Premodern Studies Seminar | Newberry

Premodern Studies Seminar

Franceso Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1499. (folio Inc. 5574)

CRS is pleased to welcome proposals for the 2022-2023 Premodern Studies Seminar. This seminar provides a forum for new approaches to classical, medieval, and early modern studies, allowing scholars from a range of disciplines to share work-in-progress with the broader community at the Center for Renaissance Studies. We meet three times a year. Every meeting is free and open to the public, and participants are encouraged to attend as many seminars as they are able.

The Premodern Studies Seminar call for proposals is now OPEN. Proposals will be accepted until June 3, 2022. Our theme for 2022-2023 is “Premodern Communities.” Our aim is to explore the role that communities played in public and private life before 1800. How and why did premodern people form, sustain, and dissolve social collectives? What prompted the material, affective, and intellectual investment in networks of intimate exchange? What evidence do we have for understanding the experience of communities now lost to the historical record? How might an attention to marginalized groups shift or redress narratives of power? How did diverse forms of being together shape political, religious, scientific, economic, artistic, and literary developments across the period? Moreover, what lessons might premodern communities offer as we continue to remake our own world in response to a global pandemic, political upheaval at home and abroad, and a reckoning with the systemic inequities of racism and colonialism?

We welcome submissions on these questions from all fields of premodern studies. Global approaches are particularly welcome, and we invite work that is at once archival and theoretical. Papers will be pre-circulated, so that the majority of the seminar session will be devoted to discussion. For 2022-2023, meetings may be held either in-person at the Newberry Library or virtually over Zoom.

To submit a proposal, click here and upload a one-page proposal (300 words), a list of Newberry materials related to your research, a statement explaining the relationship of the paper to your other work, and a brief CV (maximum 2 pages).

Organized by Timothy Crowley, Northern Illinois University; Megan Heffernan, DePaul University; Lydia Barnett, Northwestern University; and Christopher Fletcher, the Newberry.

If you have any questions about the submission process or the seminar in general, please send an email to

Past Premodern Studies Seminars

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 14, 2022
Worldling, Stranger, Citizen: Cosmopolitanism and Migration in Early Modern England, Natalya Din-Kariuki, University of Warwick