The Exeter Early Modern Seminar 2008-9

The programme for the Exeter Early Modern Seminar is listed below. Following the success of this format in previous years, this year’s programme includes several mini-colloquia, involving 2 shorter (30 minute papers). The seminar will be held on the following Wednesdays, 4-6pm, in Amory, Room 417, followed by drinks. All are welcome to attend, including undergraduates.

Autumn Term

22 October – James Daybell (Plymouth)
‘Women, Politics and Domesticity: The Scribal Publication of Lady Rich’s Letter to Elizabeth I’

5 November – Suzy Knight (Queen Mary)
‘The Circulation of Birthing Amulets amongst Renaissance Florentine Women: Evidence of Female Support Networks in the Early Modern Period’

19 November – Maria Fusaro (History) (NB this seminar will begin at 5pm)
‘Public Service and Private Trade in the Early Modern Mediterranean: English seamen and the Venetian Courts of Law in the Seventeenth Century’

3 December – Mini-Colloquium on ‘Love and Death in Early Modern England’
Jennifer Evans (History)
‘It is Caused of the Woman’s Part or of the Mans Part: The Role of Gender in Diagnosing and Treating Sexual Incapacity in Early Modern England’
Natasha Mihailovic (History)
‘”A Set of Men who Live by Death”: Undertakers in Eighteenth-Century England’

Spring Term

21 January – Nick McDowell (English)
‘Counter-Reformation Eloquence and the Poetics of Religious Identity in Caroline Cambridge: Richard Crashaw, John Saltmarsh, John Milton’

4 February – Mini-Colloquium on Masculinity
Jennie Jordan (History)
“The Office of Christian Parents’: Father-Son Relationships in Seventeenth Century England’
Karen Harvey (Sheffield)
‘A family self? Men and the eighteenth-century home’

18 February – Postgraduate Symposium
Sessions on Continuity and Change; Text and Context

4 March – Cathy Shrank (Sheffield)
‘”That Clytemnesta”, “that fatall Medea”: The “detection” of Mary Queen of Scots, 1567-1587′

18 March – Mini Colloquium on ‘Drama and Politics in the Seventeenth Century’
Jem Bloomfield (English)
‘The Princess and the Duchess: the first edition of Webster’s Duchess of Malfi and the Spanish Match’
Briony Frost (English)
‘Supernatural Sovereignty: Re-casting Elizabeth’s Spell in Shakespeare’s Macbeth’

Summer Term

29 April – Valerie Worth (French)
‘Early Modern French Court Ceremony: Jostling for Power at the Birth of the Dauphin in 1601′

13 May Karen Edwards (English)
‘Early Modern Political Animals’


CFP: Packaging, Presentation and Consumption of MSS and Printed Books, 1350-1550 (Exeter, 2009)

‘Accipe et Devora’

Packaging, Presentation and Consumption of MSS and Printed Books, 1350-1550

Proposals to be sent by November 15, 2008

The eleventh biennial EBS conference, hosted by Emma Cayley, Department of French, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Exeter, will be held at the University of Exeter from July 9 to July 12, 2009, with an optional trip to sites of interest in the area scheduled for July 13. Proposals may consider the ‘packaging’ of medieval manuscripts and early printed books, that is, the separate tasks of putting late medieval and early modern texts together (writing, abstracting, editing, correcting, illustrating, printing, and/or binding) or the repackaging of older texts for contemporary audiences. The term “consumption” is frequently used in the context of luxury manuscripts or printed books produced for wealthy owners and may be read metaphorically to apply to a range of texts or to one text (though there may also be papers on literal consumption, bibliophagia, or consumption by time, worms, fire, censors). Lectures or proposed sessions that consider the transition from script to print, bibliographic issues, or the movement between French and English texts (or vice versa) and audiences are particularly encouraged, though papers on any aspect of the history of manuscripts and printed books from 1350-1550, including the copying and circulation of models and exemplars, style, illustration, and/or the influence of readers and patrons, artists, scribes, printers are welcome. Proposals for 10-minute papers describing recent discoveries, bibliographic notes or MS and rare book collections are also needed. Speakers may give a short paper as well as a longer one. The conference is open to all EBS members. Please indicate whether a slide projector, OHP, or computer equipment is needed in your proposal.

American and Canadian abstracts (1-2 pp) should be sent for consideration no later than November 15, 2008, to Martha Driver (EBS, English Department, 41 Park Row, Rm 1525, New York, New York 10038-1598) or FAXed to 212-346-1754 (office). Members in Great Britain and abroad may submit abstracts by the same date to Emma Cayley (, Dept of French, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter EX4 4QH UK).

CFP: Authority and Authorities (Reading, July 2009)

Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading

Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies 2009

Authority and Authorities

The next annual meeting of the Reading conference on early modern studies will be held on 6-8 July 2009. The Reading conferences are as broadly based as possible, reflecting the most interesting developments in current research. Accordingly we welcome proposals for either complete sessions or individual papers from scholars in any discipline or any area of early modern studies, including Atlantic, European and imperial perspectives.

The informal theme of the conference in this year of particular significance for the history of monarchy (1509, 1649, 1689) will be Authority and Authorities. Plenary lectures will be arranged around this theme and papers or entire sessions on authority and authorities are particularly welcome. Participants might think of addressing the following themes:

* Literary and visual representations of authority
* The rituals of authority including coronations, progresses, civic entries and civic ceremonial, the punishment of malefactors
* The exercise of authority by monarchy, landlords, urban, rural and colonial governors
* Challenges to authority and authorities: rebellion, resistance, subversion
* Patriarchialism and authority within the household
* Authoritative texts (Classical, scriptural, Patristic, authorised service books and government proclamations): their uses and their circulation, in manuscript and print
* the emergence of new sites of authority in cities, in print, medicine and other spheres
* The basis of authority in the Reformation and post-Reformation churches
* Reformations of manners and the exercise of authority over marginal groups

Proposals for panels should consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of four papers. Each panel proposal should contain the names of the session chair, the names and affiliations of the speakers and short abstracts of the papers.

A proposal for an individual paper should consist simply of a 200 word abstract of the paper with brief details of affiliation and career.

Proposals for either papers or panels should be sent by email to the chairman of the Conference Committee, Professor Richard Hoyle, by 31 January 2009,

Proposals are especially welcome from postgraduates. The conference hopes to make some money available for postgraduate bursaries. Anyone for whom some financial assistance is a sine qua non for their attendance should mention this when submitting their proposal.

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 7:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Out next week: Dawson on Lovesickness and Gender

Lesel Dawson’s Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature is to be published next week by Oxford University Press.

In early modern medical texts, intense unfulfilled erotic desire is held to be a real and virulent disease: it is classified as a species of melancholy, with physical etiologies and cures. Lesel Dawson analyzes literary representations of lovesickness in relation to medical ideas about desire and wider questions about gender and identity, exploring the different ways that desire is believed to take root in the body, how gender roles are encoded and contested in courtship, and the psychic pains and pleasures of frustrated passion. She explores the relationship between women’s lovesickness and other female maladies (such as hysteria and greensickness), and asks whether women can suffer from intellectual forms of melancholy generally thought to be exclusively male. Finally, she examines the ways in which Neoplatonism offers an alternative construction of love to that found in natural philosophy and considers how anxieties concerning love’s ability to emasculate the male lover emerge indirectly in remedies for lovesickness.

With reference to the works of Shakespeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, Middleton, Ford, and Davenant, Lovesickness and Gender in Early Modern English Literature investigates how early modern representations of lovesickness expose contemporary cultural constructions of love, revealing the relation of sexuality to spirituality and the creation and shattering of the impassioned subject. It offers an important contribution to the history of romantic love and will be of interest to students and scholars of literature, gender, and medical history.

Introduction: Sweet Poison
1. ‘My Love is as a Fever’: Medical Constructions of Desire in Early Modern England
2. ‘A Thirsty Womb’: Lovesickness, Green Sickness, Hysteria, and Uterine Fury
3. Beyond Ophelia: The Anatomy of Female Melancholy
4. Lovesickness and Neoplatonism
5. ‘Griefs Will Have their Vent’: Physical and Psychological Remedies for Lovesickness
6. Menstruation, Misogyny, and the Cure for Love

Lesel Dawson is Senior Lecturer in English, University of Bristol

Published in: on September 2, 2008 at 1:20 pm  Leave a Comment