Category Archives: Seminar

HDR Bursaries: Emmerson Symposium, State Library of Victoria

The Emmerson Symposium ‘Beyond the Book: Transforming the Early Modern Archive’ is being hosted by ANU and the State Library of Victoria on the 11th and 12th of August. We want to encourage as many HDR Students from across Australia to come. Recognising the current cost of living crisis, we are offering 10 bursaries at a maximum of $500 for HDR Students. These bursaries are to assist with the cost of travel and accommodation to the Symposium. Please fill out the linked EOI form by the 30th of June and we will let you know by the 7th of July if you are successful. To register for the Symposium please click this link and follow the details. 

ANZAMEMS Reading Group: Semester 2 2023

The ANZAMEMS ECR/Postgraduate Reading Group discusses the latest research in medieval and early modern studies, with the aim of promoting engagement with emerging and established fields of inquiry in MEMS research.

Virtual sessions of the reading group will take place via Zoom monthly between June and October/November 2023. Each session will take one or two recent articles or chapters related to a certain topic/methodological approach/trend in MEMS scholarship, and feature a short presentation from an ANZAMEMS member (whose own research is ideally in the vicinity of their chosen session theme), followed by questions-led discussion.

The reading group will be co-convened by Emma Rayner (PhD candidate, ANU) and Emily Chambers (PhD candidate, University of Nottingham).

We hope to foster a convivial and intellectually productive online space—think advanced graduate seminar!—where we can come together to talk all things MEMS research in a fairly informal manner, while expanding our networks or strengthening existing connections. Everyone is welcome, including more senior members of ANZAMEMS.

ANZAMEMS members who are interested in leading a session based around one of the below themes or a topic of your own selection, AND/OR who are interested in providing a short write-up of a session for a planned ANZAMEMS postgrad blog, please email / no later than June 16, 2023.

A finalized schedule and Zoom link will be circulated ahead of our first meeting for the semester on June 27.

Possible session themes include:

  • Periodization
  • Affect / emotion studies
  • Critical race studies
  • Cultures of materiality
  • Ecocriticism
  • Comparative / transnational studies
  • Travel and cultural encounter
  • Visual culture
  • Religion, religious culture
  • Borders, borderlands
  • Language and translation
  • Genealogies
  • Geography, cartography
  • Rhetoric
  • Poetics
  • Epistemologies
  • Historiography
  • Time and temporality
  • Performance studies
  • Knowledge production
  • Humanism
  • Virtue, vertu
  • Cultures of collecting
  • Book history
  • Afterlives, reception studies
  • Adaptation
  • Digital Humanities
  • Manuscript studies
  • Incunabula
  • Intellectual networks
  • Devotional communities
  • Reading, coteries
  • Marginalia
  • Disability studies
  • Canonicity
  • Gender studies
  • Class studies
  • Archives
  • Methodologies
  • Pedagogy

Conference Masterclass: Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group

Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group Incorporated, with assistance from StudySmarter UWA, are offering a free masterclass for undergraduate and postgraduate students on developing conference skills.

See flyer below for further details.

Friday 2 June 2023, 9:15 am — 2:00 pm
Woolnough Lecture Theatre, Geography building, UWA
Register at

New Unit: Cracking of Christendom, University of Divinity

Study The Cracking of Christendom

Available at the University of Divinity in Semester 2, 2023. Classes commence Wednesday 2 August. Online and in-person options available. 

About the unit

500 years ago, a series of conflicts tore apart the Christian church. In a dry forest of religion and politics, Martin Luther proposed 95 questions for debate, and sparked a wildfire. Western Christianity changed forever. The consequences continue to shape life and worship in contemporary Australia in ways you may not even have imagined.

This unit will be taught collaboratively by academics from diverse traditions, with expertise in both theology and history. Students will benefit from the rich and rounded learning experience made possible by this unparalleled collaboration of five Colleges from within the University of Divinity.

More information and how to enquire

Introductory video

IHSS Research Seminar: “Emotion and Experience. Dependent children in early modern societies”

Public lecture delivered in association with the Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme-funded project, “Child slaveries in the early modern world: Gender, trauma, and trafficking in transcultural perspective (1500-1800)”, supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and Universities Australia

“Emotion and Experience. Dependent children in early modern societies”
Professor Claudia Jarzebowski (University of Bonn)
Thursday 13 April 2023, 4-5pm AEST
To be held in room 460.4.28, Level 4, 250 Victoria Parade and online via Teams.
For joining details, email:

Abstract: At all times children have lived in emotional and social dependencies. In early modern history, too, children of all classes were exposed to experiences of disruption, separation, death of kin, to violence (i.e. executions, wars), to torture (as subjects and bystanders), children experienced community and exclusion at the same time. And they were hardly ever in charge of their destinies. The question of how children perceived their often hostile or at least hard to anticipate environment has hardly ever been investigated. This presentation focusses upon such children, using rare sources and reading known sources against the grain. On a descriptive level I present a few case studies while on a more theoretical level my presentation will discuss how Trauma Studies could help historians to understand early modern life worlds of children a bit more.

Bio: Claudia Jarzebowski is a professor of Early Modern History at the Center for the Slavery and Dependency Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany. Her research interests include Gender History, the history of children and childhood, the history of emotions and the history of violence. She has published two monographs, numerous articles and co-edited numerous books, mostrecently two chapters in Cultural History
of Youth (Bloomsbury 2023). She has served as a Partner Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

CEMS Seminar: Friday 24th February 12pm, Shakespeare & the Settlement of the North American West

Please join us for the inaugural CEMS Seminar for 2023 at 12 pm on the 24th of February in Lecture Room 1 of the RSSS Building at ANU.

CEMS is very excited to be hosting Professor Gretchen Minton for her excellent talk on “Shakespeare and the Settlement of the North American West”.

“Shakespeare and the Settlement of the North American West” focuses upon the role that Shakespeare as a cultural icon played in the nineteenth-century settlement of the North American frontier, providing a thorough picture of how the earliest white men who migrated across the continent used, understood and interacted with Shakespeare’s works. Re-examining narratives about white settler encounters with Shakespeare reveals several recurring themes, including the importance of books, hybrid identities, a return to Europe and the fashioning of Western personae. In the narratives about such encounters, the voices of the Indigenous people are consistently silenced, but important perspectives arise when we analyse the nature of such marginalisation. The article thus ultimately demonstrates that attitudes toward Shakespeare are symptomatic of attitudes toward settlement in the Rocky Mountain region, and thus invariably symptomatic of how this region’s Indigenous peoples were treated.

Gretchen has edited several early modern plays, including Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, and The Revenger’s Tragedy. She is the co-founder of Montana InSite Theatre, which is dedicated to site-specific performances that use classical texts to address environmental issues. Projects for this company include Timon of Anaconda, Shakespeare’s Walking Story, and Walking the Water Way. Minton also serves as dramaturg and script adaptor for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, which participated in the 2021-22 international project called “Cymbeline in the Anthropocene.” In 2023 she will be a Fulbright Scholar at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland.

For further information and to register, please see this website.

Nov 24 CEMS End of Year Reception: Evening with Matthew Winterbottom

The ANU Centre for Early Modern Studies is pleased to welcome Matthew
Winterbottom, Curator of Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as our special guest for the final CEMS event for 2022. Matthew has extensive expertise in early modern European decorative arts across diverse media and in the history of cabinets of curiosity.

Join CEMS for an evening in conversation with Matthew followed by drinks, in-person on the ANU campus. This is the first in-person seminar held by CEMS and promises to be a wonderful evening for our members and wider audience to meet and mingle before the end of year.

Matthew Winterbottom is Curator of Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Ashmolean Museum. His research interests cover a wide range of European decorative arts from the late medieval to the early twentieth centuries, and he has expertise in furniture, ceramics, glass and textiles and sculpture, with a particular interest in 17th- and 18th-century British and European silver and goldsmiths’ work. He is actively researching the Michael Wellby bequest – a collection of 500 pieces of Continental goldsmiths’ work and Kunstkammer objects – that was bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum in 2012. Matthew has extensive knowledge of the history of Kunstkammern, Schatzkammern and cabinets of curiosities of the early modern period and of the revival of interest in such collections in the 19th and 20th centuries that led to the extensive faking and reproduction of precious objects.

Matthew has over 25 years’ experience working with and researching European decorative arts and is committed to exploring ways of making this material engaging and accessible to museum visitors. He has held curatorial roles at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Royal Collection and the Holburne Museum in Bath. He joined the Department of Western Art in the Ashmolean Museum in March 2014 as Curator of Nineteenth-Century Decorative Arts where he was tasked with building a new collection of Nineteenth-Century decorative arts and redisplaying the Nineteenth-Century Art Galleries. Since January 2017, he has been responsible for the entire Western Art Sculpture and Decorative Arts Collections.

Matthew is at ANU in November as an international visitor at the ANU School of Art and Design funded by the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts.

This event is presented by the Centre for Early Modern Studies

For further information and to register please see:

Reminder: Seminar: A/Prof Mike Rodman Jones (University of Nottingham), ‘Middle English Ekphrasis: Aesthetics and Socioeconomics in Late Medieval Poetry’, 21 Sept 2022, online via Zoom

An online seminar hosted by The University of Western Australia

Date: Wednesday 21 September 2022

Time: 4:00pm AWST / 6:00pm AEST

Venue: Online via Zoom, hosted by The University of Western Australia

Enquiries and to register:

Ekphrasis has attracted a long history of scholarship as a pronounced form of aesthetic display in literary texts. Where major touchstones of scholarship on ekphrasis (Heffernan, 1993; Krieger, 1992) had previously been drawn to classical and modern materials, more recent work has begun to take stock of the peculiarity of medieval ekphrasis (Johnston, Knapp and Rouse, 2015). This paper explores some related avenues of enquiry about the nature, significance, and functions of ekphrasis in major Middle English poetry (Chaucer and Alliterative poetry, especially St Erkenwald and the Piers Plowman tradition). Surveying the vocabulary of cultural production available to late medieval poets, the paper suggests that much work on ekphrasis is theoretically antithetical to an understanding of patronage and artistic production in an age before ‘the Arts’ became defined. Instead, I focus on key passages of Middle English poetry to show how the trope of ekphrasis could be used to distinct effect in different texts: binding cultural production (both poetic and plastic) to the socio-economics of patronage; as a hostile, satirical form of verbal display; and as a mystery, a deliberate enigma, in the examples of St Erkenwald and John Metham’s Amoryus and Cleopes.

Dr Jane Vaughan (The University of Western Australia)

Mike Rodman Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of Nottingham (UK), and works on medieval and early modern literature. His second monograph is forthcoming in the Studies in Renaissance Literature Series with Boydell and Brewer. He spoke at the “Feeling (for) the Premodern” Symposium at The University of Western Australia in 2016; the paper was published in Exemplaria 30:3 (2018). Email:

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medievial and Early Modern Studies, Inc (ANZAMEMS), the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group, Inc, and the ARC Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions.

For more information please see the event website.

“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi.”

“CEMS ANU online Seminar, Professor Katherine Ibbett, “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi,” Monday, September 19, 6 pm AEST.

Katherine Ibbett, Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College will present “Didn’t you promise us a river? Looking for the 17th century Mississippi” at the CEMS ANU Seminar, followed by a Q&A discussion. Full abstract here.

Details: Monday September 19, 9:00 am (Oxford); 6:00pm (Canberra); 4:00am (NY).

Register: On Eventbrite to receive your Zoom link. “

This paper will investigate the published writing that emerges from two late seventeenth-century attempts, led by La Salle, to claim the Mississippi river for France. Multiple and competing first-person accounts of these ventures were published in France over a thirty -year period. Historical accounts of the La Salle expeditions have dismissed the printed accounts of these journeys as misleading and mendacious. I want instead to take seriously the deltas of this work, imagining it as a form of writing that emerges from a river that Europeans found to be bewildering.

Katherine Ibbett is Professor of French at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Trinity College. Most recently she is the author of Compassion’s Edge: Fellow-Feeling and its Limits in Early Modern France (Penn, 2018) and the co-editor of Compassion in Early Modern Literature and Culture: Feeling and Practice (Cambridge University Press, 2021). This last year she has been working on Liquid Empire, a book about seventeenth-century French rivers, supported by a Leverhulme fellowship.

This event is presented by the Centre for Early Modern Studies

Online Seminar: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Masculine Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern North India & Nepal, Friday September 2, 3:00pm AEST.

Title: Poetic Supermen & Villains: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Masculine Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern North India & Nepal

Speaker: Chris Diamond

Date: Friday 2 September 2022

Time: 3:00-4:30pm AEST (UTC +10)

Venue: Zoom, Register here for link

Abstract: This presentation will explore how memory, music, and masculinity were packaged and transmitted across time and spaces in a uniquely Maithili manner. A thief in the night, a jilted lover, a noble king, and discerning princes – the heroes, villains, and characters that populate the landscape of early Maithili literature are compelling. These captivating characters and the language associated with their poetic tradition, Maithili, were formalised by the multilingual poet-scholar-saint Vidyāpati Ṭhākura (c. 1360-1450 CE). Full abstract here.

About the speaker: Dr Chris Diamond is a Lecturer at the School of Culture, History & Language in the ANU College of Asia the Pacific. Chris’ current project concerns the literary legacy of a medieval multi-lingual poet from the North Indian region of Mithila, Vidyapati (c. 1370-1450). His, at the time, new vernacular language of song and poetry became a standardized classical style across Nepal, the Eastern Gangetic Plains, Bengal, and further afield. Chris is currently working on a new edition and translation of some of the oldest manuscript that contain this poet’s songs and a critical analysis of the ways kings and brahmins in Nepal and Bihar employed them to project their own power and prestige.