CEMS Funding Competition 2021: Results

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2021 funding competition.

CEMS recently invited early career researchers to apply for a share of up to £1,500 to support a conference, symposium, or workshop on an interdisciplinary early modern research topic. Proposals were judged on how far they facilitated the CEMS mission: furthering interdisciplinarity in early modern studies. This year, we are supporting four conferences.



On Location: Material Space and Literary Production, c.1500-1651

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 23rd and 24th June 2022

Organised by Chloe Fairbanks and Catherine Jenkinson

This two-day interdisciplinary symposium will invite scholars across a range of subjects to re-examine the relationship between material space and literary production in Europe between 1500 and 1651. The title, ‘On Location’, allows for a consideration of both space and place, broadly defined, and the conference will offer a reassessment of both late medieval and early modern writings about and within space. Literary production will be defined broadly to include prose, sermons, poetry, drama, letters, and diaries, written for both private and/or public audiences. Collaboration across disciplinary and institutional boundaries will offer fresh ways of understanding the complex relationship between individuals and their environments (material, imagined, or otherwise) during this period and open up discussions on our own relationships to the same today. Over the course of the COVID-19 lockdowns, renewed attention has been given to the material spaces in which we live, work, and write, and has inspired our interest in the importance of location. The time is therefore ripe to reconsider how these spaces shaped literary production in premodern Europe.



Oxford-Edinburgh Early Modern History of Science Conference

Spring 2022, Oxford 

Organised by Alex Beeton (Oxford), Eli Bernstein (Oxford), Emily Kent (Edinburgh) and Rene Winkler (Edinburgh)

The conference will explore how early modern intellectual history and the history of science can be enhanced by studying individuals, groups, and ideas from an institutional perspective. Building on recent work on this topic, this conference aims to highlight new research which examines how physical establishments, such as places of education, monasteries, and museums, and social corporations, including correspondence networks, academic societies, and state bodies, shaped the work of the individuals living and working within their environs. The conference seeks to promote discussions which break from traditional moulds of intellectual history by considering the concrete political, religious, social, and cultural environments within which these scholars and their projects were grounded. What were the material and social conditions necessary for an intellectual culture to thrive? How may we define the borders of these social and institutional groups regarding who could count itself a member? What differing results may we have when we situate an individual and their body of work according to the demands and communities of their institutional home? 



Stuart Serenissima: Anglo-Venetian Cultural Exchange, 1603-1714

Organised by Eloise Davies (Oxford) and Dr Alana Mailes (Cambridge)

This conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to discuss new directions in the study of seventeenth-century relations between England and Venice. The seventeenth century has long been recognised as an especially fertile moment for Anglo-Venetian cultural exchange. The Italian historian Enrico de Mas thought it so significant that he proposed the label ‘Seicento Anglo-Veneto’ (the Anglo-Venetian seventeenth century) to define the period. However, while Anglo-Venetian relations have been the subject of detailed studies from multiple disciplinary perspectives (including Art History, Music, History and Literary Studies), progress had been hindered by a lack of cross-disciplinary fertilisation. This conference will aim to bring together scholars doing new research in these diverse fields to assess the ‘Seicento Anglo-Veneto’ as a whole. Drawing on Alana’s expertise, the conference will incorporate a historically-reconstructed musical performance, bringing to life the musical world of the English embassy in Venice. Attention to music and sound in less overtly “musical” historical contexts can reveal valuable new information about broader histories of transculturation, diplomacy, commerce, confessionalism, and empire. Bringing together musicologists, musical performers and historians whose focus is not primarily on music will allow for fresh conversations about the interactions between the arts, politics and material culture in early modern England and Venice.



Theatre, Anatomy, and the Early Modern Doctor on Stage

22nd March 2022

Organised by Dr Jen Edwards and Professor Laurie Maguire

This interdisciplinary one-day symposium with theatre performance will explore the theatrically performative nature of early modern medicine, and the representation of doctors on stage, through an academic, medical, and theatrical lens. A keynote lecture will be delivered by Vishy Mahadevan, Professor of Anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons of England (‘The Surgical Operation and Anatomical Dissection as Theatre’), followed by a panel of three 20-minute papers on the topic of doctors and medicine in the early modern period. This afternoon event will lead to an evening performance by King Edward’s Boys—a Stratford-on-Avon theatre company specialising in boys’ company plays from the sixteenth century—who will perform a thematised medley of extracts about doctors on stage in early modernity, from English drama and Moliere. The devised piece takes as its theme the subject of professional language and communication which enables it to draw on scenes as diverse as the vomiting scene in Poetaster and the nonverbal body language of commedia dell’arte. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the director.