Monday, March 22, 2010

Staging Transgression in the Early Modern Period

Call For Papers

A two-day conference to be held on August 6th and 7th 2010 at Trinity College Dublin

Funded by The School of English at Trinity College Dublin, The School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin, and The Society for Renaissance Studies.

Plenary Speakers:
Prof. Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)
Dr. Thomas Rist (University of Aberdeen)
& Prof. Danielle Clarke (University College Dublin)

Dr. Rory Loughnane (Trinity College Dublin) & Ms. Edel Semple (University College Dublin)

In recent years, early modern literary criticism has shown a marked interest in the concept of what constitutes transgression, the liminal and the marginal. Actions understood as transgressive were acted out on stage and described in sermons, conduct manuals, ballads, jest-books and other ‘cheap print’. Developing from this early modern literary fascination and building upon recent critical material on the subject, a two-day conference will take place in Trinity College Dublin on August 6th and 7th 2010 exploring the representation and performance of transgression in Tudor and Stuart literature. The conference is an inter-institutional collaboration organised between Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, and it aims to interrogate the early modern period’s insistent awareness of transgressive persons, places and things, deviant behaviours and communities. We invite papers that examine literary engagements with transgression in all its forms, from minor to severe violations of social, cultural, legal, political and religious norms and rules.

Papers are sought particularly in the following areas:
- transgressive individuals and communities such as criminals, witches, traitors, spies, malcontents, bawds, whores, usurers…
- deviant relationships such as those involving miscegenation, necrophilia, bestiality, infidelity or incest or those that defy boundaries of class, age, or gender…
- transgressive spaces, such as taverns, fairs, playhouses and brothels, and the violation of boundaries such as private/public, inside/outside, city/the Liberties…
- taboos and the construction and contravention of society’s norms…
- linguistic and political transgression through dissenting voices, sedition and rebellion…
- dramatic and literary transgression, such as deviations from generic conventions, pornography, controversial or libellous texts…
- rules and regulatory bodies, including but not limited to the Inns of Court, the guilds, ecclesiastical courts, and the Stationers’ company….
- heresy and orthodoxy, such as blasphemy, sacrilegious acts, desecration and the violation and subversion of religious commands….
- legal corruption and mitigating circumstances…

Please email proposals for papers to Dr. Rory Loughnane and Ms. Edel Semple at by Monday 17th May 2010. Abstracts should be approximately 250 words in length and suggested papers should be no longer then 20 minutes.

The Society for Renaissance Studies (SRS) has provided funding for several postgraduate travel bursaries. Please email the above address if you would like to apply for one of these £100 bursaries. For further information and updates please follow the link to the Staging Transgression conference blog:


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