Michaelmas 2022

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Convenors: Joe Moshenska and Nick Gaskill.

Time: Thursdays of even weeks of term. 11.30am-12.45pm. You are welcome to bring lunch.

Venue: Goodhart Seminar Room, University College. (If you walk down Logic Lane from the High Street, about half way down you will see a building straight ahead of you with a large weather vane on top and a spiral staircase at the bottom. This is the Goodhart building. Go directly up the spiral stairs and the seminar room is at the top).

Details: This is an exciting moment for the growing study of World Literature in the English Faculty, and we are keen to seize this opportunity to find ways for those working across all periods to engage with World Literature as a field and as a category.  With this aim in mind, you are invited to a join a reading group in which, in four meetings across Michaelmas Term, we will read through Emily Apter’s book Against World Literature (Verso, 2013; available as an electronic resource via SOLO). 

We have chosen this book because it raises questions about the nature and parameters of literary studies, and the way in which such studies are organised, that are of relevance to people working across a wide variety of fields and methodologies.  We invite faculty members, teaching and research staff, and both graduate and undergraduate students – working in all fields and periods of literary study – to attend.  The meetings will take place under the combined umbrella of the American Literature Research Seminar, the Centre for Early Modern Studies, and the Postcolonial Writing and Theory Seminar.


Week 2: Thursday 20 October, 11.30am. 

Introduction and Part 1, "Oneworldliness" (pp. 1-114)


Week 4: Thursday 3 November, 11.30am.

Part 2, "Doing Things with Untranslatables" (pp. 117-190)


Week 6: Thursday 17 November, 11.30am.

Part 3, "Translating 'World Literature'" (pp. 193-261)


Week 8: Thursday 1 December, 11.30am.

Part 4, "Who Owns My Translation?" (pp. 265-342)

Convenors: Margaret Bent and Matthew Thomson.

Time: Thursdays. Weeks 3, 6, and 8. 5.00pm (UK time)

Venue: Online only via Zoom. To register, please use this form. For each seminar, those who have registered will receive an email with the Zoom invitation and any further materials a couple of days before the seminar. Please contact matthew.thomson@ucd.ie if you experience any technical difficulties.


Week 3: Thursday 27 October, 5pm (BST/ UK time)

'Music, musicians, and community at the Florentine convent of San Matteo in Arcetri (1540-1630)'

Speaker: Laurie Stras (University of Southampton)

Discussants: Bonnie Blackburn and Marica Tacconi


The Clarissan convent of San Matteo in Arcetri is well known in both scholarly and non-specialist histories as the home of Suor Maria Celeste Galilei, daughter of Galileo Galilei and granddaughter of the musician Vincenzo Galilei. Brought to modern imagination by the 1999 non-fiction work Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel, the convent has been portrayed as a rather dour, unsophisticated, and impoverished house. And yet, evidence of San Matteo’s rich musical life in the mid-sixteenth century has recently emerged, in one of the most complete music manuscripts that can securely be associated with an Italian convent of the Renaissance.

Copied in 1560, Brussels MS 27766, the Biffoli-Sostegni manuscript - so called because of the names of the nuns embossed on its binding – preserves polyphony for the entire year, and reveals intriguing local detail regarding liturgical practice and chant in its destination community. Its most impressive contribution is a set of twelve polyphonic Vespers antiphons for the Feast of St Clare, unique form and function in the sixteenth-century repertoire. Its provenance is confirmed by the only surviving ledger from the sixteenth century in the Florentine Archivio di Stato pertaining to San Matteo. Names, faces, and traces of relationships are found entwined in the music’s elaborate cadellae, and the feasts to which the polyphony pertains are given depth and context in the ledger, which records the convent’s expenses.

Triangulating information from the manuscript, the ledger, and from Suor Maria Celeste’s letters - and experiencing chant and polyphony performed by Musica Secreta - we can start to piece together a better picture of why this convent might have felt an appropriate choice for the Galilei family. We may also understand better how family connections that weave in and out of the convent space are used to forge relationships over generations.


Week 6: Thursday 17 November, 5pm (GMT/ UK time)

'From Lyre to Staff -- Relating Diagrams, Neumes and Diastematic Notation'

Speaker: Konstantin Voigt (University of Freiburg)

Discussants: Charles Atkinson and Susan Rankin


Week 8: Thursday 1 December, 5pm (GMT/ UK time)

'Sixteenth Century Symbola'

Speaker: David Burn (University of Leuven)

Discussants: Inga Mai Groote and Christian Leitmeir

Abstract: When the Passau school-master and composer Leonhard Paminger died in 1567, his sons announced a plan to publish a multi-volume edition of their father’s music. The plan included descriptions of the contents of each of the projected volumes. While most of the types of piece mentioned are self- explanatory, one category, “symbola”, was unfamiliar to me. What was intended? The projected Paminger volume was never produced, but one piece among his surviving music was identified as a “symbolum”, which was sufficient to show that they are settings of emblems or mottoes. Yet, beyond this, the type remains obscure in existing literature: only one collection, Caspar Othmayr’s Symbola of 1547, has received (limited) discussion, and this turns out to raise more questions than it answers. In an attempt to deal with the type more broadly, the present paper thus not only defines what symbola are but also addresses three further basic questions: How many are there? What are their features? And what functions did they fulfil?


Advance Notice for Hilary Term 2023: 

26 January, Julia Craig-McFeely (DIAMM, University of Oxford), ‘The Sadler partbooks and the Merchant of Norwich: A Tudor whodunnit and its wider implications’.

16 February, Martin Kirnbauer and the project team Vicentino21 (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis / FHNW), ‘Soav’ e dolce – Nicola Vicentino’s intervallic vision’.

9 March, Emily Zazulia (University of California at Berkeley), ‘The Fifteenth-Century Song Mass: Some Challenges’.

Convenors: Sophie Aldred and Alex Beeton

Time: Mondays of odd weeks of term. 5pm.

Venue: Online only. Microsoft Teams. Please email  britaininrevolution@gmail.com for the link/to be added to the mailing list.


Week 1: Monday 10 October, 5pm.

'The Westminster Assembly (1643-52): Time for a New Paradigm?'

Speaker: Kirsten Macfarlane (University of Oxford)


Week 3: Monday 24 October, 5pm.

'The Fiery Spirits and the coming of the English Revolution'

Speaker: John Rees (Goldsmiths, University of London)


Week 5: Monday 7 November, 5pm.

'Whatever you do, don’t mention the revolution: Samuel Clarke and the making of the puritan tradition’

Speaker: Peter Lake (Vanderbilt University)


Week 7: Monday 21 November, 5pm.  

''The Wall and Glory of Jerusalem': The message of sermons preached before the Lord Mayor and City of London in the Commonweath and Protectorate, 1649-1660'

Speaker: Elliot Vernon (Lincoln's Inn)

Convenors: Ian Archer, Alexandra Gajda, Steven Gunn, Lucy Wooding.

Time: Thursdays of weeks 1-8. 5pm.

Venue: The Ship Street Centre, Jesus College. Please note that in weeks 3 and 5 this seminar will be held in the Habakkuk Room, Jesus College. The seminar will also be available via Teams. If you wish to attend online please email ian.archer@history.ox.ac.uk.

Week 1: Thursday 13 October, 5pm.

'The English Witchcraft Statute of 1563 Revisited’ (This paper is dedicated to the memory of Clive Holmes).

Speaker(s): Dr. Alexandra Gajda (Jesus College) and Dr George Southcombe (Wadham College).

Suggested reading: Norman Jones, ‘Defining Superstitions: Treasonous Catholics and the Act Against Witchcraft of 1563’, in Charles Carleton et al., eds, States, Sovereigns, and Society (1998), 187–203; Michael Devine, ‘Treasonous Catholic Magic and the 1563 Witchcraft Legislation: the English State’s Response to Catholic Conjuring in the Early Years of Elizabeth I’s reign’, in Marcus Harmes and Victoria Bladen, eds, Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England (2015), 67- 94; Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (1971), ch. 14.


Week 2: Thursday 20 October, 5pm. 

‘“At my humble sute bestowed”: Agents and Agency in the Representation of Women in sixteenth-century University Portraiture’

Speaker: Anna Clark (St John's College)

Suggested reading: T. Cooper, ‘Picturing the Agency of Widows: Female Patronage Among the Gentry and Middling Sort of Elizabethan England’ in K. A. Coles and E. Keller, eds, Routledge Companion to Women, Sex, and Gender in the Early British Colonial World (2018); R. Tittler, ‘Thomas Heywood and the Portrayal of Female Benefactors in Post Reformation England’, Early Theatre, 11 (2008), 33-52.


Week 3: Thursday 27 October, 5pm in the Habakkuk Room, Jesus College. Please note the change of venue this week.

‘Catholic Activity, Anti- Popery, and the Parliament of 1624’

Speaker: Katie Marshalek (Vanderbilt Univ., speaking online)

Suggested reading: T.H. Wadkins, ‘The Percy-“Fisher” controversies and the ecclesiastical politics of Jacobean anti-Catholicism, 1622-25’, Church History, 57 (1988), 153-69; Thomas Cogswell, The Blessed Revolution: English politics and the coming of war, 1621-1624 (1989), Prologue; Michael Questier, Stuart Dynastic Policy and Religious Politics, 1621-1625 (2009), Intro.


Week 4: Thursday 3 November, 5pm.

‘Assessing the Middling Sort: Material Culture and Early Modern Urban Cultural Activity’

Speaker(s): Dr Tara Hamling (Univ. of Birmingham) and Prof. Catherine Richardson (Univ. Of Kent)

Suggested reading: Christopher Marsh, Music and Society in Early Modern England (2010), cap. 4 ‘Recreational musicians’; Robert Tittler, The Face of the City (2007), cap. 2 ‘The evidence: patrons and venues’.


Week 5: Thursday 10 November,  5pm in the Habakkuk Room, Jesus College. Please note the change of venue this week.

‘The Economy of Intoxicants in Early Modern England’

Speaker: Dr. Phil Withington (Univ. of Sheffield)

Suggested reading: Trevor Burnard and Georgio Riello, ‘Slavery and the New History of Capitalism’, Journal of Global History, 15:2 (2020), 225-44; Andrew Sherratt, ‘Introduction: Peculiar Substances’ in Jordan Goodman, Paul Lovejoy and Andrew Sherratt, eds, Consuming Habits: Global and Historical Perspectives on How Cultures Define Drugs (2007), 1–11.


Week 6: Thursday 17 November, 5pm.

‘“The Churches Cordiall in her fainting fitts”: the Scribal Practices and Public Activism of Walter Boothby, London Merchant, in the English Revolution’

Speaker: Prof. Ann Huges (Keele Univ.)

Suggested reading: Ann Hughes, ‘Preachers and hearers in revolutionary London: contextualising parliamentary fast sermons’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser 24 (2014), 57-77; Arnold Hunt, The Art of Hearing (2010), cap. 2, esp. 94-116; Elliot Vernon, London Presbyterians and the British Revolutions, 1638-1664 (2021), cap. 6.


Week 7: Thursday 24 November, 5pm. 

‘What’s in a Name? The Naming of English Merchant Ships from the Thirteenth to Nineteenth Century’

Speaker: Prof. Peter Solar (Vrije Universiteit, Brussels)

Suggested reading: Geneviève Bresc and Henri Bresc, ‘Les saintes protecteurs de bateaux 1200-1460’, Ethnologie française, nouvelle serie, 9, 2 (1997), 161-78; Edmond Smith, Merchants: The Community that Shaped England’s Trade and Empire, 1550-1650 (2021), chs. 2, 3; Scott Smith-Bannister, Names and Naming Patterns in England, 1538-1700 (1997), ch. 7; G. Alan Metters, ed., The King’s Lynn Port Books, 1610-1614 (Norfolk Record Society, 2009).


Week 8: Thursday 1 December, 5pm.

'Writing Tudor England'

Speaker: Dr Lucy Wooding

No suggested reading listed.

Convenors: Lorna Hutson, Joe Moshenska, Emma Smith, Bart van Es

Time: Tuesdays, weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7. 5.15-7.15pm. Week 7 will begin at 12.30pm.

Venue: T. S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College. Week 7 will take place in the Mure Room, Merton College.


Week 1: Tuesday 11 October, 5.15pm.

'Meet the Faculty'

Speakers: Professor Peter McCullough, Professor Adam Smyth, Professor Noël Sugimura.

Abstract: We’re kicking off the academic year with a chance for graduate students new and continuing and early modernists in general to hear three/four English Faculty members speak informally and briefly about their research. Discussion will open out to enable the graduate and research community to put questions to the speakers.


Week 3: Tuesday 25 October, 5.15pm.

'Modernist Metaphysics: Empson, Donne and the Science of Feeling'.

Speaker: Dr. Sophie Read (Christ's College, Cambridge)

Abstract: This paper concerns, in a roundabout sort of a way, the effect of the publication of Herbert Grierson’s influential anthology, Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems (1921). In particular, I’m interested in what Grierson’s pioneering scholarship does for the reception and study of John Donne - its leading light - in the decades that follow. T. S. Eliot is an early adopter, and an influential proponent and disseminator of Grierson’s vision of a dynamic modernist Donne, but he quickly loses interest - unlike William Empson, to whose career as both poet and critic Donne remains central for more than half a century. The main task of the paper will be to read Empson’s Donne, then Donne and Empson together, in an attempt to find lines of sympathy and mutual illumination. It will feature bracelets, soap, compasses, bicycles, globes, puppies, space travel, relativity theory and puddles.


Week 5: Tuesday 8 November, 5.15pm.

'Marina, Perdita, Eunuchus and The Rope: Slavery, Race and Genre in Shakespeare’s Mediterranean'

Speaker: Professor Susanne Wofford (New York University)

Abstract: Following Urvashi Chakravarty’s suggestion in Fictions of Consent: Slavery, Servitude and Free Service in Early Modern England that Terence’s Eunuchus is an important source for early modern appropriations of classical slavery, this paper examines the slave Mediterranean in its classical, Ottoman, and British contexts, to produce a reading of Plautus’s Rudens:The Rope, Terence’s Eunuchus, and Shakespeare’s Pericles (with a brief glance at Comedy of Errors and The Winter’s Tale.). Drawing as well on work by classicists such as Amy Richlin who work on slavery in Roman comedy, I hope to raise some questions about what the encounter with slavery and race in ancient comedy might suggest about the genre of romance in Shakespeare’s Mediterranean plays and how it might change our reading of Pericles.


Week 7: Tuesday 22 November, 5.15pm. Please note the change of venue to Seminar Room 1.1, St Catherine's College.

'I Am the Subject of My Own Book:  A Case for Scholarship in the First Person'

Speaker: Leonard Barkan (Princeton)


All are welcome to attend. Pre-circulated reading will be available (when appropriate) through CEMS.

Convenors: Victoria Fallanca, Raphaële Garrod and Alice Rouillere.

Time: Thursday, weeks 3, 5, and 7. 5.15pm. Tea and coffee is served beforehand.

Venue: Maison française, Oxford.


Week 3: Thursday 27 October, 5.15pm.

‘Imprimer pour faire impression : la circulation des paroles et des discours pendant la Révolution française’.

Speaker: Olivier Ritz (Université Paris Diderot)


Week 5: Thursday 10 November, 5.15pm.

'Un 'humanisme d'impression' ? Le cas du Medicinale bellumde Symphorien Champier'

Speaker: Alice Vintenon (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)


Week 7: Thursday 24 November, 5.15pm.

‘Des impressions si durables, si profondes?’ Voltaire, an author in the dialogue des morts’

Speaker: Jess Goodman (St Catherine's College, Oxford).

Convenors: Filippo de Vivo (St Edmund Hall), Federica Gigante (History of Science Museum), Giuseppe Marcocci (Exeter), Gervase Rosser (St Catherine's), Jane Stevens (Oxford Brookes), Emanuela Vai (Worcester)

Time: Tuesdays of odd weeks of term, 4.30pm.

Venue: Old Dining Hall in St Edmund Hall, Queen's Lane (with the exception of week 5).


Week 1: Tuesday 11 October, 4.30pm.

'Trans-Imperial Archive-Making: Diplomatic Entanglements between Venice and Istanbul'

Speaker: Natalie Rothman (Toronto)

Abstract: How did early modern diplomatic archives form across vast distances? What role did various kinds of practitioners – diplomats, secretaries, scribes, and dragomans (diplomatic translator-interpreters) – play in connecting metropolitan chanceries with colonial outposts, both within and across shifting imperial boundaries? What did it mean for these practitioners, collectively and individually, to make the writings of one imperial chancery accessible, discoverable, legible, and meaningful to readers in other languages, spaces, and jurisdictions? This presentation considers the entanglement of Venetian and Ottoman archive-making in both Istanbul and the Venetian-Ottoman borderlands in Dalmatia to highlight the trans-imperial dimensions of early modern archivality in general and the role therein of specific practices of commensuration in particular.


Week 3: Tuesday 25 October, 4.30pm.

'Michelangelo and the Salvageability of Desire'

Speaker: Raymond Carlson (Oxford)

Abstract: Among the hundreds of poems written by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), a substantial proportion are given to amorous topics. To whom Michelangelo addressed his love and his verses, however, has resisted definitive consensus despite attracting commentary for nearly five centuries. This talk redirects the question of identifying the object of Michelangelo’s love to how his creative output makes this knowable to history. By analyzing an array of archival and literary sources alongside a subset of Michelangelo’s drawings, it becomes apparent how his poetry functioned in tandem with his art to convey desire. In its mutability, desire can be difficult to define. Is it recoverable through material traces that survive in ink and chalk? Such inquiry must navigate the dense social networks in which Michelangelo operated, but as this talk will argue, the impulse to recoup this story also responds to a promise of reclamation at the heart of his work.


Week 5: Tuesday 8 November, 4.30pm. Please note this session will take place in the Doctorow Room, St Edmund Hall.

'On Recipes, Bodies and Time (Or Where's the History in Historical Reconstruction?)'

Speaker: Jill Burke (Edinburgh)

Abstract: This talk will trace the history of a recipe for sunscreen, made from olive oil and mastic gum, to consider the fugitive nature of recipes as historical texts. There are many thousands of extant medicinal and cosmetic recipes from early modern Italy – the period where I can claim some expertise – but in what way are they ‘from’ this period or place at all? This remedy was translated into Italian in a 1562 book from an earlier sixteenth-century Latin translation of a sixth-century Byzantine text, that itself was likely copied from an ancient Greek source. An almost identical remedy was, from the fourteenth century, described as ‘oil of Mesue’ –  a medication that was in use until at least the 1670s and may be based on an earlier, lost, Arabic recipe - but, despite apothecaries’ attempts to find an ‘authentic’ version, was subject to so many tweaks and variants that it is impossible to make out any original instructions through subsequent iterative layers.  When, in 2022, the ‘Renaissance Goo’ project reconstructed the 1562 recipe in a soft-matter physics lab, whose recipe were we making? Can this type of reconstruction ever tell us anything about history, and if so, how? To aid discussion, I will bring along some samples of the ‘sunscreen’ for audiences to experience at first hand.


Week 7: Tuesday 22 November, 4.30pm.

*This session is jointly organised with the Iberian History Seminar.

'The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding and Race in the Renaissance'

Speaker: Mackenzie Cooley (Hamilton)

Abstract: This seminar discusses a new book — The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance (The University of Chicago Press, 2022) — which offers a history of how Renaissance Italy and the Spanish empire were shaped by a lingering fascination with breeding. While one strand of the Renaissance celebrated a liberal view of human potential, another limited it by biology, reducing man to beast and prince to stud. Combining population genetic and bioarcheological findings with research in Italian, Latin, Spanish, and Nahuatl, this history follows domesticated animals – including horses, dogs, turkeys, and llamas–to show parallel cultures of animal breeding in Europe and the Americas. Over the course of their collision in the sixteenth century, the dangerous idea of controlled reproduction was brought to life again and again, and a rich, complex, and ever-shifting language of race and breeding was born. The Perfection of Nature excavates historical moments of ambiguity between humanity and animality to reveal that early modern personhood was often culturally conditional rather than legally, biologically, or theologically fated.

Convenors: Alex Laar and Flynn Allot

Time: Tuesdays of even weeks of term, 5.15pm (with the exception of week 4, when the forum will start at 5.50pm).

Venue: Seminar Room B, English Faculty.


Week 2: Tuesday 18 October, 5.15pm.

''Demystifying the B-Course': An Introduction to the MSt's (1550-1700) Most Unfamiliar Module, from a Former Student'

Speaker: Flynn Allott (Oriel)


Week 4: Tuesday 1 November, 5.50pm. Please note later start time.

Caroline Taylor (St Hugh's): Title TBC.

Jacob Ridley (University): Title TBC.


Week 6: Tuesday 15 November, 5.15pm.

Christopher Archibald (New): Title TBC.

Helena Rutkowska (St Hugh's): Title TBC.


Week 8: Tuesday 29 November, 5.15pm.

Early Modern Graduate Social!

Convenor: Gloria Sternberg

Time: Wednesdays, weeks 2, 4, 6, and 7. 11.15am-12.45pm. Week 7 (online) will begin at 5.00pm.

Venue: Rees Davies Room, Faculty of History. Week 7 will be held online via Zoom.


Week 2: Wednesday 19 October, 11.15am.

'Discovering Self-Identity in Travel: Russian Travellers in Ukraine of the Late Eighteenth Early Nineteenth Century'

Speaker: Kateryna Dysa

Chair: Natalia Nowakowska


Week 4: Wednesday 2 November, 11.15am.

'Colonial Property Formation in Early Modern America'

Speaker: Allan Greer

Chair: Alan Stathern


Week 6: Wednesday 16 November, 11.15am.

'"To govern many other kingdoms": Ignacio de las Casas on Arabic as a Tool for the Spanish Empire'

Speaker: Erica Feild-Marchello

Chair: Natasha Bailey


Week 7: Wednesday 23 November, 5.00pm. ONLINE only via Zoom.

'Mapping the Global Entanglements of Central European Albums in Sixteenth-Century Constantinople'

Speaker: Robyn Radway

Chair: Natalia Nowakowska.

Seminar Leaders: Ros Ballaster, Christine Gerrard, Katie Noble, Nicole Pohl, David Taylor, Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull, Carly Watson, Abby Williams.

Time: Tuesdays of even weeks of term (with the exception of week two's seminar, which takes place on Wednesday 19 Oct.), 5.30pm. *Please note different time in week 4.

Venue: Seminar Room East, Mansfield College. *With the exception of week two's seminar, which takes place in Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty.


Week 2: Wednesday 19 October, 5.30pm. Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty.

'Sancho's Britain'

Speaker: Patterson Joseph.

The award-winning actor discusses and reads from his new novel, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho. (Organised jointly with the Modern and Contemporary Research Seminar).


Week 4: Tuesday 1 November, 5.30pm. Seminar Room East, Mansfield College.

'Gothic images: Illustration in the Gothic novel, 1764-1840'

Speaker: David Wiggins (Uppsala University)

Followed by welcome drinks for all new researchers in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature.


Week 6: Tuesday 15 November, *12.30-2pm. Seminar Room East, Mansfield College. *Please note earlier time.

Workshop for all those who teach FHS Paper 4 (Literature in English 1660-1760) at University of Oxford. Flash talks, resource sharing and discussion: How do our research interests shape our teaching? How do current research trends in the period inform our teaching? What topics/authors do we seek to cover and why?


Week 8: Tuesday 29 November, 5.30pm. Seminar Room East, Mansfield College. 

'The History of Free Indirect Discourse'

Speaker: Monika Fludernik (University of Freiburg)

Convenors: Hannah Smith (St Hilda's), Kiran Mehta (Worcester), B. Harris (Worcester), P. Gauci (Lincoln)

Time: Tuesdays, weeks 1 to 8, 4.15pm.  Refreshments will be available from 4.00pm onwards.

Venue: The regular venue will be the Beckington Room, Lincoln College, except for week 2 when this seminar will meet in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College. For those who cannot make it to Lincoln, the talks will also be available via Teams. Please contact perry.gauci@lincoln.ox.ac.uk for access.


Week 1: Tuesday, 11 October, 4.15pm.

Introductory Party


Week 2: Tuesday, 18 October, 4.15pm. Please note this week's seminar will take place in the Oakeshott Room, Lincoln College.

'The Refinement of Children: Engagements with Food Culture in Eighteenth-Century Britain'

Speaker: Ailsa Maxwell (Keble)


Week 3: Tuesday, 25 October, 4.15pm.

'Foreign Jack Tars: The British Navy and Transnational Labour, 1793-1815'

Speaker: Sara Caputo (Cambridge)


Week 4: Tuesday 1 November, 4.15pm. 

'George IV's State Visits and Perceptions of National Identities'

Speaker: Paige Emerick (Leicester)


Week 5: Tuesday, 8 November, 4.15pm.

''Where Streets continually change Fashion, you should make Haste to chain up the City; for ’tis certainly mad': Changing Townscapes in the English Press, 1690–1750'

Speaker: Matt Roberts (Cambridge)


Week 6: Tuesday, 15 November, 4.15pm. 

''Decline' and the Cultural History of the Eighteenth-Century University'

Speaker: Leif Hammer (Magdalen)


Week 7: Tuesday, 22 November, 4.15pm. 

*This seminar is jointly organised with the Irish History Seminar

'Wolfe Tone and the Hibernian Catch-Club: Sociability in Revolutionary Dublin'

Speaker: Martyn Powell (Bristol)


Week 8: Tuesday, 29 November, 4.15pm.

'A Bottled History of Champagne, with tasting'

Speaker: Graham Harding (St Cross)





The lecture series will discuss German prose texts published in the first hundred years of printing. This includes a number of iconic texts written earlier such as the ‘Ackermann von Böhmen’ or transformed from verse into prose such as the ‘Prosa-Tristan’. The series will also take in some of the special holdings in Oxford collections.

Details can be found online, here. Please contact henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk with questions and/ or booking requests.


Week 1: Friday 14 October, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

Prose & Printing or: how to tell a story for the press (‘Vier Historien’, Bamberg 1461)


Week 2: Friday 21 October, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

‘Tristrant und Isalde’ or: how to make a long story short (Augsburg 1484)


Week 3: Friday 28 October, 2-4.30pm; 5-6.30pm. Bibliographic Press at the Bodleian Library and Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

Launch of the updated and expanded edition of the Taylorian copy of Martin Luther’s seminal ‘Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen und Fürbitte der Heiligen’ (Open Letter on Translating and the Intercession of Saints) with a presentation on Luther’s translation principles and a full reading of the Letter in German with the new English translation as subtitles. Interested parties must register with henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk

Further details can be found here.


Week 4: Friday 4 November, 2-3.30pm. Ashmolean Museum, New Douce Room.

‘Ackermann von Böhmen’ and early printed German texts and images. 

Interested parties must register with henrike.laehnemann@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk


Week 5: Friday 11 November, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

‘Pontus und Sidonia’ or: how to translate (Augsburg 1483/5)


Week 6: Friday 18 November, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

Hans Sachs’ Reformation dialogues (Nuremberg 1524)


Week 7: Friday 25 November, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

Ruth von Bernuth (Chapel Hill)

'Representing Otherness. Little People in the 'Zwerchen Cabinet' (Augsburg 1715). Further details can be found here.


Week 8: Friday 2 December, 3-4pm. Taylor Institution Library, Room 2.

Pia Selmayr (Munich): 'Fortunatus' (Augsburg 1509)


Convenors: Ruggero Sciuto and Tracey Sowerby

Time: Tuesdays of weeks 4, 6, and 8. 4.15pm.

Venue: The Martin Gerry Room, History Faculty. Also available via Zoom. Please contact tracey.sowerby@history.ox.ac.uk  or earlymoderndiplomacy@torch.ox.ac.uk to receive the link. 


Week 4, Tuesday 1 November, 4.15pm.

'Intriguing Stories of Successful Diplomatic Negotiations in Ottoman Constantinople (1578-1581)'

Speakers: Dr. Francesco Caprioli (Universita degli studi di Milano) and Dr. Özden Mercan (Hacettepe University)


Week 6, Tuesday 15 November, 4.15pm. 

'Salon Diplomacy and State Bankruptcy: Women’s Informal Diplomatic Spaces in Denmark-Norway during the Napoleonic Wars'

Speaker: Dr. Kristine Dyrman (University of Oxford)


Week 8, Tuesday 29 November, 4.15pm. 

Discussion session on periodization. 

Advance reading:

a) Christian Windler, ‘Afterword: From Social Status to Sovereignty – Practices of Foreign Relations from the Renaissance to the

Sattelzeit', in Tracey A. Sowerby and Jan Hennings (eds.), Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c. 1410-1800 (2017), 254-66;

b) Nadine Amser, Henrietta Harrison, and Chistian Windler, ‘Introduction: Eurasian Diplomacies Around 1800: Transformation and Persistence’, International History Review, 41 (2019), 943-6;

c) Hillard von Thiessen and André Krischer, ‘Diplomacy in a Global Early Modernity: The Ambiguity of Sovereignty’, International History Review, 41 (2019), 1100-7.