Reading Early Modern Studies Conference

Each July, scholars from around the world meet at the Reading Early Modern Studies conference to debate current issues in the field. This year, our plenary speakers are Professor Benjamin Kaplan, from University College, London, who will speak on ‘ “Between Them Sleeps the Devil”: The Tribulations of An Interfaith Couple in the Eighteenth Century’, and Professor Virginia Cox, from New York University, whose lecture ‘Anthologizing Early Modern Italian Women’s Lyric’ coincides with the publication of her edition Lyric Poetry by Women of the Italian Renaissance, the first modern anthology of verse by Italian women of this period. The conference is also hosting a very rich strand of papers sponsored by Early Modern Women’s Research Network. A highlight of the first evening will be a very rare performance of Lady Jane Lumley’s adaptation of Euripides’ Iphigenia At Aulis, which is the first translation of Euripides into English and the first known dramatic work by a woman in English. The conference will also celebrate the publication of the sixtieth title in the Early Modern Literature in History series at Palgrave MacMillan, which has a long-standing affiliation with the Early Modern Research Centre at Reading, whose origins can be traced back to the very first early modern studies conference at Reading held almost twenty-five years ago in 1989, ‘Politics, Patronage and Literature in England’. For further details of the conference, including a copy of the draft programme, see:

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Printed Image and Decorative Print, 1500-1750 , Friday 22 March, 2013


The EMRC is hosting a one-day colloquium this Friday on the ‘Printed Image and Decorative Print, 1500-1750’. Eric Kindel will speaking in the morning session on ‘Recording knowledge: Christiaan Huygens and the invention of stencil duplicating’, and James Mosley on ‘A Buried Text and an Unknown Iconography of the Making of Books: the Description des Arts et Métiers of the Académie Royale des Sciences, Paris’. In the afternoon, Clare Backhouse will give a presentation on ‘Ballad Pictures in Seventeenth-Century England: Conventions of Representation’ and Angela McShane on ‘Rethinking the Unstable Image: Kings, Queens and Cobblers on Seventeenth-Century English Ballads’. At lunchtime there will be an exhibition of early modern printed material from Reading Special Collections and Typography.


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Paul’s Cross and Our Democratic Heritage, Sept. 24

Seminar on St Paul’s Cross: Preachers, People and Power

 Date: 25th September 2012 Venue: Wren Suite, St Paul’s Cathedral Time: 3.00pm – 4.30pm

Paul’s Cross, located in the gardens of St Paul’s Cathedral, has been considered one of the great symbols of free speech and democracy in England.  This seminar will explore what truth lies behind often romanticised ideas about the area, using historical scholarship to inform public discussion of the obligations and responsibilities of interpreting this democratically resonant part of London.
This session is one of two being held on the day in conjunction with Our Democratic Heritage.  The academic exploration of the afternoon session will be coupled with another seminar event in the evening exploring the modern context.

Dr Peter McCullough – Professor of English and Fellow of Lincoln College Oxford, Lay Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Dr Mary Morrissey – Lecturer, Department of English and American Literature University of Reading, Author of Politics and Paul’s Cross Sermons, 1558-1642 (Oxford 2011).

Dr David Colclough – Senior Lecturer, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London.  Author of Freedom of Speech in Early Stuart England (Cambridge 2005).

 This session will be Chaired by Dr Dan Plesch – Co-Founder of Our Democratic Heritage.

This seminar is free and open to all. Spaces are limited so registration is required to attend. If you would like to register please contact or call 020 7489 1011.

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Mendham Collection at Kent

The University of Kent is campaigning to prevent the Law Society from breaking up a historic collection of early printed books and manuscripts. For details, following the link:

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Graduate research – UROP scheme

Anna Murdoch, a second year undergraduate in the English Department, has been appointed on the UROP scheme as the undergraduate research assistant on the Verse Miscellanies Online, and has been working diligently on the project in June and July.

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Verse Miscellanies Online: Printed Poetry Collections in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Alice Eardley and Michelle O’Callaghan were busy in June and July delivering papers on Verse Miscellanies Online: Printed Poetry Collections in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, starting with the annual international SHARP: Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing conference, held in Dublin, as part of the panel, ‘After Creation: The Evolving Uses of EEBO-TCP in Humanities Research’ on 26 June 2012. Next up was the ‘Renaissance Poetic Form: New Directions’ conference, run by Ben Burton and Lizzie Scott-Baumann from 5 to 7 July 2012 at Wolfson College, Oxford. Finally, on 14 July, Alice and Michelle spoke about the project at the annual international Reading Early Modern Studies Conference, which ran from 12 to 14 July.

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Launch of website

Alice Eardley and Michelle O’Callaghan will be launching the website at the EEBO-TCP conference, “Revolutionizing Early Modern Studies”? The Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership in 2012, which will be held at the University of Oxford, 17 to 18 September, 2012.

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Italian Academies, 1525-1700 international conference

Booking is now open for the Italian Academies, 1525-1700 international conference, held at the British Library on 17-18 September 2012. Keynote speakers include Prof. emerita Alison Brown, Prof. Virginia Cox, Prof. Giovanni Muto, and Prof. Paolo Procaccioli. For information and booking forms visit:

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Facebook concept

Our Facebook concept is not new – it was used by sixteenth century scholars who similarly created networks of members and shared information on books, plays, art works and news. They created humorous nicknames for themselves and developed emblems and mottoes to form groups with which they exchanged information. See:

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Institute for Scottish Historical Research Conference

Institute for Scottish Historical Research Conference, University of St Andrews, 29-31 August 2012: Function, Form and Funding: What are universities for – and who should pay for them? (

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