Queen Mary, University of London hosts a number of events on subjects in the field of Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, some of them under the auspices of the Centre.

Past Events

The appropriation of the verbal and visual languages of astronomy by medieval and early modern kabbalists

Tuesday 5th March, 2019

5.15, Arts Two 3.15

Professor J. H. Chajes (University of Haifa)

Translation workshop: Medieval verse translations – lessons for 21st-century translators?

Wednesday 13th February, 2019

4–5.30, Scape 0.13

Marta Marfany, Universitat Pompeu Fabra & QMUL
Translation workshop: Medieval verse translations – lessons for 21st-century translators?

This event is open to all with an interest in translation: medievalists and early modernists as well as modernists, translators and researchers of translation. This workshop carries 3 points within the QMUL PhD Skills Points System: 1 point in A for research knowledge, 1 in B for professional development, and 1 in C for giving researchers the tools to manage their own research project. They can be claimed through the usual online system.


Tuesday 13th November, 2018

5.15 PM, Room TBC

Eva Johanna Holmberg (University of Helsinki / School of History, Queen Mary)

Co-organised with the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary.

During the early modern period vast social and cultural changes could be mapped into the surface of bodies. At the same time bodies were the vessels in which the challenges and struggles of individual lives were both contained and materialized. Illness was seen as an unwelcome intruder, altering and destabilising the bodies of ailing people, with their recovery and healing dependent on individual humoral constitutions. Recovery and healing sought usually to redress humoral balance, with gentle treatment, rest, and suitable foods. In the social context of travel however, the consequences could be graver, prevention of illness challenging, treatment harder, and healing slower due to a great variety of reasons.

What were then the effects and consequences of travel for bodies that were ailing? What kinds of precautions and remedies were used, how was bodily and spiritual ailment experienced, perceived and represented in accounts of travel, and how was the representation and writing of the self entangled with the writing of illness? This article examines the ways in which one well-known and often-cited traveller, Fynes Moryson (1566-1630), accounted his efforts to prevent illness, noted the bodily changes caused by his grief, and kept a record of his slow and difficult recovery with the help of the idioms of illness of his time. The article investigates Moryson’s illness through three phases: the representation of the itinerary and events of his journey to Jerusalem with his brother Henry, the contemporary understanding of the particular ailments of the two brothers, and thirdly, the functions and meanings illness had for Moryson’s writing. It will be argued that in the Itinerary (1617) Moryson not only memorialized his brother and their fatal journey together but also makes himself into an effectiveexemplum of how grief and illness were especially dangerous, costly and severe for travellers, returning to his experience and reframing it several times in his book. Travellers’ inability to to take care of their bodies and manage the six non-naturals (res non naturales) was the main cause of their ailments, despite precautions they took. In addition, travellers were disconnected from friends, family members, and support networks who could console their hearts, cover their expenses and help to heal their bodies, as was the case with most homebound convalescents. If one survived, like Moryson did, such traumatic experiences could be employed in a great variety of ways to build authority and credibility, in addition to giving us a glimpse of renaissance structures of feeling.


Tuesday 9th October, 2018

5.15pm , Arts Two, room 3.16

Sonja Kleij (University of Belfast)

The paper explores the development of early modern Dutch theatre, its relationship to the public sphere and how both moved from occasional to regular through by their interaction. The paper will demonstrate this development by studying theatre practices, drama and political debate in the Low Countries.

Sonja is working on a monograph entitled Early Modern Theatre and the Public Sphere: Anglo-Dutch-Spanish Politics.


Thursday 14th June, 2018

2-4.30 pm, Scape Building, room 1.02, Queen Mary, Mile End

In this workshop, Adrian Armstrong and Rosa Vidal Doval will lead a discussion about translation of 15th century poetry based on two case studies, one French and one Spanish, arising from current research and teaching projects. This event is open to all with an interest in translation: medievalists and early modernists as well as modernists, translators and researchers of translation, and those working outside the linguistic areas of French and Spanish.


Tuesday 5th June, 2018

5.15pm, Arts Two Building, room 316

Anthony Ossa-Richardson (University of Southampton)

Historians have long known that early modern Protestants denounced their Catholic (and especially Jesuit) opponents as dealing in sophistical ambiguity and equivocation. In this paper, which is based on work undertaken as a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow at Queen Mary, I present the Catholic point of view on the virtues of ambiguity and multiplicity, focusing on two areas: council negotiation, where ambiguity served a necessary diplomatic purpose, and biblical exegesis, where the plurality of literal (and not just allegorical) meanings revealed the fulness of divinity in Scripture. In each instance, the Catholic tradition, which has been almost entirely neglected by modern historians, presents a radically different picture of early modern attitudes to meaning and truth.


Wednesday 14th March, 2018

3.00-5.00 pm , Graduate Centre, room 222

Valerie Scott (British School at Rome)

The British School is one of the most prestigious foreign academies in Rome. Since its foundation in 1901, it has played a central role in archaeological exploration and made a significant contribution to the study of Italian history and art. Its library holds important photographic and historical archives relating to the city of Rome and to the work of Anglophone scholars in Italy. Valery Scott, Librarian and Deputy Director of the British School, will introduce us to these unique resources and will speak about funding opportunities at the British School.


Tuesday 23rd January, 2018

5.15 pm, Queen Mary, Mile End, Bancroft Building, room 3.40

Daphna Oren-Magidor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Mary Evelyn (1648-1723) refused to wed. She announced this decision to her father, Member of Parliament George Evelyn, at the age of 18. It was an unusual decision for an early modern gentlewoman, but George’s numerous letters to Mary reveal that she remained true to it for almost two decades. Despite numerous respectable offers and intense familial pressure, Mary remained resolutely single until, at the age of 44, she surprised everyone by marrying Sir Cyril Wyche. Marriage choice was the field in which paternal authority was negotiated in this period. Evelyn’s case reveals how young women could exploit the limits of this authority, while still operating under the constraints of a patriarchal society.


Tuesday 14th November, 2017

5.15 pm, Queen Mary (Mile End), Graduate Centre, room 603

Robert Mills (UCL)

Derek Jarman (1942-1994) is one among a plethora of artists, poets, novelists, tourists, and scholars who have discovered, in the remnants of medieval culture, a wellspring of meaning and sensation. This talk will foreground the ethical and ecological dimensions to Jarman’s lifelong pursuit of ruins. Culminating in analyses of his 1987 feature The Last of England and his various gardening endeavours, the talk sheds light on the medieval underpinnings to these projects—notably Jarman’s encounters with the Old English poem The Ruin, and with passages in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls. Fragments such as these provided the filmmaker with a means of practicing what he called an 'archeology of soul.' Excavating the medieval in the modern gave him a framework for negotiating history’s losses, cultivating, in the process, what he saw as the 'life' in ruins.

The Academic in the Gallery

Tuesday 17th October, 2017

5.15 pm, Graduate Centre, room 1.14

Professor Kate Lowe (Queen Mary, School of History)

In the Spring of 2017, Kate Lowe, Professor of Renaissance History and Culture at Queen Mary University of London, co-curated an exhibition at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon. Entitled The Global City: Lisbon in the Renaissance, it was centred around two paintings of a busy early-modern street with distinctive architecture and a striking number of black people. Lowe and her fellow curator Annemarie Jordan Gschwend demonstrated this cityscape to be a depiction of Rua Nova dos Mercadores, Lisbon’s main trade street in the 16th century. Using this as a starting point the exhibition contained 249 works reconstituting the effect that the worldwide Portuguese trading empire had on Lisbon during the Renaissance. The pieces came from many public and private collections around the world and included a high percentage that had not been publicly displayed before.

In a Q&A, Kate Lowe will discuss, with Rosa Vidal Doval and Joad Raymond, her experience of curating the exhibition, the associations between research and exhibitions, and how universities and museums can inform each other’s work.

Discussion will be opened to the floor, and the event will be followed by a reception.