Early Modern
Research Network

Early Modern Studies Symposium

Friday 6 September 2013

Symposium Program

On Friday 6 September 2013, The Early Modern Women's Research Network (EMWRN) and the University of Newcastle hosted The Early Modern Studies Symposium at Newcastle, NSW. Many Australian and international students and academics travelled to Newcastle to attend the event. Professor Stephen Orgel and Michael Wyatt of Stanford University featured as keynote speakers on the day.

EMWRN coordinators Dr Patricia Pender and Associate Professor Rosalind Smith, from the School of Humanities & Social Science at the University of Newcastle, have networked cross-institutionally with scholars in the field of early modern literature. Speakers travelled to contribute to the event from The University of Sydney, La Trobe University, Macquarie University, and Victoria University Wellington.

Keynote speaker Michael Wyatt opened the symposium with his paper 'John Florio's Montaigne and the end of Renaissance Humanism'. Wyatt's discussion on John Florio's 1603 translation of the Essays of Montaigne demonstrated how early translation was the key to advancements in political and cultural England, and a significant practice in its own right.

Succeeding the opening address, four speakers (A/Prof Rosalind Smith, Dr Dianne Osland, Professor Marea Mitchell and Dr x) presented papers on aspects of early modern women's writing including marginalia, editing and performance. The unifying theme of the panel was the transmission of early modern women's writing from its contemporary circulation to its later reception, and the individual papers gave rise to a lively discussion at the end of the panel.

Professor Stephen Orgel's closing keynote 'What Was an Audience?' explored an often overlooked aspect of early modern literature: the receivers of art, poetry and theatre during the Renaissance period. Orgel interpreted the relationships between early modern playwrights, actors and audience members and the significance of each dynamic in a successful theatrical play.

Following the symposium, Professor Stephen Orgel, on behalf of EMWRN, launched the Parergon Special Issue: Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Sarah C E Ross, Patricia Pender and Rosalind Smith of EMWRN.

The Parergon Special Issue (Parergon, vol. 29, no. 2, 2012; available in print and online) features a collection of articles exploring the material culture of early modern women writers and their writing including papers by symposium presenters Professor Marea Mitchell of Macquarie University and Associate Professor Rosalind Smith of the University of Newcastle.

The Early Modern Studies Symposium was proudly presented by EMWRN and the University of Newcastle, and funded by a Strategic Networks Grant from the University's Faculty of Education and Arts. It was held at the Novotel, Newcastle Beach.