The Northern Renaissance Seminar was founded in 1992 by colleagues at the University of Liverpool, the University of Keele, and Lancaster University to provide a counterpart to the London Renaissance Seminar. Founding members were Professor Helen Wilcox (now at Bangor University), Professor Elspeth Graham (now at Liverpool John Moores), Professor Marion Wynne-Davies (now University of Surrey) and Professor Richard Dutton (now Ohio State University). As well as organising one-day seminars to encourage dialogue between established scholars and new postgraduates, the NRS also promoted the publication of primary texts which were difficult to obtain for teaching purposes before Early English Books Online and other digital resources became more widely available. The Series Renaissance Texts and Studies, published by Ryburn Publishing and Keele University Press, published critical editions such as Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynd ed. Brian Nellist (1995), Jacobean City Pageants, ed. Richard Dutton (1995), Lady Mary Wroth: Poems, ed. R. E. Pritchard (1996), Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam, ed. Stephanie Hodgson-Wright (1996). It also published a collection of essays Voicing Women: Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Writing, ed. Kate Chegdzoy, Melanie Hansen and Suzanne Trill (1996).
Reconvened in 2007 by Professor Robert Appelbaum, Professor Alison Findlay and Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, the Northern Renaissance Seminar (NRS) was a peripatetic series of one-day events for the discussion of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and culture. The NRS archive of events and blogs is contained on this site.
On December 1 2017, and in order to engage with a wider remit of literature and culture produced between 1250 to 1700, the NRS was relaunched as the Northern Premodern Seminar (NPS). The seminar’s core values remain the same.