Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University


2011-2012 Events
Date:  December 1-2, 2011 Event:  Early Modern Theatricality in the 21st Century

Start/End Time: 
December 1:  4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
December 2:  10:00 am. to 6:00 p.m.

Location:  Alexander Library TLH

The Program in Early Modern Studies (PEMS) is an initiative founded in 2007 at the Center for Cultural Analysis to provide an enduring institutional space for research on the period 1400-1700, as undertaken in an array of disciplines across the humanities and social sciences.  Its purpose is to provide a forum for Rutgers faculty, graduate students, and visitors to exchange work-in-progress, to explore intensively emerging problems and arguments, and to test new methods of research.  The PEMS has no a priori commitment to any one set of questions, theories, methods, or geographical areas beyond the broad chronological range of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries.  It welcomes contributions from any member of the Rutgers community who is engaged in work that spans this historical period, with the assumption that the problem of periodization itself will remain an active area of inquiry for members affiliated with the Program.  It is currently directed by Henry S. Turner; interested faculty and visitors are invited to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Since the intellectual work of the PEMS is fundamentally collaborative, its projects take a number of different forms, in particular:

  • Colloquia and conferences on major problems currently driving research in the area.  Examples include a one-day conference on “Historicisms and Its Discontents,” featuring Jean E. Howard (Columbia University), Aranye Fradenburg (University of California, Santa Barbara), Madhavi Menon (American University), and Kathryn Schwarz (Vanderbilt University); a colloquium on “New Horizons in Early Modern Studies” featuring new faculty at Rutgers from the departments of Art History, English, French, and Philosophy; and several one-day conferences in collaboration with the Rutgers Department of French: on “Thinking Women: Gender and Knowledge in Ancien Régime France” (October 2009) and on “Performances of Power: Architecture, Landscape, and the Stage in Absolutist France” (November 2008), followed by “Performances of Power in Premodern England” in February 2009.  In September 2010, the PEMS and Department of French will be co-sponsoring a one-day conference on “National Languages and Literatures in Early Modern Europe.”
  • Sponsoring individual distinguished visitors, who deliver lectures and conduct brief seminars with faculty and graduate students on their current research.  In November 2007, the PEMS sponsored the visit of Bruce Thomas Boehrer, the Bertram H. Davis Professor in the Department of English at Florida State University and a specialist in early modern animal studies, the history of sexuality, food studies, Milton, Shakespeare, Jonson, and the early modern drama, and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century neo-Latin verse.  In April 2009, the PEMS brought Elizabeth Spiller (English, Florida State University) and Howard Marchitello (English, Rutgers University-Camden) for an intensive seminar on “Literature and Science in the Early Modern Period.”  In October 2009, the PEMS co-sponsored the visit of Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (History, UT-Austin) on “Nature, Empire, and the Nation in the Atlantic World” and in November 2009, the PEMS brought Bernadette Meyler (Cornell University Law School) and Philip Lorenz (English, Cornell University) for an intensive seminar on “Shakespeare, in Theory: Law, Theology, Sovereignty.”
  • Year-long workshops and seminars among faculty and graduate students on an annual theme.  Possible future topics include:

“Defining a Transatlantic Early Modernity”

“Imagining Science in Early Modern Europe”

“Early Modern Genealogies of the Political”

“The History of the Book in the Age of New Media”

“Early Modern Drama: Performance, Form, Internationalism”

“Early Modern Studies and the Question of Theory”

Faculty and graduate students are welcome to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of interest for future workshops and seminars.

  • Co-sponsored events with related research groups on campus.  Examples include a talk by Zachary Lesser (University of Pennsylvania) to the Rutgers Seminar in the History of the Book and a one-day conference on “Formalisms New and Old” sponsored by the English Department’s Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium featuring Maura Nolan (University of California, Berkeley), Scott Trudell (Rutgers University), Larry Scanlon (Rutgers University), Colleen Rosenfeld (Rutgers University), Christopher Warley (University of Toronto), Ellen Rooney (Brown University), and Susan Wolfson (Princeton University).
  • Providing funds for graduate student travel to major national conferences, in any field related to PEMS projects.
  • Acting as a network of information and a link to resources in Early Modern Studies in the New York area and beyond, through the consortium of local universities and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Housed at the Center for Cultural Analysis at 8 Bishop Place, the PEMS is generously supported by the CCA, the English Department, the Dean of Humanities, the Dean of SAS, the Vice President of Undergraduate Education, and the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

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