Seminar Programmes

Hilary 2020

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Ian Archer, Alexandra Gajda, Steven Gunn and Lucy Wooding


The Breakfast Room, Merton College


Thursdays, 5.00pm (tea from 4.45)




Suggested preparatory reading for each session can be found in the full programme:


Week 1 (23 January)
Prof. Jane Whittle (Exeter Univ.):
‘Women’s Work in early modern England: Approaches and Issues’


Week 2 (30 January)
Dr Elizabeth Goldring (Warwick Univ.)
‘Hans Holbein the Younger and the Court of Henry VIII’


Week 3 (6 February)
Lucy Clarke (Jesus College):
‘“Our scene is London”: Dramaturgical and Jurisdictional Space in A Warning for Fair Women

Ryan Asquez (Keble College):
‘Fractures and Fractals: Piecing together the Suffering Christ’


Week 4 (13 February)
Professor Laura Stewart (Univ. of York):
‘“Freily” telling “my mynde”: Truth-telling, the Female Voice, and Contested Histories in Covenanted Scotland’


Week 5 (20 February)
Charles Beirouti (New College):
‘Restoration Clerics and the Religious Diversity of the Ottoman World: The Life and Times of Dr John Covel, 1670-77’

Hayley Ross (St John’s College):
‘Title tbc’


Week 6 (27 February)
Dr Andrew Foster (Univ. of Kent):
‘The Reconstruction of the Church of England after 1660’


Week 7 (5 March)
Graduate student transfer of status presentations


Week 8 (12 March)
Graduate student transfer of status presentations



Lorna Hutson & Katie Murphy


T. S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College


Tuesdays, 5.15–7.00pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7.



Week 1 (21 January)
Professor Sue Wiseman (Birkbeck College, University of London)
‘Kings of the Road? Royal and vagrant mobility in Jonson, statutes and stories’

Abstract: ‘This paper concerns the representation of travelling people in early modern England. It will analyse the forms of textual evidence available to explore the question of who relates the experience of travelling. It asks whose words we have, whose words are missing. It explores how song, fortune and medicine shape myths of vagrant royalty. It starts with a discussion of the reversal of roles in a Jonson masque and goes on to situate Jonson’s masque against other surviving texts – from statutes against vagabondage, to poems and court records.’


Week 3 (4 February)
Professor Jessica Wolfe (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill):
‘George Chapman, Edward Coke and mitior sensus

Abstract: ‘This talk will explore the biographical connections and also the intellectual sympathies between the playwright and poet George Chapman (c. 1559-1634) and the jurist Edward Coke (1552-1634). I will then turn to an examination of Chapman's sophisticated and creative engagement with contemporary legal debates and questions of jurisprudence in several works dating from the late 1610s, in particular his Tragedy of Chabot, and to his interest in the concept of mitior sensus (the softer or more lenient sense), a legal principle upon which Chapman relied both as defendant in a 1603 libel suit and as a poet later accused of slander.’


Week 5 (18 February)
Dr Liza Blake (University of Toronto):
'The Physics of Poetic Form in Arthur Golding's Translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses'

Abstract: ‘This talk, drawn from an in-progress book manuscript entitled Early Modern Literary Physics, argues that we can enrich our understandings of form and formalism if we return to the rich variety of physics of the early modern period. The central object of study will be the relationship between physics and poetics in Arthur Golding’s 1567 English translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Though this translation is commonly cast today as the mere work of a moralizing Puritan, Golding claimed that Ovid's work offered a “dark philosophy of turnèd shapes,” a natural philosophy of substance and change. As Golding translates, he systematically reshapes the physics he finds in Ovid, converting Ovid into a crypto-Neo-Platonist and, in the process, offering a new poetics revolving around the concept of shape. Poetics becomes not just a way of communicating or elaborating physics, in Golding’s translation, but the mechanism for exploring the nature of the universe.’


Week 7 (3 March)
Professor Adam Smyth (Oxford, Balliol):
Pericles, scattered’

Abstract: 'In this talk I'll think about the ways in which bits of Pericles, by Shakespeare and George Wilkins, find their way out into other places -- other plays, manuscripts, printed anthologies. What are the lessons for us of this complicated but also definingly early modern story of disaggregation?'



Katherine Ibbett, Nupur Patel, Catriona Seth, Wes Williams


Maison Française d’Oxford, 2-10 Norham Road


Thursdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


Week 1 (23 January)
David McCallam (University of Sheffield):
"Figures of Petrification in the Revolution of 1789"


Week 3 (6th February)
Olivier Guerrier (Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès): 
« Des espaces autres : figures de la liberté perdue dans quelques textes en prose de la Renaissance »


Week 5 (20th February)
Audrey Borowski (Queen’s, Oxford):
'Gottfried Leibniz, Pierre-Daniel Huet and the République des Lettres’


Week 7 (5th March)
Timothée Léchot (Basel/Neuchâtel):
« Les mots clefs du dix-huitième siècle : pratiques journalistiques de l’énigme en vers »



Louis Morris, Lyndal Roper, Edmund Wareham, Róisín Watson

Venue Pontigny Room, except Week 2 in Chough Room


Wednesdays, 2.00-4.00pm, followed by tea and cake


Weeks 2, 4, 6,


Please contact for further information

Downloadable programme:


Week 2 (29 January) [in Chough Room]
Róisín Watson (Mansfield/Oriel):
'Sharing Space between Lutherans and Catholics in Early Modern Württemberg'


Week 4 (12 February)
Johannes Dillinger (Oxford Brookes):
'Ritual Magic, Spellbooks and Mining'


Week 6 (26 February)
Jeannette Kamp (History Faculty):
'Crime, Gender and Social Control in Early Modern Frankfurt am Main'


Week 8 (11 March)
Perspectives on Early Modern Germany from the GDR, chaired by Paul Betts (St Anthony’s).

Marcus Colla (Christ Church):
'Luther, Müntzer and the GDR's "Historical Turn" in the 1970s'

Tina Mendelsohn (Lincoln):
The Making of the GDR Woman Artist Past and Present''

Bethan Winter (St Peter’s):
'Baroque to the Future: The SED’s Teleological Argument for the Socialist Project and the Influence of Bach and Handel on East German Musical Culture'



Jake Arthur and Felicity Brown


Seminar Room B, English Faculty Building


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8


Downloadable programme:


Week 2 (28 January)
Georgina Wilson:
‘“In forme of paper”: John Taylor’s material travels’
Caroline Taylor:
‘“New Marriage Fetters” – Widows and Romance in James Shirley’s City Comedies’

Week 4 (11 February)
Katie Mennis:
‘The Translator as Go-Between in Francis Kynaston's Latin Troilus’
Fraser Buchanan:
‘Atheism and the battle for an authoritative biblical text: William Whitaker vs. William Rainolds’


Week 6 (25 February)
Tom Roberts:
‘Arlecchino in Sixteenth-Century England’
Emily Stevenson:
‘“That unknowne part of the world”: Richard Hakluyt writing Russia’

Week 8 (10 March)
Jake Arthur:
‘“Let me hear thee sing to me” – deriving and digressing from the Song of Songs’
Felicity Brown:
‘Making “The Massacre of the Danes” Arthurian: Robert Langham’s Letter from Kenilworth





Prof Ros Ballaster, Helen Brown, Prof Christine Gerrard, Alex Hardie-Forsyth, Prof Nicole Pohl, Dr David Taylor, Prof Abby Williams




Monday Week 2, Wednesday Week 3, Tuesday Weeks 4 and 6.


Downloadable programme:


Week 2 (Monday 27 January) | Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty Building, Manor Road
Special Visiting Lecture by Professor Cliff Siskin (Henry W & Albert A Berg Prof of English & American Literature, New York University)
‘Enlightenment, Information, and the Copernican Delay: A Venture into the History of Knowledge’


Week 3 (Wednesday 5 February) | Weston Lecture Theatre, Bodleian Library
Marilyn Butler Memorial Lecture by Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir (Faculty of English, Cork University)
'"Trap doors in private houses" : Drama and Theatricality in the Work of Maria Edgeworth'


Week 4 (Tuesday 11 February) | Seminar Room West, Mansfield College
Into the archives with Principal Investigators and Research Assistants/Graduates working on eighteenth-century epistolary networks projects.

Anna Senkiw/Nicole Pohl on the Elizabeth Montagu correspondence project
Ros Ballaster/Ben Turnbull on Opening the Edgeworth Papers project
Natasha Simonova/Ellen Brewster on Jemima Grey correspondence project
Andrew Hann/Jemima Hubberstey on the Wrest House collaborative doctoral project


Week 6 (Tuesday 25 February) | Seminar Room West, Mansfield College
Dr Kate Davison (University of Sheffield)
‘Laughter, Literature and Eighteenth-century Philosophy’





Perry Gauci


Beckington Room, Lincoln College


Tuesdays, 4.15pm (tea from 4.00pm)


Weekly (except Week 3)


Week 1 (21 January)
Hillary Burlock (Queen Mary):
‘“What Dukes, what Drapers, what Barbers, and Peers”: The Politics of late Georgian election balls’


Week 2 (28 January)
John Shovlin (New York):
‘“No more victories! No more conquests!”: The French and British East India Companies’ search for an entente, 1752–1788’


Week 4 (11 February)
Anna Brinkman (Warwick):
‘Balancing Power: Strategy, Law, and British Maintenance of Dutch and Spanish Neutrality during the Seven Years War’


Week 5 (18 February)
Sam Cheney (New College):
‘“Gentlemen of the China Trade”: The China Club and Cultures of Porcelain Retailing in Eighteenth-Century London’


Week 6 (25 February)
Kirsten James (Leicester):
‘Marketing strategies in eighteenth-century France and England: the example of the perfumer’


Week 7 (3 March)
Margot Finn (UCL):
‘Discussion on ‘Family and Empire: Kinship and British Colonialism in the East India Company Era, c. 1750-1850’’


Week 8 (10 March)
Steven Parissien (Palace House Museum, Newmarket):
‘Great Expectations: Heritage, Communication and the Museum’



Week 2 (30 January)
Print viewing: Ashmolean Museum, New Douce Room, 4:00-5:00pm
Lecture: Lincoln College, Lower Lecture Room, 5:30pm
Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies, London), Hans Baldung (Grien) and Johann Schott:
'Rediscovering the most prolific colour printer of the Holy Roman Empire, 1510–1530'


Week 4 (13 February)
Corpus Christi College Auditorium, 5:15pm.
John Colley (Linacre College):
'Folly and folio: The printing of Alexander Barclay’s Shyp of Folys (1509)'


Week 8 (9 March)
Weston Library Lecture Theatre, 5:15 p.m.
Shiva Mihan (Harvard Art Museums/Bahari Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries):
'Piecing together a Timurid masterpiece'


Week 9 (19 March)
Oxford University Press, Conference Room, 5:15pm.
Martyn Ould (The Old School Press):
'Printing books at OUP, 1660-1780, from author’s copy to printed sheets'




Philip Beeley, Benjamin Wardhaugh, Christopher Hollings


All Souls, Hovenden Room


Tuesdays, 5:00-6:30pm





Week 1 (21 January)
Adam Mosley (Swansea University):
‘When was cosmology? The curious history of a disciplinary category, c.1600–c.1730’



Week 2 (28 January)
Angela Axworthy (MPIWG Berlin):
'Unity and diversity of practical geometry in sixteenth-century France’



Week 3 (4 February)
Isobel Falconer (University of St Andrews)
‘To G or not to G: J H Poynting and the gravitational constant in the nineteenth century’



Week 4 (11 February)
Lee Macdonald (History of Science Museum, Oxford):
‘Proposals to move the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, 1836–1945’



Week 5 (18 February)
Alice Marples (University of Oxford):
‘Mastering the Mint: Isaac Newton’s economic and numismatic work’



Week 6 (25 February)
Tilman Sauer (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz):
‘How general relativity resonated with differential geometers’



Week 7 (3 March)
Lucia Bucciarelli (University of Oxford):
‘The “Galilean Sect”: Talented mathematicians, devoted disciples’



Week 8 (10 March)
Ivahn Smadja (University of Nantes):
‘The puzzle of Brahmagupta’s quadrilaterals: Hankel’s reading of Colebrooke’




Margaret Bent


All Souls, Wharton Room


Thursdays 5.00–7.00pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8.


All are welcome


Week 2 (30 January)
Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway, University of London):
'Protected publications: privileges for printed music in German-speaking lands, 1500-1600'



Week 4 (13th February)
Elżbieta Witkowska-Zaremba (Warsaw, Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Art, and Visiting Fellow at Corpus Christi College for HT):
'The keyboard and fifteenth-century musica ficta: on the road toward the twelve-steps octave'



Week 6 (27 February)
Christiane Wiesenfeldt (University of Music, Weimar, and University of Jena):
'Composing Compassion: Pierre de La Rue’s ‘Missa de Septem Doloribus’



Week 8 (12 March)
Eva Maschke (independent scholar):
'Ars nova fragments from Leipzig University Library: new concordances and new contexts'




Neil Kenny


Hovenden Room, All Souls College, Oxford


Wednesdays, 2.00-3.30pm (except Week 2, on Monday)




All Very Welcome.

Downloadable programme:



Week 2 (Wednesday 29 January)
Hamish Scott (Jesus College, Oxford):
History, Memory And The Making Of The European Aristocracy
Catriona Seth (All Souls College, Oxford):
Lost And Found. Some Reflections On 18th-Century Foundling Archives


Week 4 (Monday 10 February)
Neil Kenny (All Souls College, Oxford):
Rabelais And Social Hierarchy
Andrew Mcrae (University Of Exeter):
An Epic Poet And His Audience: Michael Drayton, Poly-Olbion, And The Early Stuart Literary System


Week 6 (Wednesday 26 February)
Diana Berruezo-Sánchez (Balliol College, Oxford):
Learning Social Hierarchy In Early Modern Spanish Ethnic Villancicos

Emma Spary (University Of Cambridge):
Quinquina In Favour At The Court Of Louis Xiv


Week 8 (Wednesday 11 March)
David Lines (University Of Warwick):
Renaissance Aristotelianism And The Problem Of Publics Between Latin And Vernacular
Dorine Rouiller (Swiss National Science Foundation/University Of Oxford):
Erasmus, Citizen Of The—Or Of A—World?





Audrey Borowski and Nicholas Halmi


Lecture Room A, Queen’s College (except Week 6, in Queen's Magrath Room)


Tuesdays, 5.15pm (except Week 1, on Wednesday)




Downloadable programme:


Week 1 (Wednesday, 22 January)
Prof. Mogens Laerke (Maison Française d’Oxford):
‘Spinoza: True Religion and the Narratives of Universal Faith’


Week 2 (Tuesday, 28 January)
Prof. Maike Oergel (University of Nottingham):
‘Ancient Equalities? Constructing Hebrew, Classical, and “Northern” Cultural Origins to Legitimise a New Modern Culture’


Week 3 (Tuesday, 4 February)
Prof. Ann Thomson (European University Institute):
‘The English Universal History’s Treatment of the Arab World’


Week 4 (Tuesday, 11 February)
Prof. Élisabeth Décultot (Universität Halle):
‘A Universal History of Ancient Art: Winckelmann’s History of the Art of Antiquity’


Week 5 (Tuesday, 18 February)
Prof. David Womersley (University of Oxford):
‘Gibbon and Universal History’


Week 6 (Tuesday, 25 February) [Magrath Room, Queen’s]
Dr Peter Hill (Northumbria University):
‘Universalising European history? Arab Literati and Enlightenment Histories, 1800–1870’


Week 7 (Tuesday, 3 March)
Prof. Daniel Fulda (Universität Halle):
‘Philosophy of History: How Religious Is It? Transcendence and Immanence in Herder and Bossuet’


Week 8 (Tuesday, 10 March)
Dr Silvia Sebastiani (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris):
‘“I have begun this Philosophy of Man with his History”: Lord Monboddo’s Universal History of the Human Species'



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