Send in your news!

Have you published a new book or article that members of our Women’s Studies Group (WSG) would be interested to read? Do you have information about a new call for papers, conferences, grants, jobs, seminars, or workshops that our WSG members might be interested to hear about and contribute to?

If so, please send your news to Sara Read who writes out monthly newsletter! The newsletter is sent to all WSG members at the beginning of each month and Sara is looking for content that would benefit our membership. Please email Sara your news no later than the 30th of the month or no later than the 28th/29th if it is February!). Her email is: S.L.Read@lboro.ac.uk.

Call for papers from the Women’s Studies Group: 1558-1837

The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 is a small, informal, multidisciplinary group formed to promote women’s studies in the early modern period and the long eighteenth century. Established in the 1980s, the group has enabled those interested in women’s and gender studies to keep in touch, hear about one another’s research, meetings and publications, and meet regularly to discuss relevant topics. We organise regular meetings and an annual workshop (see membership application form) where members can meet and discuss women’s studies topics. We can also offer advice and opportunities to engage in activities that increase opportunities for publication, or enhance professional profiles in other ways. The WSG is open to men, women, and non-binary people, students, faculty, and independent scholars, all of whom are invited to join the group and give papers.

The group meets on Zoom at present, but it is hoped that we will be able to resume in-person meetings at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ, for the last two meetings of this series (January and March 2022). We will be allowed into the room at 12.30pm., to give us time to sort out paperwork and technology, but sessions will run from 1.00–3.30pm. So please arrive a little early, whether virtually or in person, if you can. Topics can be related to any aspect of women’s studies: not only women writers, but any activity of a woman or women in the period of our concern, or anything that affects or is affected by women in this period, such as the law, religion, etc. Male writers writing about women or male historical figures relevant to the condition of women in this period are also a potential topic. Papers tackling aspects of women’s studies within or alongside the wider histories of gender and sexuality are particularly welcome; so are topics from the early part of our period. We would also welcome how-to presentations for discussion: examples of suitable topics would include, but are not limited to, grant applications, setting up research networks, becoming a curator, co-authorship, using specialised data, and writing about images. Papers should be 20-25 minutes.

Dates of meetings:

Saturday September 25, 2021 (British Summer Time) – Zoom

Saturday October 23, 2021 (Greenwich Mean Time) – Zoom

Saturday November 27, 2021 (Greenwich Mean Time) – Zoom

Saturday January 29, 2022 (Greenwich Mean Time) – Possibly in-person at The Foundling

Saturday March 26, 2022 (Greenwich Mean Time) – Possibly in-person at The Foundling

Please reply to Carolyn D. Williams on cdwilliamslyle@aol.com

Send in your news!

Have you published a new book or article that members of our Women’s Studies Group (WSG) would be interested to read? Do you have information about a new call for papers, conferences, grants, jobs, seminars, or workshops that our WSG members might be interested to hear about and contribute to?

If so, please send your news to Sara Read who writes out monthly newsletter! The newsletter is sent to all WSG members at the beginning of each month and Sara is looking for content that would benefit our membership. Please email Sara your news no later than the 30th of the month or no later than the 28th/29th if it is February!). Her email is: S.L.Read@lboro.ac.uk.

Reminder: WSG seminar April 2021

The seventh seminar of the year takes place on Saturday, 12.50pm (BST), 17 April 2021.

This meeting will be delivered on Zoom. All meetings will start promptly at 12.50 BST (with arrivals from 12.30 onward to allow for necessary preparations and administration). We aim to finish by 2.50pm. If you would like to attend, please make sure your membership is up-to-date to receive the Zoom link.

April 17, 2021

Francesca Saggini: From St Martin’s Street to “Camilla Cottage.” Frances Burney’s Houses between Fact and Fantasy.

Anna Jamieson: “Comforts in her Calamity”: Dorothea Fellowes’s Shopping and Spending in the late Eighteenth-Century Private Madhouse.                       

Julie Vig: Women and martiality in the Sikh literature of early modern Punjab.

Early Modern Women: Lives, Texts, Objects. Edited by Martine van Elk. https://martinevanelk.wordpress.com/ Accessed 11 February 2020.

Martine van Elk’s Early Modern Women: Lives, Texts, Objects is a fascinating blog that offers interdisciplinary and comparative analysis of early modern women authors and artists. The blog emphasizes that authorship, writing, and artistic endeavors were often interlinked as different aspects of self-expression. It has a search function, as well as an archive drop down by month and a category filter with options such as courtesans, biography, marriage, and religious women. Van Elk also accepts guest posts, which seem to represent more than half of the entries.

Its greatest strength is that Van Elk highlights the lives and works of a transnational group of women, typically English and Dutch, which reflects her 2017 monograph on early modern women writers in England and the Dutch Republic. She argues that seventeenth-century women need to be examined from a cross-cultural perspective to more fully understand the collective experience of early modern women as a whole.

The blog is suitable for both a general and a scholarly audience, as she highlights little know women and topics that could be introductory to students and those interested in the early modern period, yet every entry contains a section with references for further reading and most entries engage with the historiography of the subject. The entries are typically about 2,000 words and take many different foci, from one single object, such as the handkerchief (18 September 2016), to a theme, such as mottos (18 October 2016) or engraving (22 February 2017), to case studies of a specific woman or group of women, such as Celia Fiennes (18 June 2018) and Susanna Teellinck (10 July 2019).

My favorite entry is on female engravers, one written by Van Elk herself. In this post, Van Elk explores to what extent copper engraving was a gendered activity, in that it would have taken place in a male-dominated print shop. She finds print-making to be a collaborative activity between a designer, engraver, and publisher. Seventeenth-century female engravers were rare, but when known, it seems like they also had male relatives who were engravers and they worked within a family business. Magdalena van de Passe (1600–1638) was daughter and sister to male Dutch engravers, and created prints by the time she was 14 years old. Her engravings often were derivative of other engravers, which Van Elk suggests could be understood as translations, in the way that translation of texts was a more suitable activity for women than was original writing.
Sadly, the most recent blog entry is from July 2019, and it was written by a guest. As many of Van Elk’s own posts stemmed from research for her 2017 book, hopefully new posts will arrive as she works on her own new research. She is also a main contributor to the Early Modern Female Book Ownership blog (previously reviewed here), where her newest entries can be found.

Valerie Schutte
Independent Scholar

Valerie Schutte has published widely on royal Tudor women, book dedications, and queenship. Her second monograph, Princesses Mary and Elizabeth Tudor and the Royal Gift Book Exchange, will be published with ARC Humanities Press in 2021.