Thursday, December 20, 2007

Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading

Seminar Programme, Spring 2008
Seminars will take place at 5 pm in the Seminar Room, Graduate School in Arts and Humanities, Old Whiteknights House, University of Reading
All welcome!

Wednesday 9 January:
Prof. Claire Jowitt (Nottingham Trent) "Radical pirates?" Revisited: The Politics of Pirate Ballads 1600-1630'.

Wednesday 23 January:
Prof. Steve Hindle (Warwick) 'Beating the Bounds of the Parish: Power, Memory and Identity in the English Local Community, c.1500-1700'

Wednesday 20 February:
Dr. Jason McElligott (Merton College, Oxford) 'The Perils of Print Culture: EEBO and the iPod Generation'.

Wednesday 5 March:
Dr. Marie-Louise Coolahan (National University of Ireland, Galway), ‘”If souls no sexes have”: gender and creativity in Katherine Philips’s friendship poetry’.

Convenor: Dr Michelle O’Callaghan,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Land, Landscape and Environment, 1500-1750

14 to 16 July, 2008
Early Modern Research Centre
University of Reading

Current debates over the environment – and in particular over the exploitation or management of natural resources – find their origin in early modern discourses of mastery and stewardship. Man’s right and responsibility to exploit the Earth were confidently asserted. To what extent, though, were those who made their living from the countryside, and those who wrote about it, ambivalent about landscape change in the name of progress and improvement, whether in England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, or in the American colonies? In what ways did land, landscape and environment give rise to struggles between the promoters and beneficiaries of agrarian capitalism and its victims? How did representations of land and environment develop in this period? What connections can we draw between literary and visual depictions of land and environment - whether as map, image, or text - and these ideas of mastery and control? And what does the recent turn towards 'green politics' in early modern literary studies suggest about the usefulness of twenty-first century political imperatives for an interrogation of the early modern past?

Papers are invited on the following areas:

plantation and colonisation as civilising process; agrarian capitalism and sustainable agriculture in theory and practice; topography and poetry, pastoral and georgic, the chorographical and country-house poem; enclosure, disafforestation and drainage: their advocates, opponents, practice and consequences; law, property rights and tenure; husbandry and husbandry manuals; the country house and its landscapes; horticulture and gardens; rivers; writing the land; artistic representations of landscape; cartography, maps and signs; the country and the city; parks; urban pastoral; travel, travel-writing, walking tours and sight-seeing.

Proposals (max. 300 words) for 30 minute papers and a brief CV should be sent via email attachment by 1 February 2008 to Dr. Adam Smyth, School of English and American Literature, University of Reading,

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Early Modern Literary Studies is an online refereed journal. EMLS encourages
scholars in the field, including graduate students, to submit theatre reviews
for publication. Reviews may cover productions of plays from the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, or of plays about those periods. Reviews may be of
professional or of university productions, and may cover individual productions
or entire seasons. A length of at least 1,000 words is recommended, and longer
analyses are encouraged.

Reviews should be submitted to David Nicol, theatre reviews editor of EMLS at

Monday, December 10, 2007

Text and Image in Early Modern Society


A postgraduate conference organised by the Centre for Early Modern Studies to be held at the University of Sussex, 9-11 September 2008.

Plenary Speakers: Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex), Tom Healy (Birkbeck, University of London), Jennifer Richards (University of Newcastle)

Deadline for Papers: 15 March 2008

Subjects: Theatre and Performance, The Bible, the Inns of Court and law, Music, Art, Printing, popular culture, court and elite culture, food and music, woman writers, politics, gender and sexuality, race and colonialism, others, rhetoric, writing lives, architecture, religion, graffiti and libels, pamphlets and broadsheets, polemic, fables, almanacs, poetry, the epic, satire, the body, erotica, witchcraft and ghosts, philosophical discourse, monsters.

Costs: £35 conference fee (exclusive of accommodation).

Postgraduate Bursaries available.

Abstracts of 200-300 words should be sent electronically to

Friday, December 07, 2007


An Exhibition to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of John Milton's Birthday.
December 8th 2007 - April 26th 2008.
[details from the LRS]

The Bodleian Library's winter exhibition is a tribute to John Milton, one of the first advocates of civil
liberties. Focusing on the ever current idea of 'citizenship', the exhibition tells a story through word
and image of this great writer's abiding ideas, linking his artistic and political activities. The Exhibition
is curated by Milton Scholar Dr Sharon Achinstein, Fellow of St Edmund Hall.

Celebrating the quatercentenary of Milton's birth, the display presents Milton's major works in
important and beautiful editions from the Bodleian Library's collections including the rare first edition
of Areopagitica and the first twelve-book edition of the greatest epic poem in the English language,
Paradise Lost.

The exhibition also explores the lasting power and influence of Milton's works and his activity in
subsequent political and artistic movements. Milton's ideas and words have developed a flourishing
afterlife, providing inspiration for the works of renowned artists, type-makers and illustrators such as
John Martin, Mary Groom, Arthur Rackham and Samuel Palmer, whose magnificent painting 'The
Prospect' is being lent by the Ashmolean museum. Very recent interpreters of Milton, including
Geoffrey Hill, Tony Harrison and Philip Pullman, also have their works represented.

for further information:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New web-site ...

for the University of Reading's Early Modern Research Centre (annual international conference; fortnightly research seminars; MA), at

Monday, December 03, 2007

Writing Wales

The Department of English, Aberystwyth University, and the Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Aberystwyth and Bangor) are hosting a two-day conference on the theme Writing Wales: 1500-1800‚ to be held at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, on 3-4 July, 2008.

The conference aims to explore representations of Wales in historical and literary texts written in either Welsh or English between 1500 and 1800. It provides unprecedented opportunity for scholars across disciplines and conventional period demarcations to engage in a discussion of the different ways Wales was written in the early modern, eighteenth-century, and early Romantic periods. The conference will generate discussion concerning the broader continuities and/or discontinuities between different periods and different types of writing. Questions raised by the conference might therefore centre on the existence of similarities and/or dissimilarities between historical and literary treatments of Wales, the way in which identifiable literary and historical narratives of Welsh national consciousness develop over the period span, points of connection and/or dissension between Welsh-language and Anglophone imaginings of Wales, the contribution of women writers to a Welsh national vision, the ways in which religion informs literary and historical treatments of Wales. The conference will also raise broader methodological questions about the extent to which conventional period descriptors - early modern, eighteenth century, Enlightenment, Romanticism have shaped scholarly treatments of Wales, asking if we should continue to reinforce such period divisions, or start to reconfigure our approach to Wales‚s literary and historical past.

If you would like to offer a paper for this conference, please send an abstract of approx. 200 words to Dr Sarah Prescott, Dept. of English, Hugh Owen Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DY, or via email to The deadline for abstracts is 31st January 2008. All papers will be of 25 minutes duration. Speakers are welcome to deliver papers in Welsh or English.
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