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Laughter as Medicine | The Scrivener

By May 31, 2015 No Comments

This week at The Scrivener we present you with a great line up of calls for papers and opportunities. Topics range from travel and the self to laughter as medicine, the importance of the art market in Early Modern Europe–enough to keep you busy all next week!

Calls for Papers

Travel: A Journey to Discover Self and Others

The Renaissance was an era of magnificent art achievement, and an age of “discovery” and “self-fashioning”: the exploration to the “new world” heralded by the Iberians, the Grand Tour popular with the upper-class youth, and the “spiritual odyssey” undertaken in writers’ studies, all exhibited the “burning curiosity” harboured by the contemporaries. Travel, physical or spiritual, was not just a movement from one place to another, but also a process of encountering and discovery: a traveller, coming across with diverse people and occurrences during the journey, gradually formatted his idea of “who I am” by identifying “who you are”. The “self” and “others” dynamic burgeoned in the course. This panel welcomes papers from various perspectives; we shall scrutinize the “travel experience” of the Renaissance people and examine how this experience fashioned their image of “self” and “others”. Please send an abstract of 150 words and cv to Dr. Ruo-yung Lee and Dr. Hui-chu Yu by 5 June 2015.

Laughter as Medicine: Cures in Early Modern Comedies

John Casson established the healing properties of selected Jacobean  comedies (2007), and Peter Conrad, in reviewing the 2012 adaptation of  One Man, Two Guvnors – itself a modern rendition of Carlo Gondoni’s
eighteenth-century piece of commedia dell’arte – describes comedy as ‘a  balm, […] reminding us how essential it is to our mental health and  social survival,’ further stressing its influence on the belly (2013).  The Centre for Early Modern Studies at the University of Aberdeen is  searching for papers revolving around comedy as medicine on the early  modern stage for a panel to present at the RSA conference in Boston in  2016. We are particularly interested in the multi-faceted ways medicine is being used in comedies by early modern playwrights. Topics for  discussion may vary and can include diet, Galenic humourism, Paracelsianism, religious healing, meta-theatre and/or madness. Please send a 150-word abstract and a brief résumé (bullet points) to  Julia Kotzur by 7 June 2015.

The Art Market, Collectors and Agents: Then and Now

The purpose of this 16 July conference will be firstly to explore the role of agents in the early modern period and to see how they negotiated the development of the art market in Europe, developing the role into a more professional activity. Secondly, the aim of this conference will be  to take the subject further and consider how the agent has gradually become the consultant/dealer in the modern art market. Thus the conference should allow for the/a fascinating juxtaposition of historic and contemporary practice. It should also offer a deeper understanding of the private and often hidden side of the market, one that is not represented through the study of auctions alone. Proposals should be 350 words and sent with a short cv to Susan Bracken and Adriana Turpin with cc to by 30 July 2015.

News, Secrecy and Foreign Policy in Early Modern England

The public discussion of foreign policy and the preservation of ‘state secrets’ became important factors in politics during the early modern period. This one-day conference on 24 October aims to examine the politics of news, diplomacy and the Arcana imperii c. 1485-1714. Building on recent work on news, rumour and the ‘public sphere’, it aims to explore the relationship between information, counsel, foreign policy and domestic politics and how these things changed over time. Please send proposals for 20 minute papers to by 31 July 2015. Paper proposals should be no more than 300 words long. This conference is lcome proposals for papers from postgraduate and postdoctoral students.


Textual Bibliography for Modern Foreign Languages
The British Library, 1st June

The British Library has organised a day seminar on Textual Bibliography – so if you’re free tomorrow and in London, be sure to check it out! For more details see their website.

Globe Education: Shakespeare Inspired Talks
‘What does “Based on” Mean? Shakespeare and the Idea of a Source’
Wednesday 3 June, 7pm at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

The Globe Eduction centre is organising a series of Shakespeare Inspired Talks. Professor David Scott Kastan (Yale University) will be speaking on ‘What does “Based on” Mean? Shakespeare and the Idea of a Source’. For more details see the Globe website.

Brudermord: Puppet Hamlet
Three chances to see hilarious 18th century style puppet show of Der Bestrafte Brudermord (Hamlet — show is in English) plus an academic talk!
  • 1 31st May, Globe, 4pm and 7pm (7pm performance introduced by Tiffany Stern). See here.
  • 2 2nd June, Magdalen College, Oxford 2-6pm (one hour talk and puppet show by Stephen Mottram; one hour talk by Tiffany Stern; Brudermord by Hidden Room): contact Laurie Maguire or Tiffany Stern for free ticket.
  • 3 3rd June Shakespeare Institute, Stratford Upon Avon, 3pm (one hour talk by Tiffany Stern), 5.3pm Brudermord.
 A Celebration of International Shakespeare
Saturday 6th  June, 7pm – 9pm,
Woods-Scawen Room at Warwick Arts Centre
This event will comprise of an overview of international Shakespeare in the UK by Michael Billington of The Guardian, followed by a panel discussion between Tim Supple and other special guests on ‘Shakespeare: Lost of Found in Translation?’ and readings by the international workshop practitioners. Sign up here for free tickets.

Shani Bans

Author Shani Bans

Shani Bans is an assistant editor at TSS and a PhD candidate at University College London. Her thesis, 'Optics in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries' - explores the relationship between optics and literature in early modern Europe, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Her other interests include: the culture of dissection in early modern drama, representation of ugly women; early modern science, medicine and technology; the history of Shakespearean criticism; Sidney circle; Miguel de Cervantes, Michel de Montaigne; Virginia Woolf; Hergé; Derrida and epistolarity.

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