Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies


The latest news from the Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies

15/05/2018: Upcoming event - The Renaissance China Cabinet, Tuesday 22nd May. A Staged Reading of a New Play by Red Dragonfly Theatre Company with the University of Sussex. Followed by an informal Q&A with directors and actors. This is a project that has grown within CEMMS, and will culminate in a series of performances at Southwark Cathedral in December. 4pm-5pm in The ACCA Creativity Zone, Pevensey III, Room C7

03/05/2018: We have just announced an additional CEMMS speaker - Miranda Thomas (University College Dublin) will give a talk on ''Let shame say what it will: Shakespeare's shaming gestures' in the School of English Social Space on Monday 21st May at 5pm. All welcome, please come along. 

04/03/2018: A recent publication from CEMMS PhD candidate Nicole Mennell - ""The Dignity of Mankind": Edward Tyson's Anatomie of a Pygmy and the Ape-Man Boundary" appears in Seeing Animals After Derrida in the Ecocritical Theory and Practice series (Lexington Books, 2017). The chapter places Derrida's discussion of the autopsic gaze alongside that of the work undertaken by Edward Tyson, a physician, fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a pioneer of early modern compariative anatomy, who took a particular interest in rare animals. The focus of this chapter will be on perhaps his most signficant text, Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris: Or, the Anatomy of a Pygmie Compared with that of a Monkey, an Ape, and a Man (1699)

19/02/18: Find out about a new conference focusing on Widening Participation co-organised by CEMMS PhD candidate Nicole Mennell. Click here for more information. 

18/02/18: Our CEMMS visiting speaker series continues in the Spring term. 

PLEASE NOTE! Most of these talks will take place in the Social Space on Mondays at 5pm, except the first. Wine and snacks provided, as usual. 

Wednesday 21st February (Jubilee 144): Sonia Massai (Kings London), 'Standard Accents and Acoustic Diversity in (Radio) Shakespeare' Annual Shakespeare Lecture

Monday 12 March, Emma Whipday (UCL), '"I rest your pore troublesome sister": Sibling Bonds and Familial Roles on the Early Modern Stage'

Monday 16 April, Alice Equestri (Sussex), ‘Shakespeare's licensed fools and early modern 'idiocy'?’


21/09/17: Our programme of talks for 2016/17 has been announced! Join us on October 2nd to hear Kirsty Rolfe (QMUL/Sussex) speaking on "Fatal and memorable: plague and war in 1625".

PLEASE NOTE! Most of these talks will take place in the Social Space on Mondays at 5pm. Wine and snacks provided, as usual. 

Oct. 2 – Kirsty Rolfe (QMUL/Sussex), 'Fatal and memorable: plague and war in 1625'. 

Oct. 23 - Mary Flannery (Geneva), Dove/Medcalf lecture, "Nat worth a toord"?: The Reception of Chaucerian Obscenity'.

Nov. 8 – Alan Stewart (Columbia), ‘Richard Rogers and the rise of the early modern diary’.

Nov. 20 – Joe Moshenska (St. John’s College, Oxford), ‘‘Iconoclasm as Child’s Play’

Dec. 4 – Charles Nichol (Sussex) / Pascal Briost (Tours)


06/03/17: February saw the inaugural issue of the Brief Encounters journal, co-founded and co-edited by Nicole Mennell, a CEMMS PhD student studying the connections made between figures of sovereignty and animals in early modern drama. Brief Encounters was founded in April 2016 by postgraduate researchers from across the Consortium for the Humanities and Arts in South-East England (CHASE), and showcases research undertaken by CHASE-funded and affiliated individuals as well as non-HEI partner members. As an open access journal, Brief Encounters supports the dissemination of knowledge to a global readership, with the intent that the research it publishes encourages the exchange of ideas outside of traditional academic circles. All articles published by Brief Encounters are free to read and accessible to all with no registration required. Taking inspiration from CHASE’s biannual conference ‘Encounters’, and the 1945 film, Brief Encounter, the journal hopes to inspire intellectual relationships between individuals separated by geographical distances. In these brief, but still meaningful, academic encounters, the journal aims to start conversations which will lead to unexpected journeys.

21/12/16: Building on the success of 2014's one day symposium on "Modified Bodies and Prosthesis in Medieval and Early Modern England" organised by CEMMS, Chloe Porter, Katie Walter and Margaret Healy have edited a special issue of Textual Practice on the same subject entitled Prosthesis in Medieval and Early Modern Culture. The collection of essays is the first such dedicated to prosthesis in medieval and early modern English culture and demonstrates the importance of the 'pre' or 'early' modern to histories and theories of prosthesis. Emerging first as a grammatical term in the English language in the sixteenth century and as a term for medical or bodily supplementation in the eighteenth century, contemporary explorations of prosthesis have often excluded or overlooked the medieval and early modern. Contributions to this issue, however, demonstrate both the longer histories of prosthesis (in medical, religious and dramatic contexts), and the ways in which medieval and early modern literary forms and genres (poetic, dramatic, exemplary, revelatory) can speak to our present-day discourse on this subject. 

For more information click here


10/10/16: Andrew Hadfield and Mat Dimmock are both speaking at the upcoming AHRC funded event "Thomas Nashe: Prose, Drama, and the Oral Culture of Early Modern London", a symposium jointly organsed by The Thomas Nashe Project and Shakespeare's Globe. The event takes place on Saturday 20th May 2017 at the Nancy Knowles Lecture Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, and will explore the work of Thomas Nashe (1567-c.1600), a major polemicist, prose stylist, dramatist and early novelist, whose writing shaped the culture of early modern literature in the age of Shakespeare. 

The symposium and drinks reception (10am – 6pm) are free and open to the general public (but please sign up since places are limited). In the evening the Globe is hosting a ‘Read Not Dead’ reading of The Terrors of the Night in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (tickets: £20 and £10). This event will be a staged reading of Thomas Nashe’s unsettling and disturbing exploration of night terrors by candlelight in The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Nashe speaks in a variety of voices as his speaker tries to understand whether humans are surrounded by demons, witches and ghosts, or whether these are real terrors unleashed by the devil in his futile struggle with God. It will be the first time that Nashe’s extraordinary text, which had a major influence on the development of prose and drama in the age of Shakespeare, has been read aloud by candlelight.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is necessary. Please contact Prof. Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex (a.hadfield@sussex.ac.uk) for further details. Tickets for the ‘Read Not Dead’ event will be available on the Globe website from Jan. 2017.

For more details, including a list of speakers, download this PDF: [PDF 707.72KB]


21/09/16: Listen to a podcast of Professor Andrew Hadfield's plenery address at the 6th Annual Tudor & Stuart Ireland Interdisciplinary Conference which took place at NUI Galway in August, 2016. His paper was entitled 'Edmund Spencer the Less among the Jacobites': https://soundcloud.com/history-hub/andrew-hadfield-edmund-spencer-the-less-among-the-jacobites 


20/06/16: Our programme of talks for 2016/17 has been announced! Join us on the 4th October to hear Will Tosh (Shakespeare’s Globe) speak on ‘That Unhappy Family': Coping with the Earl of Essex, 1595-1600’. Starts at 6pm in B264. All welcome. Details of further talks below:

All events in B264 (English Social Space), at 6pm unless stated otherwise.

First Semester

18 October, Angela Andreani (Sussex), ‘'In and out of archives: The life and adventures of Meredith Hanmer, Anglican divine'.

1 November, Jo Paul (Sussex), ‘Utopia in the Context of More's Thought’. - POSTPONED until 15th November

8 November, Laura Kounine (Sussex), ‘Emotions and Selfhood in German Lutheran Witch-Trials'.

23 November, Richard Wilson (Kingston) ‘Wheel of Fire: memory, mourning and the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre’ [part of the English Colloquium series].

29 November, (with Art History), Mick O'Malley and Francesco Ventrella, ‘Botticelli: Life and Afterlife’ (N. B. A108).

6 December, An event celebrating 25 years since the publication of Charles Nicholl’s The Reckoning.


Second Semester

2 Feb., Eva Johanna Holmberg (Helsinki), ‘Perceiving Levantines: British Cultural Descriptions of the Ottoman Empire and its Non-Muslim Peoples, 1580-1640’.

14 Feb., Art History event (A108), to be confirmed.

1 March, Helen Moore (Oxford) ‘‘Rich tissue: the materials of death in Webster’ [part of the English Colloquium series].

14 March, Ben Fowler (Sussex), ‘Shakespeare Schaubühne Style: Disinterring Dukes, Danes, and Bunchback’d Toads’

23 March, Emma Smith (Oxford), Annual Shakespeare Lecture, ‘‘Exit pursued by a bear’ (again): reading Shakespeare’s stage direction’.

4 April, Per Sivefors (Linmnaeus), ‘Representing Manhood in Tudor and Stuart Verse Satire’.

15 July: Symposium at St. Paul’s Cathedral (details to be advertised later).