Seminars

Please scroll down for details of 2022-2023 Seminar dates and papers.

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 organize 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 now has two kinds of meeting.

In-person meetings. These will take place at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ, on Saturday afternoons. We will be allowed into the room at 12.30, Greenwich Mean Time, to give us time to sort out paperwork and technology, but sessions will run from 13.00 – 15.30. Please arrive between 12:30 and 13:00. There is a break for tea, coffee and biscuits halfway through the session.

The Foundling is a wheelchair accessible venue, and directions for getting to the Museum can be found here, including for those who are partially sighted. Seminars are free and open to the public though non-members will be asked to make a donation of £2 for refreshments. Those attending the seminars are welcome to look round the museum before or after.

ZOOM meetings. These will take place on Thursday evenings and will be hosted by a member of the WSG committee. The session on Thursday 13 October 2022 is from 18:00 – 19:30 (British Summer Time),  with the waiting room opening at 17:45.  In 2023 the January  12th  & March 9th sessions will run from 19:00-20:30 (Greenwich Mean Time), with the waiting room opening at 18:45.

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.

2022 – 2023 Seminars

Thursday October 13, 2022 via ZOOM.  Waiting room opens 17.45 for 18:00 – 19:30 (British Summer Time) Chair: Sara Read  & Zoom host: Trudie Messent

Yvonne Noble: Anne Finch’s Mrs Randolph.

Valeria Viola: Eighteenth-century Global Domesticity. Don Luigi and Donna Caterina Riggio, Princes of Campofiorito.

Saturday November 12, 2022 at The Foundling Museum (12:30 for 13:00 GMT)

Tia Caswell: “La Reine en Chemise”: The Deployment of Female Agency and the Construction of Marie-Antoinette’s Public Image as the Natural Woman.

Clémentine Garcenot: The impact of the French Revolution on aristocratic family life.

Carolyn D. Williams: Problems with Reading Plays: Degradations and Redemptions of Hermione in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Saturday December 3, 2022 at The Foundling Museum (12:30 for 13:00 GMT)

Julia Gruman Martins: Between Manuscript and Print: Alchemical Recipes from Isabella d’Este to Isabella Cortese.

Eleanor Franzén: Selling Sex, Selling Stories: the Magdalen House Texts, 1758-1777.

Janette Bright: ‘A careful, motherly woman’ or ‘Prime Minister of the House’: assessing the status of Matrons at the London Foundling Hospital (1740-1820).

Thursday January 12, 2023 via ZOOM. Waiting room opens 18.45 for 19:00 – 20:30 (GMT) Host: Sara Read

Emanuele Costa: Pen and Paper, Not Needle and Spindle: Maria Gaetana Agnesi on Women’s Equality.

Lesley McKay: Widows fight the disruption of widowhood in Norway and its former territory, Shetland during the early sixteenth century.

Anna Ferrandez: Did Jane Austen Read Mary Wollstonecraft? A Comparative Study of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and Austen’s Fiction.

Saturday February 4, 2023 at The Foundling Museum 12:30 for 13:00  GMT

Federica Coluzzi:  Epistolary networks of early women readers of Dante: a survey of the reading evidence.

Maria Grazia Dongu: Uses of Boccaccio and Shakespeare in Shakespear Illustrated by Charlotte Lennox.

Jennifer Germann: “At the tribunal of public and just criticism”: The Social and Scientific Networks of Margaret Bryan.

Francesca Saggini: On the Humble Writing Desk

Thursday March 9, 2023  via Zoom.  Waiting room opens 18.45 for 19:00 – 20:30 (GMT) Host: Trudie Messent

Karen Griscom: Lucy Hutchinson Reads Poetry and History in Shakespeare’s Richard II.

Claudia Cristell Marin Berttolini: Sor María Anna Águeda de San Ignacio: a unique woman in 18th century Puebla.

Find our more about us on https://womensstudiesgroup.org

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

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