Conference in Early Modern Studies



In September 2011, EMRG will host the first interdisciplinary conference in Early Modern studies. The goal of EMRG is to act as a collective hub for Early Modern researchers in various disciplines throughout Norway and the Nordic countries, and this conference will be the first major foray into uniting linguists, art historians, musicologists, historians, literary scholars, philologists and others in presenting, sharing and developing their work, perspectives, insights and ideas among one another, in an idyllic, southern setting at the University of Agder.

Aiming at inclusive multidisciplinarity, the present conference is not restricted to a specific topic, but seeks to establish a productive exchange between scholars from different subfields in Early Modern research. The conference will consist of four sections, Art History, History, Literature and Linguistics.

The period between ca. 1400 and 1700 was a time of profound change in Europe as classical ideals were reintroduced into literature, art, architecture and philosophy amidst political upheaval and crucial socio-economic transformation. With the waning influence of Latin, Europe saw a widespread renewed interest in emerging national languages and their literary and rhetorical manifestations.

The Norwegian academe has long been wanting a collective hub and a common forum for discussing the multifarious issues, experiences and ideas that pertain to this period. EMRG seek to rectify this through several means, among which is the hosting of an Early Modern conference in Kristiansand hosted by the University of Agder.

Selected papers will be published in EMRG's peer reviewed open access journal Early Modern Culture Online.

Conference panel: Utopian Fiction

The focus of this conference panel is on the mixing of genres and conventions in utopian art (literature, stage plays, films). The intended effect may be to deconstruct familiar or dominant representations, creating a more complex image of life, often involving gender and the relationship between individual and society. Utopianism’s challenge is at the same time to create unity out of this complexity.

The conference is mainly on the Early Modern period, but may also include ways in which works from later periods revise or adapt early modern genres.

For more information, please contact Professor Oddvar Holmesland.


Keynote speakers:

Art history: Professor William E. Wallace, Washington University in St. Louis
Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History

Wallace is an internationally recognized authority on Michelangelo and his contemporaries.
In addition to more than eighty essays, chapters and articles (as well as two works of fiction), he is the author and editor of six different books on Michelangelo, including the biography, Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2010.

Topic title:Who is the Author of Michelangelo's Life?

History: Professor John Henderson, Birkbeck, London

Henderson's main area of research is Tuscany from the renaissance to the early modern period. His most recent research interests include an inter-disciplinary reconstruction of the medical, religious, architectural and artistic environment of the Italian renaissance hospital (Yale University Press, 2006); the medical worlds of patient and practitioner in early modern central Italy; and changing ideas and policies towards public health, disease and the environment in urban and rural Tuscany, 1550-1750.

Topic title: Death in Florence: Plague, Public Health and the Poor in Early Modern Italy and Europe

Linguistics: Professor Terttu Nevalainen, University of Helsinki

Nevalainen has a long-standing interest in language change and intrigued by the circumstances in which English became the kind of language it is today. Most of her work is basic research and has methodological, empirical and theoretical objectives. She published a textbook on Early Modern English (Edinburgh and Oxford University press 2006), and has published extensively on historical sociolinguistics, history of language and corpus studies.

Topic title: Early Modern English letter writing as evidence for interpersonal communication

The Maren Sofie Røstvig's Lecture in Literature: Professor Catherine Belsey, Swansea University

Belsey is a distinguished literary critic and Shakespearean scholar, her work has shaped and reshaped how we read literature and culture. Her main area of research is literary criticism, Shakespeare, culture studies and Milton.
Her books include The Subject of Tragedy (1985) John Milton: Language, Gender, Power (1988), Critical Practice (1980, 2002) and Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (2002). She has also published Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden (1999), Why Shakespeare? (2007) and Shakespeare in Theory and Practice (2008).

Topic title: 'Milton's Ghost Story: Sonnet 19 in Context'

Utopian Fiction: Professor Lisa Hopkins, Sheffield Hallam University

Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English and Head of the Graduate School at Sheffield Hallam University and co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association.  Her most recent publications include Christopher Marlowe, Dramatist (Edinburgh University Press, 2008) and The Cultural Uses of the Caesars on the English Renaissance Stage (Ashgate, 2008).  She has just completed an edition of Ford’s The Lady’s Trial for the Revels series and her forthcoming monograph is Drama and the Succession to the Crown, 1561-1633 (Ashgate).

Topic title: Mapping Paradise: Saints Ahoy

Conference Consert
Wednesday, 19:30 Auditorium 1, Sigurd Køhns Hus

Lute music for two eleven string guitars with Professor Per Kjetil Farstad and Research Fellow Robin Rolfhamre

Organising Committee:
John-W. Vinje, UiA (Coordinator)
Gard B. Jenset, HiB
Svenn-Arve Myklebost, UiB

Academic board:
Prof. Roy Eriksen
Prof. Stuart Sillars
Prof. Dagmar Haumann
Prof. Oddvar Holmesland

Registration Form

For information please email: John Vinje


Host: University of Agder  


contact info:
Early Modern Research Group

Faculty of Humanities, Department of Modern Languages and Translation

Box 422; N – 4604 Kristiansand, Norway