Birkbeck Early Modern Society Events, 2015

Some dates for you diaries: Birkbeck Early Modern Society Events for Spring and Summer 2015.

All meetings begin at 6.30 at Birkbeck, venues to be confirmed, please email or check back here at the Intelligencer for more information.

16 January 2015: Dr Susan Anderson, Leeds Trinity, Representing Early Modern Disability

6 February 2015, Dr Simon Smith, University of Oxford, Hearing, Seeing and Feeling Music in the Early Modern Playhouse

6 March 2015, Dr William Pettigrew, University of Kent, Royal African Company and the Development of the English Slave Trade, c 1670-1750

17 April 2015, Dr Linda Grant, From pornographic sparrows to Nashe’s dildo: exploring the erotic in early modern literature

8 May 2015, Dr Philip Mansel, Louis XIV and Nationalism

5 June 2015, Dr Alixe Bovey, University of Kent, The Guildhall Giants, Lord Mayors Pageants and political dialects, 1600-1750

3 July 2015, Professor Peter Mack, Renaissance Rhetoric as Questions about Literature, with special reference to Hamlet and Tom Jones

2014 Barry Coward Memorial Lecture 12 December 2014

This year’s Barry Coward Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Bernard Capp, University of Warwick on 12 December 2014.

Professor Capp’s lecture is entitled ‘My Brother’s Keeper?’: siblings and their families in early modern England’. For more information on Professor Capp please see

The lecture will be held at Birkbeck, Malet Street, room B36 at 6:30 pm and will be followed by our Christmas party (room B19).

Please note the charge for the evening is members free (membership £7), non-members £4.

Call for Contributors: Queenship and Counsel in the Early Modern World

Editors: Helen Graham-Matheson (UCL) and Joanne Paul (NCH)

This collection attempts to highlight the ways in which queenship and counsel were negotiated and represented throughout the early modern age (1400-1800). Advice-giving was one of the most prevalent topics in early modern political discourse, but was often limited to the interaction between a male monarch and his male councillors. Queenship and counsel thus posed a potential problem for early modern political theory and practice. Although this topic has been studied with reference to individual queens, no collection has attempted to study the relationship between queenship and counsel in grand perspective. The volume will be submitted to the Queenship and Power series (Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Carole Levin and Charles Beem, with planned publication in early 2017.

We are seeking proposals for submissions from graduate students and scholars in history, literature, philosophy, art history or related fields. Although some longue durée and comparative papers will be accepted, the intention is to produce a collection of chapters each focusing on a single reign, individual or relationship. We welcome submissions which focus on any geographical area within the early modern world, and those from a non-European perspective are especially encouraged. Submissions might focus on any of the four categories of queenship – regnant, regent, dowager and consort – and on both formal and informal varieties of counsel.

Suggested themes include:

• Rhetoric, persuasion and power

• Reason, prudence and emotion

• Legislation and institutionalized councils

• Ceremonials, representation and symbolism

• Diplomacy, intelligence and espionage

• Marriage, family, sexuality and the body

• Religion and philosophy

• Culture and patronage

Chapter proposals of 500 words, accompanied by a short summary of biography and research interests (maximum of 250 words), must be submitted to by 15 January 2015 to be considered. Accepted authors will be notified by March 2015, and final submissions due Dec 2015.


Helen Graham-Matheson will complete her PhD at University College London in 2014. Her thesis focuses on the political role of female courtier at the mid-Tudor courts. She has published on related topics in Journal of Early Modern Women, The Politics of the Female Household (Brill, 2013) and Book Culture in Provincial Society (Ashgate, 2014).

Joanne Paul is Lecturer in the History of Ideas at New College of the Humanities, London. Her PhD completed at Queen Mary, University of London (2013) explored the discourse of political counsel in Anglophone writing from 1485-1651, and she has published on related topics in Renaissance Quarterly, the Journal of Intellectual History and Political Thought and in her own co-edited volume, Governing Diversities (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011).

Our next event, Dr Susan Doran: ‘Did Elizabeth’s Gender Matter?’

Thursday 6 November 2014

Dr Susan Doran, Oxford, ‘Did Elizabeth’s Gender Matter?’ at Birkbeck, Malet Street Building, room B36, 6.30 pm

A quick post to remind you that Dr Susan Doran will be giving a lecture for the Birkbeck Early Modern Society on the fascinating question of Elizabeth’s gender.

For more information about Susan Doran, please see

Birkbeck Early Modern Society’s 8th Student Conference: Call for Papers

‘Feast or Famine in the Early Modern Period’

Birkbeck Early Modern Society is pleased to announce its 8th annual student conference on the theme of ‘Feast and Famine in the Early Modern Period’ to take place on Saturday 21 February 2015.

This conference provides an ideal forum to showcase student research.

We are interested in notions of feasting or famine during the Early Modern Period, 1500-1800.

Conference papers could address a range of subject areas such as; material culture, culinary history, medical and social history, population studies, economics, affluence, consumption, plenitude or absence, verbosity or silence,  art, religion, music, literature, drama, philosophy, psychology.

We are looking for a diverse collection of papers that connect with our conference theme.

Please send your abstract as a Microsoft word document.Please put your name, programme of study and institution at the top of your abstract.

The abstract should be no more than 250 words for papers lasting 20-25 minutes (about 2,000-2,500 words).

Please email your abstract to Dr Laura Jacobs, Secretary, Birkbeck Early Modern Society, by  5pm on Friday 5 December 2014. We will be holding a selection meeting shortly after the deadline and may not be able to consider late submissions.

Birkbeck Early Modern Society