Epistolary cultures – letters and letter-writing in early modern Europe
The University of York
18-19 March, 2016
From the place of Cicero’s intimate letters in the development of Renaissance humanism, to the knowledge networks of merchants, collectors and scientists, to the role of women in the republic of letters, recent years have seen a flowering of studies on the practice of letter-writing in Early Modern Europe, as well as major editing projects of early modern letters – Hartlib, Comenius, Scaliger, Casaubon, Browne, Greville, and the EMLO and Cultures of Knowledge projects. This conference will explore the manifold aspects of early modern letter-writing in the sixteenth and seventeenth century in its Latin and vernacular forms. It will consider topics such as the intellectual geographies of letter-writing, the connections between vernacular and Latin letter cultures, questions of genre, rhetoric and style, as well as the political, religious, and scientific uses of letters.
Keynote speakers include Henry Woudhuysen and Andrew Zurcher.
Other speakers include: Tom Charlton James Daybell, Johanna Harris Joe Moshenska, Alison Searle, Richard Serjeantson
Papers might explore:
- Rhetoric and letter writing.
- Humanism and the republic of letters.
- The early modern secretary.
- Women and the republic of letters.
- The classical and the biblical letter in early modern thought.
- Letters and the professions – law, trade, war and diplomacy.
- Materials of letter writing: paper, pen, parchment, seals.
- The personal letter: friends and family.
- Love letters.
- Writing disaster: plague and war letters.
- Geographies of letter writing.
- Scientific letters.
- Petition letters.
- Royal letters.
- Prison letters.
- Collections and the publishing of letters.
- Verse epistles.
- Epistolary fiction.
- Dedicatory and prefatory letters.
- Case studies.
Applications: please send a 250-500 word abstract and short c.v. to: Kevin Killeen (email@example.com) and Freya Sierhuis (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 27 April 2015. We welcome applications from early and mid-career researchers, as well as established scholars