Seminar Programmes

Trinity 2018

Expand All


Lorna Hutson and Emma Smith


Mure Room, Merton College

(except Week 1 (24 April), which will be 5.00 pm at the Weston Library)


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7

All welcome. Wine and refreshments served.


Week 1 (24 April)

David Pearson (Lyell Reader in Bibliography 2017-18)

‘Book Ownership in Stuart England: Setting the scene: trends and patterns’.

[The Lyell Lectures 2018, Lecture Theatre, Weston Library, 5.00pm (booking required)]


Week 3 (8 May)

Jason Scott-Warren, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

‘Distributing Donne’


Week 5 (22 May)

Joe Moshenska, University College, Oxford

‘Iconoclasm as Child’s Play’


Week 7 (5 June)

Miranda Kaufmann, University of London

‘Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories’


Download the programme Here:

Fraser Buchanan, Lucy Clarke, Chris Gausden
Memorial Room, Jesus College
 Wednesdays, 12.15pm (except Week 5 at 2pm)
 Weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

All are very welcome (including undergraduates).
Please feel free to bring your lunch.


Week 2 (2 May)

Alison Shell (UCL)

'British Catholic College Drama in the Early Modern Period: Masters, Mentors and Brothers'


Week 3 (9 May)

Helen Hackett (UCL)

‘“She Rules Alone the Whole Mind’s Commonweal”: The Politics of the Mind in the Elizabethan Period’


Week 4 (16 May)

Astrid Stilma (Canterbury Christ Church University)

'Celebrating Peace and Justifying War: Scottish Authors and the Advice-to-Princes Tradition at the Courts of King James and Prince Henry, 1600-1612'


Week 5 (23 May) **note 2pm start**

Cathy Shrank (University of Sheffield)

'Coercing or contesting? Political dialogues in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England'


Week 6 (30 May)

Jonathan Patterson (St Hilda’s College)

‘“Greatness Going Off”: Antony and Cleopatra Tragedies in Renaissance France and England’





Dmitri Levitin and Philipp Nothaft


Wharton Room and Hovenden Room (alternate weeks)


Wednesdays, 5.00–6.45pm



All very welcome. 


Week 1 (25 April) [Wharton Room]

Michael Hunter (Birkbeck, University of London)

‘The “Decline of magic” reconsidered’


Week 2 (02 May) [Hovenden Room]

Maximilian Schuh (Heidelberg)

‘Perceptions of nature between scholastic knowledge and individual observation: William Merle’s weather diary (1337-1344) and his De prognosticatione aeris (1340)’


Week 3 (09 May) [Wharton Room]

Felicity Henderson (Exeter)

‘Robert Hooke, art, and craft in Restoration London’


Week 4 (16 May) [Hovenden Room]

Andrew Wilson (All Souls College, Oxford),

‘The transmission of mechanical technologies between the Mediterranean and China in antiquity’


Week 5 (23 May) [Wharton Room] ***Event Cancelled***

Monica Azzolini (Bologna)

‘News from Sicily: Italian naturalists and the Royal Society on volcanic eruptions and earthquakes’



Week 6 (30 May) [Hovenden Room]

Barbara Obrist (CHSPAM, Paris)

‘Questions on twelfth-century cosmology’


Week 7 (6 June) [Wharton Room]

Marie-Aline Thébaud-Sorger (Centre Alexandre-Koyré, Paris; Maison Française, Oxford)

‘“Airs” as boundary objects: the elaboration of a collective knowledge at the crossroad of chemistry, practical arts, and medicine in the eighteenth century’


Week 8 (13 June) [Hovenden Room]

Anuj Misra (Observatoire de Paris)

‘Atha brahmāṇḍanirmāṇa: an Aristotelian view of the cosmos in a sixteenth-century Sanskrit text on mathematical astronomy’


Download the programme here:



Michael Malone-Lee


Fraenkel Room, Corpus Christi College (except week 7 in MBI Auditorium)


Wednesdays, 13.00-14.15




Week 1 (25 April)

Michael Malone-Lee

'The humanists and the search for the historians'


Week 2 (2 May)

Domenico Giordani, 'The letters of Poggio and Niccoli about the then recently found comedies of Plautus'

Peter Hainsworth, 'Subjectivity in Petrarch’s letters'


Week 3 (9 May)

Oren Margolis

'Erasmus, reader of Poliziano'


Week 4 (16 May)

Martin McLaughlin

'Poliziano and Cortesi’s epistolary debate on imitation'


Week 5 (23 May)

Adir Fonseca, 'Boccaccio and Virgil'

Herman Hermans 'Petrarch's letters to classical authors'


Week 6 (30 May)

Stephen Harrison, 'The letters of Buchanan'


Week 7 (6 June)

Justine Potts

'Latin correspondence of Cyriac of Ancona'

**change of location: MBI Auditorium for week 7 only**


Week 8 (13 June)

Marchella Ward     

'An anti-humanist Oedipus?'


Download the programme here:


Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Dr Judith Maltby, Professor Sarah Mortimer, Dr Grant Tapsell


Gibbs Room, Keble College
(in the basement of the Warden’s Lodging: access via the main entrance of the College and Porters’ Lodge, Keble Road)


Thursdays, 5pm



The paper is followed by refreshments.


Week 1 (26 April)

Dr Robert Armstrong (Trinity College Dublin)

‘The “Presbyterian story” in seventeenth-century Ireland’


Week 2 (03 May)

Prof. Elisabeth Dutton (University of Fribourg)

‘Reforming English drama and the staging of scripture’


Week 3 (10 May)

Dr Vivienne Larminie (History of Parliament Trust)

‘English Puritans and Swiss Pietists: a relationship across revolution, 1634-1674’


Week 4 (17 May)

Dr Rebecca Warren (University of Kent)

‘“This Unparraleled Unsurpation”: ecclesiastical patronage under Oliver Cromwell c.1654-1660’.


Week 5 (24 May)

Prof. John Watts (Corpus Christi College)

‘A High Road to Reformation?  Religion and the Church in England, from the 1450s to the 1530s’


Week 6 (31 May)

Dr Sarah Ward Clavier (University of the West of England)

‘“The Mountaines did serve for their Refuge”: 1650s Wales as a refuge for Anglican clergy’


Week 7 (07 June)

Prof. Peter Marshall (University of Warwick)

‘Heretics and Believers: writing a history of the English Reformation’


Week 8 (14 June)

Dr Felicity Heal (Jesus College)

'Words on the walls: texts in post-Reformation parish churches'


Download the programme here:



Audrey Borowski


Lecture Room A, The Queens College


Wednesdays, 5pm (except Week 8, which is on a Monday)



We will also be going for dinner with the speaker after each talk at the Turl Street kitchen on Turl Street.


Week 1 (25 April)

Dr Jenny Oliver (French)

'Montaigne’s Stony Mind’


Week 2 (2 May)

Dr Alex Wragge-Morley (UCL History)

‘Knowledge and Aesthetic Experience in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720’


Week 3 (Friday 11 May at 5.30 pm)

Alex Mortimore (German)

'Goethe and the Enlightenment'


Week 4 (16 May)

Professor Ritchie Robertson (German)

‘Enlightenment and the Paranormal’


Week 5 (23 May)

Professor Alison McQueen (Stanford History)

‘Between Promises and Prophecies’: Thomas Hobbes and the Apocalyptic Imaginary'


Week 6 (30 May)

Professor Nicholas Halmi (English)

‘Modernity as a Source of Unease’


Week 7 (06 June)

Audrey Borowski (History)

'The Mind between Machine and Organism in Leibniz'


Week 8 (Monday 11 June)

Dr Jean-Michel Johnston (English/History)

‘The Telegraphic Mind: Perception and Communication in the Early Nineteenth Century’


More details here


Natalia Nowakowska, David Parrott, Peter Wilson
Hovenden Room, All Souls College
 Wednesdays, 2pm or 5pm
 Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


Week 1 (25 April), 2pm

Marian Coman (Bucharest)

'Wandering Pretenders in Renaissance Europe: Christian Princes of the Ottoman Tributary States'


Week 3 (9 May), 5pm

Marianne B. Klerk (Oxford)

'The Art of the War Deal'


Week 5 (23 May), 5pm

Charles Edouard Levillain (Université de Paris - Diderot)

'Reflections on Researching and Writing the History of North-West Europe: France, the Dutch Republic, and Britain in the Later Seventeenth Century'


Week 7 (6 June), 2pm

Geert Janssen (Amsterdam)

'The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe'



Maison Française d’Oxford
Thursdays, 5.15 - 7.15pm
 Weeks 1, 3, 5


Week 1 (26 April)

Graduate and post-doc showcase:

Vittoria Fallanca, “Towards a Montaignian Aestethics”

Chanel de Halleux, “Fanny de Beauharnais (1737-1813), une hôtesse mondaine en quête de renommée littéraire”


Week 3 (10 May)

Sarah Benharrech, University of Maryland

“L’Arbre-animal ou le merveilleux végétal dans le Nouveau traité de physique (1742) de François-Joseph Hunauld”


Week 5 (24 May)
Isabelle Moreau, ENS Lyon
“Montaigne déclassé? Un Bourgeois de Paris affronte Port-Royal”





Beatrice Montedoro and Laura Wright


Seminar Room B, English Faculty


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8


Week 2 (1st May)

William Kroeger, ‘“Besides this Nothing“: As You Like It's Dramatic Absence.’

Benjamin Card, ’”This fleamy clodd of an Antagonist”: Milton's insults and how to take them.’


Week 4 (15th May)

NB. The White Devil performed at Jesus College this week.

Christopher Archibald, '”The secrets of the heart”: equivocation, resistant interiority and the recusant imagination.’

Richard Phillips, '”Haud facile credo, I am sure the Printer beeing of that honestie that I take him for,will not affirme it”: the printers’ part in the pamphlet quarrel during the 1590s between Gabriel Harvey and Thomas Nashe.’


Week 6 (29th May)

Louise Bracken, ’“Get thee to a scullery“: female domestic space in early modern drama.’

Jean David Eynard, ‘A disagreeing likeness still’: cognitive dissonance and riverine aesthetics in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.'


Week 8 (12th June)

Lucy Clarke discusses about her experience of directing The White Devil at Jesus College. 


Liesbeth Corens


Roy Griffiths Room, Keble College


Mondays, 12 noon


Weeks 2, 4


Week 2 (30 April)

Kate Wiles (History Today)

‘magazines and consultancy’


Week 4 (14 May)

Catherine Fletcher (Swansea University)

‘trade publishing’






"Thomas Cromwell: Enterprising Reformation"

Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch will deliver the Hensley Henson Lectures, on the following dates:


24 April 2018
The Religion of Thomas Cromwell (Part 1)

1 May 2018
Cromwell and the Monasteries (Part 1)

8 May 2018
Cromwell and the Monasteries (Part 2)

15 May 2018
The Religion of Thomas Cromwell (Part 2)


From 5-6PM at Examinations School, High Street, Oxford.

Booking can be done via Eventbrite (

These lectures are free and open to the public. The 1st Lecture is followed by a drinks reception. 


Ruggero Sciuto


Radcliffe Humanities, Seminar Room


Tuesdays, 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Weeks 4, 6


Week 4 (15 May)

Dr Niels May (Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris)

‘Negotiating peace in early modern Europe: Diplomatic ceremonial as opportunity and obstacle in the peace process’


Week 6 (29 May)

Dr Felix Waldmann (Christ’s College, Cambridge)

‘David Hume and diplomacy, 1746-1769’


Week 2

Europaeum MA Seminar

Tuesday 1st May, 10.00am | (Gerry Martin Room, History Faculty)

'War by other Means? Values and Practices in European Diplomacy c1500-c1600' | Dr Tracey Sowerby (Keble)


Using Practice as Research: The Case of the Spoken Blush with Dr Emma Whipday

Wednesday 2nd May, 5.00-6.30pm | (TORCH Seminar Room)

Dr Emma Whipday will give an introduction to her practice as research on narrating physical responses on the early modern stage. She will then lead a workshop on blushing, using extracts from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and All’s Well that Ends Well performed by student actors. The workshop will be interactive, calling upon audience members to make suggestions to the actors and discuss the effect of differing performance choices. This is a rare opportunity to see performance practice as research in action, and to blur the boundaries between theatre making and research. Open to all. Email Lucy Clarke with any questions about the event.


Week 4

Seminar on Reproducibility and Open Research
Tuesday 15th May,  4.30-6pm | Wharton Room, All Souls College
'Open Access in the Age of Print: Circulating the Royal Society's Publications, c. 1750-1950'
Prof Aileen Fyfe (University of St Andrews)


Enlightenment workshop

Thursday, 17th May, 5.00pm | Old Dining Hall, St Edmund Hall
Roundtable discussion of Anthony La Vopa’s book, The labor of the mind: intellect and gender in Enlightenment cultures (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)
Chair: Katherine Ibbett (French). 

  • Joanna Innes (History)
  • Karen O’Brien (Humanities Division; English)
  • Ritchie Robertson (German)
Respondent:  Anthony La Vopa (North Carolina State University)


Performance of The White Devil
Saturday 19th May, 2.15pm and 7.30pm | Jesus College Hall
By John Webster, dir. Lucy Clarke

Week 5

Oxford Bibliographical Society
Monday 21 May | Lecture Theatre, Weston Library
Lucy Razzall (University of Cambridge)
‘A boxe of balme full swete’: books and boxes in early modern England

Week 6

Besterman lectures

5.15pm | Shulman Auditorium, The Queen’s College
Professor Martin van Gelderen (University of Göttingen)
‘Methuselah and the unity of mankind: late Renaissance and early Enlightenment conceptions of time’



Hilary 2018

Expand All



South School, Examinations Schools


Fridays, 5.00pm


Weeks 1-6


All are welcome!


The 2018 James Ford Lectures in British History are given by Professor Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge) on:

The Reformation of the Generations: Age, Ancestry, and Memory in England c. 1500-1700


Week 1 (19 January)

Youth and Age


Week 2 (26 January)

Kith and Kin


Week 3 (2 February)

Ancestry and Genealogy


Week 4 (9 February)

Generation and Generations


Week 5 (16 February)

History and Time


Week 6 (23 February)

Memory and Archive




Lorna Hutson and Emma Smith


Mure Room, Merton College

(Please note change of venue for 13 February’s seminar. This will take place in the Fitzjames Room)


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7


All welcome. Wine and refreshments served.


Week 1 (16 January)

Lucy Munro, King’s College, London

‘New Histories of the Blackfriars Playhouse’


Week 3 (30 January)

Peter Womack, University of East Anglia

‘Tyrannical humours: bad kings on the Elizabethan stage’.


Week 5 (13 February) (Fitzjames Room)

Elizabeth Clarke (Warwick), David Norbrook (Merton) and Jane Stevenson (Campion Hall)

Panel discussion to mark the publication of Lucy Hutchinson, Theological Writings and Translations, Oxford University Press


Week 7 (27 February)

Jason Scott-Warren, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge

‘Distributing Donne’


Programme available for download here:



 Nick Davidson, Oren Margolis and Gervase Rosser


 St Catherine’s College


 Mondays, 5.00pm




All Welcome.


Week 1 (15 January)

Luca Giuliani (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin)

‘Michelangelo’s David and his Sling‘


Week 2 (22 January)

Cordelia Warr (Manchester University)

'Touch, texture and the Franciscan habit’


Week 3 (29 January)

Christa Gardner von Teuffel (Oxford)

‘Brunelleschi Impresario: new chapels and new altarpieces at San Lorenzo, Florence’ 


Week 4 (5 February)

Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja (Cambridge University)

‘Insulting women and women insulting in early modern Italy: Literary and criminal history’


Week 5 (12 February)

Oscar Schiavone (Durham University)

‘Luca Martini: Dante scholar and patron of the arts in the service of the Medici’


Week 6 (19 February)

Maya Corry (Oxford University)

‘Neoplatonism, Aristotelianism, body and soul in Leonardo’s Milan’


Week 7 (26 February)

Giuliano Milani (Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée)

‘The long prehistory of the pittura infamante (IX-XIII centuries)’


Week 8 (5 March)

Oren Margolis (Oxford University)

'Hercules in Venice: Aldus Manutius and Erasmus of Rotterdam'


Programme available for download here:



Neil Kenny


Wharton Room, All Souls College


Wednesdays, 2.00-3.30pm (Week 4 on Monday)


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8


All very welcome.


Week 2 (24 January)

TIFFANY STERN (The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham):

Puppets, Bibelots, and Ballad-sheets: Literature as Artefact in Early Modern Europe

PHIL WITHINGTON (University of Sheffield):

Reading, Writing, and Social Practice in Early Modern England


Week 4 (Monday 5 February)

JENNY OLIVER (St John’s College, Oxford):

The Building of Knowledge and the Building of Society: Montaigne’s bastiment

CATHERINE RICHARDSON (University of Kent):

Assessing the Learning of the Early Modern English Middling Sort: Material and Textual Sources


Week 6 (21 February)

RAPHAËLE GARROD (University of Cambridge):

It Takes One to Know One: Erasmian Ingenuity and the (Un)making of Scholarly Communities

ISABELLE MOREAU (École Normale Supérieure, Lyon):

Amazons, Idlers, and the Republic of Letters


Week 8 (7 March )

NEIL KENNY (All Souls College, Oxford):

Literature, Learning, and the Family Function (La Croix du Maine, Scévole de Sainte-Marthe)

IAN MACLEAN (All Souls College, Oxford):

The Social Status of Publishers in Europe (1560–1630) and Their Place in the World of Learning


Programme available for download here:



Philip Beeley, Christopher Hollings, Yelda Nasifoglu, and Benjamin Wardhaugh


Hovenden Room, All Souls College


Wednesdays, 5.00pm




Week 1 (17 January)

Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)

‘“Black strokes upon white paper”: changing attitudes towards symbolic algebra from the nineteenth into the twentieth century’


Week 2 (24 January)

Ralf Krömer (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

‘Justification of axioms: a neglected topic in the history of mathematics?’


Week 3 (31 January)

Katharina Habermann (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

‘Gauss’s diary, Riemann’s Hypothesis, and Klein’s letters: the central archive for mathematics bequests in Göttingen’


Week 4 (7 February)

Emmylou Haffner (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

‘Insights into the long “genesis” of Dedekind’s lattice theory’


Week 5 (14 February)

Natasha Glaisyer (University of York)

‘Speaking, reading, writing and printing numbers in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England’


Week 6 (21 February)

Karine Chemla (Université Paris Diderot)

‘Forms of proofs for algebraic equations in medieval China’


Week 7 (28 February)

Matthew Landrus (University of Oxford)

‘Geometry and mathematics for the technical and visual arts at the turn of the sixteenth century’


Week 8 (7 March)

Jeanne Peiffer (CNRS)

‘Reading mathematics in the eighteenth century: Montesquieu and young d’Alembert’


Programme available for download here:




Margaret Bent


Wharton Room, All Souls


Thursdays, 5.00-7.00pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8


All are welcome.

Week 2 (25 January)

Yolanda Plumley (University of Exeter)

Music and the Staging of Princely Power in Late Medieval France


Week 4 (8 February)

James Burke (University of Cambridge)

The making and re-making of the Sadler partbooks: GB-Ob MSS Mus. e. 1–5


Week 6 (22 February)

Mark Everist (University of Southampton)

Music, Pleasure and the Intertextual Arts in the Long Thirteenth Century


Week 8 (8 March)

Karl Kügle (University of Oxford and University of Utrecht)

The Koblenz fragments: fourteenth-century music, fifteenth-century church reform, and uses of the past in late medieval Europe


Programme with abstracts available to download here:





Dr Dmitri Levitin and Sir Noel Malcolm


Hovenden Room, All Souls


Mondays, 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

All very welcome.


Week 1 (15 January)

Renée Raphael (University of California, Irvine)

‘Mechanics in the margins: an anonymous annotator, eclectic reading, and Galileo's Two New Sciences’


Week 2 (22 January)

Richard Serjeantson (Trinity College, Cambridge)

‘Francis Bacon in Poland: for and against the “Great Instauration” in Second Reformation Europe’


Week 3 (29 January)

Timothy Twining (Caius College, Cambridge)

‘Richard Simon and the remaking of biblical criticism, c. 1665–1685’


Week 4 (5 February)

Daniel Garber (Princeton),

‘Novatores: negotiating novelty in early modern philosophy’


Week 5 (12 February)

David Lines (Warwick)

‘Philosophical teaching in sixteenth-century Bologna’


Week 6 (19 February)

John Christie (Oxford)

‘Enlightenment's Apocalypse: prophecy, providence and science in the work of Joseph Priestley’


Week 7 (26 February)

Dirk Van Miert (Utrecht)

‘The “Hairy War” (1640-1650) and the historicization of the Bible: the role of philology in a public debate on men wearing long hair in the Dutch Republic’


Week 8 (5 March)

Delphine Bellis (Sarton Centre, Ghent)

‘Gassendi’s theory of vision: at the crossroads between Epicureanism and early modern empiricism’


Programme available for download here:




Ian Archer, Alexandra Gajda, Steven Gunn, Lucy Wooding


The Breakfast Room, Merton College


Thursdays at 5pm (tea from 4.45).


Weeks 1-6


18 January 2018 (1st Week)

Dr Ceri Law (Univ. of Cambridge)

Remembering and Forgetting Recantation in the English Reformation


25 January 2018 (2nd Week)

Prof. Jason Peacey (UCL)

‘“To Move the First Day of Term”: Strategies, Practices and a Seventeenth-Century Microhistory’


1 February 2018 (3rd Week)

Prof. Peter Marshall (Warwick Univ.)

‘Long Reformation in the Far North: Kirk and Culture in Early Modern Orkney’


8 February 2018 (4th Week)

Ernesto Oyarbide Magana (Wolfson College)

‘Procuring “Local Knowledge”. The Library of the First Count of Gondomar in the context of his Diplomacy’


15 February 2018 (5th Week)

Wesley Correa (Corpus Christi College)

‘Political Dialogue, Exchange and Propaganda, c. 1461-1537’


22 February 2018 (6th Week)

Prof. Alexandra Walsham (University of Cambridge)

‘The Reformation of the Generations: Age, Ancestry, and Memory in England c. 1500-1700’: Discussion of the James Ford Lectures in British History’


This seminar meets in the Colin Matthews Room in the History Faculty, except Week 6 when we are in the Gerry Martin room.  We meet on Wednesdays 2 till 4.

We’re also including announcements of some other German-related events we think will interest you.


Week 2 Wednesday 24 January 2 to 4 pm

Howard Jones (Keble) 'Translating Luther's Sermon on Indulgences and Grace and 95 Theses'

Edmund Wareham (Somerville) 'Translating the Passional of Christ and Antichrist'


Week 4 Wednesday 7 February 2 to 4 pm

Christiane Andersson (Bucknell)

‘Censorship of Art in the Reformation in Germany’


Week 5 Friday 16 February 2 to 4 pm (Taylor Institution Library)

Craig Harline (Brigham Young)

‘A World Ablaze: The Rise of Martin Luther and the Birth of the Reformation​’, followed by a presentation of Reformation pamphlets held by the Taylor Library


Week 6  Wednesday 21 February 2 to 4 pm (Gerry Martin Room)

Kerstin Weiand (Marburg)

‘Hessen-Kassel and the Peace of Westphalia (title tbc)’


Week 7, MONDAY 26 February, 12.45 to 18.30 CONFERENCE QUEEN’S, MARIA THERESA (registration required)

17.00 Shulman Auditorium, Queen’s

Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger (Münster)

‘Maria Theresa and the Catholic Enlighenment’


Week 8 Wednesday 7 March 2 to 4 pm

Sarah-Maria Schober (Basel and Oxford)

"Disgusting Objects in Early Modernity"


Seminar Organisers: Ian Maclean, Lyndal Roper, Edmund Wareham, Peter Wilson




Liesbeth Corens


Roy Griffiths Room, Keble College


Mondays at 12 noon


Weeks 4, 6, 8


Week 4 (5 February)

Oliver Cox (Oxford University)

'Developing research-led collaborations in the heritage sector: a how to guide'


Week 6 (19 February)

Marianne Wilson (National Archives)

'Archives and Researchers'


Week 8 (5 March)

Catherine Fletcher (Swansea University)

'History in trade publishing'


Programme available for download here:




Laura Wright and Beatrice Montedoro


Seminar Room B, English Faculty


Tuesdays, 5.15pm


Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8


Week 2 (23rd January)

Christopher Gausden, "Walter Quin: A Scottish Court Poet and the English Court in the 1590s.”

Lucia Alden, "Playing with Profit in Early Modern Theatre."

Week 2 (6th February)

Kilian Schindler, "Pigs and Puritans: Conversion in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair."

Katie Ebner-Landy, "Problems with Political Readings of Early Modern Drama: The Case of The Troublesome Raigne."

Week 6 (20th February)

Georgina Wilson, "‘Take care in the cutting out’: John Blagrave's Mathematical Iewel and the Material Transmission of Knowledge."

Sophie Zhuang, "'The Hateful Siege of Contraries': Satan’s Paradoxical Speech and Milton’s Theodicy."

Week 8 (6th March)

William Kroeger, "'The matter's in my head and in my heart': As You Like It's dramatic materiality."

Benjamin Card, "'This fleamy clodd of an Antagonist': Milton's Insults and How to Take Them."


Programme available for download here:




Ruggero Sciuto


Seminar Room, Third Floor, Radcliffe Humanities Building


Tuesdays, 5.30-7.00pm


Weeks 5, 6, 7, 8


Week 5 (13 February)

Sir Noel Malcolm (All Souls College, Oxford)

'The Same Game, But with Different Rules: Western Diplomats in Early Modern Istanbul'


Week 6 (20 February)

Professor Christine Vogel (Universität Vechta)

'Trust Building Measures in Cross-Cultural Settings: Diplomatic Networking Practices in Early Modern Istanbul'


Week 7 (27 February)

Professor Isabella Lazzarini (Università degli Studi del Molise)

'Multilayered Networks, Information Gathering and Letter-Writing: For a 'New Diplomatic History' of Early Renaissance Italy (1350 - 1520 ca.)'


Week 8 (6 March)

Professor Hamish Scott (Jesus College, University of Oxford)

'Europe's Diplomatic Culture, c.1700 - 1900: Continuity and Change'


Week 7

Friday 2 March, 5.30-7.30pm

'Musical and Literary Approaches to the Operas of Jean-Philippe Rameau' (Jaqueline du Pré Building, St Hilda’s College)

(Please RSVP to Jonathan Patterson)

Michaelmas 2017

Expand All


The 2017 Clarendon Lecutres will be given by Professor Victoria Kahn, Katharine Bixby Hotchkis Chair in English at the University of California, Berkeley. Titled ‘The Trouble with Literature’, the series will examine poiesis and ‘literature’ from the early modern period (Milton, Hobbes) through to J. M. Coetzee. Professor Kahn’s work has been characterized by a desire to understand how Renaissance rhetoric and poetics have shaped the forms of modern liberal democracy. She has written on Machiavellian rhetoric, on the link between contract and romance, and on poetics and political theology. Her books, which are read by literary critics, political theorists and historians, include Rhetoric, Prudence and Skepticism (Cornell, 1985); Machiavellian Rhetoric from the Counter-Reformation to Milton (Princeton, 1994); Wayward Contracts (Chicago, 2004) and The Future of Illusion (Chicago, 2014).


Weeks 2 and 3

Tuesday, 17 October 2017: Literature and Literariness

Thursday, 19 October 2017: Hobbes and Maker's Knowledge

Tuesday, 24 October 2017: Milton and the Problem of Belief

Thursday, 26 October 2017: Literariness in Kant, Kierkegaard and Coetzee

Thursdays at 5pm in The Breakfast Room, Merton College (tea from 4.45).

Suggested preparatory reading follows the titles.

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


Week 1 (12th October)

Dr Jonathan Healey (OUDCE) ‘The Curious Case of the Cross-Dressing Catholic: Revelry and Resistance in Jacobean Lancashire’

Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe (1978), Ch. 7; Natalie Zemon Davis, ‘The Rites of Violence: Religious Riot in Sixteenth Century France’, Past and Present, 59 (1973); Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (1559):

Week 2 (19th October)

Charles Cornish-Dale (Lincoln College) ‘Archbishop Laud and the Corporation of Wimborne Minster, 1636-1639’

J. Willis, Church Music and Protestantism in Post-Reformation England: Discourses, Sites and Identities (2010), chs. 2, 3 and 4; I. Atherton, ‘Cathedrals, Laudianism, and the British Churches’, Historical Journal, 53:4 (2010), 895-918.

Week 3 (26th October)

Prof. Ann Hughes (Keele Univ.) ‘The Scribal Legacies of Katherine Gell 1645-1730’

Mark Goldie, Roger Morrice and the Puritan Whigs (The Entring Book of Roger Morrice vol 1) (2007) ch. 4; Kate Narveson, Bible Readers and Lay Writers in Early Modern England (2012), ch. 5; Gillian Wright, ‘Delight in Good Books: Family, Devotional Practice and Textual Circulation in Sarah Savage’s Diaries’, Book History 18 (2015) 48-74.

Week 4 (2 November)

Dr Angela McShane (Wellcome Collection) ‘“Holy Harmony”: Puritans and Popular Song in seventeenth-century England’

Christopher Durston and Jaqueline Eales, ‘Introduction: The Puritan Ethos, 1560-1700’, and Patrick Collinson, ‘Elizabethan and Jacobean Puritanism as Forms of Popular Religious Culture’, in Durston and Eales eds., The Culture of English Puritanism, 1560-1700 (1996), 1-31, 32-57; Tessa Watt, Cheap Print and Popular Piety, 1550-1640 (1993), esp. Ch. 2.

Week 5 (9 November)

Prof. Andy Wood (Durham Univ.) ‘Work and Social Relations in England, 1500-1640’

M. Bennett, ‘Misogyny, popular culture and women’s work’, History Workshop, 31 (1991); M. Hailwood, ‘Sociability, work and labouring identity in seventeenth-century England’, Cultural and Social History, 8, 1 (2011), 9-29; K. Thomas, ‘Work and leisure in pre-industrial society’, Past and Present, 29 (1964).

Week 6 (16 November)

Prof. Nandini Das (Univ. of Liverpool) ‘Sir Thomas Roe: Memory, Transculturality, and the Incorporated Self’

Henry Turner, ‘Introduction’, The Corporate Commonwealth  (2016); Nandini Das, ‘“Apes of Imitation”: Imitation and Identity in Sir Thomas Roe’s Embassy to India’, in Jyotsna Singh, ed., A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion (2009), 114-128.

Week 7 (23 November)

Dr Charmian Mansell (Univ. of Exeter and TORCH) ‘Space, Place, and Experiences of Service: evidence from the church court depositions of early modern England’

Amanda Flather, Gender and Space in Early Modern England (2007), esp. cc. 2, 3, 4; Tim Meldrum, Domestic Service and Gender 1660-1750: Life and Work in the London Household (2000), esp. c. 4; Ann Kussmaul, Servants in Husbandry in Early Modern England (1981), cc. 1, 4.

Week 8 (30 November)

Dr Steven Reid (Univ. of Glasgow) ‘The False Scots Urchin and his Dearest Sister: James, Elizabeth and Factional Politics in Scotland, 1583-1584’

Julian Goodare and Michael Lynch, ‘James VI: Universal King?’, in eidem, eds, The Reign of James VI (2000), 1-31; Steven J. Reid, ‘Of Bairns and Bearded Men: James VI and the Ruthven Raid’, in Miles Kerr-Peterson and Steven J. Reid, eds, James VI and Noble Power in Scotland, c. 1578-1603 (Routledge, 2017), 32-56.


Tuesdays: weeks 1, 3, 5 and 7

Mure Room, Merton College, 5.15pm (except week 3)

(N.B. The Mure Room is 5-10 minutes’ walk from the porter’s lodge in Merton St, at the far East of the college via the Fellows’ garden. Please see the map on this page)

Convenors: Professor Lorna Hutson and Professor Emma Smith


Week 1 (10 October)

Laurie Maguire (Magdalen, Oxford)

‘“This page left intentionally blank”: ludic space in early modern texts’ 


Week 3 (24 October)

Victoria Kahn (Berkeley)

‘Milton and the problem of belief’

NB: Clarendon Lecture: Lecture Theatre 2, English Faculty, 5.30pm  


Week 5 (7 November)

Stephen Guy-Bray (University of British Columbia)

‘Becoming Art: the queerness of representation in the Renaissance’


Week 7 (21 November)

Hester Lees-Jeffries (St Catharine’s, Cambridge)

‘Inky Cloaks: Black cloth and black pages, performance and paratext’




Tuesdays: weeks 4, 6, and 8 at 5.15pm

History of the Book Room, St Cross Building

Convenors: Laura Wright and Beatrice Montedoro

1st Week (Wednesday, 11th October)
Social outing - Coriolanus Broadcast Live from the RSC. Meeting at 6.45pm, Odeon Magdalen St.

4th Week (Tuesday, 31st October)
Olivia Anderson, “Concord Through Discord: Conversion in Richard Baxter's Poetical Fragments.”
Audrey Borowski, “The Horizon of the Human Doctrine to The Restitution (Apokatastasis): Leibniz between finite Combinatorics and infinite Metaphysics.”

6th Week (Tuesday, 14th November)
A discussion of the B-Course and some sample papers: highly recommended for MSt students.
Fraser Buchanan, “'Contrived’ authorship? John Prideaux and the Role of the Early Modern Literary Executor.”
Rachael Hodge, “Frances Wolfreston Her Almanacs: A Seventeenth-Century Reader Re-read."

8th Week (Tuesday 28th November)
Aleida Auld, “Donne’s Satires and the Rise of Metaphysical Poetry.”
Arianna Hijazin, “‘What needs this iterance?': repetition and the figure of Echo in Shakespeare.”


Thursdays 5 –7 p.m, weeks 2, 4, 6, 8

All Souls, Wharton Room

All are welcome.


Week 2, October 19th,  Philippe Canguilhem, University of Toulouse: 

 "Usuall Musicke". Singing upon the book in the Renaissance

Abstract: My lecture considers the performative dimension of counterpoint as it was practiced within the choirs and chapels of many European churches in the 15th and 16th centuries. After discussing its status in the current literature, I would like to embark on a three-stage inquiry : firstly, I will give a quick overview of the non-musical documents that inform us about the circumstances of the teaching and performance of the chant sur le livre. I will turn in a second time towards the theoretical literature : how was it taught, according to which techniques ? Finally, I will briefly investigate a written out repertoire that has been mostly neglected so far : we have preserved a number of pieces that aim to imitate the sound and texture of contrapuntal improvisations, and studying this material allows us to get a more precise idea of how the contrappunto alla mente, as it was called in Italy, actually looked like when properly done.

Week 4, November 2nd,  Adam Whittaker, Birmingham City University:  

Models of exemplarity: towards an understanding of Tinctoris’s musical examples   

Abstract: The notational treatises of Johannes Tinctoris (c. 1435–1511) are among the most studied music theory texts of their age. The level of meticulous detail and apparent rigour, twinned with a fairly comprehensive survey of most aspects of practical music that the fifteenth-century musician would need to know, make his treatises invaluable to understanding musical practices and pedagogy of the later part of the Middle Ages. Despite much scholarly attention being directed towards his texts, particularly his De arte contrapuncti and Proportionale musices, his use of musical examples has remained largely underexplored. Indeed, the broader field of musical examples in medieval and Renaissance music theory treatises has been somewhat neglected, both in modern scholarship and in critical editions.

                This paper examines some key musical examples from across Tinctoris’s notational treatises, considering the ways in which such material supports and articulates his theoretical argument. It also considers what exemplary content might reveal about the probable readerships for music theory treatises, and the reading practices associated with late fifteenth-century mensural notation. The breadth of Tinctoris’s subject coverage makes his texts an ideal case study for an investigation of this type, exploring the function and composition of musical examples for a range of theoretical purposes. Such an examination reveals Tinctoris to be a skilled composer of pedagogical miniatures of all shapes, sizes, and functions, offering a valuable insight into the pedagogical logics that underpin the construction of Tinctoris’s theoretical texts, and the factors that may have influenced the composition of the texts themselves.

Week 6 , November 16th, Joseph Mason,  University of Oxford: 

Sweetly divided': Analytical propositions and problems for the thirteenth-century jeu-parti

Abstract: In thirteenth-century French debate songs, known as jeux-partis, poets frequently dwell on the divided nature of their songs. The poetry of a jeu-parti is divided by a dilemma question, which is debated by two trouvères. Division can also be seen in the tonal structure of jeu-parti melodies. This paper presents the findings of a systematic survey of normative melodic practice in the jeu-parti. Drawing on Hepokoski and Darcy's influential concept of norms and deformations (2006) and debates on tonal norms in fourteenth-century song, I suggest what the tonal norms of the jeu-parti might have been. I also consider the problems of applying the model of norms and deformations to a corpus whose melodies can be agonistically and, on occasion, violently divided.  

Week 8, November 30th, Andreas Janke, University of Hamburg: 

Revisiting the tradition of late-medieval Florentine song: shedding multispectral light on Trecento music

Abstract: The Florentine tradition of Trecento song has been investigated intensively based on surviving anthologies and fragments. Without a doubt, the Squarcialupi Codex has received a lot of attention from scholars due to its wide repertorial coverage, unusually large format, and its lavish illuminations. Because of its outstanding appearance it was even regarded as a consciously set endpoint to the tradition of an Italian Ars Nova, with Andrea da Firenze in the role of the “last Florentine.” At the beginning of the 1980s, however, another extensive Florentine anthology was discovered in the Archive of the Chapter of San Lorenzo with the call number 2211 (SL). This manuscript contains not only well-known songs such as the compositions of Jacopo da Bologna or Francesco Landini, it also includes new repertories, which unfortunately have been extremely difficult to read since the manuscript had been recycled as a palimpsest by the end of the fifteenth century.

In this paper, I will present recent research on SL that includes the recovery of the lost music, and the discussion of the works of composers such as Giovanni Mazzuoli, who were considered shadowy figures thus far, since their music was not known. Further, I want to highlight insights into the compiler-scribe of the music manuscript, who most likely was a singer or composer himself. SL is regarded as being compiled contemporaneously with the Squarcialupi Codex, providing an opportunity to compare the different scopes of these anthologies, and to also revisit the role of the Squarcialupi Codex within the tradition of Trecento music. The new material gained from SL enriches our view of secular music and composers at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

Wednesdays at 5pm, tea and coffee served from 4.45pm

Turl Yard Lecture Room, Lincoln College


Week 1 (11 October 2017)

Introductory party!

Various Speakers


Week 2 (18 October 2017)

Lucy Dow (National Maritime Museum)

‘The liquid measure is here given in Scotch; but it can in a minute be reduced into English’: Scottish and English Cookery Books and the Idea of the Nation in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century Britain.


Week 3 (25 October 2017)

Hamish Roberts (St. Antony’s)

‘Changing Understandings of Time in Late Eighteenth-century Britain: Richard Price, Doctrine, and Revolution’


Week 4 (Tuesday 31 October)

[Please note the change of time and venue: 4pm, Rothermere American Institute]

George Van Cleve (Seattle)

‘The Birth of the American Empire: The Articles of Confederation and the Road to the Constitution’


Week 5 (8 November)

Deb Oxley (All Souls)

‘The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments’


Week 6 (15 November)

Lydia Hamlett (Cambridge):

‘Myth-making and Mural Painting in Britain, 1680-1730’


Week 7 (22 November)

Hamish Scott (Jesus)

‘The British “Fiscal-Military” State after Thirty Years’


Week 8 (29 November)

George Artley (Lincoln)

‘No Longer The King’s Bench? Sir John Holt, the Common Law, and the Impact of the Glorious Revolution’

Wednesdays, 11.15am-1pm, at the Rees Davies Room in the History Faculty.

[NOTE: Week 8 is jointly organized with the History of War Seminar series. The talk will take place at All Souls, beginning at 5.15pm]

All Welcome!


Week 1 (11 October 2017)

‘Roi de guerre ou Roi de paix?: Louis XV, Europe and the French Monarchy, 1736-1748’

Julian Swann


Week 2 (18 October 2017)

‘From Göttingen to Sri Lanka: The 18th-Century Debate on Elephant Copulation and the Limits of Evidential Credibility’

Avi Lifschitz


Week 3 (25 October)

‘The Court as the World: Refocussing a Nobility on Court Life’

Fabian Persson


Week 4 (1 November)

‘Visual Dissent in the Iberian Empires, 1500-1700’

Giuseppe Marcocci


Week 5 (8 November)

1. ‘Religion in the Armies of the Thirty Years War’

2. ‘Early Modern Amsterdam: The European Market for War-Making’

Ryan Crimmins, Marianne Klerk


Week 6 (15 November)

‘New Materials, Old Conflicts: The Craft of Dyeing in 16th- Century Spain’

Adrianna Catena


Week 7 (22 November)

‘António Vieira and the "Clavis Prophetatum": A Portuguese Fifth Imperialistic Project’

Ana Valdez


Week 8 (Wednesday 29 November)

‘Rebuilding Landscapes, Reconstructing Lives: Brandenburg after the Thirty Years War’

Mary Lindemann

Mondays weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8 at 5.15pm

Weeks 2, 6, 8 at Old Library, Hertford College

Week 4 at St Cross Church, Manor Road

All welcome!


Week 2 (16 October)

Dr Kim Simpson, University of Southampton

Heterogeneous Animals: queer bodies in mid-eighteenth-century fiction by women


Week 4 (30 October) [Note change of venue]

Naomi Tiley and James Howarth (Balliol College Library)

Any given book: Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century libraries at Balliol

Archive workshop at Balliol Historic Collections Centre, St Cross Church, Manor Road


Week 6 (13 November)

Graduate Presentations

Dan Sperrin, Lincoln College: Bad Reception: Marcus Aurelius and His Meditations

Helen Brown, Hertford College: "Like a true Coxcomb": Pope as poseur in his self-published letters


Week 8 (27 November)

Professor David Brewer, Ohio State University

What is an Authorial Portrait?


Seminar leaders: Prof. Christine Gerrard, Prof. Abby Williams, Dr Freya Johnston, Prof. Ros Ballaster, Prof. Nicole Pohl, Christy Edwall, Helen Brown, Alex Hardie-Forsyth


Week 2

Christ Church Upper Library, Oxford

Monday 16 October, 5.15pm

Stephen Grant | Collecting Shakespeare: the lives and books of Henry and Emyly Folger

Week 1

Thursday 12 October, 5pm

Oxford Art History Research Seminars (History of Art Lecture Theatre, Littlegate House, St Ebbes)

Revealing Rituals: Early Modern Sculpture before Unveiling | Alison Wright (UCL)

Week 2

Wednesday 18 October, 12:45pm

Economic and Social History Graduate Seminar (Nuffield College, New Road)

‘The long road to Bank of England: characters and diffusion of early central banks, 1401-1694’ | Jacopo Sartori (University of Cambridge),


Week 8

Monday 27 November, 5.30pm

Seminars in the History of Collecting (The Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre, London W1U 3BN)

The collection of Islamic artworks of Ferdinando Cospi (1606-1686) | Federica Gigante (PhD candidate, The Warburg Institute & SOAS)


Please email if you would like a relevant seminar series or event to be featured on this page. 

List of site pages