Thursday, April 28, 2011

V&A Early Modern Material Cultures

Summer 2011, Wednesdays 5.00 pm
Drawing on research that engages directly with material
culture by scholars from a range of disciplines and
approaches, seminars will alternate between papers at
the IHR and papers at the V&A which will involve direct
contact with objects.
4 May Mark Jones (Director, V&A)
Venue: V&A, Seminar Room A
11 May Stephen McDowall (Warwick)
Venue: IHR, Low Countries Room
18 May Andrew Spicer (Oxford Brookes)
Venue: V&A, Seminar Room A
25 May Flora Dennis (Sussex)
Venue: IHR, Low Countries Room
1 June Alexander Marr (Southern California; Robert H. Smith
Renaissance Sculpture in Context Scholar in Residency, V&A)
Venue: V&A, Seminar Room A

Venue: Weeks 1, 3, 5: Seminar Room A,
Research Dept., V&A;
Weeks 2, 4: Low Countries Room, IHR.
Time: Wednesday 5.00 pm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

North West Renaissance Drama Colloquium

Registration is now open for the inaugural
North West Renaissance Drama
Colloquium, a one-day event to be held at
John Rylands Library, Deansgate,
Manchester, Thursday 23rd June 2011
A keynote lecture will be given by
Professor Nicholas Royle
(University of Sussex), author of The Uncanny,
How to Read Shakespeare, After Derrida and Quilt
Admission: £10/£5 for students
To express interest, email
Naya Tsentourou and James Smith at:
Registration ends Friday 10th June

Renaissance and Baroque in Critical Theory

A panel to be held at the 5th Biennial conference of the Society for Renaissance Studies, University of Manchester, July 9-11, 2012

Proposals are invited for papers making up a panel on representations and appropriations of culture from the mid-1300s to the early 1700s by modern critical theory. Taking ‘critical theory’ broadly to include all those writing in the wake of Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and feminism, this panel seeks discussions of its passing remarks (such as those by Nietzsche and Lacan), sustained analyses (Bakhtin, Foucault, Kristeva), and more multifarious appropriations (Deleuze’s baroque) on and of Renaissance texts, culture and terminology.
Other welcome topics include the relationship or tension between readings of the Renaissance by critical theory and other differently-motivated forms of scholarship (Benjamin and the Warburg Institute, for instance), and assessments of the intervention critical theory can make in the situation of the study of the Renaissance today, or indeed, vice versa.
Applications of around 400 words should be sent to James Smith at by 01/09/11.
For further information about attending the SRS conference in 2012:
For further information on ‘Renaissance and Baroque in Critical Theory’ at the SRS conference 2012:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shakespeare's Sisters

Message from Georgianna Ziegler, Folger Shakespeare Library


The Renaissance Society of America will be held next year in Washington, DC
from March 22-24. Concurrently, the Folger Library will feature an
exhibition titled “Shakespeare's Sisters: voices of English and European
women writers, 1500-1700.” We are planning to hold three sessions during
one day at the Folger on early women writers, and are calling for papers on
a variety of topics, including:

Influence of women writers on each other

Women as translators or reworkers of male writers, including Sidney,
Ariosto, Tasso

Women as religious writers (Parr, Douglas, Fox, Colonna, Navarre, Montenay

Women translating Psalms (Sidney, Prowse, Barriferri, Inglis, Cheron

Women as literary patrons (Clifford and Sidney families especially featured
in exhibition)

Women writing about love (Aragona, Colonna, Stampa, Labe, Crenne, Navarre,

Women playwrights/translators (Sidney, Cary, Philips, Cavendish, Behn,
Centlivre, Pix, Manley, Trotter)

Italian women playwrights (Andreini, Miani, Costa, Valerii, Rangone

Women of the French Salons

Comparative-literature and interdisciplinary papers are especially welcome.

Please send inquiries and proposals by May 27 to:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brimmers and Boozers

Dr Angela McShane (V&A), ‘Brimmers and Boozers: Materialities, Identities and Practices of Drinking in Early Modern England’, Thursday 28 April, 6.30 pm, Room B03, 43 Gordon Sq, Birkbeck, London.

Dr. Stephen Brogan writes ...

I am delighted to welcome you to our next event. Dr Angela McShane teaches the history of design at the V&A and the RCA, and also researched popular politics and everyday life in seventeenth-century England, especially cheap print, drinking cultures and objects of loyalty. She is an expert on early modern ballads and has just published English Political Broadside Ballads in Seventeenth-Century England: A Critical Bibliography (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2010). Her illustrated paper on drinking in early modern England promises to be lively and stimulating, and afterwards we can all put theory into practice and raise a glass to Dr McShane.

Membership remains a mere £5 and is available on the night; alternatively, you can attend this event for a one-off price of £3.


The John Carter Brown Library
April 21-23, 2011

Keynote speakers:
Margaret Cohen (Stanford), Bernhard Klein (Kent), Patricia Yaeger (Michigan)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Society for Renaissance Studies 5th Biennial Conference

University of Manchester, UK, July 9-11, 2012

The 5th Biennial conference of the Society for Renaissance Studies will be held at the University of Manchester.

Accompanying events are being planned in the Whitworth Gallery, Chetham's Library, the John Rylands Library, the People's History Museum, the Royal Northern College of Music, and other cultural institutions in the city.

In addition to scholarly papers, the conference will offer workshops on publishing, funding applications, teaching, and public engagement, as well as tours of libraries.

Plenary Speakers

Roger Chartier (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris/ Collège de France/ University of Pennsylvania)
Alan Stewart (Columbia University)
Bette Talvacchia (Connecticut University)

Call For Papers

We invite proposals for panels on any aspect of Renaissance history, art, literature or culture, and for individual papers on one of the following themes:

* Materiality, book history and textual culture
* Premodern gender and histories of sexuality
* Emotion and the senses
* Translation and/ or intercultural exchange
* Cities, topographies, urbanisation and visualising the urban
* Athleticism, competition, and the body
* Science and enquiry
* In addition there is an open strand

The 'Renaissance' will be broadly defined from the mid-1300s to the early 1700s (and globally understood), but papers that engage with questions of periodisation, disciplinarity and the later representation of this period are also welcomed (see

Proposals (paper: 400 words, panel: 1000 words) are welcome from postgraduates as well as established scholars and they should be sent by Friday 16 September 2011 to the conference organizer (decisions on papers to be made by the end of October):

Dr Jerome de Groot
English and American Studies
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL
United Kingdom

Further details (including a full programme, registration forms and information about accommodation) will be posted on the conference website as soon as they become available.

Please note that the Society is particularly keen to encourage postgraduates to offer papers, and we will be able to offer some bursaries to cover registration and accommodation expenses. Details on bursaries to follow on the conference website.

Please note that the SRS has agreed with the Renaissance Society of America: RSA members will not have to join the SRS to participate in this conference.

Early Modern Female Miscellanies and Commonplace Books Symposium

University of Warwick, 22nd July 2011

Keynote speaker: Professor Margaret Ezell, Sara and John Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University
9.30-10am Registration

10-11am Keynote: Margaret Ezell (Texas A&M) ‘The Exemplary Wife: Secrets, Shorthand, and The Worst of Sinners, the book of Anna Cromwell Williams’

11 – 11.30am Coffee

11.30am – 12.30pm Elizabeth Scott Baumann (Oxford) ‘"Shifting dress": the commonplacing of Katherine Philips' poetry’

Helen Hackett (UCL) ‘Constance Aston Fowler's verse miscellany as evidence of Catholic cultural connections’

12.30-1.30pm Lunch

1.30-3pm Sarah Ross (Massey) ‘“Like Penelope, always employed”: Constructing the Self in Women’s Manuscript Miscellanies’

Sajed Chowdhury (Sussex) ‘Thair is mair constancie in o[u]r sex / Then euer ama[n]g men hes bein’: The Metaphysics of Authorship in the Maitland Quarto Manuscript (c. 1586)'

Jayne Archer (Aberystwyth) 'Solve et coagula: The Uses of Alchemy in Early Modern Women's Manuscript Miscellanies'

3-3.30pm Coffee

3.30-4.30pm Rebecca Bullard (Reading), 'Cambridge MS Add 8460: the commonplace book of Dorothy Browne and Elizabeth Lyttelton'

Gillian Wright (Birmingham) 'Reading for Entertainment? Octavia Walsh's Miscellany Poetry and Its Early Readers'.

4.30-5.30 pm Elizabeth Clarke (Warwick), 'What's in a Name? Lucy Hutchinson's religious and non-religious commonplace-books.'

Johanna Harris (Exeter), 'Brilliana Harley's Commonplace Book and Intellectual Community'

5.30-6.30pm Wine Reception

On stage - First Quarto of Hamlet

At the White Bear theatre in Kennington, London

Performances: 26th April - 22nd May, Tuesday - Saturday at 7.30pm, Sunday at 6pm (No Mondays).

To book go to or call 020 7793 9193

Every word, and it still only runs at 2 hours, including the interval.

On each Thursday and Saturday there will be post show discussions, with the director, Imogen Bond.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Exhibition: Unsealed - The Letters of Bess of Hardwick, at Hardwick Hall

Bess of Hardwick (Elizabeth, countess of Shrewsbury) was one of Elizabethan England’s most famous figures, an influential matriarch and dynast, lady at Elizabeth I’s court, and the builder of great stately homes like Hardwick Hall. For the first time, her correspondence now features in an exciting exhibition at Hardwick Hall: Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick.

Dukes and spies, queens and servants, friends and lovers – all of the Elizabethan world populates Bess of Hardwick’s letters. Bess herself wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life. They were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London, and to news from the world at large. And when she moved to Hardwick Hall in the final years of her life, the old countess received current and family news into her house through her correspondence. Unsealed lets Bess and her correspondents tell their stories in their own words. The stunning banners and letter facsimiles bring Bess and her correspondents to life. Interactive features for both children and adults include a series of podcasts on food, fashion and gossip exchanged with Bess’s letters. The exhibition will remain at Hardwick Hall throughout the 2011 season, to be seen by thousands of visitors.

In collaboration with the National Trust, Unsealed was created by Dr Anke Timmermann with support from Dr Alison Wiggins at the University of Glasgow, where the AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project team has been working on an online edition of this important corpus of Renaissance letters for more than two years to date. This project reconsiders the story of Bess’s life, which as told to date typically emphasises her modest birth, her opportune marriages and rise through the ranks of society, and her ambitious aggrandisement of her family. But Bess’s surviving correspondence, which numbers more than 230 letters, shows her personal and public life in all its complexity, with as much detail as a diary would. The exhibition Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick now also invites the general public to discover just who Bess of Hardwick was.

Unsealed is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and supported by the National Trust and the University of Glasgow.


- AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project (

- Unsealed: The Podcasts (

- Hardwick Hall (

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Destruction programme

16 April 2011
Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

All welcome!

9.50 Registration & welcome

10.00-11.15 Burning/ obliterating
Katherine Inglis (Birkbeck), ‘From the Flames: Book Burning in Confessions of a
Justified Sinner and Romola’
Rebecca Knuth (Hawaii), ‘Book Destruction and Contemporary War’
Gill Partington (Birkbeck), ‘Burning books and Preserving Literature in
Fahrenheit 451’


11.30-1.15 Cutting / tearing
Gabriel Egan (Loughborough) , ‘The Missing Page: Hancock’s Half Hour and the
Debasement of Literature’
Corinna Norrick (Mainz), ‘The Demystification of the German Children’s Book:
rororo rotfuchs in the 1970s’
Lucy Razzall (Cambridge), ‘“Wrapt up no doubt in many pieces”: Clothing and
Unclothing the Early Modern Book’
Adam Smyth (Birkbeck), ‘Cutting up Bibles at Little Gidding’.

1.15-2.15 lunch

2.15-3.30 Recycling / remaking
Ross Birrell (Glasgow), ‘Burning Kafka: The Work of Fire’
Nicola Dale (Manchester), ‘Destruction and Potential: The Book as Artist’s
Harriet Phillips (Oxford), ‘Disposable Pleasures: Making Use of Broadsides’


3.45-4.35 Digitising / archiving
Bonnie Mak (Illinois), ‘Palimpsests of the Present: A Critical Approach to
Digitised Books’
Brooke Palmieri (Oxford), ‘Dispatches from the Department of Acquisition and
Destruction: Robert Burton’s Books at the Bodliean’

4.45-5.45 Plenary

Kate Flint (Rutgers), ‘The Aesthetics of Book Destruction’

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Documents as props in early modern drama

The Columbia Early Modern Seminar is delighted to welcome Tiffany
Stern (Oxford), this Thursday, April 14, from 6.15 PM.

Tiffany Stern is the Beaverbrook and Bouverie Fellow and Tutor in
English at University College, Oxford, and Professor of Early Modern
Drama at Oxford University. A specialist in Shakespeare, theatre
history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, book history and
editing, she is the author of *Rehearsal from Shakespeare to Sheridan*
(Clarendon Press, 2000), *Making Shakespeare* (Routledge, 2004),
*Shakespeare in Parts* (with Simon Palfrey, Oxford University Press,
2007), and *Documents of Performance in Early Modern England*
(Cambridge University Press, 2009). Her paper is entitled

"'This paper has undone me': documents as props in early modern drama"

6.15 PM
509 Hamilton Hall, Columbia University, Morningside campus.

Contact: Alan Stewart

All welcome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boccaccio: Philologist and Philosopher

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies
1161 Amsterdam Avenue
(just south of 118th Street)
New York, NY 10027

Organized by Teodolinda Barolini (Columbia University)

'Let us go down, and there confound their language': The Bible in Translation

A one-day conference at Birkbeck College
When? Saturday, 28 May 2011, 9:00 - 19:00
Where? Rm B36, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Keynote speaker: Professor Stephen Prickett (Kent)

2011 marks the fourth centenary of the publication of the King James Bible, now widely recognised as the landmark work in the history of English scriptural translation. It is an appropriate time, then, for a retrospective glance at the Bible's place in the English language, from its earliest incarnations in Aelfric and other Old English writers, through the manifold late medieval and early modern versions of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale and others, to the present day, when the Bible is still being adapted to the idioms of modern speech, as in Rob Lacey's Street Bible (2002). More than any other work, the Bible has participated bilaterally in the development and enrichment of the language, and of the cultures which that language has underpinned.

This conference seeks to explore the relationship between Bible and bibles, Logos (John 1.1) and logoi, message and words. To what extent can the Bible communicate in its English translations? To what extent is it, as a text, already translation: as John closes his Gospel, if all the works of Jesus should be put down in words, 'I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written'.

9:00 - 9:30: Registration

9:30 - 11:00 Panel 1: The Middle Ages
Lucy Allen (York): 'In latyn he nuste what heo songe': Romanticizing Translation Debates in the Manuscripts of Robert of Sicily
Hannah Bailey (Oxford): An Obscuring Sign: The Tempter as Intermediary in the Old English Genesis B
Zach Stone (Oxford): 'Dauid sang þysne tƿa and tƿenteogeþan sealm, þa he ƿitegode be israela folces freodome': Historical Exegesis and Reading the Psalms in Anglo Saxon England.

11:00 - 11:30: Coffee

11:30 - 13:00: Panel 2: The Modern Period
Sophie Gray (Liverpool): Tyndale and the Text in the Heart
Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Warburg Institute): Edward Harwood and the Enlightenment Bible

Rhiannon Grant (Leeds): Inclusive Language: Feminist Re-Writing of the Bible

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch (own arrangements)

14:00 - 15:30: Panel 3: Modern, Postmodern and Beyond
Naomi Dyer (Aberystwyth): 'There is no new thing under the sun': An Exploration of Biblical Frameworks and Phraseology in 20th Century Literature
Lyn Poole (Roehampton): Douglas Coupland's Task as Translator: Postmodern Re-workings of the eschaton
Dennis Duncan (Birkbeck): Translating for 10,000 Years: The Bible and the Atomic Priesthood

15:30 - 16:00: Coffee

16:00 - 17:00: Keynote: Prof. Stephen Prickett (Kent): Robert Lowth and the Role of the Biblical Translator

17:00 - 19:00: Wine Reception

For more information, please contact Dennis Duncan ( or Anthony Ossa-Richardson (

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Oxford, lecturer in Renaissance literature (2 years)

The Queen's College wishes to appoint a non-stipendiary lecturer in Renaissance literature for two years, from 1 October 2011 to 31 September 2013. The post-holder will be expected to teach four hours of tutorials and/ or classes a week during full term, averaged over the year, taking responsibility for the delivery of FHS Paper 2 (Shakespeare), FHS Paper 4 (English Literature from 1550-1660) and either FHS Paper 5 (English Literature from 1642-1740) or FHS Paper 3 (English Literature from 1100-1509). Depending on available hours and student choice, the post-holder may also contribute to Mods Paper 1 (Introduction to Literary Studies), and final year special author and special topic papers. Please see the attached further particulars (also available at for details.

The deadline for applications is Friday 6 May. Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Rebecca Beasley, Tutorial Fellow in English, at

Dr Rebecca Beasley
The Queen's College
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 4AW

British Graduate Shakespeare Conference

This year’s programme for the British Graduate Shakespeare Conference (The Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon, 26-28 May 2011) is taking its final shape, and some more exciting speakers have confirmed their attendance. The extended registration period for the conference ends on 25th April.

- Professor Stanley Wells (Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute) will be joining us this year at BritGrad to discuss his latest book, Shakespeare, Sex and Love (Oxford University Press, 2010).

- Following the performance of George Chapman’s The Memorable Masque, directed by Jacque MacDonald at the Hall of the Shakespeare Institute, the discussion panel will include Professor Martin White (University of Bristol).

- A plenary panel will be dedicated to the refurbished Royal Shakespeare Company venues and the possibilities of these spaces for the performance of Renaissance drama.

- The upcoming publication of British Drama 1533-1642: A Catalogue (Oxford University Press, 2011 et seq.) will be celebrated with a plenary session with the participation of its authors, Dr Martin Wiggins (The Shakespeare Institute) and Dr Catherine Richardson (University of Kent).

- Dr Jaq Bessell and her Performance Research Group will also take part in the conference with a practical workshop session. Recent successes of the Group include their version of Antony and Cleopatra for two actors and a piano, which was performed several times in 2010, including a performance at the International Shakespeare Conference in the summer.

- Matthew Frost will be joining us on behalf of Manchester University Press as a plenary speaker in a session on academic publishing under the title Publishing and the PhD.

- Delegates will be offered the opportunity of attending a performance of The Merchant of Venice directed by Rupert Goold, with Sir Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Shylock, that he played in 1978 at The Other Place (Dir. John Barton).

- On Friday 27, delegates may sign up to take a guided tour of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s library and archives, held at the Shakespeare Centre, ending with a display of material from their Shakespeare and local collections, which include the archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

- Scheduled social events will include a themed party at the fabulous No. 1 Shakespeare Street, and a closing reception at the beautiful gardens of Hall’s Croft—the house that belonged to William Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, Dr John Hall—kindly sponsored by the Routledge Annotated Bibliography of English Studies (ABES).

It would be greatly appreciated if university departmental contacts could print and display the attached CFP to promote the conference at their institutions. Full registration details at

We look forward to welcoming you at the Shakespeare Institute in May!


The Thirteenth Annual British Graduate Shakespeare Conference
26-28 May 2011
The Shakespeare Institute
Mason Croft, Church Street
Stratford-upon-Avon, WARKS
CV37 6HP England

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cultures of Memory in Early Modern England: round table and discussion

Conversations and Disputations

Friday 17 June, 4.30, Institute of Historical Research

Speakers: Kate Chedgzoy (Newcastle), Andrew Hiscock (Bangor), Alexandra
Walsham (Cambridge), Andy Wood (East Anglia). Chair: Kate Hodgkin (UEL/

This session will be in the Germany room (2nd floor).

All welcome.

Angels of Light?

The people of early modern Europe were well aware of Paul's warning in 2 Cor
11:14 that Satan could transform himself into an angel of light.
Protestants and Catholics alike, as they sought to discern true sanctity
from false hypocrisy and divine miracles from demonic wonders, worried about
the proximity of the demonic and the divine. The problem of Discernment of
Spirits confronted mystics such as Teresa of Avila and Ignatius of Loyola,
and preoccupied the scholastic Jean Gerson and the humanist Erasmus. Even if
the terminology was Catholic, discernment posed a problem to Christians of
all denominations.

The Organisers:
Jan Machielsen:
Clare Ashdowne: clare

Please contact either Jan or Clare to register or for further details

Draft Programme

Unless otherwise noted events will take place in Lecture Room 23, Balliol College.

Friday 20 May

10:30 – 11:00 Registration / Coffee (in the foyer outside LR 23)

11:00 - 12:30 “Angels’ Food” or “Devil’s Fire”? The Spiritual Nature of Childhood in Early Modern England / Anna French (Gloucestershire)

‘[I] would have eaten the dirt beside me’: The Restless Dead and Scottish Witches in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries / Diane Purkiss (Oxford)

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch (in Hall)

13:30 – 15:00 Dreaming As They Wake: Inner/Outer Worlds in the Protestant Prophetic Imagination / R J Scott (Sheffield)

Gijsbert Voet and discretio spirituum after Descartes / Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Warburg)

15:00 - 15:30 Coffee (in the foyer outside LR 23)

15:30 – 17:00 Choice is a private matter, after proper training: Giovanni Dominici (†1419) from Florence / Rossana Vanelli Coralli (Bologna)

TBA / Clare Ashdowne (Oxford)

17:15-18:15 Plenary 1
The Temptations of St Anthony and the Art of Discernment / Stuart Clark (Swansea)

18:15-19:00 Wine Reception (in the Old Dining Room)

Saturday 21 May

09:30-11:00 Discerning the Spirits in a Jesuit Catechism: Juan Eusebio Nieremberg’s Doctrina Christiana (1640) / D. Scott Hendrickson, SJ (Oxford)

Dangerous Visions: the experience of St Teresa of Avila and the analysis of St John of the Cross / Colin Thompson (Oxford)

11:00-11:30 Coffee (in the foyer outside LR 23)

11:30-13:00 Fashioning Dead Disciples and Solidifying a Mystics Canon: Augustine Baker Composing The Life and Death of Dame Gertrude More; The Life and Death of Dame Margaret Gascoigne, and their Devotions / Victoria Van Hyning (Sheffield)

Demons & Saints; Heribertus Rosweyde’s Life of Martin Delrio and the pre-history of the Acta Sanctorum
Jan Machielsen (Oxford)

13:00-14:00 Lunch (in Hall)

14:30-15:00 “[T]hese people seeme rather possessed, then inspired:” John Foxe’s Prophetesses / Fiona Kao (Cambridge)

A Seventeenth-Century Prophet Confronts his Failures: Paul Felgenhauer’s Speculum poenitentiae, oder Buß-Spiegel (1625) / Leigh T.I. Penman (Oxford)

15:00-15:30 Coffee (in the foyer outside LR 23)

15:30-16:30 Plenary 2:
TBA / Euan Cameron (Union Theological Seminary/Columbia)

16:45-17:30 Round table discussion / Reflection / The End

Wroth's poetry online ...

Paul Salzman writes ...

Dear Friends,

My on line edition of Wroth's poetry is now open to all at the following

It remains a work in progress and I welcome any suggestions, including
errors in need of correction. The remaining poems will be added by the end
of the year. The introductions are in need of revision already, especially
in the light of Margaret Hannay's wonderful new biography.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Book Destruction, London, 16 April -- registration open

Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

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?

Organiser(s): Dr Gill Partington and Dr Adam Smyth (Birkbeck, London)

Keynote speakers: Kate Flint on 'The Aesthetics of Book Destruction'

Details here.


Registration is now open for "Bloodwork: the politics of the body
1500-1900." The conference will be held in Tawes Hall at the University
of Maryland, College Park, May 6 and 7, 2011.

To register, please go to the conference website: and download the registration form.
Detailed information, including map/directions and the conference
program can also be found there. The registration fee of $45 will
include lunch both days and a cocktail reception the first evening of
the conference.

"Bloodwork: the politics of the body 1500-1900" explores how conceptions
of the blood-one of the four bodily fluids known as humors in the early
modern period-permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900.
"Bloodwork" begins with the assumption that the metaphorical equation of
blood with "race" as we understand it today is a distinctly modern,
always shifting, and geo-culturally contingent formation. Hence, we
believe a conversation among scholars from various periods and fields of
inquiry will enhance our understanding of the cultural history of blood.
Specifically, we ask how fluid transactions of the body have been used
in different eras and different cultures to justify existing social

Plenary speakers:

Jennifer Brody, Department of African and African American Studies, Duke

Michael Hanchard, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins

Ruth Hill, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, The University
of Virginia

Mary Floyd-Wilson, Department of English, University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill

Med / Ren events around New York ...

Monday, April 4 [at Penn]
History of Material Texts Seminar
"Ink and Incas: Manuscript Histories from Early Colonial Peru"
5:15 PM
Martin and Margy Meyerson Conference Room, diagonally across from the
elevator bank on the second floor of Van Pelt Library, Penn.

Tuesday, April 5 [at NYU]
The Medieval & Renaissance Center & The Humanities Initiative, NYU
PETER LAKE (Vanderbilt)
"The Political Origins of the History Play"
6-8 PM
Humanities Initiative, 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
Contact: MARC 212-998-8698 or

Wednesday, April 6 [at NYU]
CLAUDIO GIGANTE (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)
"Writing Strategies and Paths of Invention in the Autograph Manuscript
of the Gerusalemme Conquistata" 6:30 PM
NYU Humanities Initiative
The talk will be in Italian, though an English version of the paper
will be available several days prior. To request a copy please email
Bryan Brazeau: . Hard copies of the English version will be
available at the
Humanities Initiative one hour prior to the talk.
Sponsored by: The NYU Department of Italian Studies, The NYU
Department of Comparative
Literature, M.A.R.C., NYU Office of Residential Life and Housing
Services and the NYU
Humanities Initiative

Thursday, April 7-Friday, April 8
A Franco-American Graduate Student Workshop
under the auspices of the Alliance Program
The workshop features History students from
Columbia University and the UniversitÈ de Paris-I.
Thursday 7 April 2:00-5:00
Friday 8 April 9:00-11:00, 1:30-5:45
Sessions in 411 Fayerweather Hall
For information, contact

Thursday, April 7 [at Rutgers]
The Rutgers British Studies Program
CHRIS GIVEN-WILSON (University of St Andrews)
"Chivalric Biography and Medieval Life-Writing"
4:30 PM
Plangere Annex, 510 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ

Thursday, April 7 [at Rutgers]
Exhibition Curator Lecture
"John Milton and the Cultures of Print"
4:30 PM
Scholarly Communication Center, Fourth Floor,
Archibald S. Alexander Library, Rutgers University

Thursday, April 7 [at NYU]
Medieval Studies Seminar
"Alexander B in its Tradition, or: What do we do with India?"
5-6 PM
19 University Place, Room 305
Contact: Emile Young

Thursday, April 7-Friday, April 8
A Franco-American Graduate Student Workshop
under the auspices of the Alliance Program
The workshop features History students from
Columbia University and the UniversitÈ de Paris-I.
Thursday 7 April 2:00-5:00
Friday 8 April 9:00-11:00, 1:30-5:45
Sessions in 411 Fayerweather Hall
For information, contact

Friday, April 8 [at NYU]
A panel discussion with
CLAUDIO GIGANTE (Universite Libre de Bruxelles): "Torquato Tasso and
the Counter-Reformation"
VIRGINIA COX (NYU): "An age of misogyny? Gender and the Counter-Reformation"
JACQUES LEZRA (NYU): "Martyrs' values: Spain-England, 1604-1614"
JANE TYLUS (NYU): "The Counter-Reformation Sublime"
12:30 PM
NYU Casa Italiana Library, 24 West 12th Street, 2nd Fl.
Lunch will be provided.
Contact Bryan Brazeau at

Friday, April 8
The Gallatin Arts Festival
5-9 PM

Monday, April 11 [at NYPL]
New York Public Library
"The End of Shakespeare's Sonnets"
1.15 PM
South Court Auditorium, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth
Avenue at 42nd Street

Monday, April 11
Columbia University Seminar on Studies in Religion
"Living Synecdoche: Parts and Wholes in Medieval Devotion"
4:15 PM
Faculty House, 117th St. and Morningside Dr. (entrance on 116th St.)
If you plan to attend, please RSVP to our rapporteur Ivan Lupic
by Thursday, April 7, indicating whether you wish to attend the
seminar dinner as well.
Please note that the cost of dinner is $24 and that payment is cash or
check only.

Tuesday, April 12 [at NYPL]
New York Public Library
" for Everyone!" (illustrated lecture)
1.15 PM
South Court Auditorium, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth
Avenue at 42nd Street

Tuesday, April 12
The Columbia University Seminar in the Renaissance
HEATHER DUBROW (Fordham) "'Of Future Depths': Futurity in Shakespeare,
Donne, and Heaney"
5.45 drinks, 6.30 dinner, 7.30 talk
Faculty House
Contact: Ivan Lupic at or 646-387-2407

Wednesday, April 13 [at NYPL]
New York Public Library
"Shakespeare's Mappery"
1.15 PM
South Court Auditorium, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth
Avenue at 42nd Street

Wednesday, April 13 [at NYU]
The Anglo Saxon Studies Colloquium
PATRICIA DAILEY (Columbia University)
"Naming and Unknowing: Responding to the Exeter Book Riddles"
5:30 PM
New York University, Room TBD

Wednesday, April 13 [at Barnard]
Gildersleeve Public Lecture
SARAH HUTTON (Aberystwyth)
"Liberty in Mind: Women Philosophers from Margaret Cavendish to Mary
4 PM
Julius Held Auditorium, 304 Barnard Hall

Thursday, April 14 [at NYPL]
New York Public Library
NAOMI CONN LIEBLER (Montclair State)
"Reading (Between) the Lines: Shakespeare's Old Ladies"
1.15 PM
South Court Auditorium, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth
Avenue at 42nd Street

Thursday, April 14
Columbia Early Modern Seminar
"'This paper has undone me': documents as props in early modern drama"
6.15 PM
509 Hamilton

Friday, April 15 [at NYPL]
New York Public Library
"Hamlet: Poetry That Doesn't Matter"
1.15 PM
South Court Auditorium, NYPL, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth
Avenue at 42nd Street

Friday April 15
The Columbia Shakespeare Seminar
"Collecting Early Modern Drama from Dodsley to Norton: Parables of the Canon"
Social hour 5-6; dinner 6-7; and the talk 7-8:30
Faculty House
Contact: Ashley Brinkman

Saturday, April 16 [at Princeton]
Graduate Conference in Medieval Studies at Princeton University
Contact: Rebecca Johnson (

Teaching Fellow

UCL English Department is seeking to appoint a 2-year Teaching Fellow in
Shakespeare, Renaissance and Early Modern Literature, to start in Sept
2011. For details, please go to

The closing date is 14 April 2011.
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