Earlier this week, 85 academics from around the world gathered at the University of Reading for the three-day Reading Early Modern Studies Conference. This annual conference – first held 25 years ago — brings together scholars working on history, literature and the arts from 1500-1750.
The line up this year was more international than ever: delegates attended from India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, the United States, Australia, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands as well as the UK. We heard papers on an astonishingly wide array of subjects, including experiments with gunpowder, the use of beards in stage plays, proper names scrawled in Bibles, drinking and fighting in ale-houses, Henry VIII’s love letters, and religious ideas about bad weather.
(Early Modern Letter panel: Tesa Whitehouse, Kara Northway, Thomas Charlton)
Professor Randall McLeod (University of Toronto) and Professor Tony Claydon (Bangor University) gave plenary lectures that made us consider ordinary things – books and time — in extraordinary ways.
(Plenary Speaker: Professor Tony Claydon)
The three days of the conference were sociable as they were intellectually stimulating and we’re looking forward to next year’s event already (date for your diary: 6-8 July, 2015). For more details about the EMRC and its work, take a look at our webpage.