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Abstracts for papers

presented at the 2018 Conference



Antonia Iliadou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

“For the perusal of the young and thoughtless of the fair sex…”: The Ideology of Republican Motherhood and the “Awakening” of Women in Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple.


The essay explores the way in which the ideology of Republican Motherhood is presented in Susanna Rowson’s Charlotte Temple (1791). After the American Revolution, reading had become a popular pastime for women and sentimental literature acquired considerable readership. The emergence of the concept of Republican Motherhood coincided with the promotion of women’s education in the confines of the domestic sphere. The essay examines the way Rowson employs sentimental and melodramatic tropes in order to contribute in the construction of a concrete female ideology based on morality and virtue. Finally, Charlotte Temple is recognised as a work that discusses hotly debated issues pertaining to the women’s community that remain relevant to present day such as: the position of women in a male-dominated society, extra-marital pregnancy, and the role of women in the family unit.



Nikoletta Papadopoulou 
University of Cyprus

“The Acknowledged Standard of the World”: Female Captivity and the Global Export of Republican Motherhood in Susanna Rowson’s Slaves in Algiers 

Following the first English and American publications of the Arabian Nights in 1706 and 1794 respectively, American society and culture became fascinated with images of the harem and with accounts relating to female captives in the Muslim Orient. While most American narratives tended to reproduce stereotypical depictions of the harem as a space of sexual decadence and tyrannical oppression, many American authors also adopted these images as a means of articulating different ideologies, including ones that defended or challenged patriarchal notions of “proper” gender roles. This paper focuses on Susanna Rowson’s theatrical play Slaves in Algiers or, A Struggle for Freedom and explores how the specific author complicates the distinction between the private and the public sphere in the late eighteenth century by representing the harem as a dynamic space of social bonding for women and where topics such as liberty and sexuality are discussed without the participation of men. 

Even more importantly, Rowson articulates her own aspirations over the position of women in the post-Revolutionary nation and presents Western female captives who not only maintain their sexual purity in the private space of the harem but also participate in missions of international pedagogy. Just like Scheherazade, both a victim and an agent who uses her intelligence and influence to reform her husband, the play’s female protagonists teach the racial Other about American values, proclaiming at the same time that the American notion of freedom and democracy will become the “acknowledged standard of the world.” In this act of global export of the ideology of Republican Motherhood, Rowson’s captives assert their political agency in their role as “Republican Mothers” on a national and transnational level as well as participate in what Timothy Marr defines as an “imperialism of virtue” which, despite its limitations, could envision women as active participants in the nation’s expansion of national “influence” and ideals abroad. 




Talya Housman
Brown University


‘TO PLUNDER UNDER THE PETTICOAT’: Gender, Legitimate Violence, and Sexual Crime, 1642-1660 


Throughout the seventeenth century, sexual violence functioned as a metaphor and accusation extremely potent in English political speech. Political clashes were fought rhetorically using women’s bodies as a battleground. Accessible and immediate, the language of sexual violence provided a space for contests over authority and defined the boundaries of legitimate violence. This paper explores those boundaries through a comparison of legal cases and public print. 
In the Venn-diagram of rape language from the period, newsbooks had a much larger overlap with contemporary fiction than with court cases. Early modern polemicists promulgated political views by manipulating literature’s established tropes of rape. For example, public print depictions of the 1641 uprising constantly described the Irish raping English settler women “before their husbands faces.”1 This is noteworthy because in the approximately eight thousand depositions taken after the uprising – depositions teeming with graphic depictions of Irish violence – raping a woman in front of her husband was reported only once.2 By flooding the market with carefully constructed scenes of gendered violence, polemicists engineered a view of the Irish that had important consequences on English policy towards the Irish throughout the 1640s. 

Through an examination of both printed and legal records, this paper will show where court testimony, contemporary fiction, and public print share language and ideas about the proper place for violence, as well as the telling distinctions between the three. While discussions of legitimate violence in law, fiction, and politics were all mutually informed by the evolution of the others, the places of divergence demonstrate much about both the perception and reality of violence in early modern England. 


Tamar Khosroshvili 
George Chubinashvili National Research Centre for Georgian Art History and Heritage 

The aspects of identity in the Nineteenth-century church murals in Georgia 

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the nineteenth-century church murals in Georgia and their relation with the aspects of national identity. In different periods, church murals visualised various attitudes towards programmes, images and iconographies that were closely linked with the religious identities of communities. After the emergence of nationalism in the mid-nineteenth century, church wall paintings responded to national and ethnic identities as well. 

The chronological limits of the proposed research are determined by crucial events in the history of the country, such as the conquest of East Georgia by the Russian Empire in 1801 and the proclamation of the independence of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918. Between these two events, a number of church wall paintings were created throughout Georgia, which reflected the ideas and aspirations of Georgian nationalism. These wall paintings are very different from the medieval murals both in programmes and iconographies displaying a growing interest in national saints and events of the Christian Georgian history. On the other hand, some of these murals were intended to promote the Russian imperial identity and served for consolidating the power of the Empire over the conquered country. Also, the paper will pay attention to the nineteenth and early twentieth-century wall paintings of Armenian churches in Georgia, which reveal processes similar to those in the Georgian religious art. 

The paper will be focused on the church murals which are milestones in the development of the Georgian religious wall painting in the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries: churches of the Transfiguration, St George, St David, the Holy Trinity, and Sioni in Tbilisi, St John the Baptist and Mother of God in Shiomgvime Monastery, and St Alexander Nevsky in Abastumani. 




Irma Mamasakhlisi
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University


The Cycle of The Life of St Eustathius in the Murals of Ertatsminda Church


The Church of St Eustathius Placidas at Ertatsminda had been built in the second quarter of the 13th century. According to the  Donors' inscription Ertatsminda Church had been painted in the year 1654.  Here appears some scenes reflecting the lives of the holy Great Martyrs – St George and St Eustathius. Five scenes of the live of St Eustathius are represented above the door to the Prothesis  and on the northern walls. The cycle begins with The Vision of the Holy Martyr and goes one on the northern wall, where three scenes from St Eustathius' life can be seen. In the first register is a scene picturing the holy family partaking of a meal. The baptism of the holy family is shown in the second register of the northern wall, while the representative image of the holy family can be seen in the third register of the northern wall. The cycle of St Eustathius' life is concluded with the episode of the martyrdom of his children. 

The vision of St Eustathius is one of the most popular scene in the Georgian medieval art, This episodes of had been popular in the Christian East and West as well. It is remarkable, that the visual tradition of St Eustathius' vision even precedes the literary tradition of his life. Scenes of St Eustathius' miraculous vision had been disseminated and developed in the Georgian visual arts since the early Middle Ages, also being spread in monuments from the late Middle Ages.

The paper focuses on the original arrangement of the programme of the decoration of the Ertatsminda murals (for example the absent of the Christological scenes in the programme) emphasising the iconographic specificity of this cycle.  


Jelena Bakić
University of Porto, Portugal

Defence from the Margin


The aim of this paper is to contribute to the two important fields: the women’s authorship during the second half of the 16th century, and their paratextual contribution to the debate querelle des femmes, between the two shores of the Adriatic. 

This paper will represent textual case studies - ‘discursive paratextual prose’ penned by three women authors. Two authors Maria Gondola (1582/1584), and Speranza di Bona (1569) are connected with the Ragusan (Dubrovnik) environment, meanwhile the third one is Camilla Herculiana (1584) who lived in Padua. ‘The discursive prose’ includes dedicatory epistles, dedicatory sonnets, errata corrige, trial testimony and letters.

Apart from the fact that their work was written in Italian and appeared almost at the same historical moment, in a post-Tridentine context, and until recently remained forgotten, it is a voice of defence in relation to their female existence in the paratextual elements of their discursive secular prose that connects these three authors. 


Relaying on paratextual theory, mainly based in the work of Genette (1987) and Dunn (1994), as well as on the theory which comes from the fields of micro-history and New Historicism, this paper will argue that by focusing our attention on three less known and apparently isolated women and the contexts in which their work appeared, we can understand some new and different ways of female contribution to the culture, in this case to the cultural debate of the querelle des femmes. Also, it will show the importance of the marginal part of the book, used as a way not only to enter in the querelle debate, but also to legitimise their authorship. Finally, by introducing two less known women authors, this paper will try to show the importance of the historical recovery of early modern women’s work in transcultural context. 


Eszter Kovács
University of Szeged, Hungary

Émilie du Châtelet. Study, Freedom and Happiness

Although Émilie du Châtelet is mostly known for her French translation of Newton’s Principia (posthumous, 1759) and of her scientific opus entitled Foundations of Physics (1740), in what we may consider as her literary work she considers three related topics: studies for women, freedom and happiness. In my paper, I intend to demonstrate that in the Preface to her translation of Mandeville’s Fable of the bees (around 1735), in an unpublished manuscript fragment related to her study of Newton’s natural philosophy (Notes et brouillons sur l’optique de Newton), in her short essay On freedom (around 1738) and in her Discourse on Happiness (1747), she argues that studies are necessary for women’s independence and success. Although love is the most vivid passion, and no one should ever prevent oneself from falling in love at least once in his or her life, it leads to a vulnerable and fragile happiness since, especially for women, it depends on her lover’s faith. Sciences, on the contrary, may assure an independent, hence long-term and reliable happiness and can lead to free choice in one’s ambitions. The importance of study, for men and women as well, is also present in the Foreword of Foundations of Physics, dedicated to her thirteen-year old son. I will focus on the inter-relations of the three topics. Émilie du Châtelet emphasises freedom as a conscious choice, following the views of Descartes, Malebranche, Locke and Leibniz (despite the fact that human liberty is always imperfect face to the perfect freedom of God). For Mme du Châtelet, our aim of being independent should convince us of the possibility of finding happiness in the pursuit of knowledge, this latter being the rational counterpart of love’s irrational and absorbing desire.




Iliona Outram Khalili 
University of Kent, UK


The Imaginary Landscape of the Byzantine Church as a Template for the 21st Century Mason’s Process.

“Apo Stilo-Stilo Anesi” has come to mean “upwardly mobile” in the 21st century. But in early Christian Rome, it might have meant climbing up a column in order to live a hermit’s life, and later in Byzantine times, the process of ascending the ladder of enlightenment to which “Agios Ioannis o kilmakas” gave his name; one experience, three different interpretations. 

The practice of masonry arts also contain key experiences which can inform Byzantine ontology, as well as modern sustainable communities. For example, the masonry churches of Byzantium provide a template of experienced spaces. The darkened interior, the centralised dome, the four directions of crossing, the horizontal direction to the eastern apse, the veil of the iconostasis or curtain of mystery, the congregational space, the openness of the western entrances, the striations of brickwork and stones, the glimmering of mosaics and candles, the specific echo of the masonry spaces of dome, apse, and vault, the verticality of the centralised dome, sunlight entering high up above eye level and in 360 degrees, the multiplicity of small units such as bricks or stones and their unity into the masonry forms, the unity of tension and compression in the arches, vaults, and domes, the total structural dependence on gravity. 

All these experiences provided analogies for learning fundamental concepts in Byzantine theology. Today, we can take a look at some of these analogies, their possible interpretation in Byzantine churches and possible new applications for sustainable 21st century construction. 


Mohamed Ahmed Malaka
Cairo University, Egypt

Damat Rüstem Pasha Khans in Istanbul: A Study of The Architecture History and Its Financial Resources


The paper presents a description and an analysis for the architectural plans of the Rüstem Pasha Khans as kind of the commercial buildings. Rüstem Pasha was the grand vizier between (1544–53 and 1556–61) and son-in-law of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent after he had been married to Mihrimah, Suleiman’s favorite daughter. His khans were established in very important locations in Istanbul, on the north and south shores of the Golden Horn, which was the main port of the city. First Khan was established on the north shore of the Golden Horn in Galata and called as Kurçunlu khan, the leaded khan. It is a big khan and consists of a central Courtyard, surrounded by two stories. He also built three khans near of his mosque on the South shore of the horn. Moreover, he built a big khan in the covered bazaar called Cebeci khan. The Method of the Research depends on two ways; the first way is the description of dates, Locations, Sizes and Names. The other is the analysis in plans or designs, Architectural elements, Construction Systems and Covering Styles. The research ends with the results and reveals about the multiple units and architectural elements which were used to build these khans. Furthermore, the buildings are in an adaptation with the surrounding environment. The materials, which were used in the constructions of it, are similar to that used in the design of the surrounding buildings. Both use the coverage style by domes and vaults. Moreover the Ottoman khans were built in general as endowments and financial resources for yielding income to meet the expenses of such charitable organisations, such as mosques, colleges, and hospitals in Ottoman cities.



Mansour Mhammed abd al. Razik
Cairo University, Egypt

The role of archaeological public baths in financed and development the Islamic endowments in Aleppo


The paper aims to shed the light on the important role which the archaeological public baths 'Hammams' played in financed and development the Islamic endowments in the city of Aleppo in Syria. The public baths were considered to be the most suitable buildings that finance the endowments in the city, as it guarantee a suitable yield for funding the archaeological building especially the religious buildings. Therefore, the founders of these buildings used to found their charitable buildings and they used to allocate the endowments which guarantee its continuity, in many cases the public baths were represented as a preferred buildings between these endowments because they were classified as a profitable buildings. The paper shed the light on the administration of these building for the benefit of the endowments, and the quantity of the yield which achieved by their administration. The paper depended on many original documents for these information and many of these documents were published for the first time in this study.            




Dominic Birch
King’s College London


Shakespeare’s Legalism 


Early modern England was an extremely litigious society. The ‘litigation boom’ of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries meant that a large proportion of the population had their lives tied up with the pen and paper of the official courts—in the chancery, con- sistory or King’s Bench. Moreover, early modern people were encouraged to perform their own legalism. The government, seeking to inculcate ‘quiet’ into the populace, endorsed individual mediation and arbitration, aiming to minimise ‘vexatious’ litigation. Historians are now realising that the ‘law’ in this period was a huge, multifaceted part of the social world—at times officially administered, but often not.

This paper explores such themes within the work of Shakespeare. I aim to illustrate what legalism meant within Shakespeare’s plays. My paper will focus not on ‘the law’ but instead on things that early modern people recognised as ‘legal’—dispute resolution, debt, the administration of private justice and so on. I will consider, for example, Shakespeare’s frequent references to debt (‘be not a borrower or a lender. . . ’) in the context of the expansion of credit networks and associated litigation during the sixteenth century. This context further explains Shakespeare’s concern with merchant power and private justice in The Merchant of Venice. Similarly, the abuse of legal power that runs throughout the Henriad is often written about in terms of social crisis (i.e. in the 1590s); I will argue that these plays express a deeper concern with early modern office holding. 

Legalism pervades Shakespeare—from the mock trial in King Lear to the predominance of contract in The Comedy of Errors. I will ultimately argue, however, that these plays do not express a legal ideology per se. Rather, they reflect the contradictory ways in which early modern people understood and experienced the legal system. 




Ahmet Cem Durak
Central European University, Hungary


Journey of the Reviving Fish in Zoodochos Peghe 


Constantinople's Zoodochos Peghe or The Church of St. Mary of the Spring is a unique church with its fish in its hagiasma (holy spring). The name of the church is Balıklı Kilise in Turkish which means "The Church with Fish." The fish comes with a miracle to the hagiasma. According to oral stories, in 1453 a monk was frying fish when his friend told him that the Turks are conquering the city. The monk says "if it is true, these fried fish should jump into the hagiasma." Today, visitors can see fish swimming next to the hagiasma fountain. The fish is believed to be the descendents of the revived fish. It can be speculated that several reasons created the reviving fish motif in this hagiasma in Constantinople after the Turks' conquest. Firstly, the hagiasma is known to Byzantine Christians with its life giving miracle to a dead person. Secondly, the legends of Alexander were circulated in Byzantium which also has the miracle of fish revival in the life giving water. Thirdly, the Alexander legends are known by the Ottoman Turks through the Persian genre of Iskendername which combines the Alexander legends with the Quran story of Khidr who lives by "the junction of two rivers" where cooked fish revives. Furthermore, according to some oral Muslim stories, Bosporus is the water in which those fish revived. Finally, fish represents Christ in Christian world. The fall of the city might have resembled the crucifixion and fish's revival resemble resurrection of Christ.  All of these reviving fish motifs found in different oral and written traditions might have created the myth of the fish in the Church of St. Mary of the Spring. 




Görkem Günay

Altınbaş University, Turkey

Hagios Spyridon Church in Selymbria and Its Particular Standing in Middle Byzantine Architecture


Selymbria is an ancient maritime city, approximately 60 km west to Constantinople. Although it was a particularly important settlement during the Byzantine period, our knowledge about its Byzantine layer is rather sketchy. On the other hand, one of the Byzantine churches of Selymbria, namely Hagios Spyridon which had been survived until the beginning of 20th century, deserves special attention. 

The church is mainly known via textual and visual data from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century. These documents, together with some architectural pieces which were belonging to the church, indicate that Hagios Spyridon Church was built in “simple domed octagon” plan- scheme. Nothing from the building is preserved in-situ today, however this small church helps to fill a very important gap in the history of Middle Byzantine architecture and occupies a notable place in the on-going discussion of the origins of “domed octagon” churches of Helladic paradigm and their link with the capital. 

This study aims to reexamine the now lost church of Hagios Spyridon in the context of architectural developments of Middle Byzantine period. In the paper, the exact location and the architecture of the church will be tried to be clarified using the existing documents and the publications of previous scholars. Some new architectural pieces which possibly belonged to the church will be introduced and interpretations on existing restitution drawings will be made. The church will be architecturally compared with the oldest known example of the plan-scheme, Nea Moni on Chios and its later local copies. The study of Hagios Spyridon Church of Selymbria, hopefully, will contribute to the discussion of the possible influence of the capital on the plan-scheme and will help us to ask further questions about the close relations between Constantinopolitan and provincial architecture.


Henry Bell

Sheffield Hallam University, UK

'The play felt lived': treating learners as experts in active pedagogical approaches to Renaissance cultural texts.

You are six years old. Shakespeare, Tasso, Cervantes and Bâkî were alive and writing at the time of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother. How can you understand what they wrote? How can you imaginatively inhabit the fictional worlds which they created? 
Luckily you are six. You are an expert at playing, at imagining fictional worlds as well as picking up and understanding new information. 


This paper explores how encouraging learners to apply methods (in which they are expert) to Renaissance texts (in which they have a novice level of experience) can assist the teaching of historically distanced literature. 


At the centre of these methods is the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, particularly the application of his notions of embodiment by the American philosopher, Hubert Dreyfus. Dreyfus' assertion that humans gain a greater ability to cope skilfully with the world through lived experience is integral to an active pedagogical approach. The phenomenologically influenced research presented will demonstrate how building upon young people's existing experience is crucial to the development and introduction of new skills.
Central to the paper will be data from a major piece of practice-as-research, delivered at the Orange Tree Theatre, London in 2014, involving workshops delivered in schools as well as performances at the theatre of Julius Caesar with Primary School aged (6-11) pupils. Although the case study focusses on Shakespeare delivered in English to young children, the methodology proposed can be applied to teaching of historically distanced texts across disciplines, age groups and languages



Tamsin Badcoe
University of Bristol


Forsaken Labours and Saltwater Satire in the Characters of Sir Thomas Overbury’s A Wife Now the Widow


As Miranda Anderson explains in The Renaissance Extended Mind (2015), ‘Character Writings were fashionable and witty collections of short essays on places, people and trades. They were purportedly intended to reform character by the study of examples, often of superlative ideal or admonitory characters, in an ethical tradition that links back to the Greek philosopher Theophrastus’ Characters’ (see p. 136). In this paper, I pay particular attention to the sketches of maritime temperament collated within the first and subsequent editions of Sir Thomas Overbury’s poem A Wife Now the Widow (first published 1614) and the implications these have for early modern understandings of physical and spiritual conduct at sea. From the satirical portraits of ‘The Sailor’ (1614) and ‘The Pirate’ (1616), for example, it would seem that there is something inherently forsaken, or at least theologically ambiguous, about the professional mariner. The particular caricature of ‘The Sailor’ offers an ambivalent depiction of the mariner’s constitution and perceived resolution and is particularly interesting as a focused study of the relationship between body, self, and world. In turn, ‘The Pirate’, by offering an intensification of ‘The Sailor’s’ devotional paucity, challenges land-based conceptions of the importance of repentance and dying well. In reading across satirical and devotional material in ways that are attentive to recent critical turns towards materiality, religion, and the body, I analyse the fluxive nature of marine ethics and transgressions in the early modern imagination: a dynamic that has far reaching implications for much of the poetry and drama produced in the period.


Felicity Maxell

NUI Galway, Ireland

‘Female friendship and public service:  Redefining women’s roles
in Dorothy Moore’s letters to Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh, 1643-50’

Samuel Hartlib’s international network of intellectuals, experimenters, and would-be reformers included dozens of famous men in the so-called ‘Republic of Letters’: the Scottish ecumenical diplomat John Dury, the Czech philosopher and educational reformer Jan Amos Comenius, and the Anglo-Irish scientist Robert Boyle, among many others. This network also included a handful of women. The two most actively involved were Boyle’s sister, Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh, and her aunt-in-law, Dorothy Moore (sister of Edward King, Milton’s Lycidas).


heir correspondence reveals – and indeed enacts – Moore and Ranelagh’s engagement in religious, educational, and political issues of concern to them as well educated and well connected Protestant women, who clearly wished to influence policies in church and state. While Ranelagh appears to have been content to work behind the scenes and through familial connections for the most part, Moore’s letters articulate her desire to open up opportunities for women to serve the public in public roles. In her letters to Ranelagh and others, Moore poses the questions: How can women exercise their God-given talents for the public good (and still retain their modesty)? What might appropriate service outside a private or royal household look like? How can girls be better equipped (intellectually and spiritually) to take on positions of responsibility outside the home?

This paper will focus on the letters to Ranelagh in which Moore explores these questions and possible solutions. It will argue that Moore’s letters to Ranelagh use the medium of ‘godly conversation’ between high profile female friends as a means of not only developing but also promoting through wider circulation the attitudes, education, and opportunities that Moore wished to make available to future generations of Protestant women within and beyond the British Isles.



Gweno Williams
University of York, UK


Refashioning the Duchess: recent reconfigurations of Margaret Cavendish and her works by ‘Future Ages’


Refashioning the Duchess: recent reconfigurations of Margaret Cavendish and her works by ‘Future Ages’
This paper explores and discusses the variety of ways in which Margaret Cavendish and her writings have been reconfigured over the last five decades by the ‘Future Ages’ for whom she said she intended all her ‘Works’ (Preface to 1662 Plays).  


As a writer who was often as notoriously interesting to her contemporaries for her actions, behaviour and appearance, as for her writings, this will hopefully prove a singularly interesting and informative approach to the continuing complexities of Cavendish’s reputation.


Since 1970, for example, she has been variously refashioned as a character in historical or contemporary novels, as a dramatic character in her own right, as a poet whose poems will suitably soothe patients in a doctor’s waiting room, as a member of a philosophical roll of honour, and as an LGBT icon.
This paper will investigate and compare the current range of refashionings, provide an opportunity to collect and discuss others, and will also consider some unexpected absences and omissions. 



Vassiliki Markidou

University of Athens, Greece

The politics of intertextuality: Elizabeth Cary’s rewriting of Thomas Deloney’s ballads on the deposition of Edward II in her History of the Life, Reign, and Death of Edward II

In this presentation, I will argue that out of Elizabeth Cary’s oeuvre, the recusant early seventeenth-century female writer’s historical narrative, The History of the Life, Reign and Death of Edward II, constitutes her text par excellence which reflects her politics of intertextuality. I will demonstrate that the History registers the dominance of her male predecessors and, by extension, the established tradition, while it concurrently highlights her effort to gain a degree of independence from it through the creation of a strongly intertextual text which allowed her to counter her contemporary woman-silencing culture and tell her gendered/recusant “truth.” Second, drawing upon Nancy K. Miller’s feminist critical method, defined as “arachnology,” I will trace four poems which, I contend, constitute part of the multiple intertextual weavings of Cary’s text, namely Thomas Deloney’s four ballads on the deposition of Edward II entitled “A song of Queene Isabel,” “Of the Imprisonment of King Edward the second,” “Of King Edward the second, being poisoned,” and “Of the Lord Matreuers and Sir Thomas Gurney, being banished,” which remain unexplored to this day and which to my  opinion, shed light on the History’s negotiation with the dominant social text. Finally, I will argue that Cary defiantly expostulated that she engaged throughout the History with subjective interpretation and questioned any fixed notion of an “original text” as well as of a single authoritative truth in an attempt to negotiate her position as an author in a wide cultural and literary intertext and put her “signature” on her historically specific configuration as a gendered and recusant subject. 



Bronwen Price

University of Portsmouth, UK

‘Still think on …’: Retreat, engagement and agency in Mary Chudleigh’s Works

My paper will explore how Mary Chudleigh’s work draws on the retirement mode to test out and examine a range of prevalent ideas concerning retreat. In particular, Chudleigh demonstrates how what appears to be a position of withdrawal provides a platform for her to participate within a variety of public debates, especially ones concerned with public engagement.

Chudleigh’s investigation of retreat involves her not simply in experimenting with the retirement mode, but also examining the nature of solitude itself and the question of how to live a productive life from a position of imposed withdrawal.

For Chudleigh, retreat opens up the possibility of agency and choice in being the means to a practice of intensive, engaged thinking and self-sufficiency. Yet the process of turning to an interior realm in which worldly concerns are discarded, returns Chudleigh back to the world, enabling her to establish a position in which her work may be of practical use and a form of public service to her female audience.


Anna Wing-bo TSO
The Open University of Hong Kong

Censorship in the Children’s Shakespeare: A Comparison of Unabridged and Abridged Versions of Othello    

In the eyes of teachers and parents, Shakespeare’s works are the masterpieces of world literature, the absolute must-reads for every child. In Hong Kong, Shakespeare can be found in school drama, teens’ reading clubs, and the junior sector of every public library. However, not every Shakespearean play is considered suitable for children. While Othello may be as well-known as Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Merchant of Venice among Chinese readers, it is often the censored and abridged versions through which Hong Kong child readers get to know about Othello, the renowned Shakespearean tragedy. In many of the Chinese abridged versions, not only famous lines are simplified and flattened, sensitive but significant issues such as sexism, racism, xenophobia, sexual infidelity, etc. are also downplayed and censored. What is at issue is: how do we strike a balance between protecting young readers and preserving authenticity of the original text? In this presentation, I will conduct a comparative study between Shakespeare’s Othello (the original play) and two popular storybook versions abridged for children, namely Longman’s Othello published in 2004 (adapted by Jane Dolman) and Candy Tree’s Othello published in 2010 (adapted by Guo Yi-yun). The presentation will look into how abridgements handle taboo topics by showing examples of what the two children’s versions have done to sacrifice loyalty for the sake of passing censorship. Discussions will focus on how the adapted contents, altered themes and characterisation in the abridgements may influence child readers’ perceptions of Othello, one of Shakespeare’s great four tragedies. 


Ivan Rybko

Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia


Shenhao Bai,
Tsinghua University,China


“That Dreamers Often / Always / Never Lie”: On the Validity of Dream Experience in Romeo and Juliet

In the 1590s, Shakespeare wrote intensively on the theme of dreaming in his plays, and the discussion on the nature of dream in Romeo and Juliet awaits the introduction of new perspectives. From the comparison with Shakespeare’s principal source text, Arthur Brooke’s poem Romeus and Juliet, we see that allusions to dream in this play are Shakespeare’s ingenious creation. Previous scholars discuss dream in the tragedy as an appendix to dreaming in other plays, or perceive dream as irrelevant to the major plot progress, or discuss various allusions to dreaming separately. In this proposal, we call for a re-evaluation of dream in Romeo and Juliet from a comprehensive view, as both a literary device and as a thematic concept. The first dream of Romeo is presented as mere existence but without content and is followed by Mercutio’s famous claim: “...That dreamers often lie”. Inferring from the context, this dream accurately portends the star-crossed fate of the lovers against Mercutio’s remark that it is “begot of nothing but vain fantasy”. Mercutio’s mockery of the whimsical nature of dream, however, is presumably validated by Romeo’s second dream, which forebodes “joyful news at hand”, notwithstanding the tragic deaths of the lovers that immediately follows. Basing on this major ambivalence, along with the play’s other echoes of the issue, we argue that the possibility of separating the real from the fictional within the dream realm of the play, or more importantly, the impossibility of it, is essential to the interpretation of the play’s theme of love and the analysis of its tragic mode. Looking historically, Shakespeare’s representation of dream in this tragedy corresponds to Artemidorus’s distinction between oneiros and enhypnion, which dominated the understanding of dreams in the Elizabethan age. At the same time, with the inconclusive claim “that dreamers often lie”, the play emphasises the fragile validity of dream experience as such, thus challenging the prevalent Greco-Renaissance dream theory.



Abid Massod

Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz University Alkharj, Saudi Arabia


Othello, Islam and the Dilemma of Urdu Translator(s)

Urdu-speaking world’s engagement with William Shakespeare goes back to the last decades of the nineteenth century. Though dating first complete Urdu translation of any of Shakespeare’s play is a little tricky issue, it can be safely said that the Urdu translation of Tales from Shakespeare by Ihsanullah Charyakoti that was published in 1890 precipitated a wide spread circulation of Shakespeare’s play-stories in India. Since then a large number of Shakespearean plays have been translated into Urdu and many of them have been translated multiple times. This paper is an attempt to study Othello’s Urdu translations with the focus on how the translators deal with the ‘Islamic’ content of the play. The paper compares three Urdu translations in this regard: Goil Gopal’s 1911, Maulvi Inayatullah Dehlvi’s 1939 and Sajjad Zaheer’s 1966 translation. The paper also looks at how the Persian and Arabic translators of Othello have tried to translate some selected lines and expressions from the play. It is hoped that the paper will initiate a process of analyzing Shakespeare’s Urdu translations and to understand the ways Shakespeare was appropriated in Urdu culture through translations, adaptations and performances. Eventually it would add a new dimension to the debates concerning “Global Shakespeare,” an angle that has so far been missing from such debates.




Pandeleimon  Hionidis

Hellenic Open University, Greece


The ‘Slavic conquest of the Peloponnese’ from a nineteenth-century perspective; between Paparigopoulos’ historicism and Freeman’s liberal racialism


The nineteenth century was a time when both academic historians and the general public endeavoured to accommodate the medieval period into the national historical narrative. Both in Europe and Greece, from a nineteenth-century perspective, the Middle Ages represented an interesting predecessor rather than a dark period to forget. The systematic study of the history of Byzantium, the medieval empire of the East, presents a prominent example of the trend of nineteenth-century historians to restore the ‘unity of history’ by reading the Middle Ages through contemporary concerns and pursuits. Both Konstantinos Paparigopoulos (1815-1891) and Edward Augustus Freeman (1823-1892) were professional historians, in Greece and Britain respectively, who linked the findings of their historical research on the medieval East with developments in nineteenth-century Greece, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe.

This paper presents how Paparigopoulos and Freeman dealt in their works with the question of the Slavic invasion and settlement in the Peloponnese in the 6th and 7th century. At the core of a seemingly historic question was the charge that the modern Greeks were not the descendants of the ancient Hellenes but a ‘mongrel race’. Paparigopoulos challenged the notion of the ‘Slavic conquest’ by scrupulously examining the available sources according to the fashion of nineteenth-century historicism. On the other hand, Freeman overcame the difficulty by citing the assimilating power of the Greeks, when confronted with other members of what he called the ‘Aryan race’. Although the two approaches seem, at first, unrelated, this paper depicts ‘philosophic’ history as the broader context in which Paparigopoulos and Freeman can be fruitfully considered. In dealing with an episode of Byzantine history both historians responded to urgent intellectual and political issues of their time regarding the stand of the Greek people and the English ‘race’, respectively, in nineteenth-century world. 


Liliana Stavri

Euro – Mediterranean Institute of Geopolitics, Cyprus

A Comparative study of the psycho/social profile of the two main confronting leaders
during the siege of Famagusta –Lala Mustafa Pasa and Marc Antonio Bragadino


In the long and interesting history of Cyprus the Ottoman siege of Cyprus commands by all means,  centre stage, not only because of the extent of the military confrontation both in ferocity and duration but also because of the effect which that siege has had on the modern history of Cyprus and Europe as well.  It is the Ottoman siege that brought a new political and economic rule but further more a new religion on the island, Islam for the first time as its official religion and a way of living and thinking.

It is well known that despite the desperate circumstances Venetian fighters were in, they exhibited uncommon valour and indeed gave a brave resistance of epic proportions against the much bigger and more heavily equipped and organised enemy for one whole year. From the one side the surprisingly able Venetian nobleman and captain of Famagusta Marc Antonio Bragadin wore the heavy responsibility for its people and for political and economical interests of Venice as well with a grace and bravado rarely seen. He proved to be the right man for such a grave and heavy task. Was he the product of the noble and Serene Republic of Venice or a man with a personality and destiny uniquely blended with unusual circumstances and a heavy calling to be fulfilledHistory still has to provide us with the right explanation and evaluation of his actions during the sage, in terms of his persona. 

On the other side Lala Mustafa Pasha, a man with distinctly Slavic origin but essentially a chosen Muslim, a child picked up through the heart-breaking institution by the Ottomans, “devsirme,” the Sultan’s blood taxation on all his non-Muslim subjects, trained and disciplined in a military school and thrown at the intrigue-infested Ottoman hierarchy only to have triumphed time and again. A rare stuff of legends himself against a mightily worthy opponent as if History itself had arranged for this meeting upon their birth.
In this paper I will attempt, using intrinsic knowledge of modern psychology to reveal much more of these two extraordinary leaders in a calibrated manner, i.e their temperament, character and motivation that drove them to the extremes of human endurance and the horrific final stage of Famagusta’s  fall. I shall try to distinguish through the colourful picture of  history for the masses , two individuals that managed to influence, shape and determine an important historical moment to such an extent that they finally became it.


Violetta Trofimova
Independent scholar, St. Petersburg, Russia


The Space of Women’s Writing and the most successful “female” genres of prose fiction in Seventeenth-Century Europe


The seventeenth century is a period of the rise of the novel as a genre as well as various genres of short fiction and, simultaneously, of shaping the tradition of women’s literature in several European countries. Both processes interacted, as women were “responsible” for the popularity of the novels and novellas which they wrote themselves. It was often the novels written by women that opened the new ways in national literatures and even the whole European literature. Such was the case of Mme de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Cleves and Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or The History of the Royal Slave.


This paper aims at reconsideration of the tradition of women writers, especially, novelists, in the seventeenth century in the European context by using network analysis and culture studies approach to the notion “tradition.” The tradition of women’s writing transgressed national boundaries, if we take into consideration translations and references to women writers and their works. This paper also seeks for explanation of the female success in specific subgenres of the seventeenth-century novel (for example, psychological novel), novella and fairy-tale. I will try to establish a link between woman’s sphere in the society (above all, salon culture) and these subgenres. Among the writers I am going to discuss are Mme de Lafayette, Mme du Villedieu and Madeleine de Scudery from France, Aphra Behn and Margaret Cavendish from England, Anne de La Roche-Guilhem from both France and England, as well as some examples of women novelists from German and Scandinavian literatures.




Hank Dobin

Washington and Lee University, USA

The Earl of Essex on the Continental Stage

Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, enjoyed a meteoric rise and even more precipitous fall, during the last decade of Elizabeth I’s reign.  In February 1601, after an abortive coup attempt, Essex was executed for treason.  Before that, however, he had led several military expeditions in Europe, including Portugal, the Low Countries, France, and Spain.  

The Essex story has been retold hundreds of times in novels, plays, films, poems, and even Youtube videos. This paper, however, will focus on the many European versions of Essex’s story.  Indeed, the very earliest dramatic renditions of the Essex story appeared on the continent well before they appeared in English.   Within 10 years of Essex’s death, a Dutch play called Queen Elizabeth and Essex was being performed in the Rhetoricians’ Chamber.  In 1633, Antonio Coello’s El Conde de Sex premiered in Madrid, followed quickly by La Calprenède’s Le Comte d’Essex.   Three other plays, two in France and one in Italy, were produced before the first English drama, The Unhappy Favourite, appeared in 1682 (the first of 22 plays in English).  The 19th Century saw yet another explosion of interest in Essex.

This paper will explore the complex Continental fascination with Essex, famed for his military exploits, his charismatic character, and his spectacular downfall.  In one regard, European interest in Essex is surprising because he led several military incursions on the Continent.  However, as a rival to Elizabeth, and as a male, he proved surprisingly popular after his death.  He also was heralded for his rather contradictory reputation as a champion of both the Protestant and Catholic cause.  And finally, the romanticization of his relationship with Elizabeth dovetailed well with the Continental literary propensity to explore and expose the private lives of monarchs and the nobility.


Deni Kasa
University of Tel Aviv, Israel


Patience and Grace in King Lear and The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambrois


In his On Grace and Free Will, Augustine argues that Christian patience involves a co- operation between grace and the human will: “„We know that in all things there is co-working for good to them that love God.‟ [Rom. 8:28]. What does this phrase, all things, mean, but the terrible and cruel sufferings [passiones] which affect our condition?”1 The virtue Augustine has in mind here is patience, the etymological cognate of “passiones” and the virtue most often associated with the Christian martyrs. For Augustine, grace co-operates with the human will: although grace saves human beings, they too must strenuously exercise themselves to endure “terrible and cruel sufferings” in the name of their religious conviction.

In this comparative paper, I explore the relationship between patience and grace in Shakespeare‟s King Lear and George Chapman‟s The Revenge of Bussy D’Amrboise. Critics such Hannibal Hamlin have argued that King Lear reflects a secular critique of religion because Lear appears to suffer for no apparent purpose. I argue that Lear and The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambroise engage in an Augustinian critique of Stoic approaches to patience. Although Lear and Gloucester attempt to be patient throughout the play, they envision this virtue in Stoic rather than Christian terms, and the failure of patience in the play implies a critique of Stoicism rather than religion. By the same token, Claremont‟s ineffective Stoicism in Chapman‟s play illustrates the Augustinian critique of Stoic patience as incapable of achieving the good laugh. By pairing these plays, I aim to illustrate that early modern drama records the Christian critique of Stoic patience as insufficiently open to the transformative effects of grace. In so doing, I challenge the secularist reading of both plays and reveal their sustained engagement with religion.

1 Augustine, On Grace and Free Will in Basic Writings of St. Augustine, ed. Whitney J. Oates, trans. P. Holmes, 2 Vols. (New York: Random House, 1948), 1:731-774, esp. 1:761.




Kaitlyn Culliton
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland


“There is an old tale:” Folklore and Fictional Geographies in The Merry Wives of Windsor

In this paper I examine The Tale of Herne the Hunter as it is enacted in the final scene of William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. In the play, the titular wives bring the characters of an often-told local folktale to life in order to haunt the lecherous knight Sir John Falstaff. Arguably the only of Shakespeare’s plays to be set in contemporary England, The Merry Wives of Windsor offers a unique opportunity to examine the processes of propagating, distributing, and applying contemporary oral folktales in early modern England. I argue that the landscape of Windsor forest takes on a critical role in the enactment of this tale, both serving as a setting for the townspeople’s performance and as a generative and foundational force. Through this final scene, The Merry Wives of Windsor demonstrates the power of landscape, even in or perhaps particularly in performance, to create believable fictional worlds.

Recent studies in narratology have become increasingly attentive to the role of landscapes –including imagined or fictional landscapes— as a medium on which stories and storyworlds rely. However, little research has focused on the landscapes evoked through theatrical performance. My paper examines the performance of the Tale of Herne the Hunter in the final scene of The Merry Wives of Windsor in order to demonstrate the crucial role of landscape in the continuance of folklore and the formation of fictional worlds. I argue that the wives utilise the landscape in this scene to create a believable fictional world that operates according to different organising principles from the rest of the play. In doing so, The Merry Wives of Windsor demonstrates the power of landscape in the creation of fictional worlds and in their subsequent representation on stage.




Richard Maguire
University of East Anglia, UK

Is Cyprus a city? Is Paphos an island?

A 3rd/4th century mosaic pavement from Ammaedara in Tunisia is composed of 15 islands predominantly in the eastern Medieterranean, of which Cyprus is one. However, the mosaic includes two towns on Cyprus, one of which is Paphos, as though they too, were islands. Conversely, the 8th century Vrap cup shows four city personifications, namely Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople, with Cyprus as the fourth ‘city’. If a city can be an island and island can be a city, we might conclude that Late Antique islands and cities  were far more flexible concepts than their physical geography and topography might suggest.

This paper explores three alternative approaches to Late Antique Cyprus: firstly, Cyprus as remote and isolated; secondly, Cyprus as ‘a little world in itself’ and hence a microsom of the wider empire; and finally, Cypriot port cities as cosmopolitan, polyglossic and polyethnic.

Since the Late Bronze Age, Cypriot settlments had been largely coastal with no centralising metropolis until the rise of Nicosia in the 10th century. Far from being inward-looking, the island’s port cities looked outwards towards trading partners with which arguably they had more in common than with other Cypriot ports. Paphos serviced grain ships sailing between Alexandria and Constantinople, cities with which it probably had closer connections than with Salamis, orientated towards Syria and Palestine, or Kyrenia, orientated towards Asia Minor. Cyrenaica in Libya is an island-on-land, isolated by the sea on the north and by desert on three sides, the southernmost being the Calansico Sand Sea. Cypriot penisulars - the Akamas, Kormakitis, Akrotiri and Karpas might also be described as ‘islands-on-land’ if an island is defined by boats as the principal means of communication. Given the diverse orientations of Cypriot ports, similarly accessed by sea, the depiction of Paphos as an island may not seem so perverse. 


Lisa Hopkins

Sheffield Hallam University, UK


Othello and Cyprus Commodities

Uniquely amongst Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, Othello is interested in commodities, starting with Iago’s warning that ‘You’ll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse’; the term may connote barbarism, but what it denotes is an expensive and much-sought after animal which was the staple of England’s trade with Barbary.  The play also not only draws repeated attention to its setting on Cyprus but also mentions several of the island’s most notable exports.  Shortly after the ‘Cyprus wars’ are first mentioned Iago says ‘I must show out a flag and sign of love’; Cyprus was famous for its cloth, and cloth recurs in the play in the shape of Desdemona’s handkerchief, the sheets she is so anxious to have placed on her bed, and Emilia’s assurance that ‘I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition’.  Another famous export of the island is also mentioned when Branantio says ‘These sentences to sugar or to gall, / Being strong on both sides, are equivocal’, since sugar was a staple of the Cyprus economy.  An even more distinctively Cypriot crop is also alluded to. ‘The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts’ refers not to insects, but to carob: the note in Honigmann’s Arden 3 edition cites Gerard’s Herball as speaking of ‘The carob groweth in Apulia … that which is translated locusts’. Carob production is first recorded in Cyprus in 1480, though it undoubtedly predated that, and carob syrup, ‘the black gold of Cyprus’, was one of the island’s most important exports until the Turkish invasion.  This paper explores the extent and effects of the play’s references to Cypriot and other commodities.


Esra Akin-Kivanç 
University of South Florida, USA


Islamic Calligraphy within the Late Antique and Medieval Social Fabric

Since its appearance in the late seventh and early eighth centuries C.E., the art of Arabic calligraphy has served as a powerful identity maker for Muslims within and beyond the Islamic world. A ubiquitous, if hitherto unstudied, form of Arabic calligraphy is mirror writing (muthanna). Muthanna is composed of a source text and its mirror image placed face to face. It is applied on media ranging from textiles, stone, and ceramics, to paper, metalwork, and woodwork. Previous scholarship erroneously dated muthanna to fifteenth-century Iran, and celebrated it as the quintessential product of Muslim creativity. Describing this sophisticated art form as a representation of God, as “pure art devoid of meaning,” or simply as an enigma, past inquiries imposed upon muthanna connections with religious or aesthetic practices, beliefs, and viewpoints that it never maintained. These discourses have generated a hermeneutic vacuum within which today muthanna remains suspended, severed from the intricate networks of artistic, literary, cultural, and linguistic exchanges that inspired it.
Some of the earliest examples of mirror writing are found on textiles. Through an investigation of a scattered corpus of silk and wool cloths from Late Antiquity and the medieval period, this paper locates muthanna’s beginnings in Syria and Egypt, and follows its routes in Italy and Spain. A study of textiles inscribed in mirror writing in Greek and Arabic, and bilingually in Greek-Arabic, and in Latin-Arabic, as well as of Qur’anic words juxtaposed with pagan and Christian iconographies, helps complicate the history of Arabic calligraphy in general, and of muthanna in particular. Once freed from the narrow boundaries within which it had been relegated for centuries, Arabic calligraphy reveals a social fabric that accommodated a hybrid aesthetics that its users appreciated for being at once familiar and distinct, conventional and dynamic, and local as well as global.


Cinla Seker 

Dokuz Eylul University , Turkey 

Callimorphosis: A Hundred Year Journey From Holy Rustic Capitals To Humanist Miniscules 

Graphic design as a contemporary design discipline find its roots in history. Especially a special field of graphic design, typeface design need to be in close contact with the history of writing, lettering and alphabet. While defining and determining the two-dimensional surfaces’ visual and written messages formally and contextually, graphic designer need to know the historical background of the typographic elements in detail, including letters, numbers, sign and symbols used in written communication. The aim of this paper is to put forward the steps of the metamorphosis of the Latin lettering from rustic capitals to humanist miniscule in hundreds of years. The first Roman lettering used in the first century AD was Rustic Capitals. It used on manuscripts written by hand on different materials like parchment or different types of papyrus and finally paper. By the end of the millennium another way of lettering was on its way. Multiplying early types of books by hand, concluded in a formal change to write fast and handy. At the beginning of the 15th Century the transformation put forward a new concept as miniscule – lower case. At the end of the 16th Century typographers work on the proportions of the letters with the guidance of the divina proportione, which is the golden section rooted in the nature. And as a conclusion this research put forward in what forms Latin alphabet began to use both upper and lowercases together in a harmonious way by using the metamorphosis the hand writing in history.


Jochai Rosen
University of Haifa, Israel

The 17th-century Dutch and Flemish Guardroom Scene as an Evidence for Soldiers’ Life on the March

The guardroom scene is a genre painting depicting soldiers spending their leisure time off duty. It is based to a large extent on a visual tradition going back to German prints from the 16th century and as such it is not the most reliable historic source. On the other hand, it is also based on the actual lives of mercenary soldiers on the march in the early modern period. The lecture will show that a critical examination of guardroom scenes can teach us a lot: The type of places the soldiers chose to lodge in, the way they organised the guardroom, the equipment they took in with them as well as the military hierarchy and drills reflected from these paintings. It will demonstrate that despite its shortcomings the guardroom scene is one of the best sources we have on the period.


Sibel Almelek İşman
Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey

Jewels of Renaissance and Baroque: Pearls and Corals in the European Art of Painting


It can be seen that, especially pearls and corals, among the precious stones that the nature present to humans, are frequently depicted in the European painting. This presentation will focus on the artworks of 16th and 17th centuries. Mythological and religious paintings, historical portraits and still lives of Renaissance and Baroque eras picturised these gems.

Pearls, glowing in various colours, are among the symbols of the love and beauty goddess Venus. It is possible to see pearls in the pictures that show the birth of Venus in an oyster or Venus in front of a mirror. Egyptian queen Cleopatra, dropped a bead of pearl in her glass, in the banquet she organised for Antonius. Painters who depicted the queens and royal ladies of Europe, showed them in rich jewellery decorated with pearls. There are many vanitas still lives that depict pearls as symbols of worldly pleasures and ambitions. 
Corals, believed to be protecting against the evil eye, can be seen in the paintings of young women and little children. Corals, with its strong colour of red, are depicted in the compositions of Virgin Mary and Christ Child. In the Greek mythology, it is believed that Perseus created corals, so corals can be seen in pictures of Perseus as well. Some artists, presented scenes of pearl or coral fishing on their canvases. 


Harleen Kaur Bagga
Syracuse University, USA

Remains of the Day: The Wounded Landscapes of Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano

This paper examines Paolo Uccello’s Battle of San Romano panels, commissioned by Lionardo Bartolini Salimbeni soon after the battle took place on June 1, 1432. The artist commemorates the battle in an unconventional way, plotting figures from an istoria in vast landscapes at a time when the landscape genre did not exist. It thus becomes interesting to ask why Uccello would paint expansive landscapes in a war representation.
Wars perceive land as conquerable territory, transforming the landscape into a strategic battlefield that stages the loss of life. But how is this connection between war and land made to signify in the pictorial realm? Uccello constructs this relationship in a very complex manner. He first marks the lands as Florentine through the many lances and heraldic emblems that crowd the panels. Through elements depicting the hunt, and the oikos and the polis, these lands are then made familiar. This inclusion of the familiar landscape is of crucial importance, for, during Uccello’s time, wars were fought by mercenaries on hire. In a climate of increasing defections and betrayals, identifying with this paid army would have been difficult.
I argue that Uccello’s landscapes then provide the security and cultural identity that the ‘Florentine’ army fails to offer. The landscape of the Battle of San Romano, instead of being a functional space that stages the battle, exists in its own right. It shapes a dialectical relationship with the battle, balancing the aggression up front. However, with the combat on the panels remaining a bloodless affair, Uccello inserts wounds inflicted on the landscape. In this way, the artist depicts both the value and the wounding of the war landscape. Analysing these Battle panels, the paper addresses the transformation, functionality, and imagination of a land at war.





Dominic Rainsford
Aarhus University, Denmark

‘[N]ot another comfort like to this’: uniqueness, repetition, and value in Othello


‘I fear’, says Othello, arriving in Cyprus, ‘My soul hath her content so absolute / That not another comfort like to this / Succeeds in unknown fate’. He is right – although the coming disaster may have as much to do with his defective ‘soul’ as with fate. Murder and suicide ensue. But the play is also about a brief, intense, moment of happiness. Beginning here, with an exposition of the bright side of Shakespearean tragedy, I consider ways in which literature in general can do justice to transitory goods within a larger sequence of events. Just like evils that we try to manage statistically – when, for instance, we count casualties in war or drowned migrants in the Mediterranean – goods cause problems for arithmetical assessment once we start to see them with the depth that literary and actively ethical thinking allows. The value of a good might be said to be zero, if it is past (like Othello and Desdemona’s happiness); but then, by that token, all goods are on their way to being nothing. Perhaps moral consistency is only possible if an incidence of extreme suffering can be seen as infinite; and perhaps the same should apply to moments of bliss, even if they exist only in memory. This paper will seek to make some general points about this constellation of issues in the borderlands between philosophy and literature, ethics and aesthetics, while specifically analysing the unique statement that Othello makes as he arrives in Cyprus: a statement that has precedents in Classical literature (parallels with Terence and Virgil, for example, have been noted), but that goes far beyond them in its complexity and provocativeness.



Laurence Publicover
University of Bristol, UK

Polonius's Carp of Truth

In one of the less celebrated scenes of Hamlet (indeed, one frequently cut in performance), Polonius speaks to Reynaldo about his son. Polonius wants to know what Laertes has been getting up to in Paris, and suggests that Reynaldo spread small lies that will, in turn, elicit truths. ‘Your bait of falsehood’, he assures a somewhat bemused Reynaldo, ‘takes this carp of truth’ (3.1.61).

This is one of many instances where Hamlet concerns itself with accessing a site beyond a surface. Just a few lines before Polonius offers his piscine metaphor, he asks Reynaldo to ‘sound’ (3.1.42) Laertes’ acquaintance in Paris, this time using a navigational image (Reynaldo is supposed to ‘sound’ these people as a sailor sounds the sea). Prince Hamlet himself, we are told by Guildenstern, is not ‘forwarded to be sounded’ (3.1.7), but instead keeps ‘aloof’ from those attempting to fathom him. 

This paper is interested in the parts of Hamlet’s imagery and action which lie beyond our eyesight: the location under the stage (purgatory?) from which the Ghost cries in 1.5; the grave from which skulls are tossed up in 5.1; the abyss overlooked by Hamlet’s ‘sterile promontory’ (2.2.283); and the several evocations of deep water. How, it asks, do these hidden spaces contribute to Hamlet’s peculiar tragedy, and more specifically to its concern with doubt and with the recesses of the self? How do they differ from the deep spaces—watery or otherwise—evoked in other tragedies by Shakespeare and his contemporaries? The paper is likely to conclude that what lies in Hamlet’s deep is not so reassuringly solid as Polonius’s ‘carp of truth’; but asking why Hamlet is so full of these intimations of depth, it will argue, helps us to think about the play’s peculiar questions, preoccupations, and irritations.



Lina Saleh
Al-Balqa Applied University of Amman, Jordan

Humanistic Characterisation and Unattainable Miscegenation in Selected Shakespearean Plays

This paper proposes a contrapuntal reading for William Shakespeare’s Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Merchant of Venice. The paper mainly focuses on the first two plays and pays a minor attention to a parallel situation in the third. The aim of this paper is threefold. It first examines Shakespeare’s choice of his oriental characters and how he adapts his material to appeal to the Elizabethan taste and to serve his dramatic purpose. His portrayal of the oriental characters in these plays attests to the fact that he is a topical writer who tackled contemporary issues and adhered to Renaissance humanism. It also shows how he depicts the oriental as a seemingly equal counterpart for the Westerner and as a central and individuated character: Othello is an important general in the Venetian army, Cleopatra is the Queen of Egypt and Antony’s consort, Shylock is an assertive Jew, and the Prince of Morocco is one of a Venetian lady’s suitors. Secondly, this study refutes the argument that Shakespeare’s humanistic portrayal of these characters entails a reversal of the Elizabethan stereotypes of the orientals as “Others.”   A close reading of these texts substantiates the contention that Shakespeare’s humanism has a dramatic function and it does not reflect an innate belief in the “Other” as an equal human being to the Westerner. Shakespeare’s humanism mitigates his Orientalism but does not reverse the stereotypical representation of the “Other” as an alien who belongs to an exotic and farfetched place.  His humanism is contrasted with Edward Said’s understanding of modern humanism.  Finally, this study attempts to prove that Shakespeare’s advocacy of the stereotypical representation of the “Other” becomes manifest in the outcome of a love or marriage relationship with the oriental. In the aforementioned plays, the cultural barrier hampers the union between the oriental and the Westerner and projects it as either tragic or comic. The final conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that Shakespeare’s humanism informs his characterization but does not reverse oriental stereotypes or condone miscegenation.




Samira al-Khawaldeh, Soumaya Bouacida and Moufia Zaidi

University of Jordan, Jordan

The Noble Barbarian

Othello’s moral character has been extensively and variously debated; the play itself offers rich ground for difference of opinion. Some critics dwell on Othello’s "African" qualities and “Moorishness”, and, echoing Iago’s description of the moor, they see in him basically the barbarian, ignorant and savage man. Their attention seems to focus on the contorted image of the hero drowning in the extraordinary circumstances that cause his tragic downfall. Conversely, we find others, such as A. C. Bradley, who write convincingly of the moor’s admirable qualities, specifically his “constant, loving, noble nature” (again, Janian Iago’s cue). Some critics even deliberate over his “lack of a cultural identity” and rootlessness, portraying him more of a child of wilderness. Yet, this leaves us wondering wherefrom he draws his moral values, his work ethics, his leadership qualifications; without which he cannot be a tragic hero. This paper aims to explore these propositions, issuing from the hypothesis that Othello’s character, achievement and behavior, do signify a rich, solid cultural background, a fair amount of knowledge, and a remarkable sensitivity to aesthetic matters. It also seeks to find out what factors have helped create the man he is, such as his wanderings in the world, and what educational opportunities and experiences have provided him with the moral qualities he displays.


David Jakobsen and Peter Øhrstrøm
Aalborg University, Denmark

The Return of Medieval Logic in the Philosophy of Time

The role of history within the tradition of analytic philosophy is predominantly a rather recent  phenomenon. One reason for this a-historical tendency of analytic philosophy was the prevalent anti-metaphysical view among important analytic philosophers in the first half of the twentieth century. Modern Logic would, in their eyes, as a matter of pure logical grammar, demonstrate the futility of metaphysics, and thus explain why philosophy up until the modern ages had achieved so few results.  The influence of this view was evident with respect to the philosophy of time. In this paper it will be argued that a return to medieval thinking about propositions in the middle of the 20th century marked an important shift in analytical philosophy. Through the work of Arthur Norman Prior (1914 – 1969) a door was opened to medieval philosophy that relaunched the medieval discussions of time, determinism and human freedom in modern logic. It will be argued that Prior succeeded in debunking the then prevalent view of Willard Van Orman Quine (1908 – 2000) that modern logic must be conceived as tenseless. By inventing a strong formal language, a tense-logic,  based on the ancient and medieval view on propositions, Prior provided philosophers with a rigorous language for metaphysical discussions about time that has even proven itself valuable in computer technology. An important story must therefore be told about the return of medieval philosophy in the 20th century: It turns out that analytic philosophy fertilised the ground of modern philosophy for a surprising return to medieval philosophers such as William of Ockham, Thomas Aquinas and Luis de Molina. The invention of tense-logic was a consequence of taking their work seriously with the dual consequence that the views of these medieval thinkers have been given strong reformulations and a logic of time has been invented that has furthered technological advancements in computer science.



Elena Ciobanu

Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacau, Romania


The dilatory time of passionate discourse in Othello

Critics have often approached the ‘double-time’ crux in William Shakespeare’s Othello as a very sensitive issue – it has been even looked at as a sign of the playwright’s carelessness about the building of the plot. Various explanations have been given to those discursive segments which seem to bring about a sort of contradiction between the ‘short time’ that ensures the logic of the text and the ‘long time’ that seems to contradict that textual order. It could be lucrative to ignore the ‘long time’ sequences and just keep up with the ‘shot time’ of the play, as Graham Bradshaw (1993) argues, for instance, but what we intend to explore in this paper is the idea that the puzzling ‘long time’ of the Shakespearean discourse in Othello can be seen as a semiotic rendering of passion. Greimas and Fontanille have observed that the production of meaning is never purely rational and that the mediation of the body in the process of meaning production brings about certain discordant pulsations in discourse that are manifestations of a passional subject. Our main hypothesis is that the ‘long time’ in Shakespeare’s Othello is the “dilatory time” of passion, manifested in the text through various types of modalisation, and thus it may no longer be seen as contradictory of the message of the play, but very subtly intertwined with it.


Peter Zervos
The American College of Greece – Deree College, Greece

Imagining Goats and Monkeys: Double Time and the Production of Plausibility in Othello

Othello’s split geography, with the first act taking place in Venice and the other four acts taking place in Cyprus, has been the focus of much critical discussion. Indeed, this displacement of the play’s action from the center to the periphery of the Venetian empire is instrumental in both plot and character development. Still, the split in Othello is not only geographical but also temporal, for Act II changes both the place and the temporality of the dramatic action: if in Act I time seems unified and coherent, in Acts II-V time seems divided between “short” and “long” time. On one hand, the events between Desdemona and Othello’s arrival on the island and the end of the play seem to take place in a short period of time, probably less than two days. On the other hand, this continuous series of events seems to be set against the background of other events not represented on the stage but implied or alluded to in the dialogue of the play, which appear to have happened over a significantly longer period of time. This “double time” raises many questions: for example, how can Desdemona have cheated on Othello “a thousand times” (5.2.10), according to Iago, in less than two days? Are “short” time and “long” time out of joint or in collusion with one another? This essay will use Paul Ricoeur’s notions of threefold mimesis (prefiguration, configuration, and refiguration) and discordant concordance to argue, firstly, that the play’s “double time” is interwoven with, and largely dependent upon, Iago’s meta-dramatic role as a director-on-stage, and, secondly, that it is precisely this “double time” at work on Cyprus that makes the narrative of infidelity, which Iago uses to entrap Othello’s imagination, plausible. 


Atef Saad Mohamed Mahmoud

University at Qina, Egypt

Seljuk Ewers and Trays An archaeological artistic study
This study deals with a range of metal ewers and trays, published for the first time, with never before published, made of copper or bronze inlaid with silver, all due to the Seljuk era through the centuries VI - VII / AD XII - XIII centuries. 


The study is an attempt to shed light on the type of metal pans in the era of Seljuk, characterised by mature and rich artwork, especially in the metal working industry which has received a series of studies, in that era in particular, whether in eastern Iran and Khorasan specifically or in Iraq, and Mosul in particular, which was characterised by techniques in the industry and forming and decoration, as we shall see, One of the reasons that led me to this study next to the dissemination of antiques for the first time, the lack of scientific study specialist dealing with the kind of ewers - despite the many studies that have found metal objects Seljuk - with the exception of some studies minor has published some them in the folds of talk about antiques and other metal, without appropriation or limitation, which made me look at the inside of Special Collections, as well as the work of Orientalist scholars to compare.


Nicholas Coureas
Cyprus Research Centre, Cyprus


Doctors, Hospitals and Medicine on Latin Cyprus: 1191-1570


In this paper the presence and activities of doctors on Cyprus throughout the Lusignan and Venetian periods will be examined and discussed. The records for the presence of doctors are diverse, including papal documents, the proceedings of provincial synods of the Latin Church, Venetian and Genoese notarial deeds of the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, legal texts, chronicles and royal fiscal records. Despite this diversity of records, the information they provide presents imbalances. Considerable information is available on the different types of doctors present on the island, including veterinary surgeons, and less on the hospitals and how they functioned, or on the practice of medicine itself, even though some valuable items of information are found concerning the last two areas. In terms of ethnic and cultural origins it is clear from the available information that even if most of the doctors recorded are of Western origin, Jewish and Arabic medicine were held in high regard, despite the injunctions of the island’s Latin Church against visiting Jewish and Muslim doctors.




Jewel Britton

Barnard College, USA

Renaissance Apothecary Jars: The Agency of an Object

Apothecary jars functioned in both the domestic space of the home as well as the public space of the Apothecary Shop during the Renaissance. While these two spaces were inherently very different, the function of the jars was very similar within both. These jars served as a practical and beautiful way of containing medicine, and were highly esteemed by a wide range of citizens. The low price of these jars allowed for a wider range of collectors, and made Apothecary Shops to be sites of political and intellectual discussion that welcomed people of a variety of class. Their uniformity of display in the shop and in the home related closely to the ideals of an orderly domestic space created by a chaste woman. This method of display allowed women to exist in both of these spaces with ease, despite the common discouragement of women being in public alone. Subject matter on these jars varied from naturalistic ornamentation that related the objects back to their Eastern influence, to depictions of contemporary imagery that linked these objects to other forms of Western art. The use of female profile portraits on jars that allowed women to exist in public spaces discredits Patricia Simons’ argument regarding the limitations portraits imposed on women during this period. In the context of the orderly role of these jars, female portraits came be linked with an object that allowed women to access new public spaces, and to function independently. This paper will examine the value given to these objects at the time through primary textual and visual examples, and then evaluate the two spaces in which these jars were used through a gendered perspective.


Wang Wanying

Hangzhou Normal University, China

From a Jew to a Christian, Does Jessica become another Portia? A Comparison between the Views of Two Female Figures in The Merchant of Venice

Jessica and Portia, are two important female figures different from ethnicity and religion in The Merchant of Venice. Jessica experiences a giant change from daughter of a Jew to wife of a Christian. On the surface, she more and more approach Portia’s figure, but essentially unable to become another Portia. However, they still share some similarities and in some aspects, Jessica makes more progress than Portia. Jessica, as a Jewish woman, dares to be against her father and elope with Lorenzo, becoming a more rebellious figure while Portia is more likely to be a good daughter and wife, the model of Christian women, still having some conservative views, but not truly obedient inward. This paper aims at discussing the similarities as well as differences about their views of money, ethnicity and love, and exploring the meaning behind them. 


Xiaofang Liu
University: Hangzhou Normal University, China

The Human Tempest in Othello

Tempest, which usually reminds us of Shakepeare’s The Tempest, is actually also one of the most common images in many of his plays such as Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, The Twelfth Night and Othello. If read closely, we will find that the descriptions of the tempest in these plays are very different from each other, especially the one in Othello. The language used here is extremely poetic and it creates a stunningly beautiful view. RB Heilman, in his thorough and comprehensive study of Othello, took the sea storm as one part of Shakespeare’s “web” knitting and suggested that it implies a certain interconnection within the text. Similarly, William B. Bache discovered the tempest’s transforming function in Othello, saying that the sea storm is turned into a “human tempest”. However, neither of them probed into the exact way by which this transformation or interconnection is achieved. This paper starts by tracing back to the source of the poetic description of tempest in Othello, which according to Teoman Sipahigil is from Ovid’s poetry. Through the comparative reading of Ovid’s poetry and the lines in Shakepeare’s play, the new connotation that Shakespeare added to the tempest in this play is to be detected. However, this is not simply to look for a new symbolic meaning, but to understand firstly how a perfect intertexual link is established and secondly how the delicate interconnection is achieved. More importantly, based on the analysis of skillful articulation, the paper will go further to the everlasting predicament hidden behind the human tempest, also to argue against what A.C Bradley called as “man’s unconquerable mind”.



Elizabeth Hoyt

Durham University, UK


‘What’s done cannot be undone’: The Struggle Self-forgiveness in Shakespeare

At the end of A Winter’s Tale Leontes mourns ‘whilst I remember / her and her virtues, I cannot forget / my blemishes in them’ (V.1). Before taking his own life Othello says ‘then must you speak / of one that loved not wisely but too well’ (V.i)  Before their deaths Lear protests to Cordelia, ’when thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, / and ask of thee forgiveness’ (V.iii). Shakespeare’s tragic and romantic heroes consistently struggle with the concept of forgiveness, finding it difficult to pardon the real or imagined faults of others. However, in this paper, I am not so much interested in why a character might refuse or struggle to forgive another, rather, I would like to consider how Shakespeare’s heroes react when they realise that they themselves have erred. How does a character come to forgive himself? In some cases, such as in A Winter’s Tale or King Lear, individuals seem able to forgive themselves if the person they have injured first forgives them; in other cases, such as Macbeth, Othello or Cymbeline, when a character’s deeds have caused, in reality or in imagination, the death of the one who might forgive them, they generally end up in a state of despair which leads to self-harm. In this paper I will explore how necessary the prior forgiveness of the injured party is to the self-forgiveness of Shakespeare’s heroes, particularly in the context of Reformation England and the introduction of Calvinist soteriological ideas, which suggested the ultimate futility of man’s efforts in his own salvation. I am particularly interested in looking at the inner struggle that takes place as characters interrogate themselves and their own actions. How does self-forgiveness differ from a character’s forgiveness of others? And why is the forgiveness of others so important to self-forgiveness?


Maria Inês da Graça Bolinhas

Catholic University of Portugal, Portugal

Private property and common property – the daring of Thomas Aquinas

Private property and common property – the daring of Thomas Aquinas

In the XIIIth century, the Dominican friar Thomas Aquinas made a radical reflection upon property as an issue. He articulates in his considerations two different heritages. On one hand, the philosophy of Aristotle. The Philosopher defends – against his master, Plato – that the existence of private property is useful and beneficious to the order and prosperity of the city. Aquinas agrees with him; he believes that one preserves more carefully the goods that were entrusted to him/her than those goods that were entrusted to many persons, because nobody feels really responsible for them. On the other hand, Thomas is a thinker deeply rooted in the message of the Bible – therefore, he sees Earth and its content as a common property given to the humankind. By natural law, he says, everything belongs to everyone; thus, private property is nothing but social convention. Consequently, the Dominican master defends that under extreme circumstances that threaten human life (of one or more persons) private property may be legitimately abolished. Although Thomas as a mendicant friar seeks to accomplish the imitatio Christi living in poverty, he strongly defends that poverty should be a choice, not an imposition. Aquinas message is clear: the violence provoked by that poverty which is imposed by society is contrary to natural law and so rulers should avoid it.




Ramy Magdy Ahmed
Cairo University, Egypt


Cogito Politicus : The Political and its Margin in Descartes’ Discourse


The great French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) had been always recognised as the father of early modern philosophy , yet his philosophical legend is very illusive when it is studied politically to make any picture of Descartes political vision. Through his works, Descartes’ remarks on politics were notoriously inconsistent, contradictory and vague. Whether this was made intentionally by Descartes or not is still a matter of debate. What this paper argues is that reading René Descartes’ book Discourse On the Method by a coherent conceptual framework, like the Arendtian concept of the political, allows making such a picture of Descartes’ political vision attainable. This Cartesian political vision, when approached by Arendt’s framework, reflected deep modernist, utopian and antipolitical tendencies, and showed to some extent the kind of authoritarian politics René Descartes suppor ted throughout his Discourse.



Andrea Hugill

University of Toronto, Canada

Justification by Faith before the Reformation


The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of one particular theological doctrine, justification by faith, in the pre-reformation era to better understand the contours of the doctrine and the context.  The reigns of King Henry the VIIth and King Henry the VIIIth, from 1485-1547, are the proposed era for the parameters of the ThM dissertation, after which era a vernacular liturgy in English was imposed to replace the old Latin mass.  The influence of John Calvin on Presbyterianism and the establishment of a system of government for the Church that was aimed to be in conformity with the word of God without the intrusion of human conjecture will be critically analysed. My paper will consider in context the doctrine as understood by Desiderius Erasmus and Peter Martyr Vermigli; Bishop Richard Foxe and Thomas Wolsey; Luther on the righteousness of God; Melanchthon on imputation and renewal; Calvin and the obedience of Christ; the relevant views of John Mair and several Scholastics; of John Fisher, Robert Wauchope and finally the council of Trent, c. 1547.  The two-fold purpose of the paper is to explore the contours of the doctrine of justification, and to establish a clear context that can be labelled “pre-reformation” and to discover the relationship with the development of the doctrine and the external history of the day.  The language of spiritual liberation connected with the doctrine of justification by faith was intended to ensure that the enjoyment of religious freedom under God would continue.   British history that can be identified as “pre-reformation” will be clearly defined as context for the doctrine of justification by faith.  I hope to achieve definitive clarity of the doctrine in context by accurately representing the views of the several aforementioned theological figures.


Tatyana Solomonik-Pankrashova
Vilnius University, Lithuania

Theurgy in the Old English Boethius

It is in man alone that Mind is entwined with the Matter, the latter becoming eloquent in the exaltation of the Ineffable Beauty (κάλλος) of the Creator. For the pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (ca. 650—725), the uplifting towards the Divine – theurgy – is initiated by the Beauty of the object of contemplation and understood through the perceptible symbols, so that the Dionysian aesthetics is inseparable from epistemology. The Celestial Hierarchy elucidates the modus operandi of symbols  being initiated by the triadic principle of the Thearchy imparted on the Creation, and manifest through the levels of Hierarchy, which is uplifted to the imitation of God “ælc be his geearnunga” (“each according to its merit”). A magnificent revelation of the ubiquity of the Thearchy is substantiating the Hierarchies into the One, for a true apprehension of symbol leads the Mind through the contemplation of the Ineffable Perfection of the Divine Nature to the acquisition of the Divine Wisdom. The aim of this paper is to unravel/unriddle the reflection of the pseudo-Dionysian hierarchy as the aesthetic completion of gnosis in the Old English Boethius.


Gabriela Debita
Dunărea de Jos University of Galaţi, Romania


New Tales and Tales Told Anew: The Medievalism of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Series

Umberto Eco, in his essay “Dreaming of the Middle Ages,” outlines ten types of medievalism, some of which he presents as authentic and valuable, and others as less so. Enter neomedievalism, a term coined by Eco to describe contemporary fantasy as opposed to “responsible philological examination,” and which implies that some forms of medievalism are in fact simulacra, imitations of falsified or romanticised Middle Ages which in fact never existed. While he initially mildly refers to this genre as part of a “neomedieval wave,” he escalates to a far more powerful critique in the course of his essay, eventually castigating Tolkien for producing “a sort of escapism.” Eco’s sweeping dismissal of contemporary fantasy as unequivocally neo-medievalist and escapist, and thus inauthentic and rather frivolous, completely ignores the ways in which this latest incarnation of a genre with deep historical roots is profoundly influenced by medieval literature and philosophy, while simultaneously dealing with very modern concerns such as conflicts on an unprecedented scale, the dangers of unfettered technology, gender, sexuality, and the quest for identity and personal relevance. Thus, our analysis will focus on tracing the similar ways in which a number of medieval concepts, including, but not limited to order, purpose, human will, and harmonious closure inform both medieval literary texts and contemporary fantasy texts, with a particular focus on Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea series. 

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