The Consequences of Kevin Sharpe

A Seminar on His Historiographical Legacy
6 October 2014

3:00 to 6:30 pm

Institute of Historical Research

Peter Lake, Kenneth Fincham, Mark Knights, and Others

with a Reception afterwards at Yale University Press, Bedford Square

Forthcoming Birkbeck Early Modern Society Events

Our forthcoming events for 2014 and into 2015

Please check back for more details

10 October 2014, 6.30 start
Brodie Waddell
Gordon Square, rm. B04
‘The Glorious Revolution and its Aftermath: The View from Below, 1685-1702′
6 November 2014, 6.30 start
Susan Doran
University of Oxford
venue tbc
‘Did Elizabeth’s Gender Matter?’
12 December 2014, Barry Coward Memorial Lecture, 6.30 start
Bernard Capp
University of Warwick University
venue tbc
Early Modern Sibling Relationships-title tbc.
16 January
2015, 6.30 start
Susan Anderson
Leeds Trinity
venue tbc
Representing Early Modern Disability

Events include refreshments and are free for members (membership for the 14/15 academic year is £7) and £4 for non members.

CFP: Reconsidering Donne, Oxford, 23-24 March 2015

Conference website:

Conference venue: Lincoln College, Oxford, United Kingdom

‘Reconsidering Donne’ is an international conference to consider past, present, and future critical trends in Donne Studies. Plenary Speakers: Achsah Guibbory (Barnard College, Columbia University), David Marno (University of California, Berkeley).Proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of Donne are warmly invited. We are particularly interested in papers that reflect upon their own methodologies, or engage critically with the roles that have been, or should be, played by theory, religious history, rhetoric, form, genre, scholarly editions, biography, and book history. There will be bursaries available for registered students.

Please send proposals (c. 300 words), and a brief note of your affiliation (if any), to by 1 October 2014.

For registration details, please visit

CFP: Domestic Drama and Political Culture collection

In the early modern period, the household was commonly perceived as analogical to the state, the head of the household, a king, the servants, his subjects: ‘An houshold’, John Dod and Robert Cleaver wrote in 1598, ‘is as it were a little Commonwealth’. Towards the end of the sixteenth-century, the domestic received particular attention from political theorists, moralists and writers of household guides alike. Running alongside this extensive public interest in the household, writers for the theatre produced a series of plays that took the domestic, the private and non-elite household as its subject matter. Given the commonplace household/state analogy, the political could be read into many situations and scenarios depicted in many of these plays. Invited to see a play that apparently deals with households like their own, early modern audiences were offered more than a domestic situation to look at, examine, criticize and think about—they were offered scenarios that invited them to think beyond the micropolitics of daily existence to the macropolitics of kingly governance. Domestic plays deal with a range of vital political questions: gender relations, resistance theory, active citizenry, and good governance.

Calling for papers to be edited into a collection provisionally titled Domestic Drama and Political Culture, the editors invite contributions that will investigate the place of domestic drama in the political culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. What, we want to know, can drama tell us about domestic politics? What can domestic politics tell us about drama?

The editors invite contributions that look at a wide body of dramatic material. While critics have marked out a handful of plays such as Arden of Faversham and A Woman Killed with Kindness as, generically, ‘domestic tragedies’, they understand that domestic politics, widely conceived, is the ‘matter’ handled in a number of plays not conventionally thought of as ‘domestic’ comedies or tragedies, written by a range of different authors, across a number of dramatic genres. In this call for papers, the editors invite original scholarly work from researchers in the field of early modern culture and literature. Initially, the editors ask for abstracts of around 500 words, together with a CV, to be sent to Eoin Price and Iman Sheeha by 1 November 2014. Questions explored may include (but are not limited to):

  • How did the household/state analogy work, or fail to work, in the drama and culture of early modern England?
  • How did the analogy between citizen and household servant work in drama?
  • How do domestic plays deal with gender relations? How did an Elizabethan England, headed by a female monarch, readjust commonplace parallels between household and state?
  • In what ways do these plays relate politics to their audiences? Do they allow for new ways of thinking about political issues?
  • What cultural work did domestic plays perform in their time? Can they be said to have unanimously encouraged or deterred resistance, or questioned contemporary political theorization?
  • Do different genres, e.g. comedy, history, tragedy, tragicomedy, tell us different things about drama and domestic politics?
  • What constitutes ‘the domestic’? What can be said about different kinds of domestic settings, e.g. court, city, and country?
  • What can be said about the politics of domestic performance?
  • What insights into domestic politics can be gained by thinking about these plays in performance?
  • What role do domestic plays have in the modern repertory? What might plays such as Arden of Faversham and The Witch of Edmonton, performed at the RSC in 2014, suggest about domesticity and politics?

Find out more at the project homepage:

CFP: Ad Vivum? 21-22 Nov 2014; Proposals by 15 Aug

Friday 21 November and Saturday 22 November 2014 (please note change in date from 20-21 Nov)

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

Call for Papers

The term ad vivum and its cognates al vivo, au vif, nach dem Leben and naer het leven have been applied since the thirteenth century to depictions designated as from, to or after (the) life. This one and a half day event will explore the issues raised by this vocabulary in relation to visual materials produced and used in Europe before 1800, including portraiture, botanical, zoological, medical and topographical images, images of novel and newly discovered phenomena, and likenesses created through direct contact with the object being depicted, such as metal casts of animals.

It is has long been recognised that the designation ad vivum was not restricted to depictions made directly after the living model, and that its function was often to advertise the claim of an image to be a faithful likeness or a bearer of reliable information. Viewed as an assertion of accuracy or truth, ad vivum raises a number of fundamental questions about early modern epistemology – questions about the value and prestige of visual and/or physical contiguity between image and original, about the kinds of information which were thought important and dependably transmissible in material form, and about the roles of the artist in this transmission. The recent interest of historians of early modern art in how value and meaning are produced and reproduced by visual materials which do not conform to the definition of art as unique invention, and of historians of science and of art in the visualisation of knowledge, has placed the questions surrounding ad vivum at the centre of their common concerns.

This event will encourage conversation and interchange between different perspectives involving a wide range of participants working in different disciplines, from postgraduate students to established academics. It seeks to encourage dialogue and debate by devoting a portion of its time to sessions comprising short, 10-minute papers, which will allow a variety of ideas and areas of expertise to be drawn into the discussion.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of images, including book illustrations, described as ad vivum in early modern natural history, geography, cosmography, medicine and other investigative disciplines;
  • The meanings of ad vivum in relation to sacred images, portraiture, landscape depiction, animal imagery, and other types of subject matter involving a claim to life-likeness;
  • The connections between ad vivum and indexical images: death masks; life casts; the moulage; auto-prints made from natural phenomena;
  • The connections between concepts of ad vivum and graphic media: the print matrix; imitation and reproduction in print; drawings, diagrams which claim to be ad vivum;
  • The concept of ad vivum in cabinets of curiosities, sets and series, other groupings and collections;
  • The application of the phrase ad vivum and its cognates to specific images, and usages and discussions of the terminology in early modern texts;
  • The use of ad vivum in relation to images of the marvellous and the incredible, including monsters and other prodigies of nature.

The organisers invite proposals for:

  • 20-minute papers
  • Short, 10-minute (maximum 1,000-word) papers which will address one example or theme, or make one argument persuasively.

Revised CFP: Ad vivum?

Please send proposals of no more than 250 words by 15 August 2014 to
Professor Joanna Woodall and Dr Thomas Balfe

Organised by Professor Joanna Woodall and Dr Thomas Balfe (The Courtauld Institute of Art).

Birkbeck Early Modern Society