Michaelmas 2020

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Organisers: Emma Smith, Katie Murphy, Lorna Hutson, Joe Moshenska

Time: Tuesdays, 5.15*-7.15 

Venue: Zoom. 

The Zoom link will be sent out with the weekly CEMS email. Any pre-circulated reading will be made available via the CEMS email. All are welcome! 

Week 1 (13 October): ‘Meet the Faculty’

Professor Nandini Das, Professor Bart Van Es, Professor Peter McCullough, Dr Katie Murphy and Professor Emma Smith

Abstract: As opportunities for meeting early modernists in the Faculty will be limited this term, we’re kicking off the academic year with a chance for graduate students new and continuing to hear five Faculty members speak informally and briefly about their research. Discussion will open out to enable the graduate community to put questions to the speakers.

Week 3 (27 October) *5.30 start time: ‘Scattered Texts: The Cases of Pericles and Venus and Adonis

Professor Adam Smyth (Balliol, Oxford), Professor Joshua Eckhardt (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Abstract: Two brief papers and discussion will consider the ways in which extracts from these two texts by Shakespeare find their way into other collections, both manuscript and print. Discussion will consider how we can track and respond to this early modern phenomenon of textual scattering. How is thinking about a play or a poem different in the light of this culture?

Week 5 (10 November): ‘Theories and Things in Early Modern Studies’

Professor Rachel Eisendrath (Barnard College) and Dr Joe Moshenska (University College, Oxford)

Abstract:  This seminar will start with two chapters from recently published books which will be pre-circulated: ‘Feeling Like a Fragment’ from Rachel Eisendrath’sPoetry in a World of Things, and ‘Puppet’ from Joe Moshenska’sIconoclasm as Child’s Play. The authors will deliver brief remarks to put these chapters in context, and begin a discussion of their wider stakes, focusing on the place of critical theory in early modern studies: what are the opportunities and pitfalls of a disciplinary moment in which there no longer seems to be an established canon of theoretical texts?” 


Week 7 (24 November): Reading Group: Spenser and Race

Abstract: This session will give participants the opportunity to read and discuss two articles from the forthcoming Spenser Studies: Special Issue on Race.


Seminars will be hosted on Zoom. The meeting link will be circulated on the CEMS weekly bulletins. To be added to the mailing list please email leah.veronese-clucas@balliol.ox.ac.uk.


Organisers: Professor Ros Ballaster, Ellen Brewster, Professor Christine Gerrard, Katie Noble,  Professor Nicole Pohl (Oxford Brookes), Dr David Taylor,  Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull, Professor Abigail Williams.  


Week 2, Tuesday 20th October 5.30-7 p.m.

Week 6, Tuesday 17 November 5.30 – 7 p.m.  

Week 8, 4  Tuesday 1 December 1.15-2.45 p.m. 

See termcard below. For more information, and details of sign up follow @EngFac18thC on Twitter.

18thc seminar mt2020

Convenor: Professor Katherine Ibbett

Time: Thursdays, 5.15pm*

Venue: Online, sign up via eventbrite

Week 1

No session.


Week 3

Workshop on Early Modern Écologies with editors Pauline Goul (GWU) and Phillip John Usher (NYU), and contributors Louisa Mackenzie (Washington) and Jennifer Oliver (Oxford).

Sign up via Eventbrite:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/oxford-early-modern-french-seminar-ecologies-tickets-12286858023


Week 5

Social event online for Oxford early modernists only (link will be emailed to students and staff). 


Week 7 12 midday (*note different time)

Laurence Giavarini (Dijon), title tbc.

Sign up via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/x/oxford-early-modern-french-seminar-with-laurence-giavarini-tickets-122868750741

Organisers: Professor Margaret Bent and Dr Matthew Thompson

Time: Thursdays, 5pm*

Venue: Zoom. Please see attached document for details.


Week 2 (22 October) 4 p.m* (note earlier start time)

Richard Dudas (Hanyang University in Seoul, Koreaand Lawrence M. Earp (University of Wisconsin-Madison)  


Four early Ars nova motets: a new source 


The seminar will address issues regarding the discovery of musical fragments in BnF NAF 934, fols. 79–80 (reported on https://www.diamm.ac.uk/search/?q=934; images on Gallica). Two three-voice and two four-voice motets survive, all of them unica. On the basis of notation and style, the repertory slightly postdates Fauvel. Each motet has a different form. The first utilizes a notational trick that prefigures Machaut’s M6. The second is the only isoperiodic motet, with an early, special use of red coloration in the lower voice pair. A third combines two chants, a freely rhythmized Kyrie tenor with an ostinato contratenor. The final motet is based on a Fauvel ballade.  


Week 5 (12th November) 5 p.m. 

Manon Louviot (Utrecht University) 

Discussants: Michael Scott Cuthbert (MIT) and Jared C. Hartt (Oberlin College and Conservatory)  


Dating polyphony, making history: the Douai fragment and its motet Ferre solet 


The late fourteenth-century Douai fragment is composed of four parchment folios and contains five polyphonic pieces copied in black full mensural notation. Among these pieces, only the three-voice motet Multipliciter amando has a concordance in the Chantilly manuscript (F-CH 564). The other four pieces, two incomplete motets, a three-voice Gloria, and a complete motet, were all previously unknown to modern scholars. The complete motet Ferre solet stands out in particular because its texts conceal the name of a hitherto unknown composer and a date of composition, transforming this modest fragment into a crucial witness for understanding fourteenth-century musical culture. After introducing the source and the distinctive aspects of each piece, I will therefore focus on Ferre solet by analysing how its unique textual features are intermingled with its musical composition to fulfil the religious function of the motet. 


Week 8 (3rd December) 5 p.m. 

Jacob Mariani (University of Oxford)  

Discussants:Marc Lewon (Schola Cantorum, Basel) and Michael Lowe (Wootton)  


An unstopped string: new perspectives on the rise of the lira da braccio and its medieval predecessors 


It is currently held that lira da braccio of the ‘High Renaissance’ took its morphology from the late medieval Italian fiddle (It. viella or viola), where classicising efforts and new performance practices further transformed the instrument into a vehicle for chordal accompaniment. However, the mechanisms and historical roots of this transformation are far from clear. Using updated photos of Italian iconography, this presentation reviews various narratives about the features and functions of bowed string instruments from 1300-1500. In doing so, it attempts to untangle the historical evidence from the needs and influences of the Early Music Movement and its modern reconstructions.   


Advance notice of the dates and speakers for Hilary Term: 

28 January 2021 Grantley McDonald (University of Oxford) 

Emperor Frederick III as patron of music 


18 February 2021 Charles Atkinson (Ohio State University / Universität Würzburg) 

On modulation in Eastern and Western chant: techniques, texts, and rhetoric 


4 March 2021 

Cristina Alis Raurich (Schola Cantorum, Basel and Universität Würzburg)  

Flos vernalis and Robertsbridge intabulation style: ornamentation, diminution and intabulation in the 14th century

Organisers: Ian Archer, Alexandra Gajda, Steven Gunn and Lucy Wooding

Time: Thursdays, 5.pm.

Venue: Teams. Please contact Ian Archer for meeting invitations.

For more details of suggested preparatory reading please see the attached termcard. 


Week 1 (15th October)

Dr Alexandra Gajda (Jesus College) ‘The “Oath of Association” of 1569: Protestants and the State in early Elizabethan England’


Week 2 (22nd October)

Dr Elliot Vernon (Lincoln's Inn) ‘“I cannot go on, yea, but I must never go back”: Zachary Crofton, the Restoration Church of England and the Dilemmas of Early Nonconformity, 1662–1665’.


Week 3 (29th October)

Professor Alastair Bellany (Rutgers University) ‘Restoring Stonehenge to the Danes: Walter Charleton, Charles II and the Politics of Ritual Inauguration’.


Week 4 (5th November)

Dr Anders Ingram (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) ‘Imagined Islands, Ghost Rivers, and Unknown Continents: Richard Hakluyt and the limits of Elizabethan geographical discourse’.


Week 5 (12th November)

Professor Steven Gunn (Merton College) ‘Accidental Death in Sixteenth-Century England: Landscape and Industry’.


Week 6 (19th November)

Professor Catherine Chou (Grinnell College) ‘Dueling Parliaments in the Marian Civil Wars’.


Week 7 (26th November)

Professor Rupali Mishra (Auburn University) ‘Edward Sherburne Builds a Career in Early Stuart England, or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Trust Ned’.


Week 8 (3rd December)

Professor Thomas Cogswell (University of California, Riverside) ‘Disabling Lord Purbeck: Adultery, Witchcraft and the State.’

Organisers: Kate Allan (Exeter) and Leah Veronese (Balliol)

Time: Tuesdays, 5.15pm

Venue: Online, platform tbc.


2nd week (20th  October)

Chloe Fairbanks (Lady Margaret Hall): ‘Stained with the variation of each soil’: Mapping the Nation on the Early Modern Stage.

John Colley (Jesus): ‘The most renowned prince of history’: Translating Sallust in the Early Sixteenth Century.


4th week (3rd  November)

Felicity Brown (Jesus): 'When the Red Dragon led shipmen on dry land': The Arthurian Accession Day Tournament Speeches of George Clifford, Third Earl of Cumberland. 

Jake Arthur (St Edmund’s Hall): "'Sport thyself with this Spaniard’: Iberian romance in sixteenth-century England”.


6th week (17th  November)

Daniel Haywood (St John's): Learning and Performing Craft Skills in Imaginative Writing, c. 1589-1629.

Daniel Fried (New College): John Milton's encounters with Geminus the astronomer

A Discussion of the B Course (highly recommended for MSt students). 


8th week (1st December)  

Tom Roberts (Exeter): Performing Commedia dell'Arte on the Early Modern English Stage. 

Emily Stevenson (Exeter): ‘”That unknowne part of the world”: Richard Hakluyt writing Russia’.

Thursdays, 5.15pm


Week 2 (22nd October)

 Martyn Ould (The Old School Press) ‘Printing Books at OUP, 1660-1780: From Author’s Copy to Printed Sheets’

 Registration for this talk will open on 17th October at https://www.oxbibsoc.org.uk/lectures


Week 8 (3rd December)

Dr Orietta Da Rold (University of Cambridge) ‘Paper in Medieval England: From Pulp to Fictions’ Venue TBC; announcement will be posted at https://www.oxbibsoc.org.uk/lectures