CALL FOR PAPERS: The Second Annual Early Modern Women Writers' Colloquium (2018)

At the 6th Annual Othello's Island Conference 2018
Centre for Visual Arts and Research, Nicosia, Cyprus
25 to 27 March 2018

Keynote lecture by: Professor David Norbrook

Full information at

Lead Convenors: Dr. Stella Achilleos (University of Cyprus) and Professor James Fitzmaurice (Northern Arizona University)

About the Conference: We are very pleased to announce that our keynote speaker at the Second Annual Early Modern Women Writers' Colloquium in 2018 will be Professor David Norbrook, Emeritus Merton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford, who will deliver a lecture titled 'Providence and Displacement: Writing Lucy Hutchinson's Life'.

Dedicated to women writers from the period 1500 to 1700 (approximate dates), the Early Modern Women Writers' Colloquium forms a strand within the annual interdisciplinary "Othello's Island" conference on Byzantine, Medieval, and Renaissance studies. The strand was held informally at the fourth Othello's Island conference in 2015, and became a formal feature in 2016 at the fifth Othello's Island in 2016. This developing tradition continues at the sixth Othello's Island Conference in 2018, where we will again welcome papers on women writers in all languages of the early modern period, with a particular emphasis on the writers Mary Wroth, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, and their contemporaries. The strand includes papers on women writers themselves, but also associated topics, such as the representation of women and women writers in work by male writers of the period, women publishers, and also the popular round table discussion, held outside under the olive trees, as a true academia, in the courtyard garden at CVAR.

If you would like to submit a paper to the Early Modern Women Writers strand of Othello's Island, please follow the instructions below. If you have any questions, please do contact us. Participants in the Early Modern Women Writers strand can, of course, attend all the other papers and events of the Othello's Island Conference, and we encourage participants to do so. The Early Modern Women Writers strand is held in association with the International Margaret Cavendish Society.

Full Papers (20 minutes plus questions)
If you are interested in giving a talk at the conference please submit a proposal for a paper. Standard papers are 20 minutes long, followed by 5 or 10 minutes for questions. Proposals for papers should comprise a cover sheet showing:

Your title (eg. Mr, Ms, Dr, Prof. etc.) and full name
Your institutional affiliation (if any)
Your postal address, email address and telephone number
The title of your proposed paper

With this you should send a proposal/abstract for your paper of no more than 300 words and a copy of your CV/resume to with the subject line EMWW 2018.

All papers must be delivered in English and in person by the author of the paper. We cannot accommodate speakers wishing to present using Skype (or similar), or proxy presentations.

Deadline for submissions: 22 December 2017.

Please visit our website at before submitting your proposal.

Annual Milton Lecture 2018: The Starry Messenger: Milton v. the New Science

The Milton Lecture is organised by the Friends of Milton's Cottage

Venue: Mercers Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London EC2
Date: 15 March 2018, at 1800
Speaker: Dr William Poole, fellow of New College, Oxford

In Paradise Lost (1667) the blind poet John Milton (1608-1674) reimagined the human drama of the Fall of Man, but located within a cosmic setting, where the tragedy in the garden is juxtaposed with voyages through chaos, battles in heaven, and the creation of the material universe itself. 

Milton exerts himself to make the universe of his poem a consistent and coherent one, replete with discussions about not just morality and theology, but astronomy and physics. How ‘scientific’ is Milton, then? He was obviously fascinated by the theories of Galileo, whom he had met in Italy in the 1630s. He was also intelligently interested in the controversies within matter theory in his own day. Was the universe reducible to atoms and space? Are ‘matter’ and ‘spirit’ different things or just different types of the same thing? Does the Earth go around the Sun or vice versa? These were controversial questions in Milton’s time, and Milton’s views, not often easily extractable from his epic verse, remain a matter of controversy too. 

In this talk I will examine Milton’s interests in, and sympathies for, the ‘New Science’ — but also his worries and his disagreements. We often like to enlist our favourite writers for what we think are the progressive movements of the day; but we should be careful of forcing a modernism upon Milton that he does not want. The real picture is more complex, and more interesting.

Admission donation £5.

Further details available from Dr K C Sugden

Early Modern Exchanges: Being Black in Tudor England / Being English in Mughal India

Mar 14, 2018 05:00 PM
Location: IAS Seminar Room 20, first floor, South Wing, UCL

Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories

Dr. Miranda Kaufmann tells the intriguing tales of three Africans: a diver employed by Henry VIII to recover guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose, a Moroccan woman baptised in Elizabethan London, and a porter who whipped a fellow servant at their master’s Gloucestershire manor house.

Dr. Miranda Kaufmann is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She read History at Christ Church, Oxford, where she completed her doctoral thesis on 'Africans in Britain, 1500-1640' in 2011. As a freelance historian and journalist, she has worked for The Sunday Times, the BBC, the National Trust, English Heritage, the Oxford Companion series, Quercus publishing and the Rugby Football Foundation.

Sir Thomas Roe: Memory, transculturality, and the incorporated self

In 1615, Sir Thomas Roe arrived at the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, via a stop in Surat and an arduous journey across Gujarat and Rajasthan. His embassy would be filled with frustrations -- clashes with East India Company factors deeply protective of their own autonomy on the one hand, obstacles posed by Mughal court customs and officials on the other. He had not really achieved much when he left, and the EIC would not send another ambassador till 1699. Roe nevertheless earned a significant reputation for diplomacy in difficult terrain, and his Mughal embassy has emerged as a standard case study in theorisations of cross-cultural encounter with India, to the extent that it has begun to define our understanding of the nature of English first encounter with India.

This paper, by Prof Nandini Das, places the accounts of Roe’s very familiar Mughal embassy against the backdrop of his long career across four continents and four decades, to interrogate our understanding of the 'moment' of cross-cultural encounter. Ben Jonson makes an appearance.

Prof Nandini Das is a Professor of English Literature, University of Liverpool and Director of the TIDE Project (Travel, Transculturality and Identity in England, c. 1550-1700). She works on Renaissance romance, fiction and early travel and cross-cultural encounters. Other research interests include early modern cultural and intellectual history, editing theory and history of the book, Shakespeare, Renaissance theatre and popular culture, women’s writing (especially Renaissance women writers and female pseudo-autobiographies from the sixteenth to the early eighteenth century), the development of early eighteenth century Orientalism, and digital humanities.

All welcome, and there will be drinks and discussion afterwards.