratha Women’s Pilgrimages in Eighteenth Century India’.
Bihani Sarkar (Oxford) ‘Travelling Tantrics and Belligerent Brahmins: the Śivarājyābhiṣekakalpataru and Śivaji’s Tantric Consecration’
4.15 Break, Round Table and Close
EAJS Conference: Jewish Books and their Christian Collectors in Europe, the New World and Czarist Russia
Blue Boar Lecture Theatre
22-23 May 2017
All are welcome to attend but registration is required by e-mailing email@example.com
Monday, 22 May
9.30 Welcome: Martyn Percy
9.35 Introduction: Jan Joosten
Saverio Campanini: New Evidence on the Formation of Francesco Zorzi’s Library in Renaissance Venice
Ilona Steimann: Forming a Hebraist “Canon” of Jewish Literature: German Hebraica Collections around 1500
Piet van Boxel: A Sixteenth-Century Censor and his Collection of Hebrew Books
Joanna Weinberg: The Library of Johann Buxtorf the Elder
Kasper van Ommen: ‘Je suis pauvre en tout, mesmement en livres’. Joseph Scaliger as a Book Collector of Hebraica
Benjamin Williams: Connections at Christ Church: Edward Pococke and his Copies of Maimonides’ Commentary on the Mishnah
Rahel Fronda: Jewish Books and their Christian Collectors: Christ Church Connections (Exhibition)
18.30 Reception: César Merchán-Hamann
Tuesday, 23 May
Theodor Dunkelgrün and Scott Mandelbrote: Some Hebrew Collections and Collectors in the Colleges of Cambridge
Shimon Iakerson: Who Collected Hebrew Books in Czarist Russia and Why
Arthur Kiron: An Atlantic Hebrew Republic of Letters
Joshua Teplitsky: Encounters Beyond the Text: Christian Readers and Jewish Libraries
Mimesis on Trial
a one-day conference organised by the Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Oxford
T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College, Oxford
Saturday, 20 May 2017
What is the connection between verisimilitude as a literary device and its legal use in the credible narration of facts? How do we construe the relation between the marvellous and the probable? What do early modern notions of likelihood and verisimilitude look like, if accounts of real-life criminal trials cite miracles and divine interventions as discoverers of the truth? Early modern Europe saw new modes and criteria of evidence-evaluation emerge, as new criminal codes and judicial systems were established. How has the work of social historians, directing us to ‘fiction in the archives’ affected how literary critics see the shaping of probability – of discoveries, denouements, trial outcomes – in early modern prose fiction and drama? How does recent scholarly work on the importance of oaths and binding language, on witness credibility, on inquisitions, jury trials, on the rhetorical criteria of suspicion and on the circulation of news affect current thinking about literary and dramatic narrative? Can we revisit, in this context, Auerbach’s conception of Western literature’s achievement as supremely mimetic, as representing ‘the entire human individual’?
Registration is now open. Booking for dinner closes 10 May 2017. Download the conference programme.
8.30-9.00 Registration and coffee.
9.00-9.15 Welcome and introduction: Natasha Simonova and Lorna Hutson
9.15-10.15 Keynote: Justin Steinberg (University of Chicago)
- ‘Mimesis on Trial: Legal and Literary Verisimilitude in Boccaccio’s Decameron’
10.15-10.30 Break – coffee and tea
10.30-11.45 Panel 1: Credibility, Oaths and Evidence
- Edwina Christie (Oxford), ‘Credible Calumny in Mid-Century Prose Romance’
- Jennifer Hough (Liverpool Hope), ‘An examination of modes of proof and evidence in All is True’
- Richard Stacey (Glasgow), ‘“You are not oathable”: Mimetic Vowing and Female Operativity in Middleton’s More Dissemblers Besides Women'
11.45-12.00 Break – coffee and tea
12.00-1.15 Panel 2: The Legal Imagination
- Andrew Zurcher (Cambridge), ‘Bad Luck Spenser: Deodand, Mimesis and Materiality in The Faerie Queene’
- Simon Stern (Toronto), ‘Legal Fictions, Probability and Artifice in Early Modern England’
- Rachel Holmes (Cambridge), ‘“To pluck a truth out of partiality”: Romeo and Juliet, Law and Mimetic Adaptation’
2.15-3.30 Panel 3: Realism Effects
- Sophie Duncan (Oxford), ‘“Lords gather round baby”: “fake” babies and real affect in Early Modern Drama’
- Laura Wright (Oxford), ‘Aural Evidence: doubtful sounds in Webster’s tragedies’
- Jackie Watson (Independent Scholar), ‘Shaking pens and ravishing justice: the mimetic effects of epistolary evidence’
3.30-3.45 Break – coffee and tea
3.45-4.45 Panel 4: Figurations of Reality
- Zoë Sutherland (St Andrews), ‘The figuring of reality as self-given law in Ben Jonson’s readings of Boccaccio and Quintilian in The Devil is an Ass’
- Rebecca Beattie (Oxford), ‘The Works of Baltasar Gracián: Reality on Trial, but Who Makes Up the Jury?'
4.45-5.00 Break – coffee and tea
5.00-5.30 Panel 5: Being There
- Ros Ballaster (Oxford), ‘Being There: The Debate over Mimesis and Presence in the Eighteenth Century Theatre and Novel’
5.30-6.00 Closing remarks
6.00 Wine reception on lawn (weather permitting)
Display of rare books, legal and literary (Merton College Library)
7.30 Dinner (Saville Room, Merton College)
Prison/Exile: Controlled Spaces in Early Modern Europe
Ertegun House, University of Oxford, 10–11 March 2017
Conference website: https://prisonexile.wordpress.com/
This conference seeks to explore the relationship between space, identity, and religious belief in early modern Europe, through the correlative, yet distinct experiences of imprisonment and exile. The organisers welcome all paper proposals that explore the phenomena of imprisonment and exile in the early modern period, especially those that relate these modalities of control to the complex and evolving religious thought of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. At a time when incarceration or exile was a distinct possibility, even likelihood, for many of Europe’s innovative thinkers, how did the experience of imprisonment or banishment influence the texts—theological, political, and literary—produced in the early modern period? How did early modern individuals inhabit, conceptualise, and represent “unfree” space? How does the spatial turn help us to investigate the impact of the confines of prison or the exile’s physical separation from their community on the production and development of religious thought? Does imprisonment or exile exaggerate polemical language and heighten sectarian differences, or induce censorship and temper dissenting voices?
We invite 20-minute papers, from literary, historical, theological, and interdisciplinary perspectives, on these themes. We are especially interested in papers connecting imprisonment and exile, and in those linking physical spaces with the world of ideas and texts. The organisers, Spencer Weinreich, Chiara Giovanni, and Anik Laferrière, look forward to receiving proposals, particularly from postgraduate students and early career researchers, and are glad to answer any queries. Proposals should include a title and abstract of a maximum of 250 words, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 January 2017.