Everything Early Modern Women

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

Category: Uncategorized

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

CFP: The Female Body as Text in Renaissance Literature (7/13/18; RSA 2019)

via http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2018/06/14/rsa-panel-the-female-body-as-text-in-renaissance-literature

As the Renaissance saw a rise in female literacy and texts addressed to women readers, the relationship between gender and genre was foregrounded in debates about the appropriate texts for women to read – or if it was appropriate for women to read at all.  These conversations particularly centered on the genre of romance, simultaneously a genre classed as feminine and a genre deemed morally inappropriate for women to read. While these debates raged outside literary texts, within the texts themselves, we see women reading and women as objects to be read – both by the reader of the text and by other characters within the text. How does the female body serve as a text within a text? What unique possibilities does the female body offer for allegory, for interpretation, or for generic symbolism? How is the female body productively linked to literary meaning in the Renaissance? This session, sponsored by UCLA’s CMRS, proposes to explore these issues through interdisciplinary papers and discussion.

If interested in submitting a proposal for this panel, please send a paper title, a 150 word abstract, and a CV to Allison Collins (abcollins@ucla.edu) by 13 July 2018.

CFP: Transforming Bodies in Early Modern Drama (7/16/18; RSA 2019)

via http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2018/06/17/rsa-2019-transforming-bodies-in-early-modern-drama-july-16th-2018

Transforming Bodies in Early Modern Drama

How are bodies–of people, plants, or animals–transformed on the early modern stage? What are the agents of transformation, and is there something about drama in particular that allows for bodily transformation? How is transformation represented (or not represented) dramatically? What constitutes a “body” on stage, and is a body still the same if parts of it transform? What does the transformation of the body tell us about corporeal unity, identity, transformation, or the instability of the body or identity? How can bodily transformation intersect with theoretic frameworks such as materialism, historicism, ecocriticism, animal studies, or the post-human? Topics may include (but are not limited to) the way violence (physical, sexual, verbal), ritual, disguise, death, love, the natural world, disease, wounds, language, power, fear, etc have a transforming effect on the early modern human and non-human bodies that populate early modern drama, through any theoretical lens. Please send 150-word abstracts and brief CV to Christina M. Squitieri (cms531@nyu.edu) and Penelope Meyers Usher (pfm250@nyu.edu) by Monday, July 16th, 2018. This panel will be sponsored by the Early Modern and Renaissance Society at New York University.

CFP: SCSC: Queens’ Speech Crossing Borders (4/10/18)

From Karen Nelson:
“We seek a third paper to support a panel at SCSC: Queens’ Speech Crossing Borders
Panel Organizers: Carrie Klaus, DePauw University, cklaus@depauw.edu, and Karen Nelson, University of Maryland, knelson@umd.edu
How and why did early modern authors report or invent queens’ speech within their own discourses? We seek a paper or papers to complete a panel on the ways that politicians, propagandists, polemicists, and other writers in the sixteenth and seventeenth century used queens’ voices, both real and imagined, to further their own ends. We are especially interested in the ways these voices circulate between and among England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Continent.
Send a proposal of no more than 250 words, including a sentence that highlights your research question, by 10 April to knelson@umd.edu and cklaus@depauw.edu. Include a 300-word cv and specification of a/v needs.”

CFP: Consumption and Culture in English Literature before 1800 (4/5/18; 11/15-18/18 MMLA)

Building off the 2018 MMLA themes of consumption and culture, this section invites papers that explore representations of food, its production, and/or its consumption in works of English literature before 1800. Possible questions to explore might include the following:

  • What is the relation between consumption and humoralism? Does food offer another approach to early modern materialism?
  • What are the connections between eating, food, and class in 18thcentury novels?
  • How do pre-modern or early modern writers use aspects of culinary culture to understand other elements of human society?
  • How does language of hunger and consumption intersect with gender, sexuality, and erotic desire?
  • Does language having to do with the universal categories of food and consumption have an especially trans-historical resonance?
  • How might discourses related to consumption offer a unique understanding of pre-modern subjectivity?
  • What are the links between discourses of consumption, economic production, and colonialism?
  • In what ways do literary discourses related to food and consumption speak to religious concerns in early modern England?

Please email 250-word abstracts with a brief bio to fb1941@wayne.edu by April 5, 2018.

The 2018 conference is meeting November 15-18 in Kansas City, Missouri. You can learn more about MMLA here: https://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention/callforpapers/

via https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2018/03/09/consumption-and-culture-in-english-literature-before-1800

CFP: “Shakespeare and the Consumption of Culture” (4/5/18 or 4/15/18; MMLA)

Shakespeare’s plays and the critical conversations around them are deeply concerned with questions of culture.  Many of the plays are set in cultures different than Shakespeare’s own early modern England, from Denmark to Italy to Ancient Rome, often using those cultures to examine his own.  Productions of his plays have been set in a dizzying array of cultures, in order make comments on yet other cultures.  The culture of Imperial Britain made use of Shakespeare in order to dominate (and often consume) the cultures which they colonized.

Following the theme of this year’s conference, “Consuming Cultures,” this permanent session invites papers which consider questions of cultural difference, contact, or conflict within Shakespeare’s plays, productions of the plays, or within Shakespearean criticism.

Please submit an abstract of 250 words to rgilbert1@luc.edu by April 5, 2018

CFP: Edited Collection: Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies (5/15/2018)

Editors Tony Perrello and C. Anne Engert welcome proposals for individual and co-authored chapters for a volume entitled Renaissance Literature and Modern Sociopolitical Applications: Leadership, Power, and Literary Legacies. We are in the process of assembling a collection of essays that explores the current American crises of leadership through the dramatic literature of the English Renaissance or vice versa. We believe that many of our colleagues are already talking about the intersection between these two topics, and we envision this edited volume as an opportunity to further such exploration in a scholarly venue. Palgrave MacMillan has shown interest in the project, which we aim to complete by March of 2019.

Visit https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2018/03/23/renaissance-literature-and-modern-sociopolitical-applications-leadership-power-and for more information