Today! Performing Presence: From the Live to the Simulated

An international conference, Centre for Intermedia, University of Exeter, UK, 26-29 March 2009

the presence of a live performer … the presence of the past … in a memory … in ruined remains … the sense of ‘being there’ in an online community … in a VR or mixed reality environment …

Presence is a fundamental yet highly contested aspect of performance, and performance has come to be a key concept in many different fields. Notions of presence hinge on the relationship between the live and mediated, on notions of immediacy, authenticity and originality. Debates over the nature of the actor’s presence have been at the heart of key aspects of theatre practice and theory since the late 1950s and are a vital part of the discourses surrounding avant-garde and postmodern performance. The advent of new media forms, and the increasing integration of contemporary performance and media, has generated new engagements, practices and understandings of presence in performance.

Archaeology is increasingly understood less as the discovery of the past and more in terms of different relationships with what is left of the past. This foregrounds anthropological questions of the performance and construction of the past in memory, narrative, collections (of textual and material sources), archives and systems of documentation, in experiences of place.
In Computer Science, “presence” is a key concept and goal in the construction of Virtual Environments: complex interactive projections that simulate three-dimensional environments and which may include representations of humans (avatars).

Performing Presence: from the live to the simulated will be an international and interdisciplinary forum for the exploration of how exchanges of practices, concepts and methodologies between art, performance and new media practitioners, between academic disciplines and between live, mediated and simulated performance may deepen an understanding of the performance of presence.

Full conference programme is available here.


CFP: Friends and Enemies at Durham, July 2009



13-16 JULY 2009

Proposals are invited for the twelfth Conference of the Durham Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies, which will focus on the general theme:

Friends and Enemies: Collaboration and Conflict in the Seventeenth Century

It is expected that this theme will be approached from a very wide range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives; contributions which span national and disciplinary boundaries are, as always, particularly welcome. Papers should be of 30 minutes’ reading time. Each session will have ample time for discussion. Offers to chair sessions are welcomed from participants who are not reading papers.

Proposals for papers should be of approx. 200 words, and should be sent to the Director, Prof. Richard Maber (email: as soon as possible, but no later than 28 March 2009. Proposals for themed panels are also welcomed. The programme will be announced within the following fortnight.

The conference will take place in the magnificent setting of Durham Castle, from Monday 13 to Thursday 16 July. Residential delegates will depart after lunch on 16 July; it will also be possible to book overnight accommodation for nights before and after the conference if required. Generous bursaries will be available for postgraduates attending the conference, whether or not they are presenting a paper.

Durham University
Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies
Elvet Riverside, New Elvet, Durham, DH1 3JT, England.
Director: Professor Richard Maber
Tel: 0191-334 3431 Fax: 0191-334 3421 e-mail:

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  

Local/Global Shakespeares: 4th Conference of the British Shakespeare Association

BSA 2009 invites theatre practitioners, academics, educators and members of the public to reflect on the ways in which Shakespeare has been, and is being, reshaped and rethought within different localities, contexts and traditions both now and in the past and in which different early modern localities, contexts and traditions can help us understand Shakespeare historically. Within this broad remit, contributors will be asked to address the role of Shakespeare.

11 ­-13 September 2009
King’s College London & Shakespeare’s Globe

Published in: on March 26, 2009 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Today: Mini Colloquium on ‘Drama and Politics in the Seventeenth Century’

The last of Exeter Early Modern Seminars for this term willtake place today at 4pm in Amory 417. The seminar takes the form of a mini-colloquium on ‘Drama and Politics in the Seventeenth Century’.

Our speakers are:

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’

To be followed by drinks. All welcome.

Bad Nastiness in Somerset, 1623

For those considering a visit to the Southwest, be assured that things like this don’t happen in Taunton anymore.  Not much.

Published in: on March 14, 2009 at 6:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Wednesday 18 March: Wickert on Translating Tasso

Exeter Department of Modern Languages Research Seminar

Max Wickert

(State University of New York, Buffalo)

On Translating a Renaissance Classic: Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata

Wednesday 18 March 2009, 4.15 pm in LT 7, Queen’s Building

All welcome

Max Wickert’s verse translation of Torquato Tasso’s 16th-century epic was published in February 2009 in Oxford World’s Classics, with Introduction and Notes by Mark Davie. It is the first English translation of the poem since Fairfax’s Godfrey of Bulloigne (1600) to reproduce the eight-line stanza form of the Italian original. In this seminar he will discuss some of the challenges of translating ottava rima into English, with examples from the long tradition of English narative poetry based on Italian models. Copies of the texts which he will refer to are available outside room 236 in Queen’s.

Max Wickert is also the author of two collections of poems, All the Weight of the Still Midnight and Pat Sonnets. He is currently translating a selection of Tasso’s lyric poetry.

For more information contact Mark Davie.

Wednesday: Mini-Colloquium on Masculinity (Exeter EMS)

The Early Modern Seminar will meet tomorrow (Wednesday 11 March) at 4pm in Amory, Room 417 for a mini-colloquium on Masculinity (this was postponed from earlier in the term because of snow).

The speakers, who will each deliver 30 minute papers, are:

Karen Harvey (Sheffield): A family self? Men and the Eighteenth-Century Home

Jennie Jordan (Exeter, History): The Office of Christian Parents: Father-Son Relationships in Seventeenth-Century England.

All are very welcome to attend.

The seminar will be followed by refreshments.

CFP: Thomas Browne Seminar (York, June 2009)

The Thomas Browne Seminar, 2009

Wednesday 3rd June 2009

Papers are invited for the 2009 Thomas Browne Seminar, on the history of science and scholarship, religious and antiquarian thought, natural history, politics and the history of trivia, all of which may or may not be related directly to Browne.

The Seminar will be held in CREMS (the Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies), the University of York

Please send abstracts by 1st April, 2009
Contact: Kevin Killeen

Published in: on March 6, 2009 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

March SWEMN: Ivic on the Jacobean Union

The next meeting of the South West Early Modernist Network is on Wednesday 18th March, starting at 6.30pm. Dr Chris Ivic, newly of Bath Spa University, will be giving a paper entitled ‘ “This mighty worke of vnion”: Early Jacobean Panegyric’.

Abstract: this paper examines panegyrics written in the wake of James’s arrival in London in 1603, particularly those of Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, and Ben Jonson. Ostensibly poems praising James, some of these panegyrics are prefaced by elegies on Queen Elizabeth. This hybrid elegy/panegyric form calls attention to the hopes and fears that a foreign, composite monarch’s arrival in London elicited from his heterogeneous subjects.

Wine will be served after Chris’s paper, and we will then be going on to eat in a Bath pub; you are welcome to join us.

Directions and a map of the campus are here. We will meet in the Castle, room CE.G01 on the ground floor (yes, a real castle!). The nearest car park is next to Newton building (see map); directions to Newton Park by public transport are also on the BSU website.

The following paper will be on 29th April and will be given by a guest speaker, Dr Andy Fleck of San Jose State University – details to follow.


17-19 April 2009

The School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, University of Exeter
in association with
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Sponsored by The British Academy

and at the University of Exeter:
The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
The Centre for Maritime Historical Studies 
The Migration Research Network

This conference aims to explore the historical impact of cross cultural encounters between the Muslim World and Britain by bringing together writers, established scholars, younger researchers, public intellectuals and members of the media to present and discuss cutting edge research on the question of how past relations have brought us to our current situation, and to propose directions for necessary further consideration and research. At present, scholarly knowledge of the multiple encounters between Britain and the Muslim World is dispersed among specialized academic disciplines and so largely unavailable to the media and general public. A key aim of the conference is to assemble specialists from all academic fields-history, international relations, finance, law, economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, migration and diaspora studies, gender studies, art history and design, music, and comparative literatures-and to bring them into dialogue while exploring ways of making their combined knowledge more generally available than it is at present in order to develop a deeper public understanding of the long cultural interaction between Islam and Britain.

Open to the public, day one of the conference will feature ‘conversations’ on cultural interactions-Chris Morris and Amanda Burrell will discuss reporting Islam to British audiences; Ahdaf Soueif and Maureen Freely will discuss Islam, women and fiction; Nadje Al-Ali and Ghada Karmi will discuss Islam and women’s life-writing; Simon Broughton will screen the documentary film ‘Sufi Soul’ presented by William Dalrymple and discuss musical fusions. Two subsequent days will feature keynotes and panels focusing on such themes as Medieval and Early Modern Beliefs about Islam, Material Cultures between Britain and the Islamic World, the British Novel and Islam, British Muslim Identity Politics, Britain and the Indian Ocean, Britain in the Islamic Mediterranean, and Historical Dimensions of the ‘Assimilation’ and ‘Multiculturalism’ Debates with specific regard to Muslim Women in Britain. Keynotes will be delivered by Nabil Matar, a leading authority on attitudes to Islam in early modern Britain, and by Humayun Ansari, who was awarded the OBE in 2002 for his contributions to higher education and race relations.

This conference will play a leading role in advancing appreciation of how the history of relations between Islam and Britain has not always been one of inevitable conflict, and seeks to broaden public understanding of how cultural life both throughout the Muslim World as well as in Britain has been shaped and enriched by centuries of cross-cultural interactions.

Speakers include: Khalid Bekkaoui, John Tolan, Zahia Salhi, David Thomas, Souad Eddouada, Robert Irwin, Nadje Al-Ali, Ali Ansari, Reina Lewis, Philip Mansel, Andrew Wheatcroft, Humberto Garcia, Rajani Sudan, Ziad Elmarsafy, Matthew Dimmock, Bernhard Klein, Stephanie Jones, Abdul Haq Compier, Robert Gleave, Ian Jenkins, Abid Masood, Donna Landry, Gerard Weigers, Om Prakash, Amit Bein, Maartje van Gelder, Amina Yaqin, Peter Morey, Tariq Ramadan, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Bernadette Andrea, Rehana Ahmed, Florian Stadtler, Maureen Mulligan, Daniel Vitkus, Marta Warat, Claire Chambers, M.A. Kevin Brice, Ahmed Masoud, Paul Starkey, Umar Ryad, Talip Kucukcan, Abraham Thomas, Justin Meggitt, Stefan Schmuck, Anna Suranyi, Georgina Lock, Paul Robertson, Briony Llewellyn, William Facey, Janet Starkey, Hugh Goddard, Chloe Houston, Jody Mellor, Teresa Heffernan, Sahar Abdel-Hakim, Vincent Biondo, Nurfadzilah Yahaya, Athar Murtuza

Conference Registration

Published in: on March 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment