Transactions of the Book
A Fall 2001 Conference held on 2–3 November 2001
This weekend conference will investigate the histories of reading and writing and the ways in which texts were transmitted and knowledge circulated through—while also serving to define—communities in the early modern period. Scholars in many academic fields are incorporating into their research and teaching an attention to the physical properties of the book as well as to the dynamic-and historically situated-mediations a text may provide between readers and writers. Rarely are these proliferating histories jointly examined by an interdisciplinary gathering, as this conference proposes to do. By gathering literary critics, social and political historians, bibliographers, editors, and others, and by extending the scope of investigation beyond the widely recognized impact of the printing press, the conference is explicitly designed to disrupt easy divisions, such as those between individual disciplinary or cultural histories, or between scribal and print modes of production and reception. Organized by Anthony Grafton and Kathleen Lynch, the conference is cosponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Featured speakers include Roger Chartier, Lisa Jardine, Harold Love, and Kevin Sharpe. Additional papers and/or comments will be provided by Ann Blair, Peter W.M. Blayney, Rebecca Bushnell, Elizabeth Eisenstein, Mary Fissell, Juliet Fleming, Jonathan Goldberg, Heidi Brayman Hackel, Adrian Johns, David Scott Kastan, Jeffrey Masten, Paula McDowell, Ann Moss, Annabel Patterson, Joad Raymond, William H. Sherman, Peter Stallybrass, and Steven Zwicker.
Researching the Archive
A 2001–2002 Dissertation Seminar
Directed by David Scott Kastan and Linda Levy Peck
This seminar, designed for doctoral candidates in history and English already at work on their dissertation, focuses on the wealth of manuscript and printed material available for the study of early modern Britain. While the seminar will address itself to particular research issues relevant to the projects of its participants, it will also consider a variety of methodological and theoretical issues raised by the kinds of work that are being done and by the types of material under investigation. Candidates for this seminar should consult with their dissertation directors before applying, and at least one letter of reference should reflect that consultation.
Director: David Scott Kastan is Professor of English at Columbia University. Coeditor, with Richard Proudfoot and Ann Thompson, of the Arden Shakespeare, he is also the author of Shakespeare and the Shapes of Time (1982), Shakespeare after Theory (1999), and Shakespeare and the Book (2001).
Director: Linda Levy Peck is Professor of History at George Washington University. She is the author of Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Stuart England (1990), Northampton: Patronage and Policy at the Court of James I (1982), and editor of The Mental World of the Jacobean Court (1991). She is coeditor, with John Guy and David L. Smith, of the "British History, 1500-1700" component of The Royal Historical Society Bibliography on CD-ROM (1998).
Practices of Piety: Lived Religion in Early Modern Europe
A Fall 2001 Semester-Length Seminar
Directed by Barbara Diefendorf
Taking as its starting point revisionist views of late medieval Catholicism and the questions they raise about the appeal of Protestant teachings and the ultimate shape of Catholic reform, the seminar will look at religious ritual, worship, and spirituality as they evolved between the late fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. It will proceed topically and, whenever possible, comparatively to explore a variety of religious practices as they emerged across Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed traditions. Topics include preparation for and reception of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, and the ceremonies surrounding such life passages as childbirth, marriage, and death. How did changes in the physical setting for worship and the omission of certain sacramental practices in Protestant churches affect lay religious experience? How did new forms of confraternal and monastic life act as sites for instruction in Catholic devotion? Moving from collective to more individual and interiorized forms of piety, the seminar will explore some of the devotional literature that poured forth during the period under study. What did this literature teach about body and spirit, and what models did it offer for the godly life? Taking gender as a primary category for analysis, the seminar will investigate models of piety set out in hagiography, funeral sermons, and other didactic literature. Lastly, it will ask how religious practices in the Counter-Reformation cloister conformed to (or departed from) strictures set out by the Council of Trent. Scholars working on Continental and British subjects are encouraged to bring their case studies, as well as the perspective of their different disciplines, to a collective reexamination of the varieties of religious experience in early modern lives.
Director: Barbara Diefendorf is Professor of History at Boston University. She is the author of Beneath the Cross: Catholics and Huguenots in Sixteenth-Century Paris (1991) and Paris City Councillors in the Sixteenth Century: The Politics of Patrimony (1983). With Carla Hesse, she coedited Culture and Identity in Early Modern Europe, 1500–1800(1993).
The Theory and Practice of Scholarly Editing
A Fall 2001 Semester-Length Seminar
Directed by W. Speed Hill
This seminar will examine the theory and the practice of editing early modern manuscript and printed materials, drawing on the Library's wealth of documentary resources. Since how one edits a text is a proxy for how one reads a text, the textual topics covered will be related, as appropriate, to issues of literary interpretation as posed by contemporary reading practices. The seminar will also attend to a practical expertise peculiar to the craft, charting a course between the Scylla of Theory (textual criticism) and the Charybdis of Practice (scholarly editing). The seminar will read and discuss a set of foundational texts that set out the history and rationale for a variety of currently available editorial models (such as documentary editions; Lachmannian stemmatic editions; Greg-Bowers copy-text / eclectic / critical editions; versioning / "unediting"; and socially-based editing). It will examine the new skills and policies demanded by computer-based editions; it will study feminist editorial practice; and, finally, it will take up the questions of securing grant support. While all who have an interest in textual matters are welcome, those with current or potential editing projects are especially encouraged to apply.
Director: W. Speed Hill is Professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY. He has edited two volumes of the Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, New Waysof Looking at Old Texts I and II(1993, 1998). He is the General Editor of the Folger Library edition of the Works of Richard Hooker and coeditor of TEXT: An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies.
Divulging Household Privacies: The Politics of Domesticity from the Caroline Courtto ParadiseLost
A Fall 2001 Semester-Length Seminar
Directed by Laura Lunger Knoppers
This wide-ranging, interdisciplinary seminar brings together aspects of seventeenth-century British art, literature, history, and popular print culture to examine the political nature and impact of domesticity from the Caroline court through the early Restoration. Although matters of state and political theory are often separated from discussions of gender, marriage, maternity, and family, this seminar aims to reconnect public and private, political and domestic by tracing visual, literary, and printed constructions of domesticity. How does print both disseminate and transform the royal image, in particular the "private" image of marriage and family? How does women's writing redefine the domestic sphere while shaping an emergent public one? How do royalists deploy the family to bolster monarchical power? How do oppositional voices use the family/state analogy to argue for contractual and republican forms of government? Likely texts and topics of discussion include: Van Dyck portraiture of Charles I and Henrietta Maria; Stuart court masques and Milton's Comus; the politics of cavalier poetry; family and state in domestic conduct manuals and Milton's divorce tracts; public and private women's writing; royalist satire on Oliver Cromwell's upstart household; images of Charles II as son, father, and king; and Milton's representation of marriage, maternity, and the domestic in Paradise Lost as a response to and critique of Stuart propaganda.
Director: Laura Lunger Knoppers is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. She is author of Historicizing Milton: Spectacle, Power, and Poetry in Restoration England(1994) and of Constructing Cromwell: Ceremony, Portrait, and Print, 1645–1661 (2000). She is currently working on a book-length study of representations of Charles I and Henrietta Maria.
Renaissance Paleography in England
A Fall 2001 Semester-Length Skills Course
Directed by Laetitia Yeandle
This skills course is designed to provide an introduction to English handwriting of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and to introduce participants to a wide range of documents of historical and literary interest from the manuscript collections of the Folger Shakespeare Library. These may include correspondence, literary works, accounts, inventories, wills, and deeds. Enrollment is limited to eight participants. Applicants are encouraged to describe the manuscript resources they are consulting in their own research, as participants will have an opportunity to discuss with the class the textual problems they are encountering in their work with Renaissance English manuscripts.
Director: Laetitia Yeandle is Curator Emeritus of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She coedited with Richard Dunn The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649 (1996) and edited the text of The Tractates for the Folger Library edition of The Works of Richard Hooker (1990). With Jean Preston, she coauthored Handwriting in England: 1400-1650(1992) and with Giles E. Dawson, Elizabethan Handwriting, 1500–1650: A Manual (1966).
The Impact of the Ottoman Empireon Early Modern Europe:
From 1453 to the Death of Ahmed I
A Spring 2002 Conference held on 8–9 March 2002
This international conference brings together leading scholars and emerging voices in the academy for an examination of the multifaceted diplomatic, intellectual, artistic, religious, and military contacts and interactions in the early modern period, interactions that continue to shape global histories and disciplinary boundaries alike. It seeks to inform a growing interest in the impact of Islam and, specifically, of the Ottoman empire on the emerging definitions of self and state in the west by moderating scholarly exchange between those working in western historiographical traditions and their counterparts in Ottoman studies. It will consider the consequences of conceptual shifts of foci to frontiers, borders, and margins. It will examine the trade and travels of commodities and the artifactual record. It will identify new sources of archival materials and generate new directions for research. Organized by Leeds Barroll and Kathleen Lynch, the conference will feature Esin Atil, Natalie Zemon Davis, Cornell Fleischer, Cemal Kafadar, and Walter Mignolo. Additional panelists will be announced.
This conference is supported by a grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and a gift from Mr. Theodore Sedgwick. It is organized by Leeds Barroll, Scholar in Residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, with the assistance of Kathleen Lynch, Executive Director of the Folger Institute.
Historicizing Shakespeare's Language: Social Discourse and Cultural Production
A Spring 2002 Semester-Length Seminar sponsored by the Center for Shakespeare Studies
Directed by Lynne Magnusson
Critics have long echoed Francis Meres' powerful claim that Shakespeare extended the resources and tapped the potential of the English language. But since the advent of the new historicism and cultural poetics, little attention has been paid to the language, and important questions remain about what a newly historicized engagement with the complex language of Shakespeare's plays and poetry would look like.
Participants' interests will help shape the configuration of individual sessions of the seminar, and Folger materials will help explore how the varied social discourses of Shakespeare's time-discourses, for example, of religion, mercantile exchange, or law-are appropriated, assimilated, or reaccented within his plays. A session focussing on Love's Labour's Lost, for instance, might ask what historically specific experiences within speech communities or contexts recognizable to early modern Londoners might account for the mockery and scoffing that greets virtually every remark or utterance, as well as every theatrical performance, within the play? Shakespeare's company almost certainly performed The Comedy of Errors to a scornful reception during the 1594 Christmas revels at Gray's Inn, and it may be the verbal bonding practices-the scoff power and scoff proofing-of the elite young men at the Inns of Court that helped to shape the social discourse of Love's Labour's Lost. Another session might focus on conversational interaction in King Lear: to what extent does the play explore dislocations in conversation, and to what extent are characters' identities tied to the reciprocal self-fashioning of conversational repair work? A third session might consider the language of women's suitors' letters with reference to the Elizabethan women's letters in the Bagot or Bacon-Townshend manuscript collections or the Salisbury microfilm collections at the Folger Library. What varying power relationships are reflected in their language, and how might the language of Elizabethan suitors' letters illuminate the persuasions of the love goddess in Venus and Adonis or Desdemona's suit to Othello to reinstate Cassio? What historically specific speech interaction scripts might be reflected in Shakespeare's Sonnets?
The seminar's reconsideration of early modern language will be informed by readings concerned with social discourse, including Bakhtin on dialogism, Bourdieu on the economics of linguistic exchange, Brown and Levinson on politeness, as well as writings on the history of language, ethnography of speaking, discourse pragmatics, philosophy of language, and rhetoric.
Director: Lynne Magnusson is Professor of English at Queen's University at Kingston, Canada. She is the author of Shakespeare and Social Dialogue: Dramatic Language and Elizabethan Letters (1999) and a co-editor of Reading Shakespeare's Dramatic Language (2001). She is currently editing Love's Labour's Lost for the New Cambridge Shakespeare and writing a book on the language of letters by early modern women.
Early Modern Paris
A Spring 2002 Weekend Seminar held on 22–23 February 2002
Directed by Karen Newman
Cultural historians have long claimed the nineteenth century as the preeminent metropolitan moment, and the great metropolitan themes-the crowd, the commodity, the street-have long been read as specific to Paris, which Walter Benjamin famously dubbed the "capital of the nineteenth century." But Paris was a cultural, social, and economic capital long before Baudelaire and Haussmann, the arcades and the Eiffel Tower. Rapid growth and population concentration fostered an unprecedented accumulation of cultural capital and promoted distinctive urban behaviors and new kinds of social knowledge in early modern Paris. Inhabitants and visitors enjoyed the myriad pleasures of metropolitan life and the cultural capital it afforded: theatre and spectacle, print culture, consumerism, anonymity and not least, walking its streets, quais and gardens. They also suffered, complained, and represented verbally and visually urban ills-noise, filth, starvation, immigration and crowding, violence, crime, traffic, and the stark juxtaposition of rich and poor. This seminar will gather twelve-to-sixteen participants with relevant projects either in hand or in mind to study early modern Paris from multiple perspectives. Framed by advance reading and sharpened by participants' own research projects, the seminar will encourage interdisciplinary work and seeks participants from diverse fields, including urban and cultural geographers, musicologists, historians, including art historians, as well as those working in literature and cultural studies. Particularly welcome are projects that address such questions as: How was the city represented in visual and verbal texts? Does urban space foster certain cultural forms and pastimes and not others? What was the impact of the development of Paris as a center of conspicuous consumption? How did an increasingly literate urban reading public contribute to cultural innovation? A reading knowledge of French is encouraged but not required.
Director: Karen Newman is University Professor and Professor of Comparative Literature and English at Brown University. She is at work on a comparative book tentatively entitled Cultural Capitals: Early Modern London and Paris. Her most recent books include Fetal Positions: Individualism, Science, Visuality (1996) and Fashioning Femininity and English Renaissance Drama (1991).
The Foundations of Modern International Thought, 1494–1713
A Late-Spring 2002 Seminar
Directed by David Armitage
This seminar extends the inquiries of the Center for the History of British Political Thought in two novel directions: from the Three Kingdoms and their Atlantic extensions to the relations between the British polities and their European neighbors, and from the history of political thought to the history of international thought. The defining subject of political thought has traditionally been the state in its internal, domestic or municipal capacities; it has rarely encompassed the relations between states, or what might be called "international thought." The origins of modern international thought have been variously traced to the emergence of balance-of-power doctrines in late fifteenth-century Italy, the birth of international law in sixteenth-century Spain, the publication of Hugo Grotius's De Jure Belli ac Pacis (1625), and the Peace of Westphalia (1648). These are not moments in British history, though the extent to which they included or affected the British polities deserves examination. With the help of distinguished visiting faculty, the seminar will reconstruct the history of early-modern international thought from the French invasion of Italy (1494) to the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) by examining transnational communities of envoys, soldiers, clerics and professors, and the treatises, treaties, and diplomatic manuals they generated. This approach will offer new genealogies of such Janus-faced concepts as sovereignty, rights, the balance of power, and reason of state, and will provide the outlines of conceptual and political geographies of "Britain" and "Europe" that are both idiomatic to the early-modern period and relevant to current discussions in politics, philosophy, international law, and the theory of international relations.
Director: David Armitage is Associate Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000), and editor of Bolingbroke: Political Writings (1997) and Theories of Empire, 1450-1800 (1998). His current project is International Thought in the Age of Revolutions, 1688-1848.
Continue to 2000–2001