Everything Early Modern Women: All things to do with the study of early modern women

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SSEMWG Awards 2021

From SSEMWG Award Committee:

Dear Colleagues, 

The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender is now accepting nominations for awards for scholarly work on women and gender in the early modern period (ca. 1450-1750) published between June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The deadline for all nominations and submissions is June 30th, 2021.  The deadline includes receipt of all relevant information as well as all materials. Awards will be announced in the fall of 2021. 

The Society makes awards in the following categories: 

Awards Categories: 

  • Book Award (scholarly monographs) 
  • Essay or Article Award 
  • Editions Awards (critical editions of primary sources) 

For this category, we are seeking nominations for both teaching and scholarly editions. We have three categories for which we may award prizes in a given year. These include: the Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition; an award for a teaching edition; and an award for a scholarly edition in translation. Please note: we do not always award prizes for all three of these categories. We ask that all editions nominations be made simply to the umbrella category of “Editions Awards.” 

  • Graduate Student Conference Presentation Award 
  • Collaborative Project Award (Edited Collections of Essays, etc.) 
  • Digital Scholarship, New Media, & Art Award (Web-based projects, exhibitions, concerts, productions of plays, etc.  Note: Since such projects often do not have a single date of publication, nominations are accepted for projects operating between June 30, 2020 and June 30, 2020.) 
  • SSEMWG now administers the prize for the best article published in each volume of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  All articles published in the journal are automatically considered for the prize. 

Please see our website for full nomination details:  http://ssemwg.org/awards/.  Please note that for book awards this year, we need three hard copies in addition to three e-books or PDF copies for each work. 

Please send inquiries to the Awards Committee Chair, Elisa Oh, at eoh@howard.edu 

We look forward to receiving your submissions! 

The SSEMWG Awards Committee 2021 

CFP: Women’s autobiographical writings in early modern Europe (8/1/19; RSA 4/2-4/20)

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

Philadelphia, 2-4 April 2020

Women’s autobiographical writings in early modern Europe

This session aims to explore the ways in which women wrote accounts of their lives in early modern Europe. Even though autobiography became a popular codified genre only later, writing about one’s own life was not a novelty, and was a relatively common practice in early modern Europe. During the Renaissance, several male authors wrote and often published testimonies and evaluations of their own lives in various forms. But how about women? Although in the early modern period we are more likely to find biographies of women written by men, rather than women’s autobiographies, there are some examples of female autobiographical writings that deserve attention. This panel aims to explore Renaissance women’s autobiographies, memoirs and literary texts clearly meant to give an account of the life of the author. Papers will discuss the ways, circumstances, and purposes for which Renaissance women presented themselves and their experiences. These and other questions and topics can be taken into consideration for your proposal:

  • Who were the authors? (e.g. laywomen, nuns? What was their social background?)
  • Who were the addressees? How were these writings received?
  • In which contexts and why were the texts written?
  • Were the texts meant to be private or public? Did they circulate? Where?
  • What emerges in these writings about the culture and beliefs of the authors?
  • What aspects of women’s life experience are emphasized?
  • Differences from men’s autobiographies
  • Connections between autobiographical writings and contemporary expectations regarding a woman’s life.
  • Similarities and differences between female autobiographies and contemporary biographies of famous women, hagiographies etc.
  • Literary models, if any, used.
  • Language and style.
  • Balance between truth, fiction and lies.
  • Spiritual autobiography


Your proposal should include a title, a 150-word abstract, key-words (up to five), a one-paragraph CV (max. 300 words). Please also indicate if you have any audio/visual requirement.

Please submit your proposal to Dr Eleonora Carinci eleonora.carinci@gmail.com by August 1, 2019.

Art Herstory

“Art Herstory showcases on beautiful, framable fine art note cards the works of female Old Masters. These women artists were well known in their time, but their names and works have since fallen into obscurity.”


CFP: Essays for “Images of Queen Mary I in Literature and Writing” (8/1/19)

Images of Queen Mary I in Literature and Writing

Edited by Valerie Schutte

I am seeking essay proposals for an edited volume focused on writings and literature about Queen Mary I. A few essays and book chapters exist on this subject, but there is no one volume that considers how Mary was written about in documents and letters as well as used in literature, from poetry to plays. While comparisons with her younger sister, Elizabeth, often yield fruitful results, this volume prefers essays focused solely on Mary so as to recover her from the shadows of Elizabeth and her reign. It is the purpose of this collection to present Mary in as many forms of writing as possible so as to offer a wide overview of her as queen, wife, and Tudor.


The collection will be submitted to the “Queenship and Power” series at Palgrave Macmillan, with planned publication for 2021. I will consider proposals from scholars at all stages of their careers, from graduate students to early career scholars to tenured faculty.


Possible essay topics include:


  • Poems celebrating Mary’s birth or pregnancies
  • Accession literature
  • Written commemorations of her death
  • Mary as written about in letters, particularly by ambassadors
  • Contemporary literature
  • Mary’s reputation in Italy or at the Papal Court
  • Mary in Spain, as Queen of Spain and Naples, or as a queen consort
  • Catholic or Protestant remembrances of Mary
  • Mary as represented by later rulers
  • Bio-bibliographies or compendiums
  • Novels, plays, and historical fiction
  • Treatment in encyclopedias or the ODNB

Essays not on these topics will also be considered.

Chapter proposals should be 250-300 words, accompanied by a brief biography, for essays of 6,000-8,000 words. Please email proposals and bios to veschutte@gmail.com no later than

1 August 2019. Accepted authors will be notified by September 2019 and complete essays will be due 1 August 2020.

Valerie Schutte earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Akron. She is author of Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power, and Persuasion (2015). She has edited or co-edited four collections on topics such as Mary I, Shakespeare, and queenship. She has published articles on Shakespeare, royal Tudor women, and book dedications. She is currently working on a monograph on Princesses Mary and Elizabeth Tudor and is planning a large-scale project on Anne of Cleves.


via EMW listserv emailed from Julie Eckerle on behalf of Valerie Schutte

Invitation for Essay Proposals: Authorizing Early Modern Women: From Biography To Biofiction (8/30/19)

Authorizing Early Modern Women: From Biography To Biofiction is a new volume of essays that aims to chart intersections among history, biography, and the growing field of biofiction, or contemporary fictionalizations of historical figures, in this case of early modern women. Edited by James Fitzmaurice, Naomi J. Miller, and Sara Jayne Steen, the volume will include essays on women artists, conceived broadly, across examples of painting, poetry, playwriting, prose, and tapestry.

We’re particularly interested in essays that consider recent biographies and/or fictionalizations (novels, stage plays, films) about such early modern women as Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster and Mary Beale, Elizabeth Cary and Aphra Behn. 

To be considered for inclusion, please send a 250- to 500-word proposal/abstract and a 1-page CV summary by August 30, 2019 to James Fitzmaurice (j.fitzmaurice49@gmail.com), Naomi Miller (njmiller@smith.edu), and Sara Jayne Steen (sjsteen300@gmail.com). Completed essays will be due by July 2020.

CFP: Renaissance Drama (SCMLA 3/31/19; 10/24-26/19)

The Renassance Drama regular session at South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) seeks papers on Renaissance Drama for presentation at the annual meeting, October 24-26, 2019 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Please submit abstracts of 200 words or fewer to Dr. Kris McAbee (kxmcabee@ualr.edu) by March 31, 2019


CFP: “Marriage Rites and Wrongs: Feminist Thinking on Marriage during the Long Eighteenth Century” (ASECS 2019, 9/15/18; 3/21-3/24/19)

DUE to anhunter@ualr.edu by Sept. 15, 2018

“Marriage Rites and Wrongs: Feminist Thinking on Marriage during the Long Eighteenth Century” 
Convener: Angela Hunter, University of Arkansas-Little Rock;  anhunter@ualr.edu

From François Poulain de la Barre and Gabrielle Suchon to Olympe de Gouges and Mary Wollstonecraft, feminist authors identified the institution of marriage as a crucial obstacle to equality and rights. Marriage was not just a time-worn analogy through which theorists of absolutism such as Jean Bodin or Robert Filmer had described the relation of sovereign to subject, it was the primary mechanism for consolidating assets and juridical power in the hands of men. This panel welcomes papers that showcase the diversity of feminist approaches to marriage over the course of the long eighteenth century; emphasis on the political character of feminist critique of marriage encouraged.


CFP: Early Modern Women’s Mobilities (9/30/18)

Early Modern Women:

An Interdisciplinary Journal

Volume 14.1 (Fall 2019) will feature a forum on

“Early Modern Women’s Mobilities”


The scholarship on early modern women has moved far beyond the long-held notion that women remained in the home. Indeed, mobility was a defining feature of many women’s lives.  For this forum, we are interested not only in examples of women’s mobility, but also research that interrogates the far-reaching implications of that mobility for women and considers how it informs our understanding of gender in the early modern world.


We seek essays that examine but are not limited to:

  • Migration and settlement (actual and imagined, internal and external)
  • Travel (actual and imagined, local and global, voluntary and involuntary)
  • Gendered understandings of distance and space
  • Movement and the body
  • Modes of transportation
  • Intersectionality and mobility


Please send abstracts of 500 words to the editors (emwj@umw.edu) by September 30, 2018. Completed essays of 3500 words will be due on January 30, 2019.

CFP: Special Issue “Regulation and Resistance: Gender and Coercive Power in Early Modern Literature” (11/15/18)

via http://www.mdpi.com/journal/humanities/special_issues/gender_early_modern_literature

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Early modern English culture consistently imagines the regulation of feminine bodies, whether through virtuous exempla, cautionary tales, education and conduct books, medical diagnosis and advice, literary plots or tropes, fashion, or physical disciplines such as needlework, dance, or music lessons. Prescriptions for early modern gender include the watchful regulation of fathers, husbands, doctors, and teachers over women’s intellectual and moral education as well as over their physical activity. Representations of the internalized practice of self-regulation reveal that early modern women writers and female characters frequently recognize and weigh these gendered cultural expectations and prescriptions for their bodies. Fictions of such external and internalized containment of the female body’s sexuality, speaking, and social movements appear repeatedly in early modern texts.

This special issue seeks essays that engage with the complexities of how prescriptive limitations and rebellious evasions can be mutually constitutive in early modern culture. We welcome essays that confront the historical social forces at work in confining, restraining, and marginalizing disruptively gendered bodies that are seen as transgressive to the powers of colonizing and capitalistic states and their proxies. For example, how do capitalism and colonial expropriation methodically subjugate women and appropriate their labor? What are the intellectual, creative, and cultural gains contributed by the resistant physical, racial, and sexual diversity of early modern regulatory states?

This special issue’s interrogation of the regulation of gender and the body hopes to position early modern transgressive acts in the legacy of the intersectional feminist questioning of coercive state power.

Dr. Jessica C. Murphy
Dr. Kris McAbee
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges(APCs) of 350 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are fully funded by institutions through the Knowledge Unlatched initiative, resulting in no direct charge to authors. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • early modern
  • literature
  • gender
  • women
  • power

CFP: Books and Bodies in Early Modern England (7/15/18; RSA 2019)

via http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2018/06/05/books-and-bodies-in-early-modern-england-rsa-2019

Organizers: Jillian Linster (University of South Dakota) and Harry Newman (Royal Holloway, University of London)

For a proposed panel at RSA 2019 (Toronto, March 17-19)

This panel investigates links between literary and medical culture in early modern England (c. 1500-1700), focusing on the intersections of book history and medical humanities. Scholarship has started to address the physiology of reading, the role of the book trade in disseminating and shaping medical knowledge, and the mutually influential relationship between literary and medical texts. Building on this work, we seek papers focused on the physical and conceptual relationships between books and bodies in early modernity. Papers might consider the following:

  • How did changing technologies, laws, reading habits, and/or the rise of print culture affect the interaction of bodies and books in this period?
  • How did specific books come to represent individual people, and vice versa?
  • How were the bodies of books shaped and reshaped by physical encounters with human bodies (e.g. printers, book binders, readers)?
  • Does the relationship between books and bodies help us to understand power and agency in early modernity?
  • Why is it important to investigate the material lives and textual histories of medical books (anatomical works, midwifery manuals, dietaries, casebooks, herbals, medical receipt books, etc.)?
  • How is the relationship between books and bodies depicted in literary works, artistic renderings, and historical documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?
  • How useful are distinctions between ‘literary’ and ‘medical’ texts when considering the book-body relationship?
  • What was the influence of other cultures (European or non-Western) on English perceptions of books and bodies?

Approaches might include or combine book history, medical humanities, ecocriticism, new materialism, sociological or anthropological theory, social and cultural history, and biblical studies. Non-traditional or experimental lines of inquiry are encouraged. Proposals are welcome from scholars working in any discipline.

Please submit your paper proposal by 15th July 2018, to Jillian Linster and Harry Newman at booksandbodies.panel@gmail.com. The proposal should include the following information in a single document:

  • Name, affiliation and email address
  • Paper title (15 words max)
  • Abstract (150 words max)
  • Keywords