Michaelmas 2019

Michaelmas 2019

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Lorna Hutson and Katie Murphy


T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College


Tuesdays, 5.15-7.00pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


Downloadable Programme:


Week 1 (15th October)

Professor Nandini Das (Oxford) and ERC TIDE researchers: Dr João Vicente Melo, Dr Haig Smith, and Dr Lauren Working

'Keywords of Identity, Race, and Human Mobility in Early Modern England'

Abstract: Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, c.1550-1700’ (TIDE) is an ERC-funded interdisciplinary project that investigates how human mobility and migration in the great age of travel and discovery shaped English perceptions of identity and belonging. This round-table session will discuss some of TIDE’s research into keywords and a few of the case studies that help to illuminate our fragmented understanding of cultural difference, transculturality, and the idea of ‘betweenness’ in the early modern period. TIDE: Keywords, including Agent, Alien, Ambassador, Broker, Denizen, Exile, Heathen, Interpreter, Mahometan, Savage, Settler, Spy, Stranger, Subject, Traitor, Translator, Traveller, and Turk (among others), can be found here: www.tideproject.uk/keywords-home.


Week 3 (29th October)

Dr Victoria Moul (University College, London)

'Matters of metre c. 1550-1650: the sixteenth-century transformation of Latin verse and its impact on English poetics'

Abstract: The lively debate about English prosody, focused in particular upon the decorum of rhyme and the role of quantitative metrics, is a well-known feature of late Elizabethan literary criticism. But the intense interest in metrical matters at this period, which culminates in the metrical variety and pronounced innovation of the Sidney Psalter and, ultimately, in the achievement of Herbert’s Temple, sits within, and emerges from, a geographically wider and chronologically precedent Latin phenomenon. Although it has apparently gone unremarked in modern scholarship, the range of available metres and forms of Latin verse underwent very rapid change in the second half of the sixteenth century, leading to an explosion in the possibilities especially for Latin lyric. This paper, drawing extensively upon both printed and manuscript sources, will offer an overview of this revolution in Latin poetics, while also suggesting some of the most important points of contact between formal developments in English and in Latin verse. Works mentioned or discussed are likely to include those of Walter Haddon, Abraham Fraunce, Philip and Mary Sidney, George Herbert, Richard Crashaw and Abraham Cowley.


Week 5 (12th November)

Dr Giulio Pertile (University of St Andrews)

'Apostrophe and Vitality in Baroque Poetry'

Abstract: This paper will explore the use of apostrophe in a range of seventeenth-century lyric poems. In authors from Carew and Herrick to Milton, Marvell and Crashaw, this age-old rhetorical figure assumes a new valence: no longer directed to people or places, it is instead addressed to seemingly inanimate objects, which it temporarily endows with life and even consciousness. More than a figure of mere pathos or anthropomorphism, apostrophe becomes a way of interrogating, at once playfully and curiously, the lines between life and death and between soul and matter in physical objects. Indeed if, as Jonathan Culler has written, “the function of apostrophe would be to posit a potentially responsive or at least attentive universe,” then it is perhaps not surprising that this function should take on particular salience at a time when philosophers and scientists from Telesio to Bacon are exploring the possibility that matter itself might be sentient. Charting a course between natural magic on the one hand and an emergent materialism on the other, baroque apostrophe displaces the lyric subject and turns our attention to a world of potentially animate things.


26th November

*cancelled due to UCU strike against casualization*
This event will take place on 28th April, 2020.


Professor Brian Cummings (University of York)

'Erasmus on Imitation'

Abstract Did Erasmus have a theory of imitation? Whether Erasmus read Aristotle’s Poetics is a scholarly conundrum. Aldus Manutius published a Greek text in 1508. Since Erasmus was in Venice that year producing a new version of the Adagia from the same press, he may have seen it. What is not in doubt is his predilection for ancient tragedy: in 1506 he produced Latin translations of two plays by Euripides, Hecuba and Iphigenia in Aulis, published in Paris by Bade. This paper retraces the wider ramifications of Erasmus’ treatment of imitation in a range of works, especially Adagia and the Copia, in order to reopen the question of whether Erasmus has a theory of literature, and in what ways he considers it to be “philosophical”.





Prof. Katherine Ibbett


Maison Française d’Oxford, 2-10 Norham Road


Thursdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


Week 1 (Oct 17th)
Kate Tunstall (Worcs)
‘Of demons and Damiens’: literature and politics in France in 1757


Week 3 (Oct 31st)
Emily Butterworth (KCL)
'Hypocrisy and the Heptaméron'


Week 5 (Nov 14th)
'Of Shipwrecks', an interdisciplinary discussion with:
Jenny Oliver (Worcs), Simon Park (St Anne's), Olivia Smith (Wolfson) and Carl Thompson (Univ of Surrey)


Week 7 (Nov 28th)
Rémi Jimenes (Tours)
'Defense et illustration de la typographie française (1500-1550)'

cancelled due to the UCU strike against casualization




Alex Beeton and Sophie Aldred


New College, Lecture Room 6


Tuesdays, 5pm




Downloadable programme:


Free refreshments. All welcome.


Week 1 (15th October)
Diane Purkiss (Keble College):
‘Revolt and Fairies: The Case of Andrew Man and the Catholic Rebellion in the Highlands.’


Week 2 (22nd October)
Clive Holmes (Lady Margaret Hall):
‘Battle Flags as a Source for the Civil War Historian.’


Week 3 (29th October)
Lloyd Bowen (Cardiff University):
‘“So Much Environed with Ill Neighbouring Counties”: Isolation and Political Connection in Civil War Pembrokeshire, 1640-49.’


Week 4 (5th November)
Rachel Foxley (University of Reading):
‘Innovation and Revolution in Seventeenth-Century England.’


Week 5 (12th November)
Ann Hughes (Keele University):
‘Engaging with the Parliamentarian State: The People and the Archives.’


Week 6 (19th November)
Laura Stewart (University of York):
‘Manuscript Circulation and Political Mobilisation in Covenanted Scotland.’


Week 7 (26th November)
Jonathan Fitzgibbons (University of Lincoln)
‘Remembering Regicide Before the Restoration: The Case of Bulstrode Whitelocke.’


Week 8 (3rd December)
Anthony Milton (University of Sheffield)
‘Alternative English Reformations 1649-53: Independent, Presbyterian, Episcopalian.’

Cancelled due to unforeseen issues.





Jake Arthur and Felicity Brown


English Faculty Building, Seminar Room B


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8



Week 2 (22 October)
Welcome and drinks
Come meet fellow graduates and share a glass of wine (or juice!).


Week 4 (5 November)
Rachael Hodge:
“‘Black stage for tragedies’: the materials of genre”

Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull:
“Measuring Metre: The Materiality and Sociability of Versified Embroidered Tape Measures”


Week 6 (19 November)

Christopher Archibald:
'English Catholics in Counter-Reformation Europe: New paratexts for Joseph Simons’s plays performed at the English College, Rome'

Christopher Archibald and Kate Allan:
'De-mystifying the B-course'


Week 8 (3 December)
Emily Birchenough:
“Milton’s transient eschaton: rupturing time and space in the Nativity Ode”

Fraser Buchanan:
“Marlowe’s Faustus: an accidental atheist?”

Cancelled in solidarity with UCU strike action.






Perry Gauci


Beckington Room, Lincoln College


Tuesdays, 4.15pm (tea from 4.00)




All research students working in this period are encouraged to attend; anyone else interested is also very welcome.


Week 1 (15 October)

Introductory Party


Week 2 (22 October)
Nick Leah (City University):
Parliament and Empire: Colonial Debt and the Politics of Slavery, 1727-32


Week 3 (29 October)
Joe Cozens (UCL):
The Force of the State: The Dragoon State: Soldiers and Riot Control in Britain, c. 1789-1819

Amanda Goodrich (Open University):
The Force of the State: Hunted like a Jacobin Fox: The Force of Pitt’s “Terror” in Sheffield, 1793-95


Week 4 (5 November)
Hannah Smith (Oxford):
Court Culture and the Godly Revolution: Henry Purcell’s and Sir Charles Sedley’s 1692 Birthday Ode for Mary II


Week 5 (12 November)
Aaron Graham (Oxford):
Imperial Careering in the Eighteenth-century British Atlantic


Week 6 (19 November)
Hannah Barker (Manchester):
Taking Money from Strangers: Traders' Responses to Banknotes and the Risks of Forgery in Late Georgian London


Week 7 (26 November)
Moritz von Brescius (University of Bern):
Empires of Opportunity: German Naturalists in British India and the Frictions of Transnational Science


Week 8 (3 December)
Fabio Morabito (Lincoln):
Deforming History, or How to Make a Music Star, c. 1800




Giora Sternberg, Giuseppe Marcocci


Rees Davies Room, Faculty of History
(except Weeks 4, 5, 6, in the Colin Matthew Room)


Wednesdays, 11:15-12:45




All Welcome!


Week 1 (16 October)
Louise Nyholm Kallestrup:
“A Witch Hunting King? Christian IV and his Early Encounters with Witchcraft”


Week 2 (23 October)
Leonhard Horowski:
‘“Their excellencies must not be erudite”: Titles, letter protocol and the language of inequality in Brandenburg-Prussia, 1640-1822’


Week 3 (30 October)
Sudhir Hazareesingh:
“Toussaint Louverture, the Black Spartacus of Revolutionary Saint-Domingue”


Week 4 (6 November) [Colin Matthew Room]
Nicole Reinhardt:
“The “Waning of the Renaissance” or “Surviving the Counter Reformation”? Perspectives on Sixteenth-Century Bologna”


Week 5 (13 November) [Colin Matthew Room]
Stephanie Cavanaugh:
Moriscos, Conversion, and Negotiating Identities in Early Modern Spain


Week 6 (20 November) [Colin Matthew Room]
Matthew Innes:
“Polemic and Political Thought in the later French Wars of Religion: Pierre de Belloy”


Week 7 (27 November)
Róisín Watson:
“Sharing Church Space between Lutherans and Catholics in Early Modern Württemberg”


Week 8 (4 December)
Tara Alberts:
“Foetid Odours and Heavenly Scents: Medicine, Spiritual Healing, and the Sense of Smell in the Early Modern World”





Dmitri Levitin


All Souls College, Hovenden Room


Wednesdays, 5.00–6.45pm




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.
All very welcome.


Week1 (16 October)
Kirsten Macfarlane (Oxford):
‘“Schools of Learning everywhere”: popular piety and the democratisation of Biblical scholarship in London and Massachusetts, c.1610-1660’

Week 2 (23 October)
Maria-Rosa Antognazza (King’s College London):
‘What is wisdom? Leibniz’s view in the context of traditional debates’


Week 3 (30 October)
Pablo Toribio (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Madrid):
‘Martin Seidel’s Origin and foundations of Christianity: text, contexts and fortunes of a late sixteenth-century “clandestine manuscript”’

Week 4 (6 November)
Thomas Wallnig (Vienna):
‘Critical patriotic Catholicism? The difficult place of German Benedictine scholarship in early modern intellectual history’


Week 5 (13 November)
Marcello Cattaneo (Magdalen, Oxford:
‘Orthodox history or historical orthodoxy? The study of early Christian heresies in late seventeenth-century scholarship'


Week 6 (20 November)
Doina-Cristina Rusu (Groningen):
‘Divisibility and impenetrability of the spirit from Telesio to Conway’


Week 7 (27 November)
Sam Kennerley (Cambridge):
‘Rome and the world in the correspondence of Marcello II Cervini (1501-1555)’


Week 8 (4 December)
Dmitri Levitin (All Souls, Oxford):
‘Newton on the Rules of Philosophising and hypotheses: new evidence, new conclusions’




Ian Archer, Alexandra Gajda, Steven Gunn and Lucy Wooding


The Breakfast Room, Merton College


Thursdays, 5.00pm (tea from 4.45)




See full programme for suggested preparatory reading:


Week 1 (17 October)
Dr Jon Parkin (St Hugh’s College):
‘Self-censorship in Early Modern Britain’

Week 2 (24 October)
Dr Andrew Wells (Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg, Greifswald):
‘Locating Freedom in the Urban British Atlantic, 1660-1760’

Week 3 (31 October)
Professor Susan Doran (Jesus College):
‘1603: a Jagged Succession’

Week 4 (7 November)
Dr Will Pettigrew (Univ. of Lancaster):
‘Global Trade and the Shaping of the English Constitution’

Week 5 (14 November)
Jonah Miller (King’s College, London)
‘Officers and Authority in early modern England’

Week 6 (21 November)
Professor Blair Worden (St Edmund Hall):
‘The Birth of an Idea: Oliver Cromwell and the Theory of Checks and Balances’

Week 7 (28 November)
Dr John Currin (Independent Researcher):
‘Was Henry VII a Strategist?’

Week 8 (5 December)
Alice Blackwood (Linacre College):
'Female Credit and Office-Holding in the Early Modern English Parish’





Margaret Bent


All Souls, Wharton Room


Thursdays, 5 –7 p.m


Weeks  1, 2, 5, 6, 8


All are welcome.


Week 1 (Oct 17th)
Moritz Kelber, Universität Bern:
Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Smelling: Early Modern Dance and the Senses

This paper investigates modes of physical encounter in early modern dance and considers their importance within musical life in general. In medieval and early modern times dancing was one of the most widely disseminated forms of musical practice and an important means of social interaction. It was a space of seeing, hearing, touching, and even smelling. In a society that highly valued the symbolism of physical proximity, dance involved the implementation of social conventions as well as the crossing of boundaries.

The social role of dance was long debated in dance theory and polemical literature from the mid-fifteenth century onwards. Italian dancing masters like Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro tried to establish dancing as a discipline alongside the other arts. A close reading of the texts by Ebreo and his followers reveals a sophisticated understanding of sensual perception and in particular of musical hearing. Thus, dance theory might not only help to sharpen our picture of Renaissance philosophy of the senses, but it might also lead us to rethink our preconceptions about art music as the only valid topic for theoretical reflections on music.

[Dr Kelber will also be giving a talk in the Music Faculty colloquium series on Tuesday Oct 15th at 5.15 p.m., entitled: (De-)Constructing the Enemy in Early Modern Dance.]


Week 2 (Oct 24th)
Jared C. Hartt, Oberlin Conservatory of Music:
Naufragantes/ Navigatrix/ Aptatur: A Newly Discovered Motet on St Nicholas

Two large fragments of a rotulus have been recently discovered in a manor house in Dorset. The fragments preserve four early fourteenth-century motets of English provenance. One of these motets, Naufragantes visita/ Navigatrix inclita/ Aptatur, previously unknown to modern scholars, combines numerous unique features, beautifully illustrating and adding to the remarkable degree of compositional innovation present in fourteenth-century English motets. The four-voice motet often features four different simultaneous texts and uses a complex method of text exchange. The poetic texts plead both to St Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, and to the Virgin Mary, the star of the sea, to intercede as protectors and guides of seafarers. Its cantus prius factus, Aptatur, used in thirteen musically distinct motets on the Continent, is found now for the first time in a motet that definitely originates in England. Because of damage to the rotulus, however, the motet does not survive in full. In this presentation, through an exploration of the motet’s melodic, harmonic, textual, and formal characteristics, I demonstrate not only how Naufragantes/ Navigatrix exemplifies remarkable compositional innovation, but I also offer a complete musical reconstruction of the motet, thereby allowing for the possibility of performance of this remarkable discovery. Images of the manuscript and a brief description are now available on diamm: https://www.diamm.ac.uk/sources/4750/#/.



Week 5 (Nov 14th)
Andrew Wathey, University of Northumbria:
John Dunstaple, Lionel Power and the mid Fifteenth Century

The English career of John Dunstaple has been the subject recently of significant studies by Lisa Colton and by Roger Bowers, who separated from John Dunstaple the composer a John Dunstaple senior who owned lands in Cambridgeshire, and possibly also a related John Dunstaple junior of London. But while the composer remains elusive as an individual, a set of family relationships place the documented John Dunstaples in close proximity with John Duke of Bedford, in whose service it has long been known that the composer was employed as ‘musicus’. This paper argues the salience of the family network, alongside individual identity, in shaping a picture of Dunstaple’s activities and his links with patrons. It explores other aspects of the Bedford household diaspora following the duke’s death in 1435, in this context presenting new documents illuminating the late career of Leonel Power. It also offers some reflections on the wider implications of the careers of Power, Dunstaple and their contemporaries for the construction of the mid-fifteenth century in English music history.


Week 6 (Nov 21st)
Henry Drummond, University of Oxford:
Blasphemy, Cursing and Sonic Violence in the Cantigas de Santa Maria

Of all sins one could commit in the Middle Ages, few were as grave as blasphemy. Medieval writers describe blasphemy as violent, claiming that such acts re-enact the mutilation of Christ’s body, or spoil the Virgin’s corporeal perfection. Other authorities see logical dissonance in the denial of holy miracles, and in the rejection of God’s supremacy. While scholars have written much on medieval blasphemy, few studies have approached the links between religious sacrilege and song. Sonic propriety can itself be violated, affording mirroring of written warnings against blasphemous acts. In this article I focus on the cantigas de miragre, written at the court of Alfonso X in the latter years of his reign (1252–84). Alfonsine literature includes multiple warnings against blasphemy, including its links with drinking, gaming and music. In this talk, I address miracle songs of the Alfonsine court that present nuanced cases, considering how disjointed musical-poetic structures can intriguingly mirror warnings against blasphemous oaths conveyed in their texts.


Week 8 (Dec 5th)
Giovanni Varelli, Magdalen College:
Mapping Notational Dialects of Early Medieval Italy

In his Annales Ecclesiastici (1588), the Renaissance cardinal and historian Cesare Baronio (1538–1607) defined the tenth century as Italy's saeculum obscurum. Yet, surviving music manuscripts and fragments clearly show an utter burgeoning of different notational 'dialects' with an impressive array of musico-graphic creativity, stemming from complex institutional and ecclesiastical networks, and reflecting the highly unstable and fragmented political situation in Italy after the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire. The paper will explore the intricate topography of the earliest music scripts in the Italic peninsula (ca. 900-1050) and will present a close-up of specific graphic strategies for the visualisation of liturgical chant, exposing also their intersections with other material manifestations of written musical media at the turn of the first millennium.






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


Seminar Room West, Mansfield College


Tuedays, 12.30-1.45pm (Week 2); 5.30-7pm (Week 4, 6)


Weeks 2, 4, 6


 All are welcome.


Week 2: (22 October 12.30-1.45pm)
Dr David Taylor (St Hugh’s College):
“Toward a Theatre of the Aesthetic” (sandwiches and drinks provided)


Week 4: (5 November 5.30-7pm)
Dr Taylor Walle (Washington and Lee University):
"An Unruly Tongue: Boswell's Scottish Dictionary and Eighteenth-Century Lexicography"


Week 6: (19 November 5.30-7pm)
Dr Melanie Bigold (University of Cardiff):
'From songbooks to sex education': an eighteenth-century servants' library'





Ruggero Sciuto


Lecture Theatre, History Faculty (except Week 1 in Merze Tate Room)


Tuesdays, 5pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


Week 1 (15 October) [Merze Tate Room]
Tracey Sowerby (University of Oxford):
‘Ottoman Protocol and Diplomatic Cultures at the Sublime Porte c.1550–1632’


Week 3 (29 October)
Ineke Huysman (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands):
‘The Diplomatic Correspondence of Dutch Grandpensionary Johan de Witt’


Week 4 (5 November)
Guido van Meersbergen (University of Warwick):
'East India Company Gifting Practices and Anglo-Mughal Political Exchange (1670-1717)'


Week 7 (26 November)
Marc Jaffré (Balliol College, University of Oxford)
'Sociability, Women and Control: Diplomacy at the Court of Louis XIII'






Week 1 (17 October), Merton College, T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre
Holly James-Maddocks (University of York):
Early Printed Books Illuminated in England (c. 1455-1500)


Week 3 (31 October), Weston Library Lecture Theatre
Bill Zachs (Edinburgh, Private Collector)
Spine-Tingling Tales from the Private Library of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Week 5 (14 November), Weston Library Lecture Theatre
Shef Rogers (University of Otago/Sassoon Visiting Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries):
Visible Strains: Implications of Bibliographical Evidence in the Early Career of Alexander Pope


Week 8 (5 December), Weston Library Lecture Theatre
David Armes (Red Plate Press):
Accumulating Narrative



Transnational French Seminar
Dr Anthony Ossa-Richardson (UCL):
‘Exile and Ridicule: A Huguenot Scholar in Georgian London'
Wednesday 29 October, 5.15-6.45pm
Magdalen College, Summer Common Room


American History Research Seminar
Sonia Tycko (Oxford):
'The identification of Huntington Library HM 1365 and the study of transatlantic service indentures'
Tuesday 5 November, 12:15-13:45
Rothermere American Institute, 1a South Parks Road, basement seminar room

This paper will be pre-circulated. Please contact the convenors at katherine.paugh@history.ox.ac.uk or stephen.tuffnell@history.ox.ac.uk to obtain a copy. A sandwich lunch will be provided.


Georgian Programme
‘Transformation of Shakespeare’s Tyrants and Anti-Tyrants in Soviet and Post-Soviet Georgia and Around the World
Mark Burnett (Queen’s University, Belfast) and David Maziashvili (University of Oxford)
Thursday 5 December, 5.00-7.00pm
Syndicate Room, St Antony's College