Monday, February 19, 2007

Ink in early modern England

... CFP, MLA 2007

Early modern literature is awash, to quote George Herbert, with ‘Oceans of ink’: whether it’s Cleopatra calling for ‘Ink and paper’, or Hamlet’s ‘inky cloak’, or Westmoreland imagining turning ‘your ink to blood’, to cite only well-known instances from Shakespeare. In manuscript miscellanies and commonplace-books, recipes ‘To make excellent Inke’ are common: early modern individuals were aware of ink’s constituent parts, and the process of its production. We invite proposals that consider the role of ink in early modern English culture. What work did ink perform in early modern literary texts, as both material and metaphor? What metaphorical associations surrounded ink? What was the relationship between ink and (im)permanence; between blotting, staining and corruption; between printer’s and writer’s inks; between black and coloured letters; between ink and other liquids? We particularly welcome papers that use archival research to throw new light on literary texts.

Please send paper proposals of 400-words to Karen Britland ( and Adam Smyth ( Deadline: 1 March 2007.


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