Events week beginning 13/11/17

Monday 13 November

Political Thought and Intellectual History
5- 6.45, Old Combination Room, Trinity College
Grace Allen (Manchester): ‘A Good Man or a Good Citizen? Aristotelian Politics and the Italian Renaissance Courts’
Respondent: Bryan Brazeau (Warwick)

Tuesday 14 November

Slade Lectures in Fine Art 2017-18
5-6, Lecture Room 3, Mill Lane
Professor Stephen Bann: “Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War”:
“Boots and All: Cromwell evoked by James Ward and Paul Delaroche”

Renaissance Graduate Seminar
5.15, GR04 (different location to usual), English Faculty
Jason Scott-Warren (Cambridge): ‘Distributing Donne’

Wednesday 15 November

Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar
5.15pm, Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall
Neil Keeble (Stirling): ‘The Reformed Pastor as Nonconformist: Richard Baxter after 1662’

Thursday 16 November

Early Modern World History Seminar
1.00-2.30, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College
Alex Bamji (Leeds): ‘Sudden Death in Early Modern Venice’

History of Material Texts Seminar
5pm, Board Room, Faculty of English
John Gagné (Sydney): ‘Paper, Time, and Oblivion in Premodern Europe’

Week 4 Events

Monday 30th October

Cabinet of Natural History 
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Seminar Room 1, 1.00

Andrew Lacey (Columbia University):
‘Experimental reconstruction of the bronze life-cast lizard of the Renaissance’

Tuesday 31st October

Generation to Reproduction
Seminar Room 1, HPS, Free School Lane, 5.00, with tea from 4.45

Boyd Brogan (HPS, Cambridge):
‘Generation, demons and disease: rethinking gender in the Denham exorcisms, 1585–86’

Faculty of English Renaissance Graduate Seminar
GR06/7 in the Faculty of English, starting at 5.15 and concluding around 6.45

Kylie Murray (Cambridge):
‘Elizabeth Melville and the poetics of desire in early modern Britain’

Wednesday 1st November

Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar
Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall, 5.15

Carys Brown (St John’s, Cambridge):
‘Pious friends and neighbourly enemies: the Toleration Act and sociability in England, 1689-c.1750’

Public Lecture
Little Hall, Sidgwick Site, 5.00-6.00

Eileen Reeves (Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature, Princeton University):
‘Five Shades of Gray: Galileo, Goltzius, and Astronomical Engraving’

Part of the Genius Before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science project. For more information please contact Gaenor Moore (
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the Atrium of the Alison Richard Building.

Thursday 2nd November

Early Modern World History Seminar
Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College, 1.00-2.30

Wayne Te Brake (Purchase College, State University of New York):
‘Religious War and the Cultural Politics of Peace’

Trinity Hall History Society
Trinity Hall, Graham Storey Room, 6.00-7.00

Malcolm Gaskill:
‘Witchcraft and Melancholy in Early Modern England’

Early Modern Events! Week beginning 16/10/17

Monday 16 October

Cabinet of Natural History 
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1pm, Seminar Room 1

Lachlan Fleetwood (Cambridge):
‘”The motion of the blood is in fact a sort of living barometer”: Altitude sickness, poisonous plants & instrumentalised bodies in the Himalaya, 1800–1850’

Tuesday 17 October

Slade Lectures in Fine Art 2017-18
Lecture Room 3, Mill Lane, Cambridge, 5-6pm

Professor Stephen Bann (University of Bristol):
“Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War” – “A Kentish Family in Wartime: The Bargraves of Bifrons”

Faculty of English Renaissance Graduate Seminar
Faculty of English, GR06/7, 5.15-6.45pm.

Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex):
‘Lying, testimony, and murder in early modern England: the case of Annis and George Dell (1606)’

Wednesday 18 October

Cambridge Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar
Trinity Hall, Graham Storey Room, 5.15pm.

Jason Peacey (UCL):
‘”To move the first day of term”: strategies, practices and a seventeenth-century microhistory’

Thursday 19 October

Early Modern World History Seminar
Gonville and Caius College,Senior Parlour, 1-2.30pm.

Peter Burke (Cambridge):
‘Academies at Work and Play in Early Modern Italy’

Events this week!

Monday 9 October

Cabinet of Natural History
Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1pm, Seminar Room 1

Nicholas Thomas (Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge)
‘On Tupaia Street: the travels of artefacts from Cook’s first voyage’

Political Thought
5pm – 6.45pm in the Old Combination Room, Trinity College

David Wooton (York)
‘Selfish Systems: Hobbes and Locke’

Tuesday 10 October

Early Science and Medicine
5pm, with tea from 4:45 in Seminar Room 1, HPS, Free School Lane

James Clifton (MFA, Houston)
‘Joachim Wtewael and the human body’

Slade Lectures in Fine Art 2017-18
5-6pm, Lecture Room 3, Mill Lane

Professor Stephen Bann (University of Bristol)
‘Scenes and Traces of the English Civil War’

Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Seminar
5-6.30pm, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College

Jürgen Overhoff (University of Münster)
‘Montesquieu’s portrayal of Germany’s federal system and its reception in North America’

Wednesday 11 October

Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar
12.-1.15, Room GRO4 Faculty of English

Sara Norja (University of Turku)
“Alchemy in the vernacular: A digital edition of early English manuscript versions of The Mirror of Alchemy”

12.30-2pm, Alison Richard’s Building, Room SG1

Paper Marbling – Hayrettin Kozanoglu (Independent Artist) and Mary Newbould (Cambridge)

Thursday 12 October

Early Modern World History Workshop
1-2pm, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College
You are welcome to bring your lunch. Tea and coffee will be served.

Nicholas Mithen (EUI, Florence)
‘Political Theology and Interconfessional Networks in Early Eighteenth-Century Europe: Francesco Bellisomi between Naples, Halle, England, and Vienna’

Friday 13 October

3.30pm, The Needham Research Institute, 8 Sylvester Road, (situated at the corner of Sylvester and Herschel Roads, behind Robinson College)
Tea and biscuits are served.  All welcome!

Robert Batchelor (Georgia Southern University)
“The Map as Stack: The Significance of Data Layers in the Making of the Selden Map of China (ca. 1619).”


Additional Notices

  1. Reformation 500 – Cambridge remembers the Reformation

    The AHRC ‘Remembering the Reformation’ project based at the Universities of Cambridge and York, led by Professors Alex Walsham and Brian Cummings, is collaborating with Great St Mary’s Church and a theatrical re-enactment company called History Needs You to stage a public engagement event and associated family educational activities on Saturday 28 October. There will be activities during the day between 11 and 4pm. The play itself, which is intended for a general audience, will take place at 7pm and will dramatise key events in the European and English Reformations, culminating with the exhumation and burning of the bones of the Protestant reformers Martin Bucer and Peter Phagius during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary in 1557.This message is to draw attention to this event, admission to which will be free. But it is to request volunteers to assist with the educational events during the day (which will be coordinated by the Heritage Officer at Great St Mary’s, Anna Lovewell), and/or to assist back stage and with the logistics of packing up etc. There are also a small number of walk-on/extra roles for men who can act as clerics. Costumes will be supplied.

    Anyone who is interested in volunteering should contact Alex Walsham on soon as possible.

    A press release about the event is below.

    Reformation 500
    Cambridge remembers the Reformation

    2017 will be commemorated across the UK and beyond as the 500th
    anniversary of the start of the Reformation. 31 October 1517 is
    the day on which Martin Luther is famously reputed to have nailed
    his theses to the door in Wittenberg, lighting the blue
    touch-paper of the Reformation. Cambridge has been described as
    the cradle of the Reformation in England and many significant
    events took place in and around Great St Mary’s church.

    Join us on Saturday 28 October, 11am to 4pm for a free family
    activity day in Great St Mary’s, with hands-on craft activities,
    Tudor music and drama, exploring the events of 500 years ago. Meet
    King Henry VIII and a host of Tudor heroes, villains, heretics and
    villagers and experience the sights and sounds of long ago.

    Reformation 500 will dramatise how Martin Luther’s theses
    changed history in England with a spectacular play in GSM,
    starting at 7pm on 28 October. Drama, music, kings, queens,
    martyrdom, tragedy and redemption, the tumultuous events of the
    Reformation in Cambridge are brought to life in the beautiful
    setting of Great St. Mary’s. There will be a wine reception
    during the interval and an opportunity to meet the cast in
    character. There is no ticketing for this event, but we recommend
    you arrive in good time to be sure of a seat.

    Reformation 500 is is a collaboration between Remembering the
    Reformation, Great St. Mary’s church and HistoryNeedsYou.
    Remembering the Reformation is an AHRC-funded research project
    based at the Universities of Cambridge and York. Reformation 500
    is written and directed by Matthew Ward, Director of
    HistoryNeedsYou. He has worked on many well-known productions
    including Poldark and Horrible Histories for the BBC.

Events This Week

Poetics Before Modernity
Tuesday 13th June, 5.15, Trinity College OCR

Kathy Eden (Columbia):
‘The Early Modern Rhetoric of Plato’s Poetics’ (final session in the series!)

Abstract: Although Plato was routinely berated in the Renaissance for exiling the poets from his ideal city, his detractors nevertheless considered him, in the words of Philip Sidney, ‘of all philosophers . . . the most poetical’. Often taking the form of stories (mythoi) and images (eikones), his poetics was so highly esteemed in the early modern period that it came to define not only the most effective strategies of argumentation but the style of prose. This talk will first explore some of the signature features of a Socratic poetics as practiced and preached in Plato’s dialogues and then trace its impact on the literary theory.

Drawing Letter Forms and Lines

This is a series of meetings organized by Sachiko Kusukawa and Alexander Marr in conversation with Paul Antonio. We are interested in gathering scholars of early modern culture, science and art interested in letter forms, line and flourishes as part of their research. We are fortunate that Paul Antonio, a professional scribe with a deep familiarity with historical letter forms (for his work, please see (;, has kindly agreed to work with Cambridge scholars in a series of meetings among his busy schedule.

 What kind of manual dexterity and expertise are involved in letter forms? to what extent were the seemingly effortless ‘flourishes’ carefully planned and produced by a ‘disciplined’ hand? is it possible to speak of ‘individual styles’, when students were urged to trace and learn the lines from ‘copybooks’, especially in relation to ‘character’? what were the cultural cues and significance of particular letter forms, lines, curves and flourishes? did line-making and letter forms affect modes of thought? These are some of the questions we’d like to think through with Paul. To this end, we’ve organized two meetings: in the first meeting, we gather together to find a common ground of discussion and generate some specific questions, to which we will return with concrete examples, in a second meeting. We hope that these two meetings will lead to a colloquium on early modern script.

Meeting 1: Monday 19th June, 2-5pm, CRASSH

Methodological and historiographic discussion.

Readings: M. Baxandall, The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), chapter 6, ‘The period eye’, Tim Ingold, Lines : A Brief History (London: Routledge, 2007), chapter 5, ‘Drawing, writing and calligraphy’.  

Using these well-known studies as a spring-board, we will discuss various positions among historians about script and ‘linearity’ as a historical source, and how Paul’s perspective as a practitioner can be integrated to current interest in ‘reconstruction’ methods, visual culture and the history of material texts. We hope to generate specific questions that we can return to in the next meeting.

Meeting 2:  Tuesday 21st November, 2-5pm, CRASSH 

Study Day with Paul Antonio.

Preparation: identification of specific historical cases that are of interest to scholars.

These will be commentary sessions, where scholars will present their working assumptions about particular scripts and why they consider them historically significant. We will then ask Paul Antonio to demonstrate how those scripts are formed, and reflect with him how our assumptions have been changed or challenged. This in turn will help us formulate new research questions.

Colloquium on Early Modern Script (TBC Spring/Early Summer 2018)

This would be a colloquium for scholars working on script, integrating demonstration and commentary by Paul Antonio, and hopefully also a professional engraver who knows what is involved in transforming letter-forms into print.

If you would like to participate in the June meeting, please RSVP to Judith Weik:


Events This Week

Habsburg Seminar

Tuesday 6th June, 5.00-6.30, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College

Dr Géza Pálffy (Institute of History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences):
‘An Old Realm in a New Monarchy: Habsburg Coronations in Early Modern Hungary’

Early Modern Palaeography Workshop

Room 9, History Faculty, 1.00-3.00.
Thursday 15th June (English sources, led by Dr. Ceri Law)
Friday 16th June (French sources, led by Dr. Tom Hamilton)

These sessions are open to anybody working on early modern manuscript sources, and we are particularly interested in involving beginners in early modern palaoegraphy, especially anyone starting Part II or MPhil dissertation research over the summer.

Please let Ceri and Tom know if you plan to attend ( and  Participants are invited to send examples of sources for the group to discuss, or equally they are welcome to send a brief description of the type of sources they will be working on so that we can prepare appropriate materials. Don’t hesitate to get in touch too if you’re working on sources in different languages and need practice – this will help the workshop organisers (Irene Galandra-Cooper, Tom Hamilton, Stefan Hanss, Ceri Law) plan future sessions.

Events This Week

Hapsburg Studies Network Seminar

Tuesday 23rd May, 5-6.30, Gonville & Caius

Siegrid Westphal (Osnabrück):
‘The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as an Order of Public Peace’

Wolfson Humanities Society Seminar

Tuesday 23rd May, 5.45-7.15, Wolfson College

Boyd Brogan:
‘Gender, Sexuality and Illness in Early Modern Exorcism’

Renaissance Graduate Seminar

Tuesday 23rd May, 5.15-6.45, English Faculty GR06/7

Hero Chalmers (Cambridge):
‘Rhetoric and Restoration in Margaret Cavendish’s Orations of Divers Sorts (1662)’

Hero Chalmers is Fellow and Director of Studies at Fitzwilliam College. She is the author of Royalist Women Writers (Oxford, 2004) and essays on Cavendish and other writers, and has edited Three Seventeenth-Century Plays on Women and Performance (with Sophie Tomlinson and Julie Sanders; Manchester, 2006). She is currently working
on the Cavendish circle more generally, including the equestrian treatises of William Cavendish.

History of Christianity Seminar

Wednesday 24th May, 2.15, Faculty of Divinity, Lightfoot Room

Sarah Mortimer (Oxford):
‘Counsels of Perfection and Reformation Political Thought’

Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar

Wednesday 24th May, 5.15pm – 7:15pm, Trinity College, Old Combination Room
(NB a change from the regular venue)

Eamon Duffy (Magdalene College):
‘Career Reflections’

Calls for Papers and Upcoming Events

Poetics Before Modernity Conference 2017 CfP

Encouraged by the warm reception of the seminar series, we are delighted to announce the Poetics before Modernity Conference 2017, taking place at CRASSH, 14-15 December 2017. Aimed at early- and mid-career researchers, this is a conference with an open call for papers and we hope to attract some of the most exciting current work on the subject in Cambridge and beyond. The deadline for abstracts is 15 June. For all further information, please see the attached CFP and the conference website, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Curiosity & Cognition – Embodied Things 1400-1900

9.30-6.30, Friday 16th June, Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, CRASSH, Cambridge

This is an international, interdisciplinary event bringing together a wide range of postgraduate and early career researchers to explore key aspects of material culture and embodied cognition. It will provide a significant discussion on the approach of current scholarship that investigates the human understanding of the world vis-à-vis objects, and consider the significance of embodiment in all processes of cognition and learning, moving beyond an obstructive divide between mind and hand, and between intellectual and manual knowledge.

Dr Marta Ajmar (VARI, Victoria and Albert Museum) will deliver the keynote paper. Dr Ajmar’s current research centres on the significance of embodiment within practice and engages with questions of cognition, experiential learning, knowledge exchange and the epistemology of making.

Registration is now open via this link:

William Perkins Conference

7.30pm Friday 19th May-9.45pm, Saturday 20th May, Round Church, Bridge Street Cambridge

Conference on the influential Elizabethan Cambridge divine William Perkins (1558-1602)  sponsored by the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. This is free to attend without the need for prior registration. Further details and conference brochure here:

The Lisa Jardine Lecture

6.00, Wednesday 24th May, Skeel Lecture Theatre, People’s Palace, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Lyndal Roper (University of Oxford)
‘Cleverness is the garment that suits women least’: Luther and Women’

Lyndal Roper is Regius Professor of History at the University of Oxford, and the first woman (as well as the first Australian) to hold the Chair. Professor Roper is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a Fellow of the Brandenburg Akademie der Wissenschaften. She is former Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, a former Humboldt Fellow and an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the History Department University of Melbourne. She holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Melbourne. Professor Roper has worked on the history of witchcraft, and in 2016 published Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (Penguin-Random House). She is currently writing a history of the German Peasants’ War (1524-5), the greatest uprising in Western Europe before the French Revolution.

To book please follow the link below:

Anglo-Iberian Relations: From the Medieval to the Modern: CfP

19-21 October 2017
Zafra, Extremadura, Spain

We are now accepting individual papers, panels and roundtables by academics and heritage professionals for the second conference in this vibrant field of Anglo-Iberian studies, including colonial and Latin American studies. Since our inaugural meeting in 2015 (Mértola, Portugal) we have extended our timeframe from beyond the early modern period, to include papers from the medieval to the modern.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length. English is the preferred language of the conference, but papers will be considered in Portuguese and Spanish, if a detailed summary can be provided in English. Panellists may talk only on England or Portugal or Spain if so desired; organisers will team them up with panellists covering the other countries on a similar timeframe or topic. We aim to facilitate researchers wishing to communicate and collaborate with those outside of their present research network.

Abstracts and panel/roundtable descriptions should be sent no later than by midnight on 2 June 2017 to:

If you would like to be considered for one of our Student Bursaries, please let us know when you submit your abstract.

For further information please contact: Elizabeth Evenden-Kenyon (

Events This Week


Tuesday 16 May

English Legal History Seminar

5.15, Room 9, History Faculty

Helen Saunders (Cambridge)
‘Excavating the Archive: Expectant Heirs in the Chancery Decree Rolls, 1596-1640’

Wednesday 17 May

Embodied Things: Histories of Cognition, Practices, & Theories

12.30-2.00, Fitzwilliam Museum

Porcelain: Fitzwilliam Museum site visit with Helen Ritchie (Dept. of Applied Arts) at Things.

Thursday 18 May  

Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminar

5.00, Room 9, History Faculty

Susan Flavin (Anglia University),
‘Institutional Diets in Sixteenth-Century Ireland’

Early Modern World Seminar

8.00, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius

Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia (Penn State),
‘What did Missionaries Eat in China, 17-18th Centuries?’

Events This Week


Renaissance Graduate Seminar

Tuesday 9th May, 5.15, GR06/07

Julie Sanders (Newcastle University)
‘Fire, Flood, Ice and Inundation: Environmental Event and Narrative Description in the Early Modern Period’

Hapsburg Seminar

Tuesday 9th May, 5.00, Senior Parlour, Gonville & Caius College

William O’Reilly (University of Cambridge)
‘Hapsburg Control on the Ottoman Frontier: Medicine, The Military and Vampire Mania in an 18th Century Borderland’

History of Christianity Seminar

Wednesday 10th May, 2.15, Faculty of Divinity, Lightfoot Room

Colin Armstrong (Queens’ University, Belfast)
‘A Laudian in Ulster: The Irish Career of Bishop Jeremy Taylor (1658-67)’

Public Lecture: Professor Sven Dupré

Wednesday 10th May, 5.00, Little Hall, Sidgwick Site

‘Ingenious Failure: Artisanal Languages of Error’

Sven Dupré is Professor and Chair of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University, and Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at the University of Amsterdam. He is a visiting fellow on the Genius before Romanticism: Ingenuity in Early Modern Art and Science project during May 2017.

Followed by a wine reception in the atrium, Alison Richard building.


Early Modern French Seminar

Friday 12th May, 2.00, Clare College, Latimer Room

Emma Herdman (Saint Andrews)
‘Singing Out: Avian Uprisings in Renaissance France’



The Dudley White Local History Lecture 2017

Wednesday 10th May, 7.00, Room EBS.2.34, Essex Business School, University of Essex, Colchester Campus

John Morrill (University of Cambridge)
‘Living with the Revolution: Family Dilemmas in Civil War East Anglia’