Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book Destruction: Call For Papers (deadline: January 10)

A Conference at Senate House, University of London, 16 April 2011

Much attention has been given in recent years to the book as a material, historical object and its possible technological obsolescence in the era of digitization. Such reflections have tended to concentrate on the production and cultural circulation of books, their significance and their power to shape knowledge and subjectivities. But there is another aspect to our interactions with the book which remains relatively unexplored: the history of book destruction. In certain circumstances books are treated not with reverence but instead with violence or disregard. This conference invites reflections on this alternative history of the book, and we welcome papers from a range of historical periods and disciplinary backgrounds. We welcome proposals from postgraduate students, as well as from more established academics.

Why do people destroy books? What are the mechanics of book destruction: the burning, pulping, defacing, tearing, drowning, cutting, burying, eating? What are the cultural meanings that have been attached to book destruction, and what do they reveal about our investments in this over-familiar object? Why should the burning of books have such symbolic potency? Book destruction is often invoked as a symbol of oppressive, despotic regimes; what is our ethical position, now, in relation to such acts? What is the relationship between book destruction and other forms of cutting up (quotation; collage)? When do acts of destruction become moments of creativity? How does destruction relate to recycling and reuse? Do transitions in media (manuscript to print; print to digital) threaten those older forms? How might the current phase of digitization and the gradual disappearance of library stock relate to prior moments of destruction? In the internet age, is it still possible to destroy (that is, completely erase) a text? What does materiality mean in a digital age?

Please send 300-word proposals (for a 20 minute paper) and a brief CV, to
Dr Gill Partington (g.partington@bbk.ac.uk) and
Dr Adam Smyth (adam.smyth@bbk.ac.uk),
by 10 January 2011.

Literary Shakespeares + Theatrical Shakespeares

Saturday 9th April 2011, The Theatre Workshop, The University of Sheffield

“Reade him, therefore; and againe, and againe.” (John Heminge and Henry Condell)

In 1623 the actors who put together the first folio urged the public to read (and buy) Shakespeare. But despite this early gesture of interdisciplinarity, the relationship between literary texts and theatrical performances has never been straightforward. The Romantics famously viewed the staging of drama as inferior to reading, and G. Wilson Knight felt that the “deeper meanings” of a play would not “speak in theatrical terms”. For others reading a Shakespeare play is always an incomplete act, an experience of the drama in the wrong medium. In more recent times students, scholars and actors have celebrated Shakespeare as both literary and theatrical. Not only attention to professional productions, but also the act of performance itself is increasingly playing a part in the literature seminar room. In addition, any preparation for a Shakespeare performance involves a close reading of the text(s). With “performance history” sections now a staple part of scholarly editions of Shakespeare, and theatrical and film productions of the plays informing (and forming the subject of) literary criticism, the boundaries between literature and performance are proving ever more porous. Yet while the interactions between text and performance proliferate, the meaning of this interaction remains up for debate.

Literary Shakespeares + Theatrical Shakespeares is an opportunity for critics and performers, lecturers and school teachers to debate what Shakespeare’s different manifestations mean in the twenty-first century. We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers based on the following topics:

Approaching the text(s):

· What do actors, dramaturges and literary critics look for when reading Shakespeare’s texts?

· What constitutes and what is the use of “close-reading”?

· What is the relationship between acting and interpretation?

· What can students and scholars of literature learn from actors’ preparation?

· Do performers and literary critics define concepts such as text, script and character in the same way?

Theorising texts and performances:

· How might interplay between critical theories and performance analysis enhance our understanding of Shakespeare's texts?

· What motivates the literary critic’s use of performance in textual editions and scholarship?

· What constitutes the “text” of a performance? How useful are the traces of a performance (scripts, reviews, costumes, stills, etc.) in analysing the ephemeral experience of the theatrical performance itself?

· Would the development of more rigorous methodologies be helpful or limiting?

· Should different disciplines work together more closely, or do we need to be clearer about our differences? Where might such interdisciplinary dialogue take place?

Performance and pedagogy:

· What are the similarities and differences between teaching Shakespeare at undergraduate level in English degrees, Theatre degrees and conservatoires?

· Should we create a closer collaboration between the ways in which we teach texts and performances in order to offer students broader views of Shakespeare? What form might such collaboration take?

· What has been the impact of new pedagogical methods such as enquiry-based learning?

· What implications does the way Shakespeare is taught in schools have for teachers in Higher Education institutions?

· How have initiatives like the RSC’s “Stand Up for Shakespeare” reconceptualised students’ understanding of Shakespeare and their expectations of Shakespeare courses?

Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be sent to Dr Carmen Szabo (c.szabo@sheffield.ac.uk) and Dr Gillian Woods (gillian.woods@sheffield.ac.uk) by 7th February 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Readings and Representations of the Seventeenth Century

‘Such Total and Prodigious Alteration’ / ‘The Wounds May Be Again Bound Up’:
Readings and Representations of the Seventeenth Century

An academic conference to be held in Chetham’s Library, Manchester, 28th-29th January, 2011

To register, please contact James Smith and Joel Swann at:
c17.conference@manchester.ac.uk. Conference fee £30, £15 for students.

Full programme: http://www.chethams.org.uk/c17conference.html

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project

Grace Ioppolo writes:

Dear Colleagues:

You may be aware that the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project,
http://www.henslowe-alleyn.org.uk, was launched in November 2009, making
available online at no cost the most
important single archive of manuscripts on professional theatre and dramatic
performance in early modern England, the age of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson,
Middleton, Heywood, Dekker, Chettle, and so many of their contemporaries.

This electronic archive and website has just been updated to offer easier
to high-quality digital images of over 2000 manuscript pages at Dulwich College
of Philip Henslowe and the great actor Edward Alleyn, including:

--every page of Henslowe's world-famous 'Diary', recording box-office receipts
and payments to dramatists, actors, censors, costumers and theatre personnel
--every page of Alleyn's 1616-1622 Diary, itemising every daily expense for
goods, materials, labour, travel, legal matters, food and drink
--The contract to build the Fortune playhouse and the deed of partnership to
build the Rose playhouse
--The only surviving actor's 'part' or script of the age of Shakespeare
--One of only five extant backstage 'plots' of the age
--A complete manuscript text of the play The Telltale showing the typical
and style of dramatic manuscripts of the age
--Ben Jonson's autograph manuscript of two poems
--Alleyn's draft letter to his father-in-law John Donne
--hundreds of pages of deeds, letters patent, leases, receipts, and bills, as
well as correspondence among Henslowe, Alleyn and political and religious

Also included are succinct essays by leading scholars on fifteen of the most
important documents. For example, Prof. Susan Cerasano and Julian Bowsher,
senior archaeologist at the Museum of London, discuss how the excavations at
the Rose playhouse site in London have changed our views of early modern
playhouses: http://www.henslowe-alleyn.org.uk/essays/rosecontract.html

We hope to add transcripts of documents and a searchable index soon. We believe
that, even at this stage, this project will be of interest not only to
specialist scholars but to all those interested in early modern English drama
and theatre history, as well as in social, economic, regional, architectural
and legal history, palaeography and manuscript studies.

We would be delighted if you would help us call attention to our website and
archive. We would, of course, also be grateful if you were interested in adding
a link from your site to ours:
or if you could forward this email to anyone else who would find it of

Thank you,
Grace Ioppolo
Director, Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Saturday, 26th March 2011. Organised by The Early Modern Seminar in Scotland (EMSIS)
in conjunction with the School of Humanities at Strathclyde University.

Will's semantic slipperiness fascinated the Renaissance: in all manner of
English and Scots texts of the period we find 'Will too boote, and Will in over-
plus'. The structural conceit of the opening line of John Donne's poem, 'The
Will' exemplifies a key thematic construct to be found in much early modern
literature and a prevalent intellectual thread in the culture from which this
literature emerges. Donne's poem - this willed enactment of the speaker's last
will and testament to the world he will shortly leave behind in death -
encapsulates the polyvocal qualities of the human 'will' and all that it signifies.
The rich intellectual legacy of the European Renaissance that we, as critics
and researchers, struggle to understand is constructed from the physical and
literary legacies that writers such as Donne, Erasmus, Calvin, Elizabeth I,
Miarlowe, Middleton and others have bequeathed us. It is from these legacies
of authorial 'will' that our very idea of what represents or constitutes the early
modern period has been shaped.

This colloquium will explore the extraordinary malleability of the 'will' and its
various semantic permutations in the context of such issues as subjectivity,
power, logic, desire, freedom, volition, wit, wisdom, theology and metaphysics.
One of its main purposes is to to investigate what power and significatory
force the 'will' possesses, its limitations and the consequences of its lack of
a stable or fixed location, viewed in the context of the aesthetic, political,
theological and philosophical traditions that informed early modern

We would welcome 20 minute papers on the early modern 'will' followed by 10
minutes for questions. Various facets of the 'will' that might be investigated are
listed below, though this is not intended to exclude other perspectives on this

Will as desire or volition: wilfulness, will as voluntas, will as membrum
pundendum (male or female), possession of one's will, excessive willing,
transgressive will.

Theological and philosophical wills: freedom of the will, the negation or
undoing of the will, will as futurity, theological debates on the relationship
between the 'will' and fate or predestination; volition and animality.

Literary and legal wills: the exercise or abdication of authorial will or
intentionality, will as testament, framing legal wills, the interplay between
'will' and 'wit'; w/Will as a proper name and authoritative mark.

You are invited to submit an abstract of not more than 250 words
by 14th February, 2011, to a.thorne@strath.ac.uk. You will be notified whether your paper has been accepted by 21st February.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Shakespeare Symposium

Theatre Library Association, April 22, 2011

Theatre Library Association announces its third Symposium, Holding Up the
Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today, which will be held
at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Bruno Walter
Auditorium on April 22, 2011.

This Symposium consists of a fascinating day of presentations on the
challenging art of staging Shakespeare in our time, offered by leaders of
four of America's most celebrated theatre organizations:

• Oskar Eustis - Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival [Keynote
• Ralph Alan Cohen, Paul Menzer and Colleen Kelly - American Shakespeare
• Jeffrey Horowitz - Theatre for a New Audience
• Diane Paulus - American Repertory Theater

All of these artists are renowned for the originality of their approaches to
Shakespeare's works. Their presentations - enlivened with performance
excerpts - will give insight into the ways each company interprets the
Shakespearean tradition and its sources.

The American Shakespeare Center adapts Renaissance theatrical practices to
enable contemporary audiences to experience Shakespeare's works as
Elizabethan playgoers might have. Theatre for a New Audience seeks to
uncover connections between Shakespeare and the contemporary world. American
Repertory Theater's recent Shakespeare Exploded festival encouraged
audiences to derive new meanings in Shakespeare through a series of
imaginative adaptations.

For an additional perspective, Dr. Francesca Marini - recently appointed
Archives Director at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival - will offer
closing remarks.

To register - please consult:
Holding Up the Mirror: Authenticity and Adaptation in Shakespeare Today is
made possible by the generous support of the Gladys Krieble Delmas
Foundation and the Shubert Foundation.

*Performing the Book: Multi-Media Histories of Early Modern Britain*

February 11, 2011
Alexander Library, 4th floor
169 College Avenue
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

9:00 am Registration

9:30 amAlastair Bellany (Director, Rutgers British Studies Center),
Welcoming Remarks

9:45 -- 11:00 amChristopher Marsh (Queen's University, Belfast),
"Balladry as a Multi-Media Matrix: Best-Selling Songs and Their
Significance in Seventeenth-Century England"

11:15 am -- 12:45 pmMulti-Media Adaptation

Juliet Fleming (New York University), "The Pre-Historic Renaissance"

Scott Trudell (Rutgers University), "'Drown'd in noyse': Multi-Mediation
in the Lord Mayor's Show"

Michael Plunkett (City University of New York), "A Queen's Masque in
Chaucer's House"

Panel chair: Allison Deutermann (City University of New York)

12:45 -- 2:00 pm Catered lunch

2:00 -- 3:15 pm Bruce R. Smith (University of Southern California),
"Within, Without, Withinwards: The Circulation of Sound in Shakespeare's

3:45 -- 5:00 pm Acoustic Circulation

Thomas Ward (University of Pennsylvania), "Properti and Proper Voisez in
Siksti;nþ Senturi Speling Reform"

Leslie C. Dunn (Vassar College), "Catches and Snatches: Tuning in to the
Early Modern Song Network"

Tessie Prakas (Yale University), "Musical Passports: The Circulation of
Liturgical Sound in the Seventeenth Century"

Panel chair: Carter Mathes (Rutgers University)

5:15 -- 6:30 pmResponse and Discussion

R. Malcolm Smuts (University of Massachusetts, Boston)

Gary Tomlinson (University of Pennsylvania)

Moderator: Meredith McGill (Rutgers University)

6:30 pmReception

This event is free and open to the public. To register, or if you are
interested in attending via live webcast, please email Scott Trudell
(trudell@eden.rutgers.edu) by February 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

SRS Conference Grant Funding

The Society for Renaissance Studies intends to make a number of grants of up to £1,500 each to support conferences or colloquia within the field of Renaissance Studies planned for calendar year 1 January 2012-31 December 2012 and held in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. These awards will not be made to individuals to attend conferences, but to the organizers of conferences to provide assistance with organizational support and/or the travel and subsistence costs of certain participants, including postgraduate students. The closing date for the receipt of applications to support conferences in 2012 is 31st January 2011 and further details, including application forms can be found at http://www.rensoc.org.uk/SRSFundingPage.html

Professor Claire Jowitt
Conference Officer, Society for Renaissance Studies


The Margaret Cavendish Society is pleased to announce its next meeting

THEME: The Cavendishes and Anglo-European Cultural Exchange:
Seventeenth-Century Dutch, Flemish and French Influences

HOSTS: Professor Sandro Jung, The University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium
Dr. Ben Van Beneden, Curator, The Rubenshuis, Antwerp, Belgium

DATES: 5th to 7th July 2011

Dr. Ben van Beneden, Curator, The Rubenshuis, Antwerp
Dr. Rudolf Dekker, The University of Amsterdam

15- or 20-minute papers are invited on topics related to the conference theme

ABSTRACTS of 150 to 200 words should be emailed to the conference

DEADLINE for submission of abstracts: 1 January 2011

Dr. Sara Mendelson email: Sara Mendelson

Dr. Brandie Siegfried email: Brandie Siegfried

Dr. James Fitzmaurice email: J Fitzmaurice

QUERIES about the conference or about the Margaret Cavendish Society
should be directed to Sara Mendelson at
Sara Mendelson

The conference is being held at Ghent University

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


The Faculty of Humanities at the University of Fribourg

invites applications for the position of

Associate Professor in Medieval English Language and Literature

commencing 1 September 2011

For further information, please see: http://lettres.unifr.ch/fr/services/job/

Applicants must hold a doctorate and demonstrate a high quality in research publications. They must offer proof of their teaching experience in a university setting, their ability to undertake research projects, and their existing or developing scholarly networks.

The successful applicant will teach 6 hours a week in each of two semesters of the

academic year. Teaching will include introductory English language courses in Old English and Middle English as well as advanced courses at the BA and MA level. In addition, the appointee will supervise MA and PhD theses. Classes are taught in English. However, the successful candidate is required to take on administrative duties and have a working knowledge of at least one of the official languages of the University (French or German).

Letters of application with a CV, a list of publications, the names and contact information of three references, and list of courses taught should be sent to :

Prof. Thomas Austenfeld, Doyen, Faculté des lettres, Université de Fribourg, Avenue de l’Europe 20, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.

Closing date: 31 January 2011.

For further information please contact the President of the Recruitment Commission, Prof. Luca Zoppelli: luca.zoppelli@unifr.ch

The University of Fribourg is committed to promoting the academic careers of women and welcomes applications from women.
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