Joint events

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CANCELLED Wednesday 15 July, 4.15-6pm

We regret to announce that the following event has been cancelled:

Regina Schwartz (Northwestern)

‘The Religious and Secular Renaissance’

Cover of Sacramental Poetics at the Dawn of Secularism
‘When God left the world’

While the “return to the religious” is a familiar phenomenon in philosophy, in Renaissance studies, there is an opposite drive to mount what seems like an argument for it being a secular age.

What is at stake in such a claim and what is lost when we project secularity onto the Renaissance? This lecture proposes a “sacramental poetics” in which the broadest understanding of sacramentality, as sign-making that points beyond, informs the literary productions of the period.

Regina Schwartz is Professor of English at Northwestern University and a specialist on Milton. Her publications include Remembering and Repeating: Biblical Creation in Paradise Lost (1988), which won the James Holly Hanford prize for the best book on Milton; The Book and the Text: The Bible and Literary Theory (1990); Desire in the Renaissance: Psychoanalysis and Literature (1994); The Postmodern Bible (1995) and Transcendence: Philosophy, Literature, and Theology Approach the Beyond (2004). The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (1997), a study of identity and violence in the Hebrew Bible, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent book, Sacramentality at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World, is published by Stanford in their series “Cultural Memory in the Present” (2007).

In association with the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies.
Location: Conference Room, Humanities Research Institute, 34 Gell Street, Sheffield


Past events associated with SCEMS:



16 February (in association with the Department of Music)
Dr Katherine Butler, From Orpheus the civiliser to Orpheus the ballad-seller: changing perceptions of myth and the powers of music in early modern England.


4 December (in association with the Department of History)
Tim Stretton, Married Women in Chancery 1500-1800: Law, Gender & Contract
Titlepage: Stretton (ed.) Married Women and the Law
Professor Tim Stretton (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada) specializes in the social history of law and litigation in Britain, with a focus on the legal rights and experiences of women and intersections between law and literature in early modern England.

Tim’s first book, Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England (1998), remains one of the most important books in its field, showing how women utilized the law despite being (theoretically) subjugated by it. It examines both discourse and legal tactics and this combination of the literary and historical runs through Tim’s more recent work.

Recent publications include (ed. with Krista Kesselring) Married Women and the Law: Coverture in England and the Common Law World (2013; pictured) and ‘Conditional promises and legal instruments in The Merchant of Venice’ in Donald Beecher et al, eds, Taking Exception to the Law: Materializing Injustice in Early Modern English Literature (2014).

For more details, visit the History Department website.

10 December (in association with the School of English)
Claire Walker, An ordered cloister? Dissenting passions in early modern English cloisters
Titlepage: Gender and Politics in Early Modern Europe
Dr Claire Walker (University of Adelaide; Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge) is a scholar of early modern religion, gender and politics. She has written extensively about exiled English convents in France, the Southern Netherlands and Portugal in the 16th and 17th centuries.

As part of an ARC funded project on moral panics, Claire considered the ways that fears about the threat Catholics posed church, state and society were represented in the media.  She is currently working on an ARC Centre for the History of Emotions project, ‘Governing Emotion: The Affective family, the Press and the Law in Early Modern Britain’

Please contact Nicky Hallett for further information about this session.