Difference between revisions of "Folger Institute scholarly programs archive"

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This article serves as a repository for past scholarly programming at the [[Folger Institute]]. [http://www.folger.edu/fi_anniv/index.htm?CFID=59709254&CFTOKEN=18444360 Folger Institute 40th Anniversary site].
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This article serves as a repository for past scholarly programming at the [[Folger Institute]].  
  
===2013-2014 Folger Institute programs===
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[http://www.folger.edu/fi_anniv/index.htm?CFID=59709254&CFTOKEN=18444360 Folger Institute 40th Anniversary site].
  
'''Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography'''
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===2014-2015 Folger Institute programs===
:An NEH Collaborative Research Conference
 
:Spring 2014
 
:There is no more iconic figure with whom to push forward a fresh critical evaluation of the aims and methods of literary biography than Shakespeare. Within the academy, textual analysis often denies biography any explanatory force, while popular conceptions of Shakespeare look to biography precisely for insight into the works. In the standoff, the genre of literary biography is lost as a subject of serious inquiry. On the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth, the Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies will undertake a rigorous investigation of the multiple—and conflicted—roles biography plays in the reception of Shakespeare today. A cadre of influential scholars, many of whom have written biographies of Shakespeare, will focus discussion on such topics as the distinctions between authorship and agency, the interpretations of documentary evidence, the impact of methods of dating texts on an understanding of Shakespeare’s life, the broadened context for that life of a more robust understanding of theatrical activity, and the possibility that biography is itself a form of historical fiction. The conference opens Thursday evening with a session that doubles as Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture. In his presentation on “Shakespeare, Biography & Anti-Biography,” Brian Cummings will assay the problem of writing a life of Shakespeare.
 
:'''Organizers''': '''Brian Cummings''' (Anniversary Professor of English, University of York), '''Kathleen Lynch''', and '''David Schalkwyk'''.
 
:'''Speakers''': Tarnya Cooper (National Portrait Gallery), Ian Donaldson (University of Melbourne), John Drakakis (University of Stirling), Katherine Duncan-Jones (Somerville College, Oxford), Lawrence Goldman (St. Peter’s College, Oxford), Stephen Greenblatt (Harvard University), Margreta de Grazia (University of Pennsylvania), Graham Holderness (University of Hertfordshire), Julia Reinhard Lupton (University of California, Irvine), Jack Lynch (Rutgers University), Lena Cowen Orlin (Georgetown University), Lois Potter (University of Delaware), Joseph Roach (Yale University), David Schalkwyk (Queen Mary University of London and University of Warwick), and William H. Sherman (University of York)
 
  
'''Rogues, Gypsies, and Outsiders: Early Modern People on the Margins'''
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'''Renaissance/Early Modern Translation'''
:David Cressy
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:A. E. B. Coldiron
:Late-Spring Faculty Weekend Seminar
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:Year-Long Afternoon Colloquium
:Focused on early modern England, but incorporating participant research interests that involve Ireland, the rest of Britain, and continental Europe, this seminar attends to people on the margins of settled society. Its subjects are mountebanks and wanderers, tale-tellers and tricksters, vagrants, Gypsies, prostitutes, discharged soldiers, and the roving poor, who appear from time to time in both literary and documentary sources. Pirates, outlaws, rogues, rebels, fortune tellers, cunning folk, sexual misfits, and “the canting crew” also inhabited this world of poverty and the picaresque, along with ethnic and religious outsiders. Studying these marginal people exposes strains and contradictions in culture and society and shows how the establishment dealt with anomalies. Marginality may need to be de-glamorized, and its fascination reconsidered. The seminar will reconnect older work on “cony catchers” and the Elizabethan underworld with recent scholarship on outsiders and transgression. It will consider the social, legal and economic circumstances of marginality, as well as literary and artistic representations from Thomas Harman’s A ''Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors Vulgarely Called Vagabones'' (1567) to Richard Head’s ''The English Rogue: Containing a brief Discovery of the most Eminent Cheats, Robberies, and other Extravagancies, by him Committed'' (1688).
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:'''Director''': David Cressy is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus and George III Professor of British History at The Ohio State University. His many publications include books on literacy, migration, commemoration, ritual, transgression, and seditious speech. He is currently working on the reign of Charles I and on Gypsies in early modern England.
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This colloquium is designed for faculty members and advanced graduate students working on projects about the theory and practice of early modern translation, and most sessions will center on developing the pre-circulated work of participants. Because translation was a pervasive mode of literary-cultural transformation in the Renaissance, and because translation now challenges major critical categories such as authorship and periodization, it animates historical and theoretical inquiries alike. Current database projects such as the Universal Short Title Catalogue and the Renaissance Cultural Crossroads Catalogue  have expanded our factual basis for studying translations; after the cultural turn in translation studies, new scholarship has theorized and historicized translation. In light of this new work, the colloquium will rethink perennial Renaissance topics such as the appropriation of antiquity, emergent literary nationhoods, and vernacularity. Gender, empire, textuality, multilingualism, and the transculturation of ideologies, for example, may also inform our work. Other welcome topics include the so-called “untranslatables” (such as translated literary genres and forms, music, clothing, or architecture). Both early modern and contemporary translation theories will ground our reading of the translations treated in participants’ projects.
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'''Director''': A. E. B. Coldiron is Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty in French at Florida State University. She serves on the editorial board of the Tudor and Stuart Translations series for the ''Modern Humanities Research Association''. Author of numerous articles and three books on early modern and late-medieval translation, her most recent title is ''Printers Without Borders: Englishing Texts in the Renaissance'' (forthcoming 2014).
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'''Schedule''': Fridays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., 10 October, 7 November, 5 December 2014; 16 January, 20 February, 20 March, 24 April, and 22 May 2015.
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'''Apply''': 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 5 September 2014 for admission only.
  
'''Jews, Christians, and Hebraic Scholarship in Early Modern Europe'''
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'''Researching the Archive'''
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:Jean E. Howard and  Pamela H. Smith
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:Year-long Dissertation Seminar
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Designed for doctoral candidates in History and English at work on their dissertations, this monthly seminar will address the scholarly issues raised by the projects of its participants and by the kinds of archival material under investigation. It will encourage participants to consider their projects in the context of broad methodological and theoretical problems in early modern studies, especially in collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship. It will scrutinize the evidentiary use of primary sources, whether those at the Folger Shakespeare Library or available online. Applicants should consult with their dissertation directors before applying to ensure that their work is at a stage that would benefit from the seminar. Admission will depend in part on the dissertation director’s written certification of that fact, with preference given to candidates who have completed course work and preliminary exams or the equivalent. Applicants should be preparing a prospectus or beginning to write chapters. Those whose dissertations are substantially complete will not be competitive applicants. Preference will also be given to those who will make significant use of the Library’s collections as part of each monthly visit. The grant-in-aid allows for an average of two nights’ stay per session.
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'''Co-Directors''': Jean E. Howard is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University where she teaches early modern literature and the history of theater. Her 2008 book, ''Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642'', won the Bernard Hewitt Award of the American Society for Theatre Research. She is completing work on the 3rd edition of The Norton Shakespeare and a new book on the history play from Shakespeare to Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill. Pamela H. Smith is the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of books on alchemy, artisans, and the making of knowledge. Recent ones include ''The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution'' (2004) and ''Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge'' (with Amy R. W. Meyers and Harold C. Cook, 2014). Her present research reconstructs the vernacular knowledge of early modern European miners and metalworkers.
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'''Schedule''': Fridays, 1:00 – 4:30 pm., 3 October, 24 October, 21 November, 6 December 2014 (a Saturday); 23 January, 13 February, 13 March, and 10 April 2015.
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'''Apply''': 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid. Please note that eligibility is restricted to consortium affiliates only.
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'''Narratives of Conversion in Reformation Europe, ca. 1550-1700'''
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:Simon Ditchfield and Helen Smith
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:Fall Faculty Weekend Seminar
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Can there be conversion without narrative? This seminar investigates the narrative sources and the source narratives of conversion produced in Europe and its colonies in an age that witnessed not only the Protestant and Catholic Reformations (as well as the so-called voyages of “discovery”) but also the apogee of Ottoman power in Europe and the Mediterranean. Twelve to sixteen faculty participants will collaboratively consider the place and effect of narrative structures in religious change, and the diversity of narratives (from court records to letters, and from painting to poetry) which articulate conversion as concept and practice. Issues include whether narratives are necessarily social, and what kinds of identity were called into being by the fragmented narratives of transformation and by the possibility of one individual existing under multiple names and within multiple narrative arcs. Are particular narratives specific to confessions? Is there a Catholic or Protestant conversion narrative, or do the two share tropes for conversion as the intensification of feeling? The seminar welcomes literary critics, historians, art historians, and scholars of religion and material culture with current research projects that challenge the concept that the conversion narrative exists as a coherent genre, and that investigate the narrative seepages, transformations, and turns that structured and effected individual and social conversions.
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'''Co-Directors''': Simon Ditchfield is Reader in History at the University of York. He recently published ''Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World'' (2013, with Katherine Van Liere and Howard Louthan). He is currently completing a volume for the Oxford History of the Christian Church series entitled, ''Papacy and Peoples: The Making of Roman Catholicism as a World Religion 1500-1700''. Helen Smith is Reader in Renaissance Literature at the University of York. Her publications include ''Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England'' (2012) and ''Renaissance Paratexts'' (co-edited with Louise Wilson, 2013). Together they directed the AHRC project ''Conversion Narratives in Early Modern Europe''. Their edited collection on Gender and Conversion is forthcoming.
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'''Schedule''': All day Friday and Saturday, 12 and 13 September 2014.
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'''Apply''': 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid.
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'''Performing Restoration Shakespeare'''
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:Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Richard Schoch
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:Fall Weekend Workshop
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In most studies of Restoration Shakespeare, the overwhelming concentration on textual adaptation loses sight of the reality that it was multimedia theatre, featuring music, dance, and scenery. This workshop will redress the imbalance by asking some new questions: How can direct engagement with theatrical performance enrich an understanding of Restoration Shakespeare? How can theatre practice articulate meaningful research questions? Participants will tackle these questions through an innovative workshop that integrates hands-on practical work in the [[Folger Theatre]]—with actors, musicians, and singers—with scholarly readings and discussion. To focus this activity, participants and professionals will stage and analyze selected scenes from William Davenant’s operatic version of ''Macbeth'' (ca. 1663/4, with additional revivals in 1673, ca. 1695, and 1702) and Charles Gildon’s adaptation of ''Measure for Measure'' (1700). With the musical contributions of [[Folger Consort]] Co-Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein and other performaning artists, the workshop promises to open up new areas for studying and teaching Restoration Shakespeare by combining primary sources from the Folger’s collections (including musical scores, promptbooks, and performance iconography), an interdisciplinary approach that unites musicology and theatre history, and a willingness to see performance theory and performance practice as mutually enriching.
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'''Co-Directors''': Amanda Eubanks Winker is Associate Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University. She is author of ''O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage'' (2006) and ''Music for Macbeth'' (2004). Her current book project concerns music and dance in early modern English schools. Richard Schoch is Professor of Drama at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of ''Shakespeare’s Victorian Stage'' (1998) and ''Not Shakespeare'' (2002) and the editor of ''Great Shakespeareans: Macready, Booth, Terry, Irving'' (2011) and ''Victorian Theatrical Burlesques'' (2003). He is currently writing a book on British theatre historiography from the Restoration to the Twentieth Century.
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'''Schedule''': All day Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 November.
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'''Apply''': 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid.
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'''Science in Early Modern Atlantic World Cultures'''
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:María M. Portuondo
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:Fall Semester Seminar
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Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, the lens through which early modern Europeans understood the natural world changed dramatically. The framework of natural philosophy that had long served Europeans collapsed in the face of contact with the Americas, an increasing skepticism about ancient philosophies, and the development of a new experimental science that in the words of Francis Bacon promised to “try the whole thing anew.” This seminar will explore how these and other changes in natural philosophy were reflected in a wide range of cultural products created or consumed in the early modern Atlantic world. Participants will study natural philosophical ideas as they appeared in literary genres such as poetry, utopias, and travel narratives. They will also examine the visual culture of this Atlantic space for clues about changing conceptions of the natural world. The expedition will encompass Anglophone, French, Portuguese and Hispanic regions and will pay careful attention to hybrid cultural products that reflect the interaction between indigenous cultures and the (changing) European understanding of the natural world.
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'''Director''': María M. Portuondo is Associate Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. Her book, ''Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World'' (2009), studied how Spanish cosmographers sought to integrate the New World into the conceptual framework of Renaissance science. Her current focus is on the natural philosopher and biblical scholar, Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598).
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'''Schedule''': Fridays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 3 October through 12 December 2014, excluding 10 October, 7 November, and 28 November. The first and last sessions will convene from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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'''Apply''': 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 5 September 2014 for admission only for consortium members, and grants-in-aid for non-consortium members.  Support from The Kislak Family Foundation extends grant-in-aid eligibility to graduate students and faculty nationwide.
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'''Advanced Early Modern English Paleography'''
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:Heather Wolfe
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:December Weeklong Workshop
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This workshop provides intermediate and advanced paleographers with the opportunity to tackle some of the Folger's many challenging manuscripts in a collaborative environment. It is part of the Folger [[Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO)]] project, which is funded by a major grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Twelve to sixteen participants will select manuscripts from the Folger collections to transcribe while beta-testing a newly developed transcription software platform. They will work with the EMMO project team to refine their transcriptions before contributing them to the EMMO corpus. Some sessions will be devoted to participants' describing the research questions that currently engage them, evaluating each others' trranscriptions, and discussing digital mark-up and quality control issues. (No previous mark-up experience is necessary). In their application materials, applicants should describe the means by which they acquired their paleographic skill. Applicants are also welcome to indicate which previously unedited Folger manuscript or manuscripts they would be interested in transcribing.
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'''Director''': Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the [[Folger Shakespeare Library]]. She has written various essays on early modern manuscript culture, and has most recently edited ''The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 1613-1680'' (2007) and ''The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232'' (2007).
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'''Schedule''': All day Monday through Friday, 8 – 12 December 2014.
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'''Apply''': 5 September 2014. IMLS funding and funding from other sources extends travel and lodging award eligibility to all admitted participants.
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'''Shakespeare’s Language'''
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:Lynne Magnusson
 
:Spring Symposium
 
:Spring Symposium
:In collaboration with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the Folger Institute will host a daylong symposium on the issues of social, cultural, and religious change in early modern Europe that are the focus of the Katz Center’s 2013-14 fellowship program. Case studies for discussion will draw from Folger holdings.
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:'''Organizer''': David B. Ruderman (Ella Darivoff Director of the Herbert D.Katz Center)
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If the Muses themselves spoke English, they would speak with “Shakespeare’s fine-filed phrase,” Francis Meres commented in 1598, suggesting that Shakespeare’s linguistic art tapped the emerging potential of the English language and extended its resources. Sponsored by the [[Folger Institute]] [[Center for Shakespeare Studies program archive|Center for Shakespeare Studies]] as part of its triennial anniversary programming, this symposium will gather several dozen scholars with relevant research and teaching interests to explore Shakespeare’s still resonant language. With the help of invited session leaders, participants will consider reinvigorated contexts and new tools for its illumination and assessment. Four hundred years on, linguistic change is itself an important context, and the symposium will address not only variation in early modern English but also the effects of subsequent language change, changing perceptions of English, and translation on Shakespeare’s verbal art and its reception. Revisiting Renaissance education in the arts of language, symposium participants will ask how new perspectives on the everyday theatricality of the Latin schoolroom or its grammatical and rhetorical culture might inflect understanding of Shakespeare’s language. Turning to current-day tools, the symposium will look at how discourse analysis has developed beyond speech-act theory, whether reading Shakespeare’s performative utterance as passionate action, cognitive processing, or dialogic negotiation. With computer-assisted analysis of texts and large corpora rapidly transforming language study, the symposium will also create opportunities to try out some relevant tools for digital text-analysis.
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'''Organizer''': Lynne Magnusson is Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She is currently working on a book on ''The Transformation of the English Letter, 1500-1620'', a second book on ways to rethink Shakespeare’s language historically, and an edition of [[William Shakespeare’s sonnets]].
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'''Schedule''': The symposium opens Thursday evening, 16 April, when Professor Magnusson will deliver Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture on “Shakespeare and the Language of Possibility,” and will continue all day Friday and Saturday, 17 – 18 April 2015. Invited session leaders will pose framing questions that invite general discussion.
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'''Apply''': 12 January 2015 for admission and grants-in-aid.
  
'''English Paleography'''
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'''The Scale of Catastrophe: Ecology and Transition, Medieval to Early Modern'''
:Heather Wolfe, Folger Curator of Manuscripts
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:Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
:Mellon Summer Institute in Vernacular Paleography
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:Spring Semester Seminar
:Supported by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this four-week course will provide an intensive introduction to reading and transcribing secretary and italic handwriting in the Tudor-Stuart period. Fifteen participants will also experiment with contemporary writing materials, learn the terminology and conventions for describing and editing early modern manuscripts, and, as time allows, discuss the important and evolving role of handwritten documents within a wider context of print, manuscript, and oral cultures. The institute emphasizes the skills needed for the accurate reading and transcription of texts, but attention may also be given to the instruments of research, codicology, analytical bibliography, and textual editing. Examples will be drawn from the manuscript collections of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
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:'''Director''': Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has written various essays on early modern manuscript culture, and has most recently edited ''The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 1613-1680'' (2007) and ''The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232'' (2007).
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Medieval and early modern texts share a vocabulary for catastrophe that intermixes deluge (the Flood that only Noah and his family survived) and incineration (the advent of apocalypse and the purging of the mortal world). Although one was in the distant past and never supposed to arrive again, the other to blaze forth at some uncertain future, both fire and flood tended to be invoked to mark historical breaks and anxious moments of transition. This seminar will pair medieval texts fascinated by survival in the face of cataclysm with early modern ones that carry the stories they offer into new realms. Participants will investigate the scale of catastrophe stories, where scale is both size (local versus cosmic) and structure, a ladder (scala) that arranges nature into a hierarchy. They will also consider the gender of catastrophe, and map whether women tell different stories against and within catastrophe from men. Readings frequently pair medieval texts with early modern ones that reinterpreted them. Medieval primary texts may include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, Des Grantz Geanz, the Chester play of Noah’s Flood, and Chaucer’s “Franklin’s Tale” and “Miller’s Tale.” Early modern readings may include Hooke’s ''Micrographia'', Raleigh’s ''Discovery of Guyana'', Holinshed’s ''Chronicles'', and several plays by Shakespeare before considering Defoe’s ''Robinson Crusoe''.
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'''Director''': Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is Professor of English and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at The George Washington University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including ''Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green'' (2013), ''Medieval Identity Machines'' (2003), and ''Monster Theory: Reading Culture'' (1996). His book ''Stories of Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman'' is forthcoming.
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'''Schedule''': Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 29 January through 23 April 2015, excluding 12 March, 2 April, and 9 April.
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'''Apply''': 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.
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'''Debating Capitalism: Early Modern Political Economies'''
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:Julia Rudolph  and Carl Wennerlind
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:Spring Semester Seminar
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Emerging discourses of political economy offered a series of powerful analytical frameworks for understanding and shaping the profound changes underway in early modern Europe and its empires. Sponsored by the Center for the History of British Political Thought, this seminar will trace a number of different traditions of political economy, primarily from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and explore some of the vibrant debates that took place over the nature of improvement and prosperity. Participants will explore the interplay between self-interest and moral sentiments, the ethics of pleasure and luxury, the changing definitions of credit and reputation, and the growing problems of poverty, inequality, and criminality. Careful attention will be paid to the ways in which political economy was embedded in discourses about natural history and religion, moral philosophy and political theory, gender and law. The seminar will mix readings in sources and recent scholarship with discussion of seminar members’ projects on these and related themes. Canonical (Locke, Mandeville, Hume, Rousseau, and Smith) and quasi-canonical writings on political economy will be studied alongside related literary and legal texts. While the majority of the readings will come from England, Scotland, and France, others, to be read in translation, were produced in the Dutch Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.
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'''Co-Directors''': Julia Rudolph is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University. Her most recent publication is ''Common Law and Enlightenment in England 1689-1750'' (2013), and she is currently at work on two new projects: one about the history of English mortgage law and one about the history of judicial power in early modern Ireland. Carl Wennerlind is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University. After publishing ''Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620-1720'' (2011), he is currently working on two books, one about the history of the idea of scarcity and one about science, spirituality, and political economy during Sweden’s “Age of Greatness.”
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'''Schedule''': Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 29 January through 23 April 2015, excluding 19 February, 12 March, and 9 April.
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'''Apply''': 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.
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'''A Folger Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas'''
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:Alan B. Farmer
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:Spring Semester Seminar
  
'''Where Was Political Thought in England, c. 1600-1642?'''
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This seminar will illustrate and exemplify graduate-level work in the humanities, surveying the tools of research in early modern studies through a semester-long immersion in one of the world’s major Renaissance collections. Representative fields and approaches addressed will include various forms of historiography (e.g., theatrical, cultural, social, scientific, and political), the book as a material object, the visual analysis of images, manuscript studies, and editorial practice. Participants will develop their research skills through a series of exercises linked to the strengths and ranges of the collection and current trends and debates in scholarship. They will develop potential research projects; identify and discuss theses and hypotheses; and engage with the varieties of expertise found in the scholarly community at the Folger Shakespeare Library, including those of fellows and professional staff. Each student will assemble a portfolio of exercises throughout the term, with copies of all to be shared so that students are prepared for further graduate work with a broad-based sourcebook for early modern studies.
:Fall Symposium
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:This symposium asks about the spaces and places within which political thought was conducted, circulated, and debated in the decades leading up to the Parliamentary crisis of 1642, and it does so with a format that is designed to open up to general discussion from comments and framing questions set by session leaders. All political thinking occurred within identifiable institutions, arenas, and even buildings, but the ways in which these spaces shaped political thought have rarely been comprehensively assessed. What value might there be if the history of political thought were to follow a variety of other historical fields in taking a “spatial turn”? Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought, this symposium will bring together several dozen scholars interested in the early seventeenth century to address the distinctive kinds of political thought that emerged from country houses and aristocratic households, in universities and theatres, at the Inns of Court and the common-law courts, or from chartered companies and colonial settlements. How did they differ from, and how might they have converged with, the political thinking conducted in Westminster Hall or at Paul’s Cross? How did political thought circulate among these spaces, in what forms, and with what transformative effects as it moved?
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'''Director''': Alan B. Farmer is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is the co-creator (with Zachary Lesser) of [http://deep.sas.upenn.edu/ DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks] and the co-editor (with Adam Zucker) of ''Localizing Caroline Drama'' (2006). The author of essays on Jonson, Shakespeare, and the early modern book trade, he is currently completing book projects on print and popularity in Shakespeare’s England and on playbooks, newsbooks, and the politics of the Thirty Years’ War in England.
:'''Session leaders''': Christy Anderson (University of Toronto), Christopher Brooks (Durham University), Thomas Cogswell (University of California, Riverside), David Como (Stanford University), Andrew Fitzmaurice (University of Sydney), Cynthia Herrup (University of Southern California), Ann Hughes (Keele University), Julia Merritt (University of Nottingham), Noah Millstone (Harvard University), Mary Morrissey (University of Reading), Sarah Mortimer (Christ Church, Oxford), Alan Orr (Maryland Institute College of Art), Carla Gardina Pestana (UCLA), Richard Serjeantson (Trinity College, Cambridge), Barbara Shapiro (University of California, Berkeley), Philip J. Stern (Duke University), and Jenny Wormald (University of Edinburgh) have been invited to start conversations on these and related questions.  
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'''Schedule''': Fridays, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 6 February through 24 April 2015, excluding 3 April and 10 April.
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'''Apply''': 2 December 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid. The course is designed for students in the first two years of graduate study. Applicants should briefly describe their ambitions for graduate study and indicate their understanding of the role of research in those studies. Examples may be drawn from their undergraduate courses as well as from their graduate courses.
  
'''Researching the Archive'''
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'''Afterlife of the Reformation: Embodied Souls and their Rivals'''
:Karen Ordahl Kupperman and Peter Stallybrass
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:Brad Gregory
:Year-Long Dissertation Seminar
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:Spring Semester Seminar
:Designed for doctoral candidates in History and English at work on their dissertations, this monthly seminar will address the scholarly issues raised by the projects of its participants and by the kinds of archival material under investigation. It will encourage participants to consider their projects in the context of broad methodological and theoretical problems in early modern studies, especially in collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship. It will scrutinize the evidentiary use of primary sources, whether those at the Folger Shakespeare Library or available online. Applicants should consult with their dissertation directors before applying to ensure that their work is at a stage that would benefit from the seminar. Admission will depend in part on the dissertation director’s written certification of that fact, with preference given to candidates who have completed course work and preliminary exams or the equivalent. Applicants should be preparing a prospectus or beginning to write chapters. Those whose dissertations are substantially complete will not be competitive applicants. Preference will also be given to those who will make significant use of the Library’s collections as part of each monthly visit. The grant-in-aid allows for an average of two nights’ stay per session.
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:'''Directors''': Karen Ordahl Kupperman is Silver Professor of History at New York University. Among her recent publications are an edition of Richard Ligon’s ''True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados'' (2011), ''The Atlantic in World History'' (2012), and ''The Jamestown Project'' (2007). Her current research centers on music as a mode of communication in the early modern world and music’s links to universal language projects. Peter Stallybrass is Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the History of Material Texts. His Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography on “Printing for Manuscript” will be published next year by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is at present working with Roger Chartier on a history of the book from wax tablets to e-books.
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Since the sixteenth century, the embodied souls of medieval Latin Christianity have both persisted and been reinterpreted in myriad ways. Conceptions of human corporeality have converged in the modern era with the advance of modern biology and medicine, whereas conceptions of human souls have diverged in an open-ended range of religious and secular views about what human beings are. The early modern period lies at the heart of these processes, as Catholic and Protestant controversialists squared off with conflicting theological anthropologies, learned scholars revived and transformed ancient philosophical ideas, extra-European peoples presented different views of human beings, and foundationalist philosophers sought to answer on the basis of reason alone what human beings are and what they should be. This multidisciplinary seminar seeks advanced graduate students as well as faculty working on projects that address conceptions of human nature from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. It welcomes historians of ideas, religion, culture, the body, and medicine, as well as scholars from departments of literature, religious studies, political science, theology, and philosophy with projects anchored in early modern Europe, including its colonial and global commercial contexts. Participants will have opportunities to share their work-in-progress, whether dissertation chapters, book chapters, or articles.
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'''Director''': Brad Gregory is Professor of History and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, ''The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society'' (2012), examined the continuing impact of the Reformation era’s conflicts on the contemporary Western world. He is currently working on a history of rival views of human nature from the Middle Ages to the present.
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'''Schedule''': Fridays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 6 February through 24 April 2015, excluding 6 March and 3 April.
 
   
 
   
'''Political Theologies in Early Modern Literature'''
+
'''Apply''': 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.
:Lorna Hutson and Victoria Kahn
 
:Fall Faculty Weekend Seminar
 
:For some scholars, political theology refers to the transcendental grounding of political authority; for others it names the problem of the relationship between politics and theology in the early modern state; and for still others it conjures up the range of early modern conceptions of political authority as a product of the literary imagination. This seminar will take up the problem of political theology in the early modern period, focusing on both literary and political texts, and on recent secondary work in the field of early modern studies. Drawing on the work of Carl Schmitt, Ernst Kantorowicz, and others, twelve to sixteen faculty participants will bring their own research questions to bear as they collaboratively explore the usefulness of these paradigms for thinking about early modern literature and political theory. The seminar will begin by considering the relationship between politics and theology as a question of legal authority, including debates over the jurisdiction of the soul, over royal prerogative, and over national sovereignty in early modern England and Scotland. Discussion will also focus on the relationship between political theology and what the Florentine Neoplatonists called poetic theology as derived from Boccaccio and Ficino, Machiavelli and Hobbes, Marlowe and Milton.
 
:'''Directors''': Lorna Hutson is the Berry Professor of English Literature at the University of St Andrews. Her books include ''The Usurer’s Daughter'' (1994) and ''The Invention of Suspicion: Law and Mimesis in Shakespeare and Renaissance English Drama'' (2007). She is working with Bradin Cormack on ''The Oxford Handbook to English Law and Literature, 1500-1700''. Victoria Kahn is Katharine Bixby Hotchkis Chair of English and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of ''Wayward Contracts: The Crisis of Political Obligation in England, 1640-1674'' and of ''The Future of Illusion: Political Theology and Early Modern Texts'' (forthcoming).
 
  
'''[[:File:Norton.pdf|Entangled Trajectories: Integrating European and Native American Histories]]'''
 
:Marcy Norton
 
:Fall Semester Seminar
 
:No one would dispute that the trajectories of European and Native American cultures and societies were enmeshed after 1492. Yet it is the premise of this seminar that we have only begun to fully understand the repercussions of these entanglements for Europe. Soldiers, colonists, missionaries, readers, and consumers were profoundly affected by their exposure to radically different ways of organizing life, and these effects permeated European culture. What if we take seriously indigenous men and women as participants—not merely as objects—in the re-making of intellectual history in the Atlantic world? The seminar, supported by The Kislak Family Foundation and organized in collaboration with the Early American Working Group, will make use of The Jay I. Kislak Collection at the Library of Congress. While participants’ own research interests will determine the final shape of the investigation, topics may include: How did early modern missionary, natural history and lexigraphical genres reflect the participation of Amerindian collaborators? How might early modern sources help us read contemporary ethnographic texts of indigenous communities, and vice versa? How many degrees separated European writers such as Montaigne and Hobbes from Amerindian informants? What kinds of histories emerge when we read their texts alongside Native American cultural and natural artifacts (featherworks, furs, parrots)? How might an investigation of indigenous perspectives inform our readings of such canonical authors?
 
:'''Director''': Marcy Norton is Associate Professor of History at The George Washington University. Her publications include ''Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World'' (2008) and “Going to the Birds: Animals as Things and Beings in Early Modernity” (2010). Her current research concerns human-animal relationships in Europe and Native America after 1492.
 
 
'''Constructing and Representing Authorship in Early Modern England'''
 
:Barbara K. Lewalski
 
:Year-Long Afternoon Colloquium
 
:This colloquium is designed for faculty members and advanced graduate students at work on projects pertaining to the conception or practice of authorship in sixteenth and seventeenth century England. Recent scholarship has put under continual revision the Romantics’ conception of the independent, sovereign author by emphasizing collaboration, borrowing, coterie audiences, the practices of the printing house, and censorship. Such approaches are welcome from colloquium participants as are investigations into how particular early modern English authors (or groups of authors) themselves wrote about or dealt with such issues as genre, literary tradition, models, imitation, inspiration, Muses, audience, wit, and the value and uses of poetry. Sources include treatises about poetics such as Sidney’s Defense of Poesy , letters and other formulations, marginalia, funeral elegies for writers, and fictional portrayals of the authorial role (e.g., Sidney’s Philisides and Astrophil, Spenser’s Colin Clout, Wroth’s Pamphilia). Sessions will generally center upon discussion of participants’ pre-circulated works in progress.
 
:'''Director''': Barbara K. Lewalski taught at Harvard and Brown Universities and is now William R. Kenan Jr. Research Professor of History and Literature and of English at Harvard. Some recent books include ''The Life of John Milton: A Critical Biography'' (2000, 2003) and ''Writing Women in Jacobean England'' (1995). She is currently writing a book on “Early Modern Authorship, Sidney to Milton.”
 
  
 
== Past programs==
 
== Past programs==
 
===2011-present===
 
===2011-present===
 +
 +
*[[Jews, Christians, and Hebraic Scholarship in Early Modern Europe (symposium)]] (2014)
 +
*[[Rogues, Gypsies, and Outsiders: Early Modern People on the Margins (seminar)]] (2014)
 +
*[[Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography (conference)]] (2014)
 
*[[A Folger Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas (seminar)]] (2014)
 
*[[A Folger Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas (seminar)]] (2014)
* [[Law as Politics in England and the Empire, ca. 1600-1830 (seminar)]] (2013)
+
*[[Constructing and Representing Authorship in Early Modern England (colloquium)]] (2013)
 +
*[[Entangled Trajectories: Integrating European and Native American Histories (seminar)]] (2013)
 +
*[[Political Theologies in Early Modern Literature (seminar)]] (2013)
 +
*[[Where Was Political Thought in England, c. 1600-1642? (symposium)]] (2013)
 +
*[[English Paleography (seminar)]] (2013)
 +
*[[Law as Politics in England and the Empire, ca. 1600-1830 (seminar)]] (2013)
 
*[[An Introduction to Research Methods at the Folger (seminar)]] (2013)
 
*[[An Introduction to Research Methods at the Folger (seminar)]] (2013)
 
*[[Acquiring Education: Early Modern Women's Pedagogies (seminar)]] (2013)
 
*[[Acquiring Education: Early Modern Women's Pedagogies (seminar)]] (2013)

Revision as of 09:32, 29 July 2014

This article serves as a repository for past scholarly programming at the Folger Institute.

Folger Institute 40th Anniversary site.

2014-2015 Folger Institute programs

Renaissance/Early Modern Translation

A. E. B. Coldiron
Year-Long Afternoon Colloquium

This colloquium is designed for faculty members and advanced graduate students working on projects about the theory and practice of early modern translation, and most sessions will center on developing the pre-circulated work of participants. Because translation was a pervasive mode of literary-cultural transformation in the Renaissance, and because translation now challenges major critical categories such as authorship and periodization, it animates historical and theoretical inquiries alike. Current database projects such as the Universal Short Title Catalogue and the Renaissance Cultural Crossroads Catalogue have expanded our factual basis for studying translations; after the cultural turn in translation studies, new scholarship has theorized and historicized translation. In light of this new work, the colloquium will rethink perennial Renaissance topics such as the appropriation of antiquity, emergent literary nationhoods, and vernacularity. Gender, empire, textuality, multilingualism, and the transculturation of ideologies, for example, may also inform our work. Other welcome topics include the so-called “untranslatables” (such as translated literary genres and forms, music, clothing, or architecture). Both early modern and contemporary translation theories will ground our reading of the translations treated in participants’ projects.

Director: A. E. B. Coldiron is Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty in French at Florida State University. She serves on the editorial board of the Tudor and Stuart Translations series for the Modern Humanities Research Association. Author of numerous articles and three books on early modern and late-medieval translation, her most recent title is Printers Without Borders: Englishing Texts in the Renaissance (forthcoming 2014).

Schedule: Fridays, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., 10 October, 7 November, 5 December 2014; 16 January, 20 February, 20 March, 24 April, and 22 May 2015.

Apply: 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 5 September 2014 for admission only.

Researching the Archive

Jean E. Howard and Pamela H. Smith
Year-long Dissertation Seminar

Designed for doctoral candidates in History and English at work on their dissertations, this monthly seminar will address the scholarly issues raised by the projects of its participants and by the kinds of archival material under investigation. It will encourage participants to consider their projects in the context of broad methodological and theoretical problems in early modern studies, especially in collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship. It will scrutinize the evidentiary use of primary sources, whether those at the Folger Shakespeare Library or available online. Applicants should consult with their dissertation directors before applying to ensure that their work is at a stage that would benefit from the seminar. Admission will depend in part on the dissertation director’s written certification of that fact, with preference given to candidates who have completed course work and preliminary exams or the equivalent. Applicants should be preparing a prospectus or beginning to write chapters. Those whose dissertations are substantially complete will not be competitive applicants. Preference will also be given to those who will make significant use of the Library’s collections as part of each monthly visit. The grant-in-aid allows for an average of two nights’ stay per session.

Co-Directors: Jean E. Howard is George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University where she teaches early modern literature and the history of theater. Her 2008 book, Theater of a City: The Places of London Comedy 1598-1642, won the Bernard Hewitt Award of the American Society for Theatre Research. She is completing work on the 3rd edition of The Norton Shakespeare and a new book on the history play from Shakespeare to Tony Kushner and Caryl Churchill. Pamela H. Smith is the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of books on alchemy, artisans, and the making of knowledge. Recent ones include The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (2004) and Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge (with Amy R. W. Meyers and Harold C. Cook, 2014). Her present research reconstructs the vernacular knowledge of early modern European miners and metalworkers.

Schedule: Fridays, 1:00 – 4:30 pm., 3 October, 24 October, 21 November, 6 December 2014 (a Saturday); 23 January, 13 February, 13 March, and 10 April 2015.

Apply: 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid. Please note that eligibility is restricted to consortium affiliates only.

Narratives of Conversion in Reformation Europe, ca. 1550-1700

Simon Ditchfield and Helen Smith
Fall Faculty Weekend Seminar

Can there be conversion without narrative? This seminar investigates the narrative sources and the source narratives of conversion produced in Europe and its colonies in an age that witnessed not only the Protestant and Catholic Reformations (as well as the so-called voyages of “discovery”) but also the apogee of Ottoman power in Europe and the Mediterranean. Twelve to sixteen faculty participants will collaboratively consider the place and effect of narrative structures in religious change, and the diversity of narratives (from court records to letters, and from painting to poetry) which articulate conversion as concept and practice. Issues include whether narratives are necessarily social, and what kinds of identity were called into being by the fragmented narratives of transformation and by the possibility of one individual existing under multiple names and within multiple narrative arcs. Are particular narratives specific to confessions? Is there a Catholic or Protestant conversion narrative, or do the two share tropes for conversion as the intensification of feeling? The seminar welcomes literary critics, historians, art historians, and scholars of religion and material culture with current research projects that challenge the concept that the conversion narrative exists as a coherent genre, and that investigate the narrative seepages, transformations, and turns that structured and effected individual and social conversions.

Co-Directors: Simon Ditchfield is Reader in History at the University of York. He recently published Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World (2013, with Katherine Van Liere and Howard Louthan). He is currently completing a volume for the Oxford History of the Christian Church series entitled, Papacy and Peoples: The Making of Roman Catholicism as a World Religion 1500-1700. Helen Smith is Reader in Renaissance Literature at the University of York. Her publications include Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (2012) and Renaissance Paratexts (co-edited with Louise Wilson, 2013). Together they directed the AHRC project Conversion Narratives in Early Modern Europe. Their edited collection on Gender and Conversion is forthcoming.

Schedule: All day Friday and Saturday, 12 and 13 September 2014.

Apply: 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid.

Performing Restoration Shakespeare

Amanda Eubanks Winkler and Richard Schoch
Fall Weekend Workshop

In most studies of Restoration Shakespeare, the overwhelming concentration on textual adaptation loses sight of the reality that it was multimedia theatre, featuring music, dance, and scenery. This workshop will redress the imbalance by asking some new questions: How can direct engagement with theatrical performance enrich an understanding of Restoration Shakespeare? How can theatre practice articulate meaningful research questions? Participants will tackle these questions through an innovative workshop that integrates hands-on practical work in the Folger Theatre—with actors, musicians, and singers—with scholarly readings and discussion. To focus this activity, participants and professionals will stage and analyze selected scenes from William Davenant’s operatic version of Macbeth (ca. 1663/4, with additional revivals in 1673, ca. 1695, and 1702) and Charles Gildon’s adaptation of Measure for Measure (1700). With the musical contributions of Folger Consort Co-Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein and other performaning artists, the workshop promises to open up new areas for studying and teaching Restoration Shakespeare by combining primary sources from the Folger’s collections (including musical scores, promptbooks, and performance iconography), an interdisciplinary approach that unites musicology and theatre history, and a willingness to see performance theory and performance practice as mutually enriching.

Co-Directors: Amanda Eubanks Winker is Associate Professor of Music History and Cultures at Syracuse University. She is author of O Let Us Howle Some Heavy Note: Music for Witches, the Melancholic, and the Mad on the Seventeenth-Century English Stage (2006) and Music for Macbeth (2004). Her current book project concerns music and dance in early modern English schools. Richard Schoch is Professor of Drama at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Victorian Stage (1998) and Not Shakespeare (2002) and the editor of Great Shakespeareans: Macready, Booth, Terry, Irving (2011) and Victorian Theatrical Burlesques (2003). He is currently writing a book on British theatre historiography from the Restoration to the Twentieth Century.

Schedule: All day Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 November.

Apply: 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid.

Science in Early Modern Atlantic World Cultures

María M. Portuondo
Fall Semester Seminar

Between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries, the lens through which early modern Europeans understood the natural world changed dramatically. The framework of natural philosophy that had long served Europeans collapsed in the face of contact with the Americas, an increasing skepticism about ancient philosophies, and the development of a new experimental science that in the words of Francis Bacon promised to “try the whole thing anew.” This seminar will explore how these and other changes in natural philosophy were reflected in a wide range of cultural products created or consumed in the early modern Atlantic world. Participants will study natural philosophical ideas as they appeared in literary genres such as poetry, utopias, and travel narratives. They will also examine the visual culture of this Atlantic space for clues about changing conceptions of the natural world. The expedition will encompass Anglophone, French, Portuguese and Hispanic regions and will pay careful attention to hybrid cultural products that reflect the interaction between indigenous cultures and the (changing) European understanding of the natural world.

Director: María M. Portuondo is Associate Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. Her book, Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World (2009), studied how Spanish cosmographers sought to integrate the New World into the conceptual framework of Renaissance science. Her current focus is on the natural philosopher and biblical scholar, Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598).

Schedule: Fridays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 3 October through 12 December 2014, excluding 10 October, 7 November, and 28 November. The first and last sessions will convene from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Apply: 2 June 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 5 September 2014 for admission only for consortium members, and grants-in-aid for non-consortium members. Support from The Kislak Family Foundation extends grant-in-aid eligibility to graduate students and faculty nationwide.

Advanced Early Modern English Paleography

Heather Wolfe
December Weeklong Workshop

This workshop provides intermediate and advanced paleographers with the opportunity to tackle some of the Folger's many challenging manuscripts in a collaborative environment. It is part of the Folger Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) project, which is funded by a major grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Twelve to sixteen participants will select manuscripts from the Folger collections to transcribe while beta-testing a newly developed transcription software platform. They will work with the EMMO project team to refine their transcriptions before contributing them to the EMMO corpus. Some sessions will be devoted to participants' describing the research questions that currently engage them, evaluating each others' trranscriptions, and discussing digital mark-up and quality control issues. (No previous mark-up experience is necessary). In their application materials, applicants should describe the means by which they acquired their paleographic skill. Applicants are also welcome to indicate which previously unedited Folger manuscript or manuscripts they would be interested in transcribing.

Director: Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has written various essays on early modern manuscript culture, and has most recently edited The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 1613-1680 (2007) and The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232 (2007).

Schedule: All day Monday through Friday, 8 – 12 December 2014.

Apply: 5 September 2014. IMLS funding and funding from other sources extends travel and lodging award eligibility to all admitted participants.

Shakespeare’s Language

Lynne Magnusson
Spring Symposium

If the Muses themselves spoke English, they would speak with “Shakespeare’s fine-filed phrase,” Francis Meres commented in 1598, suggesting that Shakespeare’s linguistic art tapped the emerging potential of the English language and extended its resources. Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for Shakespeare Studies as part of its triennial anniversary programming, this symposium will gather several dozen scholars with relevant research and teaching interests to explore Shakespeare’s still resonant language. With the help of invited session leaders, participants will consider reinvigorated contexts and new tools for its illumination and assessment. Four hundred years on, linguistic change is itself an important context, and the symposium will address not only variation in early modern English but also the effects of subsequent language change, changing perceptions of English, and translation on Shakespeare’s verbal art and its reception. Revisiting Renaissance education in the arts of language, symposium participants will ask how new perspectives on the everyday theatricality of the Latin schoolroom or its grammatical and rhetorical culture might inflect understanding of Shakespeare’s language. Turning to current-day tools, the symposium will look at how discourse analysis has developed beyond speech-act theory, whether reading Shakespeare’s performative utterance as passionate action, cognitive processing, or dialogic negotiation. With computer-assisted analysis of texts and large corpora rapidly transforming language study, the symposium will also create opportunities to try out some relevant tools for digital text-analysis.

Organizer: Lynne Magnusson is Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She is currently working on a book on The Transformation of the English Letter, 1500-1620, a second book on ways to rethink Shakespeare’s language historically, and an edition of William Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Schedule: The symposium opens Thursday evening, 16 April, when Professor Magnusson will deliver Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture on “Shakespeare and the Language of Possibility,” and will continue all day Friday and Saturday, 17 – 18 April 2015. Invited session leaders will pose framing questions that invite general discussion.

Apply: 12 January 2015 for admission and grants-in-aid.

The Scale of Catastrophe: Ecology and Transition, Medieval to Early Modern

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
Spring Semester Seminar

Medieval and early modern texts share a vocabulary for catastrophe that intermixes deluge (the Flood that only Noah and his family survived) and incineration (the advent of apocalypse and the purging of the mortal world). Although one was in the distant past and never supposed to arrive again, the other to blaze forth at some uncertain future, both fire and flood tended to be invoked to mark historical breaks and anxious moments of transition. This seminar will pair medieval texts fascinated by survival in the face of cataclysm with early modern ones that carry the stories they offer into new realms. Participants will investigate the scale of catastrophe stories, where scale is both size (local versus cosmic) and structure, a ladder (scala) that arranges nature into a hierarchy. They will also consider the gender of catastrophe, and map whether women tell different stories against and within catastrophe from men. Readings frequently pair medieval texts with early modern ones that reinterpreted them. Medieval primary texts may include Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History, Des Grantz Geanz, the Chester play of Noah’s Flood, and Chaucer’s “Franklin’s Tale” and “Miller’s Tale.” Early modern readings may include Hooke’s Micrographia, Raleigh’s Discovery of Guyana, Holinshed’s Chronicles, and several plays by Shakespeare before considering Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

Director: Jeffrey Jerome Cohen is Professor of English and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute at The George Washington University. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green (2013), Medieval Identity Machines (2003), and Monster Theory: Reading Culture (1996). His book Stories of Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman is forthcoming.

Schedule: Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 29 January through 23 April 2015, excluding 12 March, 2 April, and 9 April.

Apply: 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.

Debating Capitalism: Early Modern Political Economies

Julia Rudolph and Carl Wennerlind
Spring Semester Seminar

Emerging discourses of political economy offered a series of powerful analytical frameworks for understanding and shaping the profound changes underway in early modern Europe and its empires. Sponsored by the Center for the History of British Political Thought, this seminar will trace a number of different traditions of political economy, primarily from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and explore some of the vibrant debates that took place over the nature of improvement and prosperity. Participants will explore the interplay between self-interest and moral sentiments, the ethics of pleasure and luxury, the changing definitions of credit and reputation, and the growing problems of poverty, inequality, and criminality. Careful attention will be paid to the ways in which political economy was embedded in discourses about natural history and religion, moral philosophy and political theory, gender and law. The seminar will mix readings in sources and recent scholarship with discussion of seminar members’ projects on these and related themes. Canonical (Locke, Mandeville, Hume, Rousseau, and Smith) and quasi-canonical writings on political economy will be studied alongside related literary and legal texts. While the majority of the readings will come from England, Scotland, and France, others, to be read in translation, were produced in the Dutch Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.

Co-Directors: Julia Rudolph is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University. Her most recent publication is Common Law and Enlightenment in England 1689-1750 (2013), and she is currently at work on two new projects: one about the history of English mortgage law and one about the history of judicial power in early modern Ireland. Carl Wennerlind is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, Columbia University. After publishing Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620-1720 (2011), he is currently working on two books, one about the history of the idea of scarcity and one about science, spirituality, and political economy during Sweden’s “Age of Greatness.”

Schedule: Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 29 January through 23 April 2015, excluding 19 February, 12 March, and 9 April.

Apply: 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.

A Folger Introduction to Research Methods and Agendas

Alan B. Farmer
Spring Semester Seminar

This seminar will illustrate and exemplify graduate-level work in the humanities, surveying the tools of research in early modern studies through a semester-long immersion in one of the world’s major Renaissance collections. Representative fields and approaches addressed will include various forms of historiography (e.g., theatrical, cultural, social, scientific, and political), the book as a material object, the visual analysis of images, manuscript studies, and editorial practice. Participants will develop their research skills through a series of exercises linked to the strengths and ranges of the collection and current trends and debates in scholarship. They will develop potential research projects; identify and discuss theses and hypotheses; and engage with the varieties of expertise found in the scholarly community at the Folger Shakespeare Library, including those of fellows and professional staff. Each student will assemble a portfolio of exercises throughout the term, with copies of all to be shared so that students are prepared for further graduate work with a broad-based sourcebook for early modern studies.

Director: Alan B. Farmer is Associate Professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is the co-creator (with Zachary Lesser) of DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks and the co-editor (with Adam Zucker) of Localizing Caroline Drama (2006). The author of essays on Jonson, Shakespeare, and the early modern book trade, he is currently completing book projects on print and popularity in Shakespeare’s England and on playbooks, newsbooks, and the politics of the Thirty Years’ War in England.

Schedule: Fridays, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 6 February through 24 April 2015, excluding 3 April and 10 April.

Apply: 2 December 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid. The course is designed for students in the first two years of graduate study. Applicants should briefly describe their ambitions for graduate study and indicate their understanding of the role of research in those studies. Examples may be drawn from their undergraduate courses as well as from their graduate courses.

Afterlife of the Reformation: Embodied Souls and their Rivals

Brad Gregory
Spring Semester Seminar

Since the sixteenth century, the embodied souls of medieval Latin Christianity have both persisted and been reinterpreted in myriad ways. Conceptions of human corporeality have converged in the modern era with the advance of modern biology and medicine, whereas conceptions of human souls have diverged in an open-ended range of religious and secular views about what human beings are. The early modern period lies at the heart of these processes, as Catholic and Protestant controversialists squared off with conflicting theological anthropologies, learned scholars revived and transformed ancient philosophical ideas, extra-European peoples presented different views of human beings, and foundationalist philosophers sought to answer on the basis of reason alone what human beings are and what they should be. This multidisciplinary seminar seeks advanced graduate students as well as faculty working on projects that address conceptions of human nature from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. It welcomes historians of ideas, religion, culture, the body, and medicine, as well as scholars from departments of literature, religious studies, political science, theology, and philosophy with projects anchored in early modern Europe, including its colonial and global commercial contexts. Participants will have opportunities to share their work-in-progress, whether dissertation chapters, book chapters, or articles.

Director: Brad Gregory is Professor of History and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame. His most recent book, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (2012), examined the continuing impact of the Reformation era’s conflicts on the contemporary Western world. He is currently working on a history of rival views of human nature from the Middle Ages to the present.

Schedule: Fridays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 6 February through 24 April 2015, excluding 6 March and 3 April.

Apply: 5 September 2014 for admission and grants-in-aid; 12 January 2015 for admission only.


Past programs

2011-present

2005-2010

2000-2004

1997-1999