Exeter Centre for Early Modern Studies Seminar Programme, 2013-14

Except where noted, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons, 4-6pm in Queens MR3. All events will be video-conferenced between Streatham and Tremough. Refreshments will follow the papers and discussion.


Term 1


2 October: Prof. Nicholas McDowell (English), ‘The English Rabelais: Translation, Morality and Fiction from the Elizabethans to Sterne’


16 October: Robert Yarington’s Two Lamentable Tragedies (1601): a performance-based workshop led by Emma Whipday (UCL)


29 October: The Joyce Youings Memorial Lecture. Prof. Sir  John Elliott (Emeritus Regius Professor, Oxford), ‘England in the age of Philip II,’ Amory Moot Room, 6:30pm.


30 October: Dr. Todd Gray (Pilgrim Trust Ancient Bench Ends Project), ‘Vernacular Carving and English Church Seats, 1470 to 1700′


13 November: The Poly-Olbion Project. An introduction to this new AHRC research project, with Andrew McRae, Philip Schwyzer, Dan Cattell and Sjoerd Levelt.


27 November: Prof. Andy Wood (Durham), ‘Brave Minds and Hard Hands: Drama and Popular Politics in the Hungry 1590s’


11 December: Dr. Felicity Henderson (English), ‘Bodies of Evidence: Robert Hooke and the Construction of the Scientific Self’



Terms 2 and 3


Scheduled events include talks by Professor Patricia Parker (Stanford) and Professor David Norbrook (Oxford), a mini-symposium on early modern medical history, and a half-day workshop on classical reception in the Renaissance. Full programme coming soon.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Shakespearean Adaptations – an Exeter-Fudan Colloquium, 1-2 August

Hosted by the Department of English, the ‘Shakespearean Adaptations Exeter-Fudan Colloquium’ academic seminar will bring together staff and students from the College of Humanities, Fudan University based in Shanghai, China, and beyond, to discuss cross-cultural adaptations of Shakespeare with a particular interest in relationships between China and the West.

The Colloquium will provide an opportunity for discussion on theatrical productions, films, translations, and the use of Shakespeare on the literature and culture of subsequent centuries.

The event will commence with a public lecture on Thursday 1 August led by the prestigious film director Professor Don Boyd, who is also Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter and Governor at the London Film School. Professor Boyd’s lecture, titled ‘Hamlet in China’, will provide staff, students and the general public with an insight into the fascinating discoveries he made in 2006 when commissioned by the BBC to stage a modern-dress production of Shakespeare’s great play, which would examine its relevance to contemporary Chinese audiences across five major cities in China.

The event will continue on Friday 2 August in a series of panels each consisting of three speakers.  The College is particularly delighted to announce that speakers on the panel include three faculty from Fudan University.  Professor Zhang, Professor Zhu and Professor Tan, from Fudan University’s School of Foreign Languages and Literature, will join speakers from The College of Humanities in a series of panels throughout the day.  The guests have been invited to visit the University as part of the College’s exploration of a wide range of opportunities for future collaboration with Fudan University as part of its development of links with key partners in China.

Speakers from the College of Humanities include Professor Nick Groom (Department of English), Dr. Richard Mansell (Department of Modern Languages), Professor Gerald Maclean (Department of English) and Dr. Jennifer Barnes, expert on Laurence Olivier’s cinematic Shakespeare production and lecturer on Exeter’s International Summer School ‘Shakespeare and His World’ pathway.

The event will conclude with a talk delivered by external speaker Professor Mark Thornton-Burnett, Professor at Queen’s University, Belfast, an expert on English Renaissance Drama and Culture, Shakespeare and Film and Shakespeare and Modern Popular Culture.

The ‘Shakespearean Adaptations’ colloquium  is an excellent example of research-led teaching at the University of Exeter, and will provide an opportunity for students and staff from The University of Exeter and Fudan University to experience the excellent teaching on offer within the English Department at Exeter – first in the UK for world-leading research*. 

The lecture on Thursday 1 August is open to public, staff and students and will be followed by an opportunity for drinks and networking. The events taking place on Friday 2 August are available only to University of Exeter staff and postgraduate students.

For more information about the public Don Boyd lecture, please see the College of Humanities Events Page.  To register your interest in attending either the Don Boyd public lecture or the event on Friday 2 August, please email humanities-externalrelations@exeter.ac.uk.  Please note that there are limited spaces available on both events and attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Published in: on July 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday: Landscape and Memory in the Early Modern Period

Centre for Early Modern Studies

A Symposium on Landscape and Memory in the Early Modern Period

Wednesday 3 October, Queens MR3, 4-6pm

Philip Schwyzer (English): ‘To teach us that Cities dye as well as men’: Camden, Crop Marks and the Presence of the Past in the Early Modern Landscape

Nicola Whyte (History) The Place of the Dead: Territory and Identity in the Post-Medieval Landscape

David Harvey (Geography) Small Stories and Relational Experiences: Landscape History at Broad Down, Devon (UK)

This mini-symposium is the first event in the Centre for Early Modern Studies seminar series for 2012-13. The event is open to all staff and students with an interest in the early modern period. The papers will be followed by informal discussion and introductions over food and drink.

The event will be videoconferenced to the Tremough campus.

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Shakespeare and the Body in the Car Park

Visit the Exeter Blog for some thoughts on the bones recently unearthed from beneath a car park in Leicester….

Published in: on October 2, 2012 at 10:56 am  Leave a Comment  

CFP: Vengeful Women at Bristol

Female Fury and the Masculine Spirit of Vengeance:

Revenge and Gender from Classical to Early Modern Literature


Professor Alison Findlay

Professor Edith Hall

5-6 September 2012, University of Bristol, UK

Revenge is often thought of as a quintessentially masculine activity, set in a martial world of blood feuds and patriarchal codes of honour. However, the quest for vengeance can also be portrayed as intensifying passionate feelings traditionally thought of as feminine. In such instances revenge does not confirm a man’s heroic valour, but is a potentially emasculating force, dangerous to his reason, self-mastery, and gender identity. Such alternative ways of viewing revenge are also relevant when the avenger is a woman. To what extent is revenge deemed to be natural or unnatural to a woman, and what is its effect upon her psyche and perceived gender? Does the same impulse which effeminizes a man make a woman dangerously masculine? And how should we view the indirect ways that women influence retribution, such as through mourning, cursing, or goading? Are these an important means of female agency, or do they suggest women’s exclusion from active revenge, reinforcing traditional gender roles? Are certain acts of violence interpreted differently if the perpetrator is a man or woman, father or mother, son or daughter?

This conference aims to explore these questions, reevaluating the complex and varied ways that gender impacts the performance and interpretation of revenge. Proposed papers may take up any intersection of revenge and gender in texts from Classical to early modern literature, and can focus on individual texts and periods or take an interdisciplinary or cross-temporal approach. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the ways in which revenge bolsters, threatens or transfigures an individual’s gender identity and/or role within the family; how individual acts of vengeance reinforce or undermine homosocial or female bonds; personifications of revenge; how the relationship between gender and revenge are reconfigured in a text’s translation, reception, and reinterpretation over time; the ethical, cultural and social implications for the ways in which revenge is gendered.

We invite proposals (250 words) for papers addressing these questions. Submissions from postgraduate students, and early career researchers are welcomed. Pre-formed panel proposals will also be considered. Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract. Please send your proposals or any queries to Lesel Dawson.

Deadline for proposals: 31 May, 2012.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm  Comments (1)  

Monday: Brian Cummings on Soliloquy and Secularization in Shakespeare

A Cuppe of Newes has slumbered in Lethean oblivion for many a month, but awakes to trumpet the announcement of the Gareth Roberts Memorial Lecture for 2011-12.

This year’s lecturer is Prof. Brian Cummings (Sussex). The title of his lecture is “Soliloquy and Secularization in Shakespeare.”

The Gareth Roberts Memorial Lecture will take place on Monday 12 March, 5pm in Queens LT1 (Exeter University). The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Queens SCR. All are welcome to attend.

Published in: on March 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

‘Intellectual Geography: Comparative Studies, 1550-1700’ (Oxford, 5-7 September)

Online booking is now open for the interdisciplinary conference ‘Intellectual Geography: Comparative Studies, 1550-1700’ (St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, 5-7 September 2011). The event brings together case studies and conceptual papers exploring the roots of local, regional, and national intellectual traditions within concrete features of political, economic, confessional, and physical geography. There is an exciting line-up of speakers and projects, and the prices are a bargain – just £45 for the full three days, or £16 by the day. For full details and a link to the online shop (under ‘Registration’), please visit the conference website:


The event is the second conference of the research project ‘Cultures of Knowledge: An Intellectual Geography of the Seventeenth-Century Republic of Letters’, a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the Humanities Division of the University of Oxford with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For full details of our activities, please visit:


Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Recasting the Past: A Conference on Medievalisms

Conference: Book Encounters, 1500-1750 (Bath Spa)

Friday 1 July 2011

Corsham Court Centre, Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University’s newly formed Book, Text and Place (1500-1750) Research Centre is pleased to announce its inaugural conference, ‘Book Encounters, 1500-1750’. In keeping with the Centre’s focus on early modern literary culture, place, and the history of the book broadly defined, this conference explores a wide variety of encounters with the book: from different cultural and geographical sites of production, circulation and reception to various disciplines and periods within early modernity.

Conference fees: £30; £20 students (note: a conference subvention covering fees for students has been generously provided by The Bibliographical Society; students interested in attending the conference should contact Chris Ivic.

Conference programme

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tawney’s Agrarian Problem 100 Years On: Landlords and Tenants in Rural England c.1400-c.1750

11-12 July, Exeter University

Full programme and booking form for the conference are available here.

For further information, contact Jane Whittle.