Seminar Programmes for the Current Academic Year

Programmes for the Academic Year 2020/2021. 

Trinity 2021

Convenors: Dmitri Levitin and Noel Malcolm

Time: Tuesdays (Weeks 1-4), 2-4pm. 

Venue: Zoom. Register here to receive the Zoom links.


Further sign up information can be seen on the attached termcard poster: 


Week 1: Tuesday 27th April, 2-4pm

James Hook, (Lincoln College, Oxford): ‘Mary Astell and Pierre Bayle: On the Margins of Toleration’

Week 2: Tuesday 4th May, 2-4pm

Ruggero Sciuto, (Wolfson/Voltaire Foundation, Oxford): ‘Hiding Between the Lines: God, Causation, and Laws of Nature in the Works of the Baron d’Holbach’

Week 3: Tuesday 11th May, 2-4pm

Howard Hotson, (St Anne’s, Oxford): ‘Post-Ramist Method and the Reception of the New Philosophies: Intellectual History from the Ground Up’.

Week 4: Tuesday 18th May, 2-4pm

Sophie Roux, (École Normale Supérieure, Paris/All Souls, Oxford), ‘The Life and Works of Jacques Du Roure. Hunting for an Unknown Cartesian’.

Convenors: Sophie Aldred and Alex Beeton

Time: Mondays, [Weeks 1,3,5,7], 5pm

Venue: Teams. Email for the link

Week 1: Monday 26th April, 5pm

John Morrill, (University of Cambridge): ‘‘They made a desert and they called it peace': Cromwell's War in Ireland’.


Week 3: Monday 10th May, 5pm

Sarah Mortimer and David Scott, (University of Oxford & History of Parliament): ‘Henry Marten and the 'Original of all Just Power''.

Week 5: Monday 24th May, 5pm

Grant Tapsell, (University of Oxford): ‘The Ordeal of William Sancroft: A conservative endures Britain in revolution'. 

Week 7: Monday 7th June, 5pm

Anthony Milton, (University of Sheffield): ‘Further reformation? Episcopalian royalist rethinking in the 1650s'

Convenor: Henrike Lähneman

Time: Wednesday, [Weeks 1-8], 3-5pm.

Venue: Teams.

Taylor Editions and the Centre for the Study of the Book present: Digital Editions Live – Launching the Oxford History of the Book Projects 2021. The series presents projects which have been developed by Master students in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages as part of their ‘Method Option’ Palaeography, History of the Book, Digital Humanities.  

Launches will feature new digital editions on, the Taylor Editions website, and a live showing of manuscripts and books. The sessions take place during the Oxford Trinity Term, 28 April to 16 June 2021, every Wednesday 3-5pm. Everybody is welcome to attend the sessions which will be held via Teams and recorded. Join the meeting here

After term, there will be a workshop in conjunction with Dark Archives to reflect on the methodology of editing, presenting – and teaching History of the Book on 25 June. For further information, contact Henrike Lähnemann <

Week 1: Wednesday 28th April, 3-5pm

Introduction and Animals in French Manuscripts 

Henrike Lähnemann, Emma Huber, Andrew Dunning: Introduction to Digital Editions Live 

Sebastian Dows-Miller: ‘Re-awakening Merton’s Beasts’, (Merton College, MS. 249). Edition.  

Week 2: Wednesday 5th May, 3-5pm

Travelling Manuscripts

Eva Neufeind, Agnes Hilger, Mary Boyle and Aysha Strachan: ‘Arnold von Harff’s Travelogue in the Bodleian Library (MS. Bodley 972) and in other manuscripts’.


Week 3: Wednesday 12th May, 3-5pm

Early Printed Holdings in Taylorian and Bodleian 

Agnes Hilger and Alyssa Steiner: ‘Pfaffennarr (Taylor ARCH.8o.G.1521(27) & Bodleian Library Tr.Luth. 16 (78))’ 

Alexandra Hertlein: ‘Jacob Locher Panegyricus (Inc. e. G7.1497.2./Douce 73)’ 

Grace Cook: ‘Marginalia in the 1509 Le rommant de la rose (Taylor Arch.Fol.F.15)’

Sam Griffiths and Christian Tofte: ‘Marginalia in Plutarch’s Vidas Paralelas (Taylor ARCH Fol. Sp. 1491)’  

Week 4: Wednesday 19th May, 3-5pm

Indigenous Languages: Tupi and Welsh 

Mary Newman: ‘The oldest Tupi manuscript (MS. Bodley 617)’ 

Lois Williams: ‘Cân o Senn iw Hên Feistr TOBACCO (1718), NLW. North PRINT W.s. 156’

Week 5: Wednesday 26th May, 3-5pm

Illustrated Italian Manuscripts  

Katie Bastiman and Holly Abrahamson: ‘Dante Ante-Purgatorio (MS. Canon.Ital. 108)’

Giuseppe Nanfitò: ‘Boccaccio, Filocolo (MS. Canon. Ital. 85)’


Week 6: Wednesday 2nd June, 3-5pm

Collective Editing and Linked Data 

Josephine Bewerunge, Molly Ford, Sam Heywood, Caroline Lehnert, Molly Lewis, Marlene Schilling: ‘A collective edition of a German devotional miscellany (MS. Germ. e. 5)’  

Danielle Apodaca: ‘Le Roman de Flamenca DH project across editions and translations’ 

Week 7: Wednesday 9th June, 3-5pm

Transforming Manuscripts 

Carrie Heusinkveld: ‘Reconsidering the Metamorphoses by Clément Marot (MS. Douce 117)’ 

Javaria Abbasi: ‘Pedro de Medina’s Libro de cosmographia (1538), (MS. Canon. Ital. 243)’ 

Week 8: Wednesday 16th June, 3-5pm

Special Book Launch: 500 Years Passional Christi und Antichristi  

Edmund Wareham presents the newest book in the Reformation Pamphlet series, the ‘Passional Christi und Antichristi’ (Taylor ARCH 8° G. 1521 (19)

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

Time: Tuesdays, [Weeks 1,3,5 and 7], 5.15-7.15pm.

Venue: Zoom. The Zoom link will be sent out with the weekly CEMS email. 


Week 1: Tuesday 27th April, 5.15-7.15pm

Lauren Working (Exeter, Oxford): ‘Not as a poet, but a pioneer’: Fancy and the Colonial Gaze in William Davenant’s Madagascar (1638) 

Abstract: ‘In the late 1630s, the court poet William Davenant applied his literary energies to Madagascar, an island off the eastern coast of Africa: ‘Thus in a dream did I adventure out, between the southern Tropic and the line’. While previous scholarship has highlighted the poem's ambiguous attitude towards empire, focusing more on the rising interest in eastern diplomacy at Charles I's court, this paper argues that the poem becomes an important space for prominent poets – Davenant, but also friends and fellow wits including John Suckling and Endymion Porter – to reflect on issues of desire, truth, and fantasy in the context of colonial expansion. The use of fancy in Madagascar, and in the wider court poetics of the 1630s, becomes key to understanding the colonial gaze at court, and the particular aesthetics of empire it helped create.’  

Week 3: Tuesday 11th May, 5.15-7.15pm

Kimberly Coles (Maryland), Denis Britton (University of New Hampshire), Hannah Crawforth (King’s College, London) Jyotsna Singh (Michigan State University): ‘Teaching Early Modern Race Literature and Race: A Roundtable’

Week 5: Tuesday 25th May, 5.15-7.15pm

Will West (Northwestern University): ‘Distracted Globes, Attentive Spirits, Thronged Doors: The Playhouse as a Form of Thought’

Abstract: ‘When Hamlet famously promises the Ghost of his father to remember him “whiles memory holds a seat in this distracted globe”, he refers both to his own head and to the playhouse he finds himself in.  Discourses of stage-playing of Elizabethan and Jacobean England frequently figure the playhouses as minds of their own, and the playing and playgoing that took place in and around them as a kind of thinking.  This talk will explore the currency of the figure in Shakespeare’s time, some of its connotations, and finally consider to what extent we may wish to entertain its proposition: that playhouses think.’


Week 7: Tuesday 8th June, 5.15-7.15pm

End-of-year Reading and Discussion Group

‘On Being Attached’ from Rita Felski, Hooked: Reflections on Art and Attachment (2020)

The reading will be circulated via the CEMS email, along with the Zoom link. Please bring along your own stories of attachment to works of art.

Convenors: Katherine Ibbet

Time: Thursdays, [Weeks 1,3,5 and 7], 5pm*. Please note different start time in Week 3.

Venue: Zoom.


Week 1: Thursday 29th April, 5pm

Juliette Cherbuliez, (Minnesota): ‘Jacques Callot’s Egyptians’. 


Week 3: Thursday 13th May, 12pm*

Graduate showcase featuring Oxford MML DPhil students

Rachel Hindmarsh (Trinity): 'Medicine, Time, and Narrative in Rabelais'

Alex Lawrence (Keble): 'The Toucan in early modern France'

Nora Baker (Jesus): 'Une patience vrayement chrétienne: Jean-François Bion's Compensation for

his Catholic past'

Becky Short (St Hilda’s): ‘The workings of colour(s) in Louis-Antoine Caraccioli’

Week 5: Thursday 27th May, 5pm

Book showcase: Colonialism and Slavery in Performance (Voltaire Foundation/Liverpool UP, 2021) with the editors Jeffrey Leichman (LSU) and Karine Bénac-Giroux (Université des Antilles)

Week 7: Thursday 10th June, 5pm

End of year social - as picnic if possible (tbc)

Convenors: Kate Allan (Exeter College) and Leah Veronese (Balliol College)

Time: Tuesday, [2,4,6,8], 5.15pm.

Venue: Zoom. For the link please email or


All early modern graduate students warmly invited

Week 2: Tuesday 4th May, 5.15pm

Imi Snell, (Corpus Christi College): ‘Navigating Obscure Early Modern Women Poets and the Unpublished Poetry of Frances Feilding and Christobella Rogers’

Lakshmi Balakrishnan, (The Queen’s College): ‘Emotional Value in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida’

Week 4: Tuesday 18th May, 5.15pm

Natalia Quiros Edmunds (Wadham College): ‘Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi: Distilling alchemical knowledge in Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611)’

 Meghan Kern (Lincoln College): tbc.

Week 6: Tuesday 1st June, 5.15pm

Richard Bradshaw, (Hertford College): tbc

Christopher Archibald, (New College): ‘The Unremarkable Richard Crashaw? The Problem of Confessional Identity and Literary Form’ 

Week 8: Day Date, time

Early Modern Picnic and Quiz

For the final forum of term, please join us for a socially distanced picnic and quiz to meet your fellow graduate students. We hope to see you there!

Convenors: Ros Ballaster, Ellen Brewster, Christine Gerrard, Katie Noble, Nicole Pohl, David Taylor, Ben Wilkinson-Turnball, Abigail Williams

Time: Tuesdays, [Weeks 2,4,6 and 8], 5.30-7pm*. Please note different time in Week 2.

Venue: All seminars on zoom. Weeks 4 and 6 are open to the public. Weeks 2 and 8 are Oxford members only. All sign up information through Twitter @EngFac18thC.

The termcard text is framed by Hogarth's painting of David Garrick as Richard III. Garrick is leaning, with his hands spread and a shocked facial expression.

Week 2: Tuesday 4th May, 12.30-2pm

This session is open to Oxford members only.

Zachary Garber (Oxford) ‘Mock Histories: Chronicle Fictions of the Mid-Eighteenth Century’

Jemima Hubberstey,(Oxford) ‘ "It baffles all arrogant pretences to learning": The Mithraic Altar at Wrest Park'.

Week 4: Tuesday 18th May, 5.30-7pm

This session is open to the public.

Professor Ashley Cohen, (University of Southern California): ‘Slavery and Freedom in the Two Indies’.


Week 6: Tuesday 1st June, 5.30-7pm

This session is open to the public.

Dr James Harriman-Smith, Faculty  of English, (Newcastle University): ‘Easy Transitions and Amazing Transitions: Garrick, Hume, and Dramatic Character’.

Week 8: Tuesday 15th June, 5.30-7pm

This session is open to Oxford members only.

Dr Ruth Scobie (Oxford): ‘ “Drawn in the darkest colour”’: Whiteness, women, and fictional celebrity, 1780-1806’.

Convenors: John Colley and Jennyth Evans

Time: Thursdays, [Weeks 1-8], 4-5pm.

Venue: Teams. Please email or to be added to the mailing list.

We will be using the Loeb edition for all texts. All members of the University of Oxford welcome!

Week 1: Thursday 29th April, 4-5pm

Aristophanes, Frogs, 51-82, 180-96, 689-99, 1019-56

Week 2: Thursday 6th May, 4-5pm

Ovid, Amores, III.2.1-42, 59-84 

Week 3: Thursday 13th May, 4-5pm

Herodotus, The Persian Wars, VIII.84-6, 96

Week 4: Thursday 20th May, 4-5pm

Sallust, The War With Catiline, 52.36-54

Week 5: Thursday 27th May, 4-5pm

Homer, Iliad, VI.429-81 

Week 6: Thursday 3rd June, 4-5pm

Pliny the Younger, Letters, VI.16.1-3, 13-end 

Week 7: Thursday 10th May, 4-5pm

 Sophocles, Antigone, 21- 77, 857-82

Week 8: Thursday 17th May, 4-5pm

Catullus, 10, 51, 85, 101

Convenors: Perry Gauci (Lincoln), Oliver Cox (TORCH), H Smith (St Hilda’s) and B Harris (Worcester)

Time: Tuesdays, [Weeks 1-8], 4pm.

Venue: Teams. For link email

Week 1: Tuesday 27th April, 4pm

Myles Smith (St Edmund Hall, Oxford): 'Piety and Protest: Popular Belief in the Scottish Lowlands, c. 1730-1800'.

Week 2: Tuesday 4th May, 4pm

Ingrid Schreiber, (Wadham College, Oxford): ‘Solitude and Sociability in the Late German Enlightenment, 1756-1807’.

Week 3: Tuesday 11th May, 4pm

Amanda Westcott, (Keble College, Oxford): ‘The Court of George III and Country Houses: hosting the "Royal Excursioners" at Nuneham Courtenay in Oxfordshire’.

Week 4: Tuesday 18th May, 4pm

Jean-Francois Dunyach, (Sorbonne): ‘William Playfair vs France: a case-study in British Popular conservatism and the London Press during the French Revolution’.

Week 5: Tuesday 25th May, 4pm

Richard Drayton, (KCL): ‘Europe's "Blue Water" empires and its hinterlands: the Pan-European dimension of early modern globalization’.


Week 6: Tuesday 1st June, 4pm

Carl Griffin, (Sussex): ‘Enclosure as a Colonial Act: the Common as terra nullius’.


Week 7: Tuesday 8th June, 4pm  

Julie Farguson, (St Hilda's, Oxford): ‘Visualising Protestant Monarchy: Ceremony, Art and Politics after the Glorious Revolution, 1689-1714’.

Week 8: Tuesday 15th June, 4pm

Undergraduate Thesis Session.

Convenors: Christopher Archibald, Felicity Brown, & Dan Haywood

Time: Mondays, [Weeks 1-8], 12.30pm*. Please note different start times in Weeks 2, 4 and 7.

Venue: Teams. For link email


Week 1: Monday 26th April, 12.30pm

Peter Davidson, (Oxford): ‘America in the European Imagination: The Contrasting Cases of Chapman (1613) and Rubens (1635)’

Week 2: Monday 3rd May, 5.15pm*

Brandi Adams, (Arizona): ‘“Difficile est Satyram non scribere”: The Parnassus Plays, The Bishops’ Ban and English Juvenalian Satire in the 1590s’

Week 3: Monday 10th May, 12.30pm

Mark Hailwood, (Bristol): ‘The Meaning of Marks: Reassessing Writing Ability in Rural England, 1550-1700’

Week 4: Monday 17th May, 5pm*

Nigel Smith, (Princeton): ‘Transnational Early Modern Literature: Diplomacy, Migration, Theatre and the International Public Sphere’

Week 5: Monday 24th May, 12.30pm

Kim Gilchrist, (Cardiff): ‘Reflections on Early Modern Brutan Drama’

Week 6: Monday 31st May, 12.30pm

Anthony Milton, (Sheffield): ‘“A Model of a Reunited Christendom”? Britain and Religious Exiles and Travellers in the Short Peace (1592-1620)’


Week 7: Monday 7th June, 5pm*

Steve Hindle, (Huntington Library): ‘Dwelling, Labour and the Task-scape in Seventeenth-Century England: The Case of the Village Blacksmith’

Week 8: Monday 14th June, 12.30pm

Amy Blakeway, (St Andrews): ‘History, Literature, and Suzerainty: English, Scottish and ‘British’ Histories in sixteenth-century France’

Convenors: Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kirsten Macfarlane, Judith Maltby, Sarah Mortimer, Grant Tapsell

Time: Thursdays, [Weeks 1-8], 5pm.

Venue: Teams. To sign up email


Week 1: Thursday 29th April, 5pm

Professor Kenneth Fincham, (University of Kent): ‘The Re-establishment of the Church of England 1660-3 Revisited’.

Week 2: Thursday 6th May, 5pm

Dr James Harris, (Newcastle University): ‘Anglicanism and “Occasional Nonconformity” in South-West Wales, c.1660-1700’.

Week 3: Thursday 13th May, 5pm

Dr Kirsten Macfarlane, (Keble): ‘What has Purgatory to do with the Persian Monarchy? Chronology and Theology in late Elizabethan England’.

Week 4: Thursday 20th May, 5pm

Professor Margaet McGylnn (Western University), ‘Criminal Justice Reform and Religious Reformation in Early Tudor England’.

Week 5: Thursday 27th May, 5pm

Dr James Mawdesley, (Lancaster University): ‘Petitioning for the Settling of the Church: the Lancashire and Cheshire Presbyterian Campaign of 1646 and its Contexts’.

Week 6: Thursday 3rd June, 5pm

Professor Lori Anne Ferrell, (Claremont Graduate University): ‘Inventing the Anglican Reformation: Scholarship, Rivalry, and the Fate of English Protestantism’.

Week 7: Thursday 10th June, 5pm

Professor Richard Oram, (University of Stirling): ‘Religious Response to Epidemic Disease in Scotland, 1348-1648)’.

Week 8: Thursday 17th June, 5pm

Professor Ethan Shagan (The University of California, Berkeley): ‘Stealing Bibles in Early Modern London’.

Convenors: Dr Ruggero Sciuto,

Time: Tuesdays*, [Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8], 5pm. Please note Monday in Week 8.

Venue:  Zoom. For link email .


Week 2: Tuesday 4th May, 5pm

Michael Martoccio, (University of Oxford): 'The Art of Mercato: Buying City-States in Renaissance Tuscany’.

Week 4: Tuesday 18th May, 5pm

Diana Carrió-Invernizzi, (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia): 'Practices of materiality and visual culture in Early Modern Diplomatic Encounters'.

Week 6: Tuesday 1st June, 5pm

Rahul Markovits, (ENS, Paris): 'A Dragoman on home soil: Pierre-Marie Ruffin and the translation of Oriental envoys and travellers in late eighteenth-century France'.

Week 8: *Monday 14th June, 5pm

Roundtable on early modern Ottoman diplomacy

Hilary 2021

Expand All

Organisers: Professor Margaret Bent and Dr Matthew Thompson

Time: Thursdays (Week 1, 5 and 7), 5pm.

Venue: Zoom. To register please fill in this form. Please see attached document for further details on the seminar's online format. 


Week 2: Thursday 28th  January 2021, 5 p.m. 

Grantley McDonald (University of Oxford) 

Emperor Frederick III as patron of music

DiscussantsReinhard Strohm (University of Oxford), Andreas Zajic (University of Vienna) and Catherine Saucier (Arizona State University) 

Abstract: Frederick III (born 1415, ruled 1440–1493) was the first Habsburg to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor. This paper will discuss several aspects of his musical patronage during his long reign. Firstly, it presents new evidence for the membership of his chapel. Secondly, it discusses problems presented by the surviving sources of polyphonic music containing music written by musicians associated with Frederick’s court, such as Johannes Brassart and Johannes Tourout. Thirdly, it presents a chant book from Frederick’s collection, which appears to record the liturgy of St Jerome’s convent in Vienna, a religious house founded in 1378 for fallen women. This paper presents a sometimes unexpected view of the cultural programme of this pivotal figure in fifteenth-century Imperial politics.  


Week 5: Thursday 18th February 2021, 5 p.m.  

Charles M. Atkinson (The Ohio State University and Universität Würzburg) 

On Modulation in Eastern and Western Chant: Techniques, Texts, and Rhetoric

DiscussantsCalvin Bower (University of Notre Dame), Susan Rankin (University of Cambridge), Alexander Lingas (City, University of London, EHRC Oxford, and Cappella Romana) 

Abstract: This paper will focus on the discussions of modulation in Regino of Prüm's Epistola de harmonica institutione (ca. 900 C.E.), Manuel Chrysaphes' On the Theory of the Art of Chanting (1458 C.E.), and the anonymous 9th-century Scolica enchiriadis, and will present musical examples illustrating the techniques described in these works. Although these techniques are strikingly similar in East and West, the way modulation functions in relation to texts differs drastically in the two regions. As a result, while Regino characterizes modulating chants as nothae--degenerate and illegitimate--Chrysaphes can advance one type, the nenano, as "sweetest and finest." 


Week 7: Thursday 4th March 2021, 5 p.m. 

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

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

DiscussantsKarl Kügle (Universities of Oxford and Utrecht) and David Catalunya (University of Oxford) 

Abstract: Until recently, only two sources of Flos vernalis were known: fragments of a vocal version in binding strips in All Souls College, Oxford (MS 56); and its ornamented intabulation in the so-called Robertsbridge MS. Two more concordances of the vocal version have meanwhile been discovered, by Cristina Alís Raurich in Karlsruhe, and in binding strips in Koblenz discovered by Karl Kügle. The new findings allow a reconstruction of almost the entire piece, together with evidence of an otherwise absent third voice. They permit an analysis of the diminution, ornamentation and adaptation techniques in the intabulation which can be related to theoretical texts of the fourteenth century; Flos vernalis was more abundantly embellished than the other intabulations in Robertsbridge. Several of the sources have Cistercian connections.

Time: Wednesday (Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7), 2-3.30pm

Venue: Microsoft Teams.

To receive a link to enable you to join online, please register here.


Week 1: Wednesday 20th January  

SARAH GWYNETH ROSS (Boston College):

(Social) Places, Please! The Commedia dell’Arte and the Problem of ‘Class’

SUSAN WISEMAN (Birkbeck, University of London): Non-Elite Women and ‘the Network’: Compatible Categories?


Week 3: Wednesday 3 February

IMOGEN CHOI (Exeter College, Oxford): Exile, Migration and Hospitality: Visions of a Cosmopolitan Society in the Poetry of the Sephardic Diaspora

NEIL KENNY (All Souls College, Oxford): Peasants and Representation: The Case of Noël Du Fail


Week 5: Wednesday 17th February

DAVID LINES (University of Warwick):

Renaissance Aristotelianism and the Problem of Publics between Latin and Vernacular

JONATHAN PATTERSON (St Edmund Hall, Oxford): ‘Greatness going off’: Renaissance Antony and Cleopatra Plays


Week 7: Wednesday 3rd March        

WARREN BOUTCHER (Queen Mary, University of London): Learning, Vernacular Cultures, and Social Hierarchy in Early Modern Europe

DORINE ROUILLER (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin): Erasmus, Citizen of the—or of a—World?

Seminar Leaders: Ros Ballaster, Ellen Brewster, Christine Gerrard, Katie Noble, Nicole Pohl, David Taylor, Ben Wilkinson-Turnball, Abigail Williams

Time: Tuesdays (Weeks 2, 4, 6), 5.30-7pm*. Please note alternate time in Week 6.

Venue: Zoom. Sign up information circulated on Twitter @EngFac18thC.

18th c seminar HT poster: seminar details with a background of a still life of fruit and bullfinches

Seminar programme in front of an 18th century caricature of men in a library


Week 2: Tuesday 26th January, 5.30-7pm

Screening and discussion of Aphra Behn’s The Emperor of the Moon (R/18 Collective)


Week 4: Tuesday 9th February, 5.30-7pm

Roundtable in Memory of Professor Terry Richard (University of Northumbria). Register here.


Claudia Van Hensbergen

An Introduction to Richard Terry’s Work


Christine Gerrard

Mock Heroic: A ‘Life Unaccompanied by Satire’


David Taylor

Richard Terry on Words, Concepts, and the Arrival of ‘Literature’


Ros Ballaster

Friendship no Fallacy: Richard Terry’s Contribution to Feminist Recovery and the Study of Women’s Writing


Jim McLaverty

Pope and Banking: Richard Terry Uncovers the Inauthentic Life?


Abigail Williams

Richard Terry and the Postscript


Week 6: Tuesday 23rd February, *12.30-2pm,

Lucy Powell (Oxford), Jakob Bogdani’s Balding Bullfinch: Still Life Paintings and their Global Stories.

Seminar Convenor: Katherine Ibbet

Time: Thursday (Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7),  5pm*. Note the earlier start time in 5th week.   

Venue: Zoom.

Week 1: Thursday Jan 21st, 5pm

Frédéric Charbonneau, McGill: ‘Querelle autour d'un héritage chinois à l'Académie royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1713-1743)’


Week 3: Thursday 4th February, 5pm

Social hour for Oxford early modern French, students and staff


Week 5: Thursday 8th February, 12pm* (note lunchtime slot) - joint session with the APGRD

Tristan Alonge (Maison Française d’Oxford/La Réunion), 'Qui graecizabant lutheranizabant: apprendre le grec de Montaigne à Racine.'


Week 7: Thursday 4th March, 5pm

Matthieu Dupas (Northwestern), Savoir comique, sagesse galante : Mélite ou les fausses Lettres (1629) de Pierre Corneille’


Convenor: Dr Ruggero Sciuto

Time: Tuesdays (Weeks 2*, 4, 6, 8), 5pm

Venue: Zoom. For link email .


Week 2: *tbc.


Week 4: Tuesday 9th February, 5pm

Florian Kühnel (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen), 'Diplomatic Staff and Competing Norms. A Case Study from 17th-Century Istanbul'.


Week 6: Tuesday 23rd February, 5pm

Mia Rodríguez-Salgado (The London School of Economics), 'Charles V’s diplomatic relations with Muslim powers: rhetoric and reality'.


Week 8: Tuesday 9th March, 5pm

Timothy Hampton (University of California, Berkeley), 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered; Ratification and the Time of Tragedy'.

Seminar Organisers: Louis Morris, Lyndal Roper, Edmund Wareham, Róisín Watson

Time: Wednesdays (Weeks 2,4,6,8). Start times varies.

Venue: Zoom. For the link email


The seminar meets four times this term on Wednesday afternoons on Zoom. It is held this year once again in collaboration with the Oxford Brookes School of History, Philosophy and Culture.


Week 2:  Wednesday 27 January, 2-4pm,  Perspectives on Early Modern Germany from the GDR, chaired by Paul Betts (St Anthony’s)

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

Tina Mendelsohn (Lincoln) ‘The Making of the GDR Woman Artist Past and Present’

Bethan Winter (St Peter’s) ‘Baroque to the Future: The SED’s appropriation of Bach for the Teleological Narrative of their Nation Building Project’


Week 4 Wednesday 10 February, 4-6 pm: New Research on the Senses

Jacob M. Baum (Texas Tech) Hearing Loss & Deaf Gain: The Problem of Visual Acuity in the Chronicle of Sebastian Fischer (1513-c.1555)

Philip Hahn (Tübingen) “Rather back to Ceylon than to Swabia”: Global Sensory Experiences of Swabian Artisans in the Service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC)


Week 6 Wednesday 24 February, 4-6 pm

Ruth von Bernuth (North Carolina), ‘Karlstadt and the Jewish Bible’


Week 8 Wednesday 10 March, 2-4 pm

Holly Fletcher (Cambridge), ‘Dress and the Materiality of Bodyweight in Early Modern Germany’

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

Time: Tuesdays (Week 1, 3, 5), 5.15-7.15pm

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. Seminars are open to all (unless otherwise stated) and all are very welcome.


Week 1: Tuesday 19thJanuary, ‘The Fortinbras Effect’

Professor Paulina Kewes, Jesus College, Oxford.

Abstract: Our understanding of Hamlet (c. 1600), a tragedy which famously fuses medieval and Reformation outlooks, changes when we relate it to the unfolding contest over the royal succession. Critics do recognize topical resonance in the play. The extinction of the royal house of Denmark is thought to prefigure the extinction of the Tudors. More specifically, the imminent accession of the Norwegian warrior-prince Fortinbras– a shadowy figure missing from Shakespeare’s Latin and French sources – is taken to suggest the enthronement of the first Stuart king, the Scottish James VI/I. However, differences between the two earliest printed versions of the play (1603, 1604/5) hint at a more complex story. Combining textual criticism and cultural, religious, and historical perspectives, this paper explores Shakespeare’s changing response to immediate concerns about the succession and to larger questions about foreign kingship, religion, and the union of the crowns which had exercised the English – and the Scots, and the French, and the Dutch – for over fifty years. 


Week 3: Tuesday 2nd February, ‘Thinking Genres Globally’

Professor Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale): Lyric Intersections: Ariosto & Harrington

This talk considers the challenges and affordances of thinking with and about lyric in global, cross-cultural contexts. Beginning with a crucial moment of translation in canto 23 of the Orlando furioso, it examines how the lyric poem becomes a node for intersectional investigations of language, race, religion and nation. How do the scales and theoretical frameworks of early modern globality modify or reframe categories of identity, which are the focus of much recent debate in the field? How might attention to lyric thinking—and the position of radical particularity and personhood it embraces—help us to revisit urgent questions about alterity, diversity and the need to recognize individual voices in the sweep of history?  


Dr Natalya Din-Kariuki (Warwick): Tragedy, Travel, Translation

Abstract: This talk considers the formal and conceptual connections between tragedy and travel writing, paying particular attention to the fluctuating fortunes of diplomat Sir Thomas Smythe (1558-1625) and to the writings of poetic theorist and translator William Scott (c. 1571- c. 1617). I propose that poetics supplied travellers with the narrative shapes with which to think about, and describe, their experiences; in turn, travellers tested out and theorised various modes of narration and description, charting fresh territory that was not only geographical, but literary, too.


Week 5: Tuesday 16th February, ‘Early Modern Women and the Poetry of Complaint’

Professor Rosalind Smith (Australian National University) and Professor Sarah Ross (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

Abstract:  Our two brief papers will consider how early modern women poets engaged with the mode of complaint, exploring the findings from a three-year collaborative project that has uncovered over 500 complaint poems written by early modern women. Discussion will consider how women’s poetic complaints might be read across multiple textual, material, and performance contexts; how these poems make us reassess questions of form, agency and gender in the period; and what this research tells us about the mode of complaint more broadly.


There will be no seminar in Week 7, due to the Oxford-Harvard Doctoral Workshop which will be taking place on 26th February. Participation in this event is limited to Oxford and Harvard doctoral students and supervisors.

Convenors: Dmitri Levitin and Noel Malcolm

Time: Tuesdays (Weeks 5-8), 2-4pm

Venue: Zoom. Register here to receive the Zoom links.

For an introduction from the convenors, and the termcard please see the attached PDF: 


Week 5: Tuesday 16th February, 2-4pm

DMITRI LEVITIN (All Souls, Oxford), ‘“No Other Issue in the History of Ideas has ever been Subjected to the Same Degree of Scrutiny”. The Origins of the Synoptic Problem, from Palestine to Göttingen (via India)’


Week 6: Tuesday 23rd February, 2-4pm

MICHELLE PFEFFER (Magdalen, Oxford), ‘The Making of a Materialist in Seventeenth-Century England: Scholarship, Society, and the Soul’


Week 7: Tuesday 2nd March, 2-4pm

GRANTLEY MCDONALD (Faculty of Music, Oxford), ‘Georgius Slatkonia and the Viennese Network of Humanists and Natural Philosophers around the Court of Maximilian I Habsburg’


Week 8: Tuesday 9th March, 2-4pm

 AUDREY BOROWSKI (Queen’s, Oxford), ‘Gottfried Leibniz on the Querelle des anciens et des modernes and the Republic of Letters’

Convenors: Kate Allen (Exeter College) and Leah Veronese (Balliol college)

Time: Tuesdays (Weeks 2,4,6,8), 5.15pm.

Venue: Zoom.

All early modern graduate students warmly invited

2nd week: Tuesday 26th January, 5.15pm

Lakshmi Balakrishnan (The Queen’s College): The Economy of Emotions in Shakespeare

Heather McTaggart (Lincoln College): An Honest Heretic?: The Spanish Ambassadors’ Depictions of Elizabethan Courtiers


4th week: Tuesday 9th February, 5.15pm

Molly Clark (Merton College): Macbeth’s Ambiguous Couplets

Flynn Allott (Oriel College): Ramist Tabulae and Cartographic Metaphor in The Anatomy of Melancholy


6th week: Tuesday 23rd February, 5.15pm

Rachael Hodge (St John’s College): “With the tragedie of...”: Tragedy as “Play-Patch” in the 1590s theatres.

Lucy Fleming (New College): A Mole Upon Her Neck: Rewriting Chaste Rape in Cymbeline for Young Readers.


8th week: Tuesday 9th March, 5.15pm

Alexander Laar (New College): “Furnished for all matters”: humanism and astrology in the library of Sir Thomas Smith (1513-1577).

Katie Mennis (Somerville College): Roman-Cast Similitude: The ‘Self-Latinisations’ of Thomas May and Andrew Marvell.

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

Time: Thursday, 5pm.

Venue: Teams

Suggested preparatory reading follows the titles.


Week 1: Thursday 21st January, 5pm

Dr Martin Ingram (Brasenose College) ‘Anxious Patriarchs? Male Complaints of Spousal Abuse in Tudor England’

Preparatory reading: Laura Gowing, Domestic Dangers: Women, Words, and Sex in Early Modern London (Oxford, 1996), ch. 6; Bernard Capp, When Gossips Meet: Women, Family, and Neighbourhood in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2003), pp. 10, 13–14, 31–33, 72–9, 84–90, 103–25; Martin Ingram, ‘Ridings, Rough Music and the “Reform of Popular Culture” in Early Modern England’, Past and Present, 105 (Nov. 1984), 79–113 and/or idem, ‘Charivari and Shame Punishments: Folk Justice and State Justice in Early Modern England’, in Herman Roodenburg and Pieter Spierenburg (eds), Social Control in Europe. Volume 1, 1500–1800 (Columbus, OH, 2004), pp. 288–308.


Week 2: Thursday 28th January, 5pm

Dr Sonia Tycko (St Peter’s College and RAI) ‘Consent in Apprenticeship Indentures’

Preparatory reading: Steve Hindle and Ruth Wallis Herndon, ‘Recreating Proper Families in England and North America: Pauper Apprenticeship in Transatlantic Context’, in Ruth Wallis Herndon and John E. Murray, eds. Children Bound to Labor: The Pauper Apprentice System in Early America (2009); Patrick Wallis, ‘Labor, Law, and Training in Early Modern London: Apprenticeship and the City’s Institutions’, Journal of British Studies, 51 (2012), 791–819; Laura Gowing, ‘Girls on Forms: Apprenticing Young Women in Seventeenth-Century London’, Journal of British Studies, 55 (2016), 447–73.


Week 3: Thursday 4th February, 5pm

Natasha Bailey (New College) ‘John Mill’s Chapel Lectures in Early Enlightenment Oxford: Between Textual Criticism and Apologetics’

Tim Wade (New College) ‘Erasmus and the Religious Orders of England: the case of Merton Priory’

Preparatory reading: James Clark, 'Humanism and Reform in Pre-Reformation English Monasteries', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 19 (2009), pp. 57-93.


Week 4: Thursday 11th February, 5pm

Dr Laura Flannigan (Christ Church) ‘The King's Justice: Local Issues in the Royal Council Courts of Tudor England’

Preparatory reading: John Guy, ‘Wolsey, the Council, and the Council courts’, English Historical Review 91 (1976), 481- 505; Richard Hoyle, ‘Petitioning as popular politics in early sixteenth-century England’, Historical Research 75 (2002), 365-89; Laura Flannigan, ‘Litigants in the English “Court of Poor Men's Causes”, or Court of Requests, 1515-1525’, Law and History Review 38 (2020), 303-37.


Week 5: Thursday 18th February, 5pm

Dr Fred Smith (Clare College, Cambridge) ‘“[A]n exempler to the rest”: The Marian Church in Counter-Reformation Europe’

Preparatory reading: E. Duffy, Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor (London, 2009), ch. 9; A. Pettegree, ‘A. G. Dickens and his critics: a new narrative of the English Reformation’, Historical Research, 77 (2004), 39–58.


Week 6: Thursday 25th February, 5pm

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer (Trinity College, Dublin) ‘Ireland, Empire, and the Early Modern World: Discussion of the James Ford Lectures in British History’

Preparatory reading: William O'Reilly, 'Ireland in the Atlantic World: Migration and Cultural Transfer', in Jane Ohlmeyer (ed), The Cambridge History of Ireland vol. II 1550-1730 (Cambridge, 2018), pp. 385-410; Charles Ivar McGrath, Ireland and Empire 1692-1770 (London, 2012), ch. 3.


Week 7: Thursday 4th March, 5pm

Graduate student transfer of status presentations


Week 8: Thursday 11th March, 5pm

Graduate student transfer of status presentations

Convenors: Sophie Aldred (Worcester) and Alex Beeton (New College)

Time: Mondays (Weeks 1,3,5,7), 5pm.

Venue: Teams.


Week 1: Monday 18th January, 5pm

Jason Peacey (UCL): ‘Radical thought and political practice: retinking ideas of accountability in the English Revolution’.


Week 3: Monday 1st February, 5pm

William White (York): ‘Episcopalians and the Interregnum Church: Remembering Conformity after 1660’.


Week 5: Monday 15th February, 5pm

David Como (Stanford): tbc.


Week 7: Monday 1st March, 5pm

Sarah Ward, (UWE Bristol): ‘God’s Vigilant Watchmen: The Oppositional Words of Episcopalian Clergy in Wales, 1646-1660’.


Michaelmas 2020

Expand All

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


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:


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:

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; 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,

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


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