The Turn to Religion: Women and Writing in Early Modern England | Newberry

The Turn to Religion: Women and Writing in Early Modern England

Jaime Goodrich, Wayne State University

Jaime Goodrich, Wayne State University

Paula McQuade, DePaul University

Research Methods Workshop for Early-Career Graduate Students
Saturday, March 12, 2016

9 am to 5 pm

Room 101

Led by Jaime Goodrich, Wayne State University, and Paula McQuade, DePaul University
The application deadline has passed
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Renaissance Graduate Programs

In an influential article from 2004, Ken Jackson and Arthur Marotti heralded the turn to religion in early modern studies, a movement that has largely involved reading early modern literature through the lens of Continental philosophy. Yet well before this development, scholarship on early modern Englishwomen’s writing had already undergone its own turn to religion. After Margaret Ezell’s ground-breaking monograph Writing Women’s Literary History (1993) critiqued the protofeminist model that governed the initial recovery of women writers, scholars sought to de-center gender and counteract ahistoricism by situating women within specific cultural contexts.

As critics have explored and debated the ways that women’s devotional texts participated in the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, a dynamic subfield has taken shape that studies early modern women’s religious writing. Besides introducing students to seminal scholarship on this subject, this workshop will provide an overview of key methodologies for advanced research on religious writings by and for early modern Englishwomen. The Newberry is an ideal setting for a workshop on this topic due to its collection’s remarkable strength in early modern religious texts, both print and manuscript.

Participants will become acquainted with the complexity and variety of early modern women’s religious writings and receive an introduction to the ample resources of the Newberry collection for independent research.

Learn more about the workshop directors

Jaime Goodrich, Wayne State University

Paula McQuade, DePaul University

Download a PDF flyer for all this year’s methods workshops, to post and distribute.


8:30: Coffee and introductions

9 - 9:15 Participants obtain reader cards

9:20 - 12:30: Session 1

  • Discussion of works by Ezell, Gray, Jackson and Marotti, and White
  • Workshop directors discuss the research process behind their articles

12:30 - 1:30 Catered lunch

1:30 - 4: Session 2

  • Orientation to and tour of the library
  • Hands-on session with rare books

4:15 - 5: Concluding discussion

We encourage students to arrive a day or two early to work on personal research in the Reading Rooms; they are open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 9 am to 1 pm Saturday.

Eligibility: This workshop is open to graduate students in a terminal master’s program and those who have not yet completed comprehensive exams in a PhD program, at Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies consortium member institutions. We encourage students to apply from disciplines as varied as the literatures of English and other languages, Religious Studies, Medieval or Renaissance Studies, Art History, and History, among others. No language prerequisites.

Travel funding: Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Cost and Registration Information 

Enrollment is limited, by competitive application. The application deadline has passed.