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December 2018

Micheal Bennett, Plantation Slavery and the Seventeenth-Century English East India Company

13 December, 2018 @ 1:05 pm - 1:50 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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In the 1680s the English East India Company sought to establish a plantation economy on its small and isolated South Atlantic colony of St. Helena. The Barbados sugar industry, which had brought great wealth to English planters and merchants extraordinarily quickly, served as a model for the company. In the second half of the seventeenth century numerous merchants who served on the East India Company’s court of committees also had business interests in the West Indies, accounting for why Barbados…

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February 2019

Dr Jessica Winston, Between Theatre and Reading: Early English Plays on BBC Radio (1956-1957) and Traditions of ‘Partial Performance’

7 February @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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In Shakespeare performance criticism, the current trend is to conceptualize each performance as a unique event that brings together text, acting, lighting, directing, sound, blocking, spatial layout, and other elements to create a unique occasion. In these cases, the text is only one part of the production, and often not even the most significant part. While this idea of performance makes sense for full-scale, and especially professional productions, it does not map well onto modes of performance where the textual…

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Dr Jessica Winston, Not-Shakespeare in Performance

8 February @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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Dr Jessica Winston (Idaho State University) will be leading a masterclass on Friday 8 February (abstract below) Places are free and open to staff and students; if you are a member of staff, please e-mail the SCEMS co-ordinator to be added to the reserve list, if you are a student please register via this link. This seminar invites participants to raise methodological and theoretical questions about researching not-Shakespeare in performance. Two brief articles, one by Emma Smith and one by…

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Claudia Rogers, ‘A Table for Two: the rise and fall of Guacanagarí and Columbus’ relationship, 1492-3′

14 February @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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This talk will focus on the turbulent relationship between the Taíno cacique Guacanagarí and Christopher Columbus, and the mysterious events surrounding the fall of La Navidad (the first Christian settlement in the New World). The talk will highlight Guacanagarí's agency during the Taínos' encounter with Columbus, and reflect on how we can read for indigenous power in the surviving, European-authored accounts. All welcome!

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Dr Kate Davison, ‘Satire and Public Politics in Eighteenth-Century Britain’

21 February @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Jessop West Seminar Room 3

Against the backdrop of an expanding print industry and growing market for political news and commentary, Eighteenth-Century Britain was awash with satirical images and texts that spread political debate beyond the corridors of power. What was their impact? No satire ever led to the fall of ministers or monarchs, but rather than conclude that satire was therefore ineffective, this paper argues that its impact was more subtle: by providing a running critical commentary on political affairs, satire opened up space…

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Jeri Smith-Cronin, ‘Chivalry, Religion, and Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy: Censoring Thomas Dekker’s The Whore of Babylon’ and Matthew Blaiden ‘John Lyly, Court Dramatist?’

28 February @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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This joint session will feature two third-year PhD students from the University of Leeds. Jeri Smith-Cronin will be talking to the title: 'Chivalry, Religion, and Anglo-Spanish Diplomacy: Censoring Thomas Dekker's The Whore of Babylon': In November 1619, the stand-in Spanish ambassador in London, Diego de la Fuente, intervened to prohibit a revival of Dekker’s 1606 play, The Whore of Babylon. Underlining the relationship between censorship and diplomatic exigency, this paper briefly explores how Dekker’s play could become sensitive again in…

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March 2019

Lanyer Anniversary – Helen Wilcox

7 March @ 5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Diamond, LT2

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of the birth of Aemelia Lanyer, the School of English is hosting Professor Helen Wilcox, Professor in Early Modern Literature at Bangor University. She has published extensively on devotional writing (including Lanyer, Donne, and Herbert) and women's writing (including Women and Literature in Britain, 1500-1700). This event will also feature papers on Lanyer from some of School's undergraduates and a short reading from her work. All welcome.

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Alvar Blomgren, ‘‘The cause of loyalty and love’: Political mobilisation and emotional practices in Nottingham during the 1790s’

21 March @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Jessop West Seminar Room 3

This paper examines royalist responses to the challenge of radicalism following the French revolution. In Nottingham, the Tory establishment saw themselves as threatened by the inflamed passions of the town’s working population, which – the Tories believed – caused them to turn away from the existing political order. In order to restore this lost social unity, I argue, the Tories used a range of emotional practices designed to modulate these troublesome emotions. Through a combination of charivari rituals, electoral practices,…

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Rachel Small, ‘Putting the humor back into early modern food studies’

28 March @ 1:05 pm - 2:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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Univeristy of Leicester PhD student Rachel Small talks to the title: 'Putting the humor back into early modern food studies' Archaeological studies of food have generally taken an isolationist approach: they have tended to consider animal and plant remains separately and have largely failed to integrate written sources. Furthermore, interpretations have tended to focus on economics or on identifying aspects of identity (most commonly social status). A major omission has been that evidence has seldom been interpreted within the ontological…

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April 2019

Thomas Whitfield, “Wilkes and Liberty” – Punch bowls and the later-eighteenth-century Wilkite agitations

4 April @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street
Sheffield, S3 7QY United Kingdom
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Newcastle PhD Student Thomas Whitfield speaks on the topic of "Wilkes and Liberty". The consumption of alcohol is well recognised as being an important practice in the formation of community and in the assertion and negotiation of individual and group identity (Dietler 2006). This is particularly true in the context of the eighteenth century, when the techniques, technologies and practices of alcohol consumption grew to become more complex than in any previous period of history. Of particular note in eighteenth-century…

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