Our Next Event!

Our next event will be a talk by Dr Philip Mansel on Louis XIV and Nationalism, Birkbeck on Friday 17 April, Room 417, Malet Street at 6.30 to be followed by drinks.

For more information about Dr Mansel please see his website http://www.philipmansel.com/

You do not have to be a Birkbeck Student to attend this event. All are welcome (members free, membership £7, non members £4)

CFP: Meta-Play: Early Modern Drama and Metatheatre

University of Kent
13-14 June 2015

Now that over half a century has passed since Lionel Abel coined the term ‘metatheatre’ with particular reference to the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and even identified a new genre, the ‘metaplay’, it is time for a conference that will bring together academics and theatre practitioners to re-assess the place of metatheatre in early modern drama studies. This interdisciplinary conference will invite literary scholars and theatre historians as well as actors and directors to consider metatheatre’s hugely influential role in critical theories, methodologies and lexicons, exploring its conceptual significance both in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and our own historical period.

In light of recent work in areas such as gender and cross-dressing, props and the materiality of the stage, and new character criticism, the term ‘metatheatre’ and its application need re-evaluating. The conference will initiate discussions on early modern metatheatre as a literary or dramatic effect, a critical paradigm, a historically contingent concept, a materially-manifested phenomenon, and even as a philosophical approach to drama. It will be an opportunity to address gaps in the field by focusing on metatheatre’s place in and between theory and practice, enabling scholars, actors and directors not only to engage productively with early modern examples of what Abel would call metaplays, but also to play with the meta- as a critical tool.

The conference’s focus on performance and theatrical practice will build on the strong development in recent years of interest in practice-based research into early modern drama. The reconstruction of early modern theatres, such as the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London (opened in early 2014), has created new resources and enthusiasm for this kind of research. The conference will facilitate new work through panels and plenaries, but also two creative sessions involving actors and directors of early modern theatre. The plenary speakers will be Professor Robert Shaughnessy (University of Kent) and Dr Bridget Escolme (Queen Mary, University of London).

Paper proposals of up to 300 words, accompanied by a short biographical statement, should be submitted to Harry Newman and Sarah Dustagheer by Monday 4 May. There are three postgraduate bursaries available. Please specify in your proposal if you would like one of these. Early submissions will be preferred.

Papers might address the following:

• Play within a play
• Dumb shows
• Asides, Prologues, inductions, Epilogues, soliloquies
• Parody, imitation, iteration
• Reconstructed theatres and metatheatre
• Actor – audience interaction
• Cross-dressing and the performance of gender
• Lexicon/semantics of metatheatre
• Metatheatre as a philosophical approach to drama
• Metatheatre as methodology – anachronism and historical contingency in critical discourse
• Character post-Harold Bloom
• Materiality of the stage
• Boundaries between real world and play world
• Metatheatre and genre
• Performance and self-consciousness
• Theatre and actor as subject matter
• Metatheatre in modern Shakespeare/early modern performances
• Relevance/value of ‘fourth-wall’
• Levels of metatheatricality across genre, repertory and canon
• Metatheatre in print culture

CMEMLL Conference: The English Legal Imaginary, Part II

The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700, Parts I and II

Part I: Princeton University, 17-18 April, 2015
Part II: University of St Andrews, 1-2 May, 2015


CMEMLL is delighted to announce The English Legal Imaginary, Part II, taking place in the School of English on 1-2 May, 2015.

The English Legal Imaginary, Part II is an interdisciplinary conference involving leading scholars working at the intersections of law, politics, literature and history in early modern England. The conference papers will contribute to the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of English Law and Literature, 1500-1700.

Topics include: Roman law and common law, law and drama; law and education; equity, legal reform and literary censorship.

Speakers include: Martin Butler, Bradin Cormack, Alan Cromartie, Steve Hindle; Rab Houston, Lorna Hutson, David Ibbetson, James McBain, Subha Mukherji, Joad Raymond, Carolyn Sale, James Sharpe, Erica Sheen, Quentin Skinner, Virginia Lee Strain, Elliott Visconsi, Ian Williams, Jessica Winston, and Andrew Zurcher.

The registration fees for this conference are: £30 for students and unwaged, and £40 for waged participants. This fee covers lunch and coffee/tea breaks on both days, in addition to the conference dinner on Friday 1, and the closing wine and cheese reception on Saturday 2 May. Places are limited, so early registration is important. Only those who are registered will be admitted to the conference; there are no drop-in sessions.

Please register using the following link: The English Legal Imaginary, Part II

Our Next Event: Dr William Pettigrew, The Royal African Company & the Development of the English Slave Trade, 6 March 2015

We are delighted to announce that Dr William Pettigrew, University of Kent, will present our next lecture.

Dr Pettigrew will talk to us about The Royal African Company and the Development of the English Slave Trade, c 1670-1750 to be followed by drinks.

The talk will take place on 6 March, at 6.30 pm in Birkbeck, Room 532, Malet Street. Members free (membership £7), non members £4.

You do not need to be a Birkbeck student to join the Early Modern society or attend our events.

Numbers in Early Modern Writing

‘Numbers in Early Modern Writing’, a special edition of the Journal of the Northern Renaissance is now live. Edited by Dr Katherine Hunt and Rebecca Tomlin, both members of the Birkbeck Early Modern Society, the articles in this issue explore the multiple ways in which numbers feature in early modern writing, from Robert Record to Civil War code manuals, with poetry and tragedy, fencing, accounting, and printing on the way.

Follow this link, for your profit and delight:
Journal of the Northern Renaissance Issue-6-2014

Birkbeck Early Modern Society