Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Legal History: The Yearbooks, 1268-1535
A Project from BU's School of Law

Year Books are the law reports of medieval England. The earliest examples date from about 1268, and the last in the printed series are for the year 1535. The Year Books are our principal source materials for the development of legal doctrines, concepts, and methods from 1290 to 1535, a period during which the common law developed into recognizable form. More than 22,000 individual reports or 'pleas' have been printed, and others remain in manuscript. This database indexes all year book reports printed in the chronological series for all years between 1268 and 1535, and many of the year book reports printed only in alphabetical abridgements. Of these reports, all 6,901 from 1399 through 1535 have been fully indexed and paraphrased in this database.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Unfolding the Story of Bess of Hardwick’s Letters
Exhibition Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick at Hardwick Hall  (Derbyshire, UK) 

Bess of Hardwick (Elizabeth, countess of Shrewsbury) was one of Elizabethan England’s most famous figures, an influential matriarch and dynast, lady at Elizabeth I’s court, and the builder of great stately homes like Hardwick Hall. For the first time, her correspondence now features in an exciting exhibition at Hardwick Hall: Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick.

Dukes and spies, queens and servants, friends and lovers – all of the Elizabethan world populates Bess of Hardwick’s letters. Bess herself wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life. They were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London, and to news from the world at large. And when she moved to Hardwick Hall in the final years of her life, the old countess received current and family news into her house through her correspondence. Unsealed lets Bess and her correspondents tell their stories in their own words. The stunning banners and letter facsimiles bring Bess and her correspondents to life. Interactive features for both children and adults include a series of podcasts on food, fashion and gossip exchanged with Bess’s letters. The exhibition will remain at Hardwick Hall throughout the 2011 season, to be seen by thousands of visitors.

In collaboration with the National Trust, Unsealed was created by Dr Anke Timmermann with support from Dr Alison Wiggins at the University of Glasgow, where the AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick Project team has been working on an online edition of this important corpus of Renaissance letters for more than two years to date. This project reconsiders the story of Bess’s life, which as told to date typically emphasises her modest birth, her opportune marriages and rise through the ranks of society, and her ambitious aggrandisement of her family. But Bess’s surviving correspondence, which numbers more than 230 letters, shows her personal and public life in all its complexity, with as much detail as a diary would. The exhibition Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick now also invites the general public to discover just who Bess of Hardwick was.

Unsealed is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and supported by the National Trust and the University of Glasgow.

Friday, October 08, 2010

New Ashgate Series: 
"Material Readings in Early Modern Culture" 
Series Editors: James Daybell (Plymouth) and Adam Smyth (London)

This series provides a forum for studies that consider the material forms of texts as part of an investigation into early modern culture. The editors invite proposals of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature, and particularly welcome proposals that combine archival research with an attention to the theoretical models that might illuminate the reading, writing, and making of texts, as well as projects that take innovative approaches to the study of material texts, both in terms the kinds of primary materials under investigation, and in terms of methodologies. What are the questions that have yet be to asked about writing in its various possible embodied forms? Are there varieties of materiality that are critically neglected? How does form mediate and negotiate content? In what ways do the physical features of texts inform how they are read, interpreted and situated?
Consideration will be given to both monographs and collections of essays. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to:
  • History of the book, publishing, the book trade, printing, typography (layout, type, typeface, blank/white space, paratextual apparatus)
  • Technologies of the written word: ink, paper, watermarks, pens, presses
  • Surprising or neglected material forms of writing
  • Print culture
  • Manuscript studies
  • Social space, context, location of writing
  • Social signs, cues, codes imbued within the material forms of texts
  • Ownership and the social practices of reading: marginalia, libraries, environments of reading and reception
  • Codicology, palaeography and critical bibliography
  • Production, transmission, distribution and circulation
  • Archiving and the archaeology of knowledge
  • Orality and oral culture
  • The material text as object or thing
For more information on how to submit a book proposal to the series, please contact Ashgate acquisitions editor, Erika Gaffney, at egaffney@ashgate.com

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Call for Papers
"Reading Anthologies in Renaissance Europe" 
(1450-1650), Trinity College Dublin, July 19th-21st 2010
As print culture developed through the Renaissance, authors, printers and editors quickly came to exploit the commerical and literary potential of compendia and anthologies.  These works took many different forms: ‘recueils’, ‘œuvres’, ‘poésies choisies’, song books, joke collections. In both printed or manuscript form, anthologies circulated in sixteenth-century Europe in Latin and the vernacular. 
This conference will explore the factors that governed the production, circulation and reception of anthologies in the Europe of the Long Renaissance.  What editorial and commercial imperatives drove their appearance? What cultural practices arose from their publication? How are the cultural practices of the anthology related to or different from those of collected and multi-part works? How did readers react to the concept of multi-authored works?
The organisers welcome panals of up to three participants and individual papers which are related to the following broad thematic areas:
·       The Semantics of the Anthology
o   What is an anthology?
o   Re-presenting works to the reader
o   Material reconstruction of previously-circulated works
o   The role of illustration in anthologies
o   Literal and Metaphorical collections
·       Commercial imperatives
o   The emergance of collected works
o   The notion of branding
o   Case studies of failed brands
o   The re-ordering of texts for commercial purposes
o   Print vs Mansuscript
o   The place of Anthology in print culture

·       Anthological Methods & Editorial Practices
o   How was matierial collected?
o   Selection vs compliation
o   Case studies of items left out or excluded
o   The role of the printer/publisher/author/editor/translator
o   Editorial changes
o   The role of translation
o   Bibliographical approaches and methodologies

·       The Reader
o   Strategies to modify appeal to the reader
o   Moralisation as a means of attracting a new readership
o   Spatial metaphors of reading and the reader’s ‘journey’
o   New reading experiences

·       Anthologies and Longevity
o   How does the form of the anthology either promote or hinder the longevity of the text? 
o   Poetry
o   Literature
o   Moral philosophy
o   Science
o   Law
o   Historical writing
Proposals of up to 300 words for a 20-minute paper (proportionately longer for panels) should be sent to conference organisers Sara Barker (s.k.barker@warwick.ac.uk) and Pollie Bromilow (pollie.bromilow@liverpool.ac.uk) by March 31st 2010.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Rethinking Early Modern Print Culture

15-17 October 2010

An international and interdisciplinary conference at The Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria University in the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

The view that early modernity saw the transformation of European societies into cultures of print has been widely influential in literary, historical, philosophical, and bibliographical studies of   the period. The concept of print culture has provided scholars with a  powerful tool for analyzing and theorizing new (or seemingly new) regimens of knowledge and networks of information transmission as well as developments in the worlds of literature, theatre, music, and the visual arts. However, more recently the concept has been reexamined and destabilized, as critics have pointed out the continuing existence of cultures of manuscript, queried the privileging of technological advances over other cultural forces, and identified the presence of many of the supposed innovations of print in pre-print societies.

This multi-disciplinary conference aims to refine and redefine our understanding of early modern print cultures (from the fifteenth to the end of the seventeenth century). We invite papers seeking to explore questions of production and reception that have always been at  the core of the historiography of print, developing a more refined sense of the complex roles played by various agents and institutions. But we especially encourage submissions that probe the boundaries of our subject, both chronologically and conceptually: did print culture have a clear beginning? How is the idea of a culture of print complicated by the continued importance of manuscript circulation (as a private and commercial phenomenon)? How did print reshape or reconfigure audiences? And what was the place of orality in a world supposedly dominated by print textuality? What new forms of chirography and spoken, live performances did print enable, if any?

Other possible topics might include:

* Ownership of texts and plagiarism; authorship; “piracy”

* Booksellers and printers, and their local, national, and international networks

* Readers and their material and interpretative practices

* Libraries, both personal and institutional

* Beyond the book: ephemeral forms of print and manuscript

* Text and illustration, print and visuality

* Typography, mise en page, binding, and technological advances in book-production

We invite proposals for conference papers of 20 minutes and encourage group-proposals for panels of three papers. Alternative formats such as workshops and roundtables will also be considered. Abstracts of 250 words can be submitted electronically on the conference website.

The deadline for submissions is 15 December 2009.

All questions ought to be addressed to the conference organizers, Grégoire Holtz (French, University of Toronto) and Holger Schott Syme (English, University of Toronto), at printconference@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

New book history series from Ashgate Publishing

Ashgate Studies in Publishing History

Offering publishing histories of well-known works of literature, this series is intended as a resource for book historians and for other specialists whose scholarship and teaching are enhanced by access to a work's publication and reception history. Features include but are not limited to sections on the text's composition, production and marketing, contemporary reception, textual issues, subsequent editions, and archival resources. The series is designed to allow for flexibility in presentation, to accommodate differences in each work's history. Proposals on works whose publishing histories are particularly significant for what they reveal about a writer, a cultural milieu, or the history of print culture are especially welcome.

Proposals should take the form of either
1. a preliminary letter of inquiry, briefly describing the project; or
2. a formal prospectus including abstract, table of contents, chapter summaries, sample chapter, estimate of length, estimate of the number & type of illustrations to be included, and c.v.

Please send a copy of either type of proposal to the publisher at the following addresses:

Ann Donahue
Senior Editor
Ashgate Publishing
101 Cherry Street, Suite 420
Burlington, VT 05401-4405 USA
email: adonahue@ashgate.com
Artifacts of Childhood
700 Years of Children's Books

September 27, 2008 – January 17, 2009

Artifacts of Childhood: 700 Years of Children's Books explores the Newberry's little-known collection of books and manuscripts created for and by children. The exhibition showcases aspects of the interaction between children and books and includes approximately 65 works, drawn from the Library's collection of thousands of children's books in more than 100 languages, from the fifteenth century to the present.

Artifacts of Childhood features such treasures as: the first illustrated edition of Aesop's Fables (1485); the first edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865); a nineteenth-century collectible story, La Fille de L'Exile, that is similar in format to Pokemon cards; and ABCs from 1544 to 1992.

These and other materials allow exhibit visitors to traverse time, space, and cultures to trace continuity and change within the history of children's books, to examine changing attitudes towards children and childhood, and to understand the importance of the study of the history of childhood through children's books.

More information here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Letters of a Stuart Princess: the Complete Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia

Nadine Akkerman (Leiden/CELL) and Robyn Adams (CELL) have been successful in winning a Westfield Trust grant to help fund the first volume of their edition of the complete correspondence of King Charles I's sister, wife of the Elector Palatine Frederick V. This project straddles the archival histories of England and the northern Netherlands and will make an important contribution to our historical understanding of European culture and politics during the seventeenth century. More info here.
Cultures Of Communication: Theologies Of Media In Early Modern Europe And Beyond
A program at the UCLA Center for Seventeenth- & Eighteenth-Century Studies
Directed by: Christopher Wild (UCLA) & Ulrike Strasser (UC Irvine)

Our program re-approaches the history of media in early modern Europe from an original and particularly timely perspective. It resists the technological focus and teleological pull of the Gutenberg galaxy that has long dominated scholarly investigations and concentrates instead on the multimediality of early modern cultures as well as the powerful religious and theological currents informing its communication and media. We suggest that the history of media in early modern Europe is best understood in its longue duree from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century and in reference to the long-term aftershocks of the Reformation and the profound transformation of both media and mediation the Reformation set in motion. The sixteenth-century reformers not only revolutionized the use of media, as has been noted before, but rather the Reformation itself arguably represents an early modern instantiation of media theory. Each camp developed theories and practices of optimizing ‘vertical communication’ with the divine and ‘horizontal communication’ among humanity. Consequently, the recourse to the different theologies of early modern reform can help us examine the complex and competing media cultures of the time. The transformation of media had a persistent corollary in the critique of mediation. Once unleashed, this critique would not go away, but would be reformulated throughout the early modern period and beyond, and in a host of contexts within and beyond the religious domain.

Against this backdrop, our conference cycle takes as its starting point the conjunction of Reformation theology and the rise of new media in the sixteenth century to then trace the ripple effects of these phenomena in the following centuries. It will feature programs on Theology as Media Theory, Media of Reform: Between the Local and the Global, Multimediality: Print Culture in Context, and Religious Media and the Birth of Aesthetics.

Scholars who have received a Ph.D. in the last six years and are engaged in research pertaining to the announced theme are eligible to apply. Fellows are expected to make a substantive contribution to the Center's workshops and seminars. Awards are for one full academic year in residence at the Clark.

Stipend: $37,500 for the academic year.

Application and Instructions here.
Live and Letters
A new online journal launched by the Center for Editing Lives and Letters in London

Submissions are invited for a new online, peer-reviewed journal, highlighting the archival research into the early modern period championed by the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. Articles should be based on archival research concerning the period 1500-1800 or the subsequent perception of that period. The journal is interdisciplinary in approach and articles on any aspect of the period are welcome, provided that they are firmly rooted in archival sources.