Everything Early Modern Women

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

Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #25: Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory with Rebecca Laroche and Jennifer Munroe | Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #25: Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory with Rebecca Laroche and Jennifer Munroe

Source: Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory #25: Shakespeare and Ecofeminist Theory with Rebecca Laroche and Jennifer Munroe | Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory

WSG 30th Anniversary Bursary | Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837

Check out this opportunity:

Source: WSG 30th Anniversary Bursary | Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837


Transnationalism and the Study of Early Modern Women | Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

Check out the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women’s new blog. Post by Allyson M. Poska: Transnationalism and the Study of Early Modern Women | Society for the Study of Early Modern Women

Bibliographical Society of America-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography

The Harry Ransom Center co-sponsors two annual research fellowships with the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA), the oldest scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects. The BSA was organized in 1904 and incorporated in 1927 with the principal objectives of promoting bibliographical research and issuing bibliographical publications.The BSA-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography (two awards annually at $3,000 each) supports the bibliographical study of early modern books and manuscripts, 1455–1700, held in the Ransom Center’s Pforzheimer Library and in related collections of early printed books and manuscripts, including the Pforzheimer Gutenberg Bible and Incunabula. Other significant early holdings include the John Henry Wrenn Library, the Recusant (English Catholics) collection, and the Ransom Center’s general holdings of early English books.

Source: Bibliographical Society of America-Harry Ransom Center Pforzheimer Fellowship in Bibliography

Current seminars | Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837

Source: Current seminars | Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837

Current seminars

The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 seminars take place at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ.  Seminars take place on the third Saturday of September, November, January, and March, between 1 and 4pm.  Doors open at 12.30pm, and there is a break for tea and coffee halfway through the session.  There are usually three speakers per seminar, and we start promptly so as to give time for supportive feedback and discussion from members.  Seminars are free and open to the public though non-members will be asked to make a donation of £2 for refreshments.

The WSG invites papers formal and informal, as well as works-in-progress, on any topic related to early modern and long eighteenth-century women’s and gender studies, be it literature, medicine, art, music, theatre, religion, economics, sexuality, and so on.  Early career and independent scholars are particularly welcome.  We put out a call for papers every February through August on sites like bsecs.org.uk, but if you would like to be considered as a speaker please contact the Seminars Organiser, Dr Carolyn Williams.

Non-member attendees including speakers are strongly encouraged to join WSG, and can do so here.

For more info: Current seminars | Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837

 CFP: New Politics in Early Modern English Literature (11/1/16; 5/27-30/17)

Since the advent of new historicism and the later development of cultural materialism, politics have been a topic of interest in early modern literature, and recent studies have asked us to conceive of them in new and broader ways, whether they be environmental, ecological, or cognitive, and to focus on different and overlooked outlets, such as pamphlets, free speech, or emotions.

This panel defines politics as an implementation or projection of governance—by a monarch in a kingdom, the head of a household in a domicile, etc.—and aims to assess early modern literature’s ability to present a wide scope of competing politics or political relations by offering the interpretation and/or voicing of plural or alternate realities.

The panel welcomes fresh research in new historicism or cultural materialism; (eco)feminist, cognitive, and ecological approaches; and studies of race, class, affect, manuscript circulation, and rhetoric, amongst other topics. Although the panel aims to examine politics in the early modern era, studies involving medieval influences or eighteenth-century afterlives are also welcome.

The Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE) will be meeting at the 2017 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, from 27-30 May 2017. This year’s Congress is hosted by Ryerson University.

Please send a proposal of 300-500 words with NO identifying marks, a 100-word abstract, a 50-word biographical statement, and the completed 2017 Proposal Submission Information Sheet to Mark Kaethler at MKaethler@mhc.ab.ca by 1 November 2016.

Source: cfp | call for papers

Graduate Student CFP: Body Language, Bawdy Talk: Sex and Form in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (12/1/06; 3/9-11/17)

The Early Modern Colloquium at the University of Michigan
invites abstracts for papers for their interdisciplinary graduate student conference,
“Body Language, Bawdy Talk: Sex and Form in Medieval and Early Modern Culture”
at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, March 9-11, 2017.

With keynote lectures by:

Jeffrey Masten (Northwestern) and
Zrinka Stahuljak (UCLA)

And panel responses from the medieval
and early modern faculty at the University of Michigan.


Our knowledge about premodern bodies is mediated by cultural production and historical distance. We see (and don’t see) sex in pornographic images, libertine literature, and court records; we encounter racialized bodies through anatomy tracts, maps, and travel narratives; we come into contact with historical bodies through reliquaries, medieval manuscripts, and performance. But although we can’t fully recover what lies beyond or beneath these intervening forms, we can find both pleasure and knowledge in the traces of the archive. Jeffrey Masten, for one, approaching this problem in early modern English print culture, argues that “comprehension of sex will require philology.” Similarly, Zrinka Stahuljak looks to language for knowledge about sex in her book Bloodless Genealogies, reading genealogical filiation in medieval French romance as primarily a linguistic phenomenon.

Following the lead of these and other scholars, this conference is an opportunity to consider how thinking about embodiment through form, language, visual art, and material objects might open new avenues for understanding both cultural production and historical experience. Sex and sexuality, while inseparable from language and form, also cannot be understood without inquiry into the historical construction of race, gender, disability, and embodiment, all of which we hope to attend to. In addition, one panel, to be co-sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Religion in the Premodern Atlantic Workshop, will focus specifically on the intersections of sex, bodies, and form with premodern religion.
We invite fifteen-minute presentations on a medieval or early modern topic by graduate students in any discipline that think productively across two or more of these categories:


  • Gender, race, and sexuality

  • Language and form

  • Sex, desire, and eroticism

  • Art, literature, and representation

  • Performance and gesture

  • Production and reproduction

  • Visuality, materiality, and textuality

  • Disability and embodiment

  • Animals, nature, and ecologies

  • Violence, illness, and death

  • Religion, faith, and ecstasy

  • Travel, globalism and colonialism

  • Pain, pleasure, and affect

  • Aesthetics, historiography, and method

  • State formation and jurisprudence


Please submit 250-300 word abstracts to Margo Kolenda (kolendam@umich.edu) by December 1, 2016.

Special thanks to our cosponsors: Forum for Research in Medieval Studies, Drama Interest Group, European History Workshop, Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and the Religion in the Premodern Atlantic Workshop

Source: cfp | call for papers

CFP: 2017 International Conference on Life Writing: Self-Representation, Medical Narrative and Cultural Memory (9/10/16; 9/29-30/17)

Life writing is a genre and a practice of criticism (Marlene Kadar, 1992) that refers to history, literature, and documentary and includes the sub-genres of memoirs, biography, oral testimonies, diaries, epistolary works and personal narratives. The genre writing has been a favorite one for research in the humanities serving to explore identity formation and inner dialogue with the self as well as with critical transitions, such as cultural adaptation, diaspora, migration, and other traumatic experiences. Life writings are an important resource to understand individuals, communities and the cultural impacts of historical periods. The immediate effects of personal letters and journals disclose the past of individuals and collectives. Research on life writing discovers human values and they address issues on memories, affect, and cultural aspects of identity formation. In the field of psychological sciences, life writing also serves as “scriptotherapy,” that is, the healing power of self-narrative which helps to foster not just self-awareness; it helps traumatized subjects confront the unspeakable past. In philosophy and literature, the examination of one’s life is important, for instance the platonic Socrates urging that the unexamined life is not worth living, Descartes’ idea that I think therefore I am, the exploration of self in Montaigne, the existentialist exploration of self and existence in Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus and others, the examination of self in the soliloquies of Shakespeare as in Hamlet, the sense of self in the discourses of education and human rights in Montaigne, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu and others. Nietzsche questions the traditional sense of self and morality and provokes further debates on that, so that our lives have no one story and that truths are constructed. Feminist philosophers, such as De Beauvoir and Elaine Showalter, challenge the kind of life-writing that men have constructed and try to introduce gender to the debate. The sense of life and the idea of writing are contested. Writing the self or subject has private and public dimension in art, philosophy, medicine and life of people.


The 2017 International Conference on Life Writing will be co-hosted on September 29-30, 2017 by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies at KaohsiungMedicalUniversity in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We welcome papers and abstracts in English with a focus on life writing in the Eastern or Western world. For individual proposals, please submit a one-page, double-spaced abstract in English before September 10; for panels, please send presenters’ names and abstracts together before September 15, 2016. For submissions and queries, please contact organizing committee with your short bioblurb at ichunwang316@gmail.com


Suggested but not limited domains include the following:

Film biography

War, colony and life writing

Life writing and illness

Reading the self and private life

Life writing and ethnic memory

Oral history

Medical narrative

Letters and censorship

Life writing in transcultural context

Politics of life writing

Emotion and self-narration

Subjectivity and Imagining the Self

Writing the self and Others

(Re)appropriation of life-writing in popular culture

Collective history and the individual

Life writing as subjective narratives

Teaching Life Narratives

Source: cfp | call for papers

2016-2017 Institute Scholarly Programs | Folger Shakespeare Library

Cavendish and Hutchinson

Julie Crawford

Spring Semester Seminar

In many ways Margaret Cavendish (1623-73) and Lucy Hutchinson (1620-81) make strange bedfellows. One was a royalist and one a republican; one largely indifferent to religion and the other a devoted Calvinist; one an aggressive circulator of her work in print and the other largely committed to scribal publication. Yet they also had a surprising amount in common: both were actively involved in the central political conflicts of their time; both wrote widely printed and widely admired vindicatory accounts of their husbands’ political and military lives; both lived on large, redoubtable, and profoundly compromised estates in the north; both were actively interested in natural science; both were astonishingly erudite and prolific. This seminar seeks to examine what they shared as much as what divided them, and takes as its premise that Cavendish and Hutchinson were the complex heirs of what is often called “politically active” humanism. Participants will discuss many aspects of their work, including the books they read as well as the histories and other works they wrote, and the local, as well as national, contexts in which they undertook this work.

Director: Julie Crawford is Mark van Doren Professor of Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Chair of Literature Humanities at Columbia University. She works on topics ranging from the history of sexuality to the history of reading, and is the author of two books, Marvelous Protestantism: Monstrous Births in Post-Reformation England (2005) and Mediatrix: Women, Politics, and Literary Production in Early Modern England (2014). She is currently completing a book entitled Margaret Cavendish’s Political Career.

Schedule: Friday afternoons, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m., February 3 through April 21, 2017, excluding March 31 and April 7.Apply: September 6, 2016 for admission and grants-in-aid; January 17, 2017 for admission only.

Source: 2016-2017 Institute Scholarly Programs | Folger Shakespeare Library

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.