Skip to main content

Early Modern Colloquium

The 2018-19 schedule for the Early Modern Colloquium (EMC) is below.  Please keep checking back for more updates.

To stay informed about the EMC’s many events, please contact either of the Graduate Coordinators to be added to our list-serve and Canvas page.

The Early Modern Colloquium is an interdisciplinary group based in the English Department that hosts conversations between faculty and doctoral students working on early modern/Renaissance cultures from a variety of academic disciplines and departments.

Founded in 2000, the EMC is administered by advanced graduate students, with the support of faculty. EMC presenters include Northwestern faculty, graduate students, and faculty from other universities. The group builds on the extraordinarily strong early modern presence in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and other schools and brings into dialogue participants from Art History, Comparative Literature, English, French and Italian, Gender and Sexuality Studies, German, History, Musicology, Philosophy, Poetry and Poetics, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, Theatre and Drama, and other departments and programs.

2018-19 Schedule

Thursday, November 8 - 2018 at 5:15 pm

Christine Göttler (Professor of Art History emerita, Universität Bern and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow at the Newberry Library)
Mount Potosí in Antwerp: Mythological, Metallurgical, and Monetary Imagery in Rubens’s Arch of the Mint for the Entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand (1635)

The Kaplan Institute Seminar Room (Kresge 2-350)

Set up on the north-west corner of the Antwerp Royal Mint, Rubens’s Arch of the Mint conflated the site of the silver mountain of Potosí (with its seemingly inexhaustible flow of silver) with that of Mount Etna with its underground forge of Vulcan, famed for his artifice and cunning. The hardship forced on New World silver miners and slaves was implicitly aligned with the labors of the ‘Habsburgian’ heroes Jason and Hercules in their quests for the Golden Fleece and the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. The paper situates Rubens’s Arch of the Mint within a larger framework of the circulation of silver and of the creation of  monetary, moral, and aesthetic values. And it raises the question of how at Rubens’s Mount Potosí (known as “the mountain that ate men” for its barbaric working conditions), Spanish and colonial narratives intersected with local and urban concerns. This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of Art History and English.

Thursday, November 29 at 5:15 pm

David Goldstein (Associate Professor of English, York University)
Ingredience and the Liquid Actors of Macbeth

The Kaplan Institute Seminar Room (Kresge 2-350)

A draft of Professor Goldstein’s above-entitled project will be pre-circulated to allow for discussion. Please contact the organizers for a copy. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of English.

Thursday, January 24 - 2019 at 5:15 pm

Emily Wilbourne (Associate Professor of Musicology, Queens College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York)
Little Black Giovanni’s Dream: The performance of buffoons, slaves, dwarves, and bad Christians at the Medici court

The Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

The poem “Sogno di Giovannino Moro” or “Little Black Giovanni's Dream” survives in a single manuscript copy, undated and unattributed in the Medicean archives in Florence. This paper provides a close reading of the text, arguing that the enslaved black chamber singer Gio: Buonaccorsi (fl. 1651-d.1674) was the author of the poem. The text itself, likely to have been performed to music, gives evidence of a close-knit community of dwarves, slaves, buffoons and infidels within the inner circles of the court and argues for a more sophisticated account of the multicultural and international presence of “Others” within the seventeenth-century Italian court. This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of African American Studies, English, and Music Studies. 

Thursday, March 7 - 2019 at 5:15 pm

Wendy Wall (Professor of English, Northwestern University)
The Third Annual Early Modern Colloquium Northwestern Faculty Lecture
Matter in Motion: A "Poet in the Making" in the Digital Age

The Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

Professor Wall will be discussing the recently launched digital collaboration, The Pulter Project. Alongside collaborators from around the world, Professor Wall and other leading figures in the field have worked together to produce this innovative example of scholarly editing for the digital age, which has already received widespread notice and acclaim. Stay tuned for more information and please join us for this opportunity to learn and discuss a vital new achievement in the digital humanities.

Thursday, May 16 - 2019 at 5:00 pm

Fiona Macintosh (Fellow in Classics, St Hilda's College, Oxford; Professor of Classical Reception, Faculty of Classics)
Theatre, Comparatism, and the “Classic”:  Interactions between Shakespeare and the Greeks

The Hagstrum Room (University Hall 201)

This interactive workshop invites participants to ponder, along with Professor Fiona Macintosh, what it means to “think with Shakespeare” and “make theatre with the classics.” These two propositions are intertwined in the fields of English literary studies and theatre scholarship, but only after the performative acts of reinvention by the nineteenth-century commercial stage, and subsequent recovery and redefinition under Modernism. What has the “performative turn” meant for the reception history of Shakespeare and Greek drama, both behind the lectern and on the stage?

Two readings will be circulated in advance of this event. Please contact Amy Swanson at to receive them. Check back closer to the date of the workshop for more information. This event is co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama and the Department of Classics.

↑ Return to top

Past Participants

Past guests and speakers have included:

↑ Return to top


↑ Return to Top
Back to top