Welcome back to The Scrivener. It’s Lindsay here this week with the latest news in early modern scholarship. Read on for full details!
Calls for Papers
How is the ephemeral intimately connected to our study of early modernity? And what is at stake in plumbing what is, by definition, ‘short-lived’ or ‘transitory’? The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara is hosting a conference on ‘Transience, Garbage, Excess, Loss: The Ephemeral, 1500–1800’ from 21-22 April 2017. Potential presenters are invited to interpret this theme widely so as to provoke as many exciting discussions as possible. More details are available here, and proposals are due by 15 December 2016.
The history of violence and its restraint has been crucial to definitions of ‘Western civilization’ and the modern world, often by contrasting them with barbaric predecessors and the cultures that they claim to have tamed. Yet, evidence for the restraint of violence varies according to one’s viewpoint: the sharp decline of homicide in seventeenth-century Europe, for example, diverges from the simultaneous rise in violence of Atlantic colonial societies. ‘A Violent World? Changes and Limits to Large-Scale Violence in Early Modernity’ will take place from 29 June-1 July 2017 at the University of Oxford, UK. This conference brings global approaches to the history of violence, reassessing the nature of violence during the early modern period. Using violence and the restraint of violence as a unifying theme, participants are encouraged to make trans-national comparisons and connections across the early modern world. Proposals are due by 31 December 2016, and the full call is here.
When walking through the streets of London, Joseph Addison urged readers of The Spectator to ‘make every face you see give you the satisfaction you now take in beholding that of a friend’. Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the ways early modern people embraced sociability, and created new spaces and ‘languages’ of interaction. Yet, not all strangers who met became ‘friends’. Most remained relative strangers, and others became ‘enemies’. How did people determine who was a potential friend, ally, or enemy? Why, how, and in what ways, were individuals and groups socially ‘excluded’? Did physical appearance and conduct, status, occupation, religion, ethnicity, gender, and place of origin, determine whether one was ‘in’ or ‘out’? A conference on ‘Cultures of Exclusion in the Early Modern World: Enemies and Strangers, 1600-1800’ will take place at the University of Warwick from 18-19 May 2017. More details can be found here, and proposals are due by 12 December 2016.
The next Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies, which will run from 10-11 July 2017, will be devoted to ‘Complaints and Grievances, 1500-1750’. Proposals for individual papers and panels are invited on research relating to this theme in any area of early modern literature and theatre, history, politics, art, music and culture across Britain, Europe and the wider world. 16 December 2016 is the deadline for proposals, and the call is available here.
15 December 2016 is the deadline to apply for the Fifteenth Round Table on Tudor Theatre, Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance, Université François-Rabelais de Tours, France. ‘Forms of the Supernatural on Stage: Evolution, Mutations’ will take place from 7-8 September 2017. The subject presents an obvious specific interest in the English context, given the impact of the religious reforms (and counter-reforms) over the sixteenth century. On the one hand, the medieval biblical plays, miracles and moralities disappeared (though in chronologically and geographically uneven fashion), while, despite sporadic upsurges of a theatre of Protestant propaganda, the dramatic representation of sacred personages and explicitly religious themes became progressively more difficult, to the point of near-impossibility. On the other hand, from the development of the Elizabethan public theatre in the 1570s, playwrights found indirect and innovative means of dramatising spiritual issues and entities. With respect to dramatic works ranging from the Middle Ages to the seventeenth century, contributors to the Round Table will attempt to identify points of rupture and continuity in evolving dramaturgical practices, taking into account the operations of censorship, as well as questions of genre, the mentality of spectators, and staging techniques. More information is available here.
In recent years, the analysis of social networks has generated a fruitful field of scholarly enquiry. Investigations have traced the ways in which societies structured according to gender, family bonds, and neighbourhood ties as well as political, professional, and religious associations regulated social interaction. However, the role of art and architecture in cultivating these interpersonal relationships has not been explored comprehensively. Even art historical approaches have frequently given preference to textual rather than visual evidence in elucidating these social networks. The Annual Postgraduate Renaissance Symposium at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London–dedicated to ‘The Art of the Network: Visualising Social Relationships, 1400–1600’–seeks to shed new light on the ways in which social networks have been represented visually in this period. This event will take place on 28 April 2017, and proposals are due no later than 31 December 2016. Full details can be found here.
Calls for Manuscripts
Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, published annually, invites the submission of articles by graduate students and recent PhDs in any field of medieval and Renaissance studies. 1 February 2017 is the submission deadline of articles for volume 48. More details are available here.
The online peer-reviewed journal Etudes Epistémè seeks articles examining Shakespeare’s treatment of the notions of perfection (or ‘purity’) and pollution (or ‘impurity’), understood not only along traditional moral and religious lines, but also, more ‘profanely,’ in aesthetic and hermeneutic terms. Papers are sought that focus on the different ways in which Shakespeare recounts and stages the failure of purity (or perfection), embracing the impure (or the polluted) as a lively, creative material. This special Shakespeare issue of Etudes Epistémè is open to essays adopting a variety of methodological approaches, whether more materially- or philosophically-oriented. The full call can be found here, and detailed abstracts are due by 15 December 2015.