2021-2022 Folger Institute Scholarly Programs

Schedule as of May 9, 2022

At the start of the 2021–22 academic year, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s major renovation is well underway. Our building on Capitol Hill remains closed for the duration of that project. As had been planned long before the pandemic, the Folger Institute is relying on our consortium university partners to convene scholarly conversations that take advantage of regional knowledge, underexplored archives, and diverse communities of inquiry and practice.

With this model of distributed programming, it quickly became evident that many of our partnered programs would involve regionalisms, highlighting what might be learned about the interactions and encounters involving unfamiliar cultures in a particular place, or the constructedness of a localized past, including the forms of enmity and prejudice that took root in specific locations. Scholars organizing these programs across the consortium have also been sensitive to our historical moment, embracing new modes of inquiry into the enduring questions of early modern culture and literature, especially as they are inflected by the findings of critical race theory. As has long been our hallmark, Institute programs offer a spectrum of approaches and focal points, and we welcome you to find the one that best fits your current research project.

The consortium’s objectives, resources, and scheduling continue to evolve in the midst of ongoing uncertainties and constraints. Starting in spring 2020, many programs were delayed or reconfigured as online offerings. In summer 2021, travel possibilities seem to be opening up, and we are cautiously optimistic that travel to our in-person programs will be possible beginning in the late fall of 2021. But planning around travel depends on local circumstances and remains tentative. Therefore, another change in our regular process is that we will be announcing application deadlines on a rolling basis through the year, in hopes that we can be more confident when scheduling in-person gatherings.  

Beyond the pandemic’s dictates, there is also heightened awareness throughout the academy of the need for the humanities to advance the values of inclusion and diversity, and to scrutinize freshly practices and procedures that may themselves have functioned as barriers to inclusivity and innovation. Across the Institute, we have strengthened our commitment to support the topics, personnel, and review processes that make visible our determination to stand for the values of diversity and inclusion. We created a year-long series of Critical Race Conversations as a signature commitment to rewriting richer, more inclusive, and likely more difficult histories. In conversation with partners in individual programs, we have taken and will continue to take steps as necessary to reconceptualize themes and to invite new voices to join their conversations. We applaud all our organizers for their continuing efforts to meet these challenges.

Below are the descriptions for the programs on offer during 2021–2022. Some of these programs will look familiar, having been rescheduled from last year. Some will be further delayed. Others may be added out of our usual sequence of announcing an entire year. There are new opportunities to participate in online portions of many programs. When programs are revised and adjustments are made to their formats and delivery throughout the year, we will announce those changes on this page and promote them through our various channels, including our bi-monthly newsletter, the Research Bulletin. Those not yet subscribed can do so here.

As some of our programs remain online and others bring scholars together in person, we will be looking for innovative ways to increase access for those who would not otherwise be able to participate. Accordingly, some upcoming programs will be filled entirely by registration, while others will offer online open sessions with in-person participation funded by competitive application. Others will require applications from all those hoping to participate to ensure that those selected to attend will be strong contributors to the conversation.

As always, participants are encouraged to pursue their individual research interests within a given program’s specific topic. Before submitting an application, applicants should read the description carefully so that they can tailor their statement of research plans to the program in question. Folger Institute consortium affiliates should consult with their campus representatives. Please visit our application information page for further details about the application process.

If you have any questions about these programs, or the logistics of submitting an application, email institute@folger.edu.



Fall 2021

Spring 2022

Upcoming 2022-2023 and Beyond

Full Program Details


Researching and Writing the Early Modern Dissertation (yearlong dissertation seminar)

Co-directed by Joyce ChaplinJulie Crawford, and Jenny C. Mann

This program focuses on the use of primary materials available for the study of the history, culture, society, and literature of early modern Britain, Europe, and the Atlantic World, broadly conceived. Should conditions allow, participants will visit rare materials collections in the spring to explore a variety of printed and manuscript sources relevant to Ph.D. candidates in history and literature, and they will learn (with the assistance of staff at the host university libraries) essential research skills as well as strategies for working with digital resources and remediated rare materials. The goal throughout will be to foster interdisciplinary scholarship while considering broad methodological and theoretical problems relevant to current work in early modern studies, especially when working in fields that contain deliberate elisions and silences in their historical archives. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed course work and preliminary exams; they should be preparing a prospectus or beginning to write chapters. Applicants should consult with their dissertation directors before applying to ensure that their work is at a stage that would benefit from the seminar, and their directors should certify that this is the case in their recommendation letters. Those whose dissertations are substantially complete will not be competitive applicants.

Directors: Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. A former Fulbright Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, she has published five monographs, one co-authored book, and two Norton Critical Editions. She did research for her second book, Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 15001676 (2001), at the Folger. Julie Crawford is the Mark van Doren Professor of Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of Marvelous Protestantism (2004), Mediatrix (2014), and numerous essays on authors ranging from Shakespeare to Anne Clifford and on topics ranging from the history of reading to the history of sexuality. In 2016 she taught a Folger Seminar on Cavendish and Hutchinson, and she is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “Margaret Cavendish’s Political Career." Jenny C. Mann is an Associate Professor of English at New York University with a joint appointment with NYU Gallatin. She has followed her first book, Outlaw Rhetoric: Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare’s England (2012), with The Trials of Orpheus: Poetry, Science, and the Early Modern Sublime (2021). Her new research project explores problems of self-reference in utopian literature from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.

Anticipated Schedule: Participants will meet virtually Friday and Saturday October 1-2, December 17-18, and June 10-11. In the spring, participants will also travel to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University and the Houghton Library of Harvard University and other special collections in New York and Boston that are relevant to their dissertation projects.

Apply: 9 August 2021 for admission and grants-in-aid. This program is only open to consortium affiliates.


Fall 2021

Region and Enmity: A RaceB4Race Symposium (virtual symposium)

Organized by Patricia Akhimie, Ana Laguna, Mayte Green-Mercado, Sylvester Cruz, and Henry Turner

Co-sponsored by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library; and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University

Enmity is a sustaining force for systemic racism, a fervent antipathy toward a category of people. Enmity exists at the nexus of individual and group identity and produces difference by desiring opposition and supremacy, imagining separation by force, and willing conflict. Enmity unfolds in different ways in different places, according to local logics of territory, population, language, or culture, even as these geographical divisions are subject to constant change. This interdisciplinary symposium at Rutgers University focuses on how premodern racial discourses are tied to cartographical markers and ambitions. The notions of enmity and region provide a dual dynamic lens for tracing the premodern racial repertoires that developed in response to increasingly hostile contention between cultural and political forces. The symposium will invite scholars to take up this intersection between region and enmity and to examine how belief in difference, or the emergence of polarizing structures and violent practices, configured race thinking and racial practices in ways that are both unique to different territories and that transcend them.

Organizers: Patricia Akhimie is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and early modern women’s travel writing. Sylvester Cruz is a doctoral student in the English department at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and the graduate student coordinator of the Race and the Early Modern World Research Seminar. Mayte Green-Mercado is Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches Islamic, Mediterranean, and Iberian history, and directs the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies minor. Ana Laguna teaches Cervantes as an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Rutgers University-Camden and is co-convenor of the “Race and the Early Modern World” Research Seminar. Henry S. Turner is Professor of English and Vice President for Academic Initiatives at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Invited Speakers: A keynote address by contemporary artist Shazia Sikander (author of recent New York Times article What We Believe About Culture) with interlocutor Kishwar Rizvi (Islamic Art and Architecture, Yale University). Other speakers include: Yonatan Binyam (Religion, UCLA); Allison Blakely (European and Comparative History, Boston University); Ireri Chávez-Bárcenas (Music, Bowdoin College); Kelly Nguyen (Classics, University of California Berkeley); Diego Luis (History, Davidson College); Ruen-chuan Ma (English & Literature, Utah Valley University); Bindu Malieckal (English, Saint Anselm College); Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Classics, Princeton University); Kristina Richardson (History, Queens College CUNY); Miguel Valerio (Spanish, Washington University in St. Louis); Cristi Whiskey (History, University of California, Los Angeles); and Shao-yun Yang (History and East Asian Studies, Denison University)

Program: Each day will include a panel session with three speakers and one “conversation steward.” Informal “chat” sessions (designed for early career scholars and graduate students) will be interspersed throughout the symposium.  

Schedule: Tuesday through Friday, October 19–22, 2021

Register: This virtual symposium is open to all who register through this link. Please note that you must register for each individual session you would like to attend. 

Special Opportunity: Registrants may apply to speak one-on-one with an editor about their work-in-progress. Invited editors include Ayanna Thompson (Series Co-editor, RaceB4Race: Critical Race Studies of the Premodern, University of Pennsylvania Press); Christina Lee (Series Co-editor, Connected Histories in Early Modern Europe, Amsterdam University Press);  Nick Jones (Editor-in-Chief, Caribbeana: The Journal of the Early Caribbean Society, Series Co-editor, Critical Junctures in Global Early Modernities, Routledge); Karen Raith (Commissioning Editor, Oxford University Press); and Jenny Tan (Acquisitions Associate Editor, University of Pennsylvania Press). Those interested in this opportunity will supply a two-page curriculum vitae and a 150-word abstract of their book project. Details will be provided to all those who register.


John Locke and England’s Empire (virtual weekend seminar)

Directed by David Armitage

Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought

By the end of his life, John Locke (1632–1704) was one of the two or three best informed observers of England’s Atlantic empire. Early in his career, as a client of the Earl of Shaftesbury, he had been involved with the Bahamas, the Royal African Company, and the Carolina colony; towards its close, a member of the newly founded Board of Trade, he gained intimate knowledge of English labor and penal policy, the Irish economy, and the North American colonies from New York to Virginia. Throughout, he was engaged with slavery, property, Indigenous policy, agricultural improvement, gender and family relations, constitutionalism, expropriation, and migration, among other topics. Welcoming up to twelve participants, this seminar will potentially examine the late seventeenth-century English empire through Locke’s eyes, using newly edited texts of his colonial writings alongside contemporary pamphlets, travel literature, and manuscript material. Participants will work together to determine what Locke knew and when; how this knowledge shaped his writings, especially the Two Treatises of Government; and what follows from scholars privileging him as their guide to understanding England’s empire.

Director: David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University. His books include The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000), Foundations of Modern International Thought (2013), and Civil Wars: A History in Ideas (2017). His edition of Locke’s colonial writings will appear in the Oxford University Press Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke. He is now working on a global history of treaty-making and treaty-breaking since the early modern period.

Schedule: On Thursday afternoon, 18 November 2021, Mark Goldie, FRHistS, and Professor Vicki Hsueh will offer an open session on Locke, political thought, and empire. On Friday and Saturday, admitted seminar participants will focus their discussion on short, pre-circulated pieces.

Apply 7 13 September 2021 for admission. Applicants should provide an abstract of the topics they plan to discuss in their pre-circulated pieces in addition to describing the ways that participation in this seminar will advance their research interests.


Spring 2022

Early Modern Intersections in the American South (virtual symposium)

Organized by Heather Miyano Kopelson, Jenny Shaw, and Cassander L. Smith

Co-sponsored with the University of Alabama

What is “early modern” about the region we now call the American South? Historically, we point to the rise of plantation cultures and then Indian Removal policies and the American Civil War as formative in the development of this region in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This symposium, however, will offer participants the opportunity to consider the early modern contours of the American South by re-thinking its temporal and geographical boundaries. Specifically, the symposium will explore the multiple meanings of the American South through the prisms of race, slavery, and indigeneity in the centuries surrounding the arrival of Europeans and Africans in the Americas. Invited speakers will ask how the interactions of people from four continents shaped culture and history in this region and beyond. Session topics include: geography, temporality, race, slavery, indigeneity, and migration/displacement. 

Organizers: Heather Miyano Kopelson is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama and is also affiliated with the Gender and Race Studies Department. She is the author of Faithful Bodies: Performing Race and Religion in the Puritan Atlantic (2014) and is currently writing a book with the working title, “Speaking Objects: Indigenous Women and the Materials of Dance in the Americas, 1500–1700.” Jenny Shaw is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Alabama. Her research focuses on race, enslavement, and colonization in the English Atlantic. The author of Everyday Life in the Early English Caribbean: Irish, Africans, and the Construction of Difference, she is completing a serial biography of five women who bore children with the same Barbados planter. Cassander L. Smith is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Alabama. She is the author of Black Africans in the British Imagination: English Narratives of the Early Atlantic World (2016). Currently, she is completing a book about respectability politics and the early modern black Atlantic.

Invited Speakers: Nicole Aljoe (Northeastern University), Eric Gary Anderson (George Mason University), Herman Bennett (Graduate Center, CUNY), Allison Bigelow (University of Virginia), Alejandra Dubcovsky (University of California, Riverside), Elizabeth Ellis (New York University), Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), Miles Grier (Queens College CUNY), Nicholas Jones (University of California, Davis), Malinda Maynor Lowery (Emory University), Caroline Wigginton (University of Mississippi), and Ashley Williard (University of South Carolina).

Anticipated Schedule: Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and Friday morning, 16–18 February 2022 

Apply: 13 December 2021 for admission; if space remains, applications will be accepted through 18 January 2022. All those who wish to participate in this virtual symposium should supply up to two hundred words describing their interest in the topic. No letters of recommendation are required. Please list institute@folger.edu in the recommendation space on the application form.


Out of the Archives: Digital Projects as Early Modern Research Objects (virtual weekend seminar)

Organized by Margaret Simon, Christopher Warren, and Christopher Crosbie

Co-sponsored with North Carolina State University

How do the digital humanities reconfigure our sense of “the archive?” As instantiations of humanistic inquiry during a period of rapid technological change, digital artifacts become research objects in their own right. Digital projects continually reshape our modes of accessing traditional archival objects and the very questions we ask of them. Supported by North Carolina State’s extensive digital technologies infrastructure, this seminar will combine discussion of shared readings with workshop experimentation on digital projects to consider a range of questions. What do digital models reveal about scholarly definitions of historical research? How might digital praxis, the exploration of multimodal research objects, and new forms of scholarly communication change researchers’ thinking about early modern communicative practices? How can digital methodologies accommodate diverse communities and improve the politics of access? What might we learn about the scope of the archive as we consider early modern research in distributed, digital, and often data-driven contexts? Those working in early modern studies, archives, library science, and digital scholarship are invited to apply. 

Watch a short video introducing the seminar here.

Organizers: Margaret Simon is Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University. Her current book project, “Open Books: Multi-Materiality and the English Renaissance Codex,” considers how early modern printed texts rendered objects in language and graphic technologies. She co-created the multi-media project “Intimate Fields,” in the University of Victoria’s MLab’s Kits for Culture series. Her chapter on the haptics of digital paleography will appear in Debates in the Digital Humanities. Christopher Warren is Associate Professor of English and, by courtesy, History, at Carnegie Mellon University. His research spans digital humanities, early modern literature, print culture, and the history of political thought. He is the author of the award-winning Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680 (2015) and co-founder of the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project. He is currently developing computer-assisted methods to identify clandestine early modern printers. Christopher Crosbie, Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University, is the author of Revenge Tragedy and Classical Philosophy on the Early Modern Stage. His work on Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and classical philosophy has appeared in journals such as Shakespeare QuarterlyEnglish Literary RenaissanceRenascence, Renaissance PapersArthuriana, and in multiple edited collections. His current book project examines ethics and intentionality in Shakespearean drama.

Program: A live-streamed plenary presentation on Thursday evening by Anupam Basu (Washington University in St. Louis) will be followed by two days of seminar that mix discussion with hands-on experimentation with digital tools. 

Anticipated Schedule: Thursday evening through Saturday, 10–12 March 2022

Apply13 December 2021 for best consideration for admission; if space remains, applications for admission will be accepted through 18 January 2022


Reading Scotland before 1707 (symposium)

Organized by Margaret Connolly, Rhiannon Purdie, Jane Pettegree, and Harriet Archer

Co-sponsored with the University of St Andrews

The early modern period in Scotland was a time of extraordinary cultural ferment, creativity, and transformation. This symposium will consider vital questions of Scotland’s history and culture from the late fifteenth century through the unions of the crowns (1603) and parliaments (1707), regarding both Scotland’s relationship with England and its place in relation to Europe and the European Renaissance. How did Scotland negotiate its own complex heritage – its distinctive history, languages, and political institutions – in an era when it was assuming greater prominence on the European stage? The symposium will explore how far issues and themes that have dominated the wider field of early modern studies in recent years are applicable to Scotland. These include: the nature and extent of political power; constructions of nation, identity, race, and gender in early modern society; the social performance of these identities through the spoken word, drama, and music; the transition from manuscript to print; the presence and force of the classics and classical literature; the status of the vernacular as a literary language; and notions of periodization.

Organizers: Dr Margaret Connolly is Senior Lecturer in English and History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the St Andrews Institute of Medieval Studies. Professor Rhiannon Purdie is Professor of English and Older Scots at the University of St Andrews. She is the Editorial Secretary for the Scottish Text Society and a trustee of the Scottish Medievalists. Dr Jane Pettegree is Honorary Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews School of English, and Associate Lecturer at the University of St Andrews Music Centre. Dr Harriet Archer is Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at the University of St Andrews.

Invited Speakers: Jamie Reid Baxter (University of Glasgow), Sarah Carpenter (University of Edinburgh), Elizabeth Ewan (University of Guelph), Lorna Hutson (University of Oxford), Roger Mason (University of St Andrews), John McGavin (University of Southampton), Elaine Moohan (Open University in Scotland), David J. Parkinson (University of Saskatchewan), Alessandra Petrina (Università degli Studi di Padova), Andrew Pettegree (University of St Andrews), Beth Quitslund (Ohio University), Nicola Roya (University of Nottingham), Helen Vincent (NLS Edinburgh), Emily Wingfield (University of Birmingham), Georgianna Ziegler (Folger Shakespeare Library, Emerita)

Anticipated Schedule: Friday through Sunday, 6–8 May 2022 at the University of St Andrews. 

Apply 18  31 January 2022 for admission and grants-in-aid. 


Introduction to English Paleography (weeklong intensive skills course)

Directed by Heather Wolfe

Co-sponsored with the Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst

This weeklong course provides an intensive introduction to handwriting in early modern England, with a particular emphasis on the English secretary hand of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Working from digitized and physical manuscripts, up to twelve participants will be trained in the accurate reading and transcription of secretary, italic, and mixed hands. In conjunction with the Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies’ Renaissance of the Earth research program, the workshop will include estate accounts, annotated almanacs, and household inventories that showcase how early moderns were practically and imaginatively transforming the earth. Recipe books, personal correspondence, and poetry miscellanies will also be drawn from the Folger collection. Participants will experiment with contemporary writing materials (quills, iron gall ink, and paper); learn the terminology for describing and comparing letterforms; and become skillful decipherers of abbreviations, numbers, and dates. All transcriptions made by participants will become part of the Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) corpus.

Director: Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts and Associate Librarian of Audience Development at the Folger Shakespeare Library, co-director of the multi-year research project Before 'Farm to Table': Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, and principal investigator of Early Modern Manuscripts Online. Author of numerous articles on early modern manuscripts, Dr. Wolfe has edited The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 16131680 (2007), The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232 (2007), Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004) (with Alan Stewart), and Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (2001). Her current research explores the social circulation of writing paper and blank books and Shakespeare’s coat of arms.

Anticipated Schedule: Monday through Friday, 23–27 May 2022 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Apply: 7 March 2022 for admission and grants-in-aid. 


An Orientation to Research Methods and Agendas (weeklong skills course)

Directed by Marcy NorthClaire M. L. Bourne, and Whitney Trettien

Co-sponsored with Pennsylvania State University

The best research is based on inquiry and allows for serendipity. A scholar needs to sharpen research questions and search skills simultaneously and with sensitivity to the ways questions and sources affect each other. The available evidence may invite a new thesis, require a revised approach, or even suggest a new field of exploration. This intensive week is not designed to advance participants’ individual research projects. Rather, it aims to cultivate the participants’ curiosity about primary resources by using exercises that engage their research interests. It is offered to help early-stage graduate students develop a set of research-oriented literacies as they explore Penn State’s special collections physically and the collections at the Folger and other major research libraries virtually. With the guidance of visiting faculty and curatorial staff from the Folger and Penn State Libraries, sixteen participants will examine bibliographical tools and their logics, hone their early modern book description skills through guided handling instruction, learn best practices for organizing and working with digital images, and improve their understanding of the cultural and technological histories of texts. Participants will be able to ask reflexive questions about the nature of primary sources, the collections that house them, and the tools whereby one can access them.

Organizers: Marcy North is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University and author of The Anonymous Renaissance and numerous articles on early print, manuscript, and women’s writings. She has directed a previous Folger seminar and participated in the Folger's Teaching Paleography and Advanced Paleography workshops. She is finishing a book on the intersection of labor and taste in the production of post-print manuscripts. Claire M. L. Bourne is Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of Typographies of Performance in Early Modern England, which was supported by a long-term Folger fellowship, and is currently editing 1 Henry the Sixth for the Arden Shakespeare (4th series). Whitney Trettien teaches digital humanities and book history at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is Assistant Professor of English. She is the author of Cut/Copy/Paste, a hybrid monograph on digital book history currently being staged on Manifold Scholarship through University of Minnesota Press.

Anticipated Schedule: Monday through Friday, 23–27 May 2022, at Pennsylvania State University.

Apply: 7 March 2022 for admission and grants-in-aid. This skills course is intended for students in the early years of graduate work. In addition to following the general application guidelines, applicants for this course should describe a research question that interests them, the motivating reason to look to primary sources to answer this question, and any previous experience with early modern materials. If a participant is able to arrange for one graduate credit on the home campus under the direction of an on-campus advisor, the Institute will certify participation.


Historicizing Heritage (weekend workshop)

Organized by Carolyn Dinshaw and Christine Hoffmann

Co-sponsored with West Virginia University

How are familial, ethnic, and regional heritages constructed, and what affects and politics are mobilized in the processes? What do historical narratives and reenactments – be they factual, counterfactual, utopian, or all three – allow individuals and communities to reveal, desire, perpetuate, or protest? Participants in this weekend workshop will consider some effects of historicism by exploring public, performative, and literary examples of heritage-making from both modern and premodern sources. Those traveling to Morgantown, West Virginia will be well situated to consider the ardor for, and pursue alternatives to, heritages conceived as purity, insularity, or sanctification of an antiquity that never existed. Reductive or fanciful characterizations of Appalachia often equate it with an antiquated, even premodern, past. The state of West Virginia, like the Appalachian region it centers, is a frequent site of discourses of heritage that promote both solidarity and isolationism, both innovation and obsolescence. While gathered in this contact zone of contradictory legacies, workshop participants will contribute to an open-access, multidisciplinary “How to do things with heritage” syllabus, and session leaders will share and encourage research on the ways primary source material can be enfolded into heritage-making.

OrganizersCarolyn Dinshaw, previously the Julius Silver Professor of English and Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University, has just accepted the role of Senior Program Officer for Higher Learning with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Her research and teaching have always engaged the issue of relationships between past and present. In How Soon is Now? Medieval Texts, Amateur Readers, and the Queerness of Time (2012), she touches on humans’ affective bonds with land and landscapes; her current research further pursues imaginary places and mirages. Christine Hoffmann is an Associate Professor of English at West Virginia University, where she writes and teaches about shared epistemologies between twenty-first-century social media and early modern humanist philosophy. She is the author of Stupid Humanism: Folly as Competence in Early Modern and Twenty-first-Century Culture (2017) as well as several essays on the uses and abuses of humanist practice for the fashioning of selves and societies.

Invited SpeakersJane Anderson (New York University), Kimberly C. Borchard (Randolph-Macon College), Matthieu Chapman (State University of New York at New Paltz), Jason Cohen (Hanover Research), Lowell Duckert (University of Delaware), Mary Louise Pratt (New York University), and Kathleen Stewart (The University of Texas at Austin).

Anticipated Schedule: Thursday evening through Saturday, 26–28 May 2022 at West Virginia University. 

Apply: 7 March 2022 for admission and grants-in-aid. 


Making Meaning: Hands-on Basic Paleography and Book Production (weeklong intensive skills course)

Directed by Margaret J.M. Ezell and Kevin M. O’Sullivan, with Heather Wolfe

Co-sponsored with Texas A&M University

Integrating traditional seminar-based discussion with experiential inquiry, this course will investigate the physical means of knowledge production during the early modern period. Daily lab sessions concentrating on historical book production will include hands-on exercises in allied trades such as typecasting, papermaking, ink-making, typesetting, and hand-press printing. In addition to this print-oriented praxis, participants will also experience manuscript production through experimentation with contemporary writing materials such as goose quills and iron gall ink as part of their paleography work. Throughout the week, guided discussions of assigned theoretical readings will synthesize issues raised by the hands-on practice within a wider theoretical framework on media intersections. The course will seek to demonstrate the ways technologies of textual production drove meaning-making in the early modern period and foster an understanding of the rich interrelations between the manuscript tradition and renaissance printing. Equipped with these skills, participants will be able not only to read and analyze the texts, but to locate their place in the larger context of early modern written culture.

Directors: Margaret J.M. Ezell is Distinguished Professor of English and the John and Sara H. Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. In her most recent work, the Oxford English Literary History, Volume V: 16451714, the Later Seventeenth Century, she offers an alternative model of literary history exploring how oral traditions, handwritten manuscript practices, and print media intersected and influenced each other. Kevin M. O’Sullivan is Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts for the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University, where he also serves as the Director of the Book History Workshop. He is a founding partner of the 3Dhotbed Project, a collaborative digital humanities effort that seeks to enhance book history instruction through 3D technologies. They will be joined by Heather Wolfe (Curator of Manuscripts and Associate Librarian of Audience Development at the Folger Shakespeare Library).

Anticipated Schedule: Monday through Friday, 11–15 July 2022 at Texas A&M University. 

Apply: No additional applications are being accepted for this program. We invite those who are interested to email institute@folger.edu


Upcoming 2022-2023 and Beyond

American Regional Shakespeares (two weekend workshops)

Rac(e)ing the Shakespearean Archive: Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction New Orleans (weekend workshop – rescheduled)

Co-sponsored with the Departments of English and Theatre and Dance at Tulane University, in conjunction with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane (NOCGS).

Gilding the Guilt: The Gilded Age, Craft Production, and the Construction of Cultural Capital (weekend workshop – rescheduled)

Co-Sponsored with the Departments of English and Theatre and Dance at the University of Buffalo, and the University at Buffalo Library, and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library


The Global Atlantic (yearlong colloquium)

Co-Sponsored with Johns Hopkins University


Intermediate and Advanced Paleography (skills course)

Co-Sponsored with Queen’s University Belfast


Global Early Modern Trans Studies