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.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

‘Texts beyond Borders: Multilingualism and Textual Scholarship’
Academy for Science and the Arts (KVAB), Brussels, Belgium
November 19-21, 2009

The European Society for Textual Scholarship
Sixth International Conference
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2009

Contacts between languages, especially translations, have always played a crucial role in the making of European culture, from Antiquity until today. Bilingual or multilingual documents, literary works created in another language than their creators’ mother tongue, translations and translated texts are special textual objects which require appropriate editorial treatment. The conference will explore how textual scholarship responds to multilingualism in its various forms, such as:

1) Scholarly editing and annotating: Using translations as witnesses to an “original” text
How do we edit ancient or medieval texts (or parts of texts) that are preserved only in ranslations? How can we handle those cases where translations do not appear to be based on direct witnesses to the text?...
2) Scholarly editing and annotating: Translations as literary objects
Is the original text the only source used by a translator? How did he use earlier translations? How can we trace the sources and tools used by a translator? ...
3) Book history, the history of reading and translations
Dissemination of translations; bilingual editions; the role of Bible translations in the history of philology; translations which become more popular than the original; texts which circulate first or more widely in translation than in their original form (e.g. Flemish performances of Michel de Ghelderode’s theatre prior to the French original); annotations and marginalia in languages other than the reader’s native tongue: how do readers respond to works not written in their own language? …
4) Authorship and translations
Revisions of translations by the author himself may contain precious interpretative information. Translations may seem less authoritative than other texts and editors might therefore be tempted to emend translations on a larger scale than in the case of “original” texts. ...
5) Multilingualism and scholarly editing
Do multilingual works of literature need other methods of editing than monolingual writings? It might also be necessary to make a distinction between different types of multilingual works (self-translations, ‘hybrid’ writings, …). Do these different types require different editorial treatments? Is it necessary to find adequate methods to edit works by authors writing in languages not their own? Or works not written in any “natural” language, such as nonsense poetry? …

The programme chairs invite the submission of proposals for full panels or individual papers devoted to the discussion of current research into different aspects of textual work, preferably focusing on the topics mentioned above. A selection of papers will be published in Variants: The Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship. Proposals and abstracts (250 words) should be submitted electronically to:

Caroline Macé, University of Leuven:

Caroline.Mace@arts.kuleuven.be and
Dirk Van Hulle, University of Antwerp:

Deadline: 31 May 2009
All participants in the ESTS 2009 conference must be members of ESTS. For information, click here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Poetry on the Plaza

Marathon reading of Shake-speares Sonnets

In a special Poetry on the Plaza event in honor of National Poetry Month, the Harry Ransom Center presents a marathon reading of Shake-speares Sonnets (1609) on Wednesday, April 22, at noon. Shake-speares Sonnets turns 400 this year, and to celebrate, Shakespeare scholars, poets, and others will read from Shakes-speares Sonnets and The Lovers Complaint. Birthday cake will be served at this free event to honor William Shakespeare's birthday on April 23.

VIEW A LIVE WEBCAST of this event starting at approximately noon on Wednesday, April 22.

For more information click here.