Trinity 2014

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Seminar Room – Third Floor – Radcliffe Humanities Building – Mondays 1-2.30pm. Tea and coffee provided, feel free to bring lunch

Monday 5 May
Victoria van Hyning (Sheffield), ‘Convent Autobiography by English Nuns in Exile: Beyond Confessor-Mandated Vitae’

Monday 19 May NB. Colin Matthew Room – Ground Floor – Radcliffe Humanities Building
Irène Plasman-Labrune (Paris), ‘Between Church and State? Foreign Churchmen and the Transformations of Catholicism in France, 1500-1700’

Monday 26 May
Oliver Ford (Oxford), ‘Coping with Decline: The Governors of Seville, 1647-1700’

Monday 2 June
Tara Alberts (York), ‘Miracles and Missionary Medicine in Early Modern Southeast Asia’

Monday 16 June
Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), ‘The Pope’s Merchandise and the Jesuits’ Trumpery: Catholic Relics and Protestant Polemic in Early Modern England’

ONE-DAY WORKSHOP, Saturday 31 May: Early Modern Catholic Life-Writing
Entrance is free but spaces are limited. To register, contact:

The Early Modern Catholicism Network aims to bring together scholars interested in early modern Catholicism from across the humanities. All are welcome.

Convenors: Nicholas Davidson, Tom Hamilton, Katie McKeogh, Emma Turnbull



The seminar will meet in the Habakkuk Room, Jesus College, on Mondays at 5 p.m. All are very welcome (including undergraduates).

28 April          

John Kerrigan, St John’s College, Cambridge, ‘Binding Language in Measure for Measure’

5 May             

Ann Hughes, Keele University, ‘‘The Accounts of the Kingdom’: Memory, Community and the English Civil War’

12 May            

Rhodri Lewis, St Hugh’s College, Oxford,‘Shakespeare on Romantic Misapprehension’

19 May            

Edward Paleit, University of Exeter, ‘Thomas Watson’s Antigone (1581) and the Reformation Sophocles’

26 May           

David Norbrook, Merton College, Oxford, ‘Lucretius in Revolutionary England: Atheism, Ethics and Politics'

2  June            

Henry Woudhuysen, Lincoln College, Oxford, ‘Buying Continental Books in Renaissance England: Booksellers, Travellers, Fairs and Catalogues’

Convenors: Susan Brigden, Alexandra Gajda, George Southcombe



Breakfast Room, Merton College, 5.15pm [note change to Wednesdays weeks 1-3 to avoid clashes with Professor Woudhuysen’s Lyell Lectures]

Wednesday of 1st week (30 April):
Jessica Wolfe (University of North Carolina): ‘Chapman's Scoptic Homer’

Wednesday of 3rd week (14 May):
Laurie Maguire and Emma Smith: ‘Widow Dido: what Marlowe did to Shakespeare and vice versa’

Tuesday of 4th week (20 May):
Paul Hammond (University of Leeds): 'What is”'evil” in Paradise Lost?'

Tuesday of 7th week (10 June):
Peter Holland (University of Notre Dame): ‘A Critic and a Gentleman: Shakespeare Theatre Editions’

Convenors: Rhodri Lewis, David Norbrook, Diane Purkiss, Tiffany Stern



2nd week, Wednesday; 5th, 6th, & 8th week, Tuesday; 5pm, Breakfast Room, Merton College. Hot drinks, affable discussion, and early-modern literature


Round-Table Discussion: Manuscript Culture
How does our knowledge of early-modern manuscript culture affect our research? Do we rely too much on printed sources and not enough on manuscript circulation? What are the different relationships between print and manuscript? How do we use evidence of private commonplacing and annotation? Please come and share your opinions and experiences of working with manuscripts. Some of us will be bringing along practical examples from our own current manuscript work, to discuss our problems and questions with the group: we invite you to do the same!

FIFTH WEEK (Tuesday 27th May) Research Papers
Edwina Christie (Univ): The Art of Lying: the Ethics of Dissimulation in English and French Romances of the 1650s.
Edgar Mao (LMH): Southwark, the Neighbourhood of Henslowe's Rose Playhouse.

SIXTH WEEK (Tuesday 3rd June) Talk & Discussion
Guest speaker Sharon Achinstein (St Edmund Hall): Reflections on Editing Milton’s Divorce Tracts
Suggested reading: Sharon Achinstein, ‘Cold War Milton’, University of Toronto Quarterly, 77.3 (2008) pp. 801-36.
Kindly joining us for this session will be Sharon Achinstein, who will share her experiences of editing the divorce tracts for the OUP Complete Works of John Milton, as well as answering our questions. Her talk will be followed by a discussion on themes including the merits and shortcomings of the Oxford Milton project, the purpose of large-scale editions and their role in our work, as well as the peculiar problems of editing Milton.

EIGHTH WEEK (Tuesday 17th June) Research Papers
Nicola Whitehead (Jesus): ‘Under the shadow of Trees’: Pamphlets and Politics in James Howell's Dodona's Grove.
Lizzie Sandis (Merton): How Did You Spend Christmas at an Oxford College in 1607?



This seminar meets weekly on Wednesdays at 11.15 in the Old Common Room, Balliol College. After the seminar, all are welcome to have lunch in Balliol Hall. Please note: the final meeting will be in WEEK 7. ALL WELCOME, especially postgraduates whatever you work on! 

April 30

George Garnett, Oxford: ‘Francois Hotman’s Ancient Constitution’

May 7

Alan Strathern, Oxford: ‘Converting kings: Empirical religiosity and patterns of ruler conversion to monotheism in Polynesia, Central Africa, Japan, Europe and Southeast Asia c.300-c.1850 CE’ 

May 14

Lynn Hunt, UCLA: Roundtable discussion: ‘Histories of the self’ (in conjunction with the Modern European History Research Centre and Oxford Centre for Global History)
PLEASE NOTE THE DIFFERENT TIME AND PLACE - 5pm, Lecture Room 3, Andrew Wiles Building, Maths Institute 

May 21

Henrietta Harrison, Oxford: ‘The choice of Chinese interpreters for the Macartney Embassy of 1793: life stories, fidelity and the changing nature of knowledge’ 

May 28

Martin Christ, Oxford ‘Religious belonging in the Oberlausitz’; Tom Hamilton, Oxford ‘The ownership of religious art in Paris towards the end of the Wars of Religion, 1574-1611’; Hannah Williams, Oxford ‘Artists and the Church in 18th-Century Paris’ 

June 4

James Amelang, Madrid: ‘Conversion and credibility: three 'reformed Spaniards' in London, 1621-1629’ 

June 11

Adam Smyth, Oxford: ‘Do we still believe in the book? Impermanent print in early modern England’ 

Conveners: John-Paul Ghobrial (Balliol); Lyndal Roper (Oriel) 



The four seminars will take place on Wednesdays from 3pm-5pm at the Maison Francaise, 2-10 Norham Road, OX2 6SE.

21 May: Distillation Alchemy in the Renaissance
Chair: Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford)
Fabrizio Bigotti (Warburg): ‘Homo alembicus’ and the Idea of Alchemical Destillatio in Renaissance Medicine
Tillmann Taape (Cambridge): Experience, Craftsmanship and Alchemical Medicine in Hieronymus Brunschwig's Distillation Manuals

28 May: Early Modern Alchemy
Chair: Howard Hotson (Oxford)
Anke Timmermann (Cambridge): Alchemy, Images and Early Modern Cambridge
Georgiana Hedesan (Oxford): Van Helmont on the Acquisition of the Medical Alchemical Arcana




Convenors: Joanna Weinberg and Martin Goodman. The Seminars will take place at 2.30-4pm (except on Thursday 19 June, which will be at 10am) in the Quarrell Room, Exeter College as follows. (Please note these Seminars will take place on different days of the week) ALL WELCOME

Week 1, Wednesday 30 April: Cristiana Facchini (Bologna)
Simone Luzzatto and Leon Modena and Josephus

Week 2, Wednesday 7 May: Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich (Bern)
Illustrations of printed editions of Josephus in the 15th and 16th centuries

Week 3, Wednesday 14 May: Julian Weiss (King’s College London)
Spanish vernacular translations in the late 15th and early 16th centuries

Week 4, Wednesday 21 May: Scott Mandelbrote (Cambridge)
Josephus and the Septuagint in early modern thought

Week 5,  Monday 26 May: Andrea Schatz (King’s College London)
Interesting Times: Yosippon and Early Modern Jewish Historiography

Week 6,  Monday 2 June: Thomas Roebuck (East Anglia)
Edward Bernard (1638-1697) and the Editing of Josephus: Religion, Philology, Hebraism

Week 7, Wednesday 11 June: Anthony Grafton (Princeton) and William Sherman (York)
In the Margins of Josephus: Two Ways of Reading

Week 8, Wednesday 18 June: Mordechai Feingold (Caltech)
William Whiston: Reader and Translator of Josephus

Week 8,  Thursday 19 June  at 10am: Anthony Grafton (Princeton)
Josephus and Ecclesiastical History



A joint graduate seminar of the Faculties of History and Theology & Religion, University of Oxford. Thursdays at 5pm. The Gibbs Room, Keble College (NB new venue).


1. 1 May
Prof Tiffany Stern (University College, Oxford), ‘“Noted Noters”: Notetakers at Sermons and Plays’

2. 8 May
Sir Noel Malcolm (All Souls, Oxford), ‘Ideas about Islam in early modern England’

3. 15 May
Dr Andrew Foster (University of Kent), ‘Bishops, Church and State 1520-1660’

4. 22 May
Dr Paul Cavill (Pembroke College, Cambridge), ‘The conception of heresy in early sixteenth-century England: perspectives on the Richard Hunne affair’

5. 29 May
Dr Alasdair Raffe (University of Edinburgh), ‘James VII's multiconfessional experiment: the Scottish revolution of 1687-90’

6. 5 June
Dr Stephen Roberts (History of Parliament) ‘Welsh church polity and the English state, 1640-1660: a case of arrested development?’

7. 12 June
Dr Elliot Vernon (Independent Scholar), ‘Of Angels, Evangelists and Epistles – the Episcopalian-Presbyterian debate on the early Church in the 1640s and 1650s’

8. 19 June
Dr Jonathan Arnold (Worcester College, Oxford), 'An Italian cleric on English soil: Polydore Vergil (c. 1470-1555), his Anglica Historia, and English religion'

Dr Sarah Apetrei, Keble
Dr Judith Maltby, Corpus
Prof Diarmaid MacCulloch, St Cross
Dr Sarah Mortimer, Christ Church
Dr Grant Tapsell, LMH


The following seminars will be held at the Maison Française, on Thursdays of odd weeks, with tea and coffee served from 17.00. All welcome.

Convenors: Emma Claussen, St John’s College, Richard Scholar, Oriel College, Caroline Warman, Jesus College and Wes Williams, St Edmund Hall

Thursday 1 May, 5.15pm – Graduate Showcase

“”A Kind of Mungril Plays”: The First Translations and Adaptations of Molière in England” Suzanne Jones, Keble College
“Can a Historian Treat Descartes’s Méditations as Exercises?” Jon Templeman, St John’s College
“'On n'a cessé d'écrire sur l'éducation': National literary education after the expulsion of the Jesuits.” Gemma Tidman, Wolfson College

Thursday 15 May, 5.00pm, Taylor Institution, Main Hall
Zaharoff Lecture
“Rabelais et l’art de la stéganographie”
Mireille Huchon, Université Paris-Sorbonne

Thursday 29 May, 5.15pm
“Rabelais and the Public Voice”
Emily Butterworth, King’s College London

Thursday 12 June, 5.15pm
“Cyrano de Bergerac: A Burlesque Writer?”
Sophie Turner, St Anne’s College, Oxford



Reproduction, Gender, and Sexuality in the History of Medicine

47 Banbury Road on Mondays at 2.15pm

3rd WEEK

12 May
Sarah Toulalan, University of Exeter
‘“Elderly years cause a total dispaire of conception”:old age and infertility in early modern England’

Legalism in History Seminar Series

Tuesdays, Trinity Term, 2014, tea will be served from 4.00pm, the seminar starts at 4.30

St John’s College Research Centre (please ring the bell)

Week 7: June 10th
IAN MACLEAN (All Souls’ College, Oxford)
‘Legalism in the higher disciplines of early modern Europe (theology, law, medicine): a comparative survey’

Week 8: June 17th
JUSTIN STEINBERG (University of Chicago)
‘Dante's otherworldly journey and the limits of legalism’

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing

‘Once upon a time there were three Georges’: Infringement of “copyright” in the 1520s’.
Peter W.M. Blayney, author of The Stationers’ Company and the Printers of London, 1501-1557 (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Wednesday 21 May, 5 pm in the T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College, Oxford

Presented by Merton History of the Book Group in cooperation with the Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book []



The Oxford Bibliographical Society

Monday, 28 April 2014
Taylor Institution at 5.15 pm
Seminar Room 3

ANGELA NUOVO (University of Udine, Italy): The End of the Manutius Dynasty (1597)

Angela Nuovo teaches Book History and Library Science at the University of Udine, Italy. Her main research interests are in the fields of the book trade and the history of libraries in Renaissance Italy. She has been teaching and lecturing extensively in Europe and in the USA. Among her recent publications: The Book Trade in Renaissance Italy, Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2013; (with Christian Coppens), I Giolito e la stampa nell'Italia del XVI secolo, Genève, Droz, 2005; Il commercio librario nell'Italia del Rinascimento, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2003. She is a member of The IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, and is currently serving as Chair of the Rare Books and Special Collection Group of AIB, Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (2008-2014). Angela Nuovo has been Visiting Fellow at All Souls College in 2012/2013. In 2014 she has been awarded with the Ahmanson Research Fellowship for the Study of Medieval and Renaissance Books and Manuscripts at the University of
California Los Angeles.

Monday, 9 June 2014
McKenna Room, Christ Church,
Meeting to begin at 4.30 pm. Lecture to follow at 5:15 pm after brief interval for tea.

GABRIELE ROSSI ROGNONI (Royal College of Music, London)
Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici and Music, with Particular Attention to  His Lost Musical Library

GABRIELE ROSSI ROGNONI is curator of the Royal College of Music Museum in London. He currently serves as Vice-President of the International Committee of Musical Instrument Museums and Collections (CIMCIM) of ICOM (the International Council for Museums), Board member of the Galpin Society, and corresponding Board member of the American Musical Instrument Society. Between 1998 and 2013 he was curator of the Medici collection at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence and adjunct professor of musicology at the University of Florence.

Main research grants included an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Conservation (2002) and C. Coleman and Pamela Coleman Curatorial Fellowship (2006) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and an appointment as Wissentschaftliche Mitarbeiter at the Stiftung für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz in Berlin (2011).

His work mainly concentrates on the history of musical instruments in Europe, with particular attention to bowed and keyboard instruments, and on the development of organology as a discipline between the 18th and 20th centuries.

For further information about the Society, see


The 2014 Lyell Lectures: Professor H.R. Woudhuysen

'Almost Identical': Copying Books in England, 1600-1900

29 April: Lecture 1. ‘All my deed but copying is’: Bibliography and the Cult of the Copy
5 pm, T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College Oxford


Oliver Smithies Lecture

Christian Wieland
Supernumerary Visiting Fellow and Oliver Smithies Lecturer
‘How Modern was the Early Modern Papacy?’

Lecture Room XXIII
Thursday, 1 May 2014, 5:00 pm

Professor Christian Wieland is Professor of Early Modern History at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg. The lectures are funded by a generous benefaction from Professor Oliver Smithies, which enables Balliol to bring distinguished visitors to the University of Oxford.


Keble Talk

Professor Brian Richardson (University of Leeds). 6 May. 5pm Roy Griffiths Room, Keble College
'Oralising Early Modern Italian Literature'

How and how far did orality play a part in the circulation of literature in early modern Italy? The literary culture of the period can be seen, in the terms of Walter Ong, as ‘residually oral’, since many kinds of compositions were diffused through the voice, in speech or song, as well as, or rather than, in writing. This paper will consider which kinds of texts might be performed, the occasions on which they were performed in public or in private, the professionals or amateurs who performed them, how and in which varieties of languages they were performed, using evidence from contemporary accounts and from the texts themselves. It will also suggest possible answers to the more difficult question of what the perceived benefits of performance might have been for the performer and the audience.


John Sheppard: Media Vita & The Western Wynde Mass 

11 May, 8pm, University Church of St Mary the Virgin

John Sheppard's Media Vita is one of the defining works of 16th century English music.  Probably written under Mary I, it expresses the anguish and the faith of the English Catholic community in a hauntingly beautiful blend of chant and polyphony.  It is based on the Lenten antiphon 'in the middle of life we are in death', words which took on a greater urgency as Mary's longed for child failed to appear...  Come to this rare live performance on 11 May, when Gulliver Ralston directs the Choir of the University Church in a feast of John Sheppard’s liturgical music, featuring Media Vita and The Western Wynde Mass. 

Tickets £12.00/£6.00, available from Tickets Oxford or on the door.  (For more information


Shakespeare and Epic

Colin Burrow (Oxford)

2.15pm Monday 12 May 2014

Lecture Theatre, Ioannou Centre
University of Oxford, 66 St Giles', Oxford

Everyone is welcome, no booking required.


The 2014 Thomas Harriot Lecture

This year’s Thomas Harriot Lecture will be given by Professor David Sacks, Richard F. Scholz Professor of History and Humanities, Reed College, Portland, Oregon at 5 pm on Thursday 29 May 2014, in the Champneys Room, Oriel College, Oxford.

Professor Sacks will speak on:

      The True and Certain Discovery of the World: Thomas Harriot and Richard Hakluyt

A drinks reception for those attending the lecture will follow at 6 pm.
For further details, please contact Professor Robert Fox at or by telephone on 01865 512787. All welcome.


How to read Galileo: 17th-century scholarly practices in annotated copies of the Two New Sciences

12 June 2014 3:15 pm

Renée Raphael (Renaissance Society of America Visiting Scholar)

Presentation in the Group Study Room, Radcliffe Science Library

"How did period readers study Galileo’s 1638 Two New Sciences, now regarded as a canonical text in the history of science for its mathematical and experimental approaches and key findings regarding the laws of falling bodies?  I outline the range of scholarly practices—summarizing, re-working proofs, re-drawing diagrams, and so forth—evidenced in annotated copies of the first two editions of the text.  Central to the talk will be two copies of the text held in the Savilian Library at the Bodleian.

This research forms one case study of a larger project which will consider the scholarly methods of other mid- to late- seventeenth-century scholars, including Marin Mersenne (1588-1648) and Vincenzo Viviani (1622-1703), as they read and contributed to the developing New Science."


All welcome, please email to confirm you are attending.


Legalism before legalism in the early modern period

Ian Maclean, All Souls College, Oxford
Tea from 4pm for a 4,30 start in the St John's Research Centre, 45 St Giles.  Tuesday 7th week (10th June).