Everything Early Modern Women

All things to do with the study of early modern women.

International Margaret Cavendish Society Conference Announcement (June 22-24, 2017)–Look for a CFP in August

From Lisa Walters, Immediate Past President of the Margaret Cavendish Society
Liverpool Hope University

The International Margaret Cavendish Society is pleased to announce that the next biannual conference is set to take place on June 22nd-24th, 2017 at Bates College, Maine. Professor Carolyn Merchant from the University of California, Berkeley, will be the keynote speaker.

Preference will be given to abstracts that closely relate to the conference theme, but all talks about Cavendish, her family, and related subjects will be considered.

The conference theme is “Margaret Cavendish: Reception and Representations.”   Cavendish has increasingly garnered intense academic interest during the past twenty five years by scholars from a wide range of disciplines such as literature, history of science, philosophy, history and politics. She is also increasingly becoming a figure of interest in popular culture, as attested to by Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World and Danielle Dutton’s Margaret the First: A Novel. Regardless of the interest that she sparks and publications devoted to her, old caricatures and stereotypes of Cavendish still stubbornly remain within both popular culture and academia alike. Indeed, she still provokes aversion in many disciplines. It is our intent that this interdisciplinary conference will explore and investigate reactions to Cavendish by her own contemporaries as well as by writers from the late seventeenth century up to the twenty first century. We aim to gain insight into how and why Cavendish has been loved, hated and/or ignored as tastes and socio-cultural norms evolved. On a broader level, the conference will consider who or what hinders writers and/or certain ideas from being canonical or acceptable.

A call for papers will go out in August, 2016. The program committee (yet to be formed) will look at abstracts as they come in and will try to get decisions to authors quickly. We also will post advice on transportation and accommodation for the conference. We expect there will be both inexpensive dormitory housing and reasonably priced motels, perhaps with a shuttle bus to campus for the motels. Please check the Margaret Cavendish Society website in August for further details.

Early Modern Women: Lives, Texts, Objects – Martine van Elk

From Martine van Elk, “a new blog on women who lived, worked, wrote, and created art in the seventeenth century”

Source: Early Modern Women: Lives, Texts, Objects – Martine van Elk

CFP: Unreasonable, Speculative, Fantastic: Women’s Parapolitical Creativity During the English Civil Wars (5/20/16; 3/30-4/1/17)

Call for Papers for RSA Chicago 2017 (March 30 – April 1)

Unreasonable, Speculative, Fantastic: 

Women’s Parapolitical Creativity During the English Civil Wars

Panel Organizers: Jantina Ellens (McMaster University) and Chantelle Thauvette (Siena College)

This panel proposes to explore English Civil War writing outside of its traditionally historical and male-focused frames. Research by Diane Purkiss, Mihoko Suzuki, and Susan Wiseman draws attention to gendered ways of understanding history and politics in the literatures of the Civil Wars, but there remain many more “areas of excess and gaps and silences where unreason flourishes” (Purkiss 4) that have yet to be explored.

This panel invites abstracts that attend to this flourishing in gendered works that encompass the imaginative, speculative, and fantasy-based aspects of parapolitical cultural productions. Just as Patricia Demers’s work considers the way eschatological discourses harmonize with the political, this panel also asks how do the “circumambient conditions” of the Civil War infuse women’s writing from this period and “what connections exist between private and public, domestic and political realities in [women’s] work” (161)?

We hope to explore literatures of the mid-seventeenth century which extend beyond the boundaries of the immediate conflicts and find in the Wars opportunities to re-imagine the scope of the real and the possible, involving re-thinkings of gender, class, race, religion, etc.  Interests include, but are not limited to the literature of the 1630-1660 period and might focus on:

– women’s cultural production

– apocalyptic or predictive literature

– closet dramas of the Civil Wars

– pamphlet culture

– re-imaginings of the Civil War periods after the fact

– or other speculative Civil Wars figures, phenomenon, or texts which fall into the gaps of our reasoned historical and political analyses of the period.

Please send abstracts of 150 words and a short CV (300 words or less) to cthauvette@siena.edu and ellensjc@mcmaster.ca by Friday, May 20th, 2016.


CFP: The Body and Spiritual Experience: 1500-1700 (RSA 2017) (5/20/16; 3/30-4/1/17)

Abstracts are invited for a proposed series of sessions on the body and spiritual experience in Europe 1500-1700, intended for the next Renaissance Society of America meeting (30 March–1 April 2017, Chicago). Possible questions might include: In what ways does biblical reading shape understanding of the relationship between physical and spiritual matter? Which body parts or material processes are implicated in spiritual experience? Are there differences in the ways in which male and female flesh is treated in relation to spiritual experience? How influential are biblical and theological distinctions between flesh and spirit to understandings of the body? In what ways might understanding of the relationship between the body and spiritual experience be influenced by medicine, science, philosophy or other spheres of knowledge?

Proposals for papers should be sent to victoria.brownlee@nuigalway.ie by Friday 20 May. Abstracts should be 150 words and be accompanied by a short CV (max. 3 pages) which includes information on publications or an overview of thesis work.

Source: cfp | call for papers

CFP: I Realigned the Cosmos: Lyric Poetry and Science (SLSA 5/9/16; 11/3-6/16)

I Realigned the Cosmos: Lyric Poetry and Science
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), 3-6 November 2016, Atlanta, GA

“Ain’t no one can / chart me,” says ex-planet Pluto in a 2015 poem by Fatimah Asghar. The remark may well also double as self-reflexive commentary regarding the relationship between lyric poetry and the objects of scientific study, such as the cosmos, ecological systems, the human body, the laws of physics, natural history, technology, and much more. It is often acknowledged that poems take up these subjects—but the work poems do with them is often considered along the lines of “expression” or “representation.” While not seeking to discount either of those concepts, this panel nevertheless aims to move away from the conception that they are poetry’s sole purchases on these objects of study. Instead, this panel asks: what happens if we take seriously the notion that, like scientific disciplines, lyric poetry and poetics create knowledge about these subjects? What kinds of knowledge in these realms have been created by specific poems, poets, tropes, devices, figures, and so on? If we grant that there are “scientific methods” of inquiry, are there such things as “poetic methods”? Does poetry experiment, invent, hypothesize, calculate, build, study?

We seek abstracts that address, expand, or complicate these questions; all periodizations and theoretical approaches are welcome. Please submit a 250-word abstract and a 1-page CV with the subject line “SLSA Panel Submission” to Sumita Chakraborty at sumita.chakraborty@emory.edu by Monday, May 9. The 2016 meeting of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts (SLSA) will have the theme “Creativity.” Please see http://litsciarts.org/slsa16/ for more details about the conference.

Source: cfp | call for papers

CFP: Gender and Textual Mobility, ANZAMEMS (Australian and New Zealand Medieval and Early Modern Society conference) Wellington, New Zealand (8/1/16; 2/7-10/17)

The Early Modern Women’s Research Network (EMWRN) is convening panels on Gender and Textual Mobility at the upcoming ANZAMEMS conference in Wellington, 7-10 February, 2017.

This is the 11th biennial conference of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and three keynote speakers have an interest in gender in the medieval and early modern world: Professor Lorna Hutson (English, St Andrews, sponsored by EMWRN), Professor Martha Howell (History, Columbia), and Dr Erin Griffey (Art History, Auckland).

EMWRN invites proposals for papers engaging with gender and textual mobility, for a dedicated stream of panels. Potential topics might include but are not limited to:

  • gender and textual transmission, including coteries, circles, and networks of readers, writers, and performers;
  • gendered histories of reading and writing, including markings, marginalia, excerpting and commonplacing;
  • women as writers and readers at the royal court, the country house, in the city, and in exile;
  • women as patrons, facilitators, interpreters, and transmitters of texts;
  • the mobility of genre(s), literary and non-literary, ‘high’ and ‘low’;
  • theories and practices of gender and editing, the archive and digital technologies.

We welcome proposals from PhD students and early career researchers.

Please send any enquiries and paper proposals by 1 August 2016 to both Trisha Pender (patricia.j.pender@newcastle.edu.au) and Amy Dewar (amy.dewar@newcastle.edu.au).

Proposals should include:

  1. Paper title
  2. Abstract (up to 150 words)
  3. Your name, affiliation, and email address
  4. A brief CV (2 pages maximum)
  5. An indication of AV requirements

CFP: Expanding Visions: Women in the Medieval and Early Modern World (10/15/16; 3/2-4/17)

Keynote Speaker: Merry Wiesner-Hanks

Please see the following for CFP information:

Expanding Visions CFP

New Scholarly Book Series Seeking Proposals: “Gendering the Late Medieval and Early Modern World” Amsterdam University Press

Amsterdam University Press is pleased to announce a new scholarly book series, Gendering the Late Medieval and Early Modern World. The General Editors of this series editors are Victoria Burke, University of Ottawa; James Daybell, Plymouth University; Svante Norrhem, Lund University; and Merry Wiesner-Hanks, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

This series provides a forum for studies that investigate the themes of women and gender in the late medieval and early modern world.  The editors invite proposals for book-length studies of an interdisciplinary nature, including but not exclusively, from the fields of history, literature, art and architectural history, and visual and material culture.  Consideration will be given to both monographs and collections of essays. Chronologically, we welcome studies that look at the period between 1400 and 1700, with a focus on Britain, Europe and Global transnational histories. We invite proposals including, but not limited to, the following broad themes: methodologies, theories and meanings of gender; gender, power and political culture; monarchs, courts and power; construction of femininity and masculinities; gift-giving, diplomacy and the politics of exchange; gender and the politics of early modern archives and architectural spaces (court, salons, household); consumption and material culture; objects and gendered power; women’s writing; gendered patronage and power; gendered activities, behaviours, rituals and fashions.


For more information, or to submit a proposal, visit http://en.aup.nl/series/gendering-the-late-medieval-and-early-modern-world or contact Erika Gaffney, Senior Acquisitions Editor, at Erika.Gaffney@arc-humanities.org.


You can also view the series flyer at



CFP: Early Modern Women: Texts and Objects (5/20/16; 3/30-4/1/17) | cfp.english.upenn.edu

Early Modern Women: Texts and Objects

A session at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, 30 March-1 April 2017 in Chicago

Proposals are invited for presentations on early modern women as writers and creators of objects, texts, and artifacts, such as glass engravings, paper cuttings, calligraphy, decorated letters, and alba amicorum. Those who explore texts should take into account the materiality of the textual object; conversely, those who look at aesthetic objects should investigate their textuality. Questions to be addressed may include the following: how did pastime offer opportunities for women to express themselves as authors and artists? Under what circumstances did pastime cross the boundaries between amateurism and professionalism? How are objects made as paid labor different from those made as products of leisure time? How did textual and non-textual objects made by women function as gifts, to announce social status, or to enhance networks? How does the materiality of objects and texts relate to their purpose or content?

Papers that cross disciplinary and/or national boundaries are especially welcome.

Please send proposals to martine.vanelk@csulb.edu. Include in your proposal: name and affiliation, paper title (max. 15 words), abstract (max. 150 words), and a brief CV (max. 300 words; in ordinary CV format).

Email proposals as soon as possible, but no later than May 20, 2016.

This session will be sponsored by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

Martine van Elk
Professor of English
California State University, Long Beach
Department of English

Source: Renaissance Society of America, 30 March-1 April 2017 in Chicago | cfp.english.upenn.edu

CFP: Women’s writings in Renaissance time (5/20/16; 3/30-4/1/17)

Call for papers
RSA Chicago 2017 (30 March-1 April 2017)

PANEL: «Di tentar fama io mai non sarò stanca»: Women’s writings in Renaissance time

Di tentar fama io mai non sarò stanca

perché ’l mio nome invido oblìo non copra;
benché m’avveggia che sudando a l’opra

divien pallido il volto, e ’l crin s’imbianca.
(Isabella Andreini, canz. mor. A Gabriello Chiabrera,

Vago di posseder, vv. 37-40)


Organizers: Stefano Santosuosso (University of Reading)
This panel, or series of panels, aims at gathering papers focusing on texts written by the notable number of women in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The purpose is to contribute to the re-evaluation of female writers within the broader context of the ‘canonical’ writings, from which women had been deliberately marginalised, when not ignored, by male counterparts (both authors and critics) for long time. This misconduct has caused a real shortage, to date, of critical and annotated editions of texts as well as a lack of specific investigations from different perspectives (such as historical, critical and linguistic). As the necessity of further debates on this issue emerges from the current state of scholarship on the topic, in order to bring into focus the specific share of female figures and their written works, we welcome proposals on, but not limited to, the following subjects:
– Women’s authorship, definition and case studies;

– Printed or manuscript ‘female’ works: critical and/or philological analysis (forms, themes, sources, linguistic features, author’s intention and addressed audience, censorial impact and the authorial rewriting);

– Oral diffusion of ‘female works’;

– The influence of the Holy Scripture and religious institutions on ‘female’ poetry;

– Networks and relationships between authors and/or works;

– Link of ‘female’ poetry with other Arts (Painting, Music, Theatre);

– Transnational connections between Italian writers/works and European ones.


Please send a short abstract (max 150 words), a title (max 15 words), keywords (max 4) and Cv (max 300 words) to Stefano Santosuosso (s.santosuosso@reading.ac.uk) by 20th May 2016.


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