Scrutinizing Surfaces in Early Modern Thought

surface image

The Second Northern Renaissance Roses Seminar

8-9 May 2015

Keynote Speakers

Helen Smith (University of York)

Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, London)


Run jointly by the universities of Lancaster and York (and funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Lancaster University) this interdisciplinary conference takes up and develops Joseph Amato’s trans-historical investigation of how ‘humans, ourselves a body of surfaces, meet and interact with a world dressed in surfaces’ (2013: xv) in the early modern period.

The conference will take place in the Storey, Lancaster City Centre and the Regimental Chapel, Lancaster Priory, and will feature a recital of early-modern music by Lancaster Priory’s Choir.

Organised by Kevin Killeen (York) and Liz Oakley-Brown (Lancaster)

Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (University of York):

The Northern Renaissance Seminar:


[the programme is subject to change]

Friday 8 May 2015

The Storey (Lecture Theatre), Lancaster

9:00am Registration


Paranoia, Plains and Paper (Chair: Liz Oakley-Brown)

Hilary Hinds (Lancaster University): Editing Anna Trapnel’s Report and Plea: Paranoid and Reparative Readings of the Textual Surface

Eleanor Chan (St Catharine’s College, Cambridge): Fantasizing the Plain, Plot and Surface: Mathematical Visualizations in Early Modern England and the Low Countries

Anna Reynolds (University of York): ‘Such dispersive scattredness’: Early Modern Encounters with Binding Waste

10:45am–11:15am Tea/Coffee Break


Patchworks, and Playtexts (Chair: Helen Wilcox)

Stuart Farley (University of St Andrews): The Mosaic Form in Early Modern Culture

Stephen Curtis (Lancaster University): Scrutinizing the Chameleon: Ways of Seeing Surfaces in Early Modern Thought

Mareile Pfannebecker (Lancaster University): Travel Apes: Dissimulation in Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary

Stephen Watkins (University of Southampton): ‘Now, Friend, we must still supposed Our selves at Peru’: Stage Scenery and the Theatrical Imagination in William Davenant’s Playhouse To Be Let

1:00pm–2:00pm Lunch Break

The Priory (Regimental Chapel), Lancaster


Titles, Pages and Poetry (Chair: Hilary Hinds)

Stewart Mottram (University of Hull): ‘A landskip drawn in looking-glass’: Ruins and the self-reflective gaze in Andrew Marvell’s Upon Appleton House (1651)

Lucy Razzall (Emmanuel College, Cambridge): ‘The other syde of the lefe’: Titles, Pages, Surfaces and the Early Modern Material Text

Craig Farrell (University of York): The Poetics of Page-Turning: Interactive Surfaces in Early Modern Poetry

3.45pm-4.15pm Tea/Coffee Break


Keynote (Chair: Kevin Killeen)

Helen Smith (University of York): Folds, Pleats, Creases, and Rolls: The Proliferating Surfaces of Early Modern Paper

Respondent: Julie Crawford (Columbia University, New York)


Choral Recital of Sixteenth-Century Sacred Music

Lancaster Priory’s Choir

Director of Music: Jeremy Truslove

The Storey (Bar), Lancaster

6:15pm–7:30pm: Reception


Saturday 9 May 2015

The Storey (Auditorium), Lancaster

9:00am Registration


Ornaments and Prosthetics (Chair: Liz Oakley-Brown)

Maria-Anna Aristova (University of York): Freud and Architectural Ornament in the Early Seventeenth Century

Claire Canavan (University of York): Framing the Text: Making Meaning in Early Modern Embroidered Bookbindings

Rebecca Unsworth (Queen Mary University of London and The Victoria and Albert Museum): ‘Lyned vndernethe’: Unpicking Surfaces and Layers in Early Modern Dress

Katie Walter (University of Sussex): Skin’s Surface: Charity, Community and Ethics in Some Late Medieval Writings

11:00am–11:30am: Tea/Coffee Break


Shakespeare’s Surfaces (Chair: Alison Findlay)

Emily Jennings (Merton College, Oxford): Speaking about Surfaces: Deep Ambivalence and the Anatomical Impulse in Shakespeare’s King Lear

Jennifer Edwards (Royal Holloway University of London): ‘Where lies your text?’: Shakespeare’s Textual Bodies

Lawrence Green (Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick): “This loam, this rough-cast and this stone”: Walls Both ‘Wicked’ and ‘Courteous’ in Shakespeare’s Plays

1.00pm-1.30pm: Tea/Coffee Break



Richard Wistreich (Royal College of Music, London): “Inclosed in this tabernacle of flesh”:  Voice, Singing, and the Surface of Sound