Editing Donne, 26 March

February 28, 2011

Conference: Editing Donne
Lincoln College, University of Oxford
EPA Centre, Museum Road

The editors of the Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne are delighted to announce that on 26 March 2011, they will host the first of three AHRC-funded events: Editing Donne. This conference will appeal to scholars and students of the writings of John Donne, notably his sermons; to those engaged in textual criticism and bibliographical studies in the Early Modern period (and beyond), as well as to those with an interest in the historical, cultural, and religious milieu that forms the backdrop to Donne’s sermons.

Claire Preston (Cambridge) will be the conference respondent.

Other speakers to include: Peter McCullough (Oxford); David Colclough (Queen Mary); Katrin Ettenhuber (Cambridge); Erica Longfellow (Kingston); Mary Ann Lund (Leicester); Mary Morrissey (Reading); Emma Rhatigan (Sheffield); Hugh Adlington (Birmingham); Philip West (Oxford); Sebastiaan Verweij (Oxford).

Student bursaries available for registration and travel costs. Please contact Sebastiaan Verweij if you would like to apply.

Registration: £5 (including lunch and refreshments)

For more information please visit http://www.cems-oxford.org/donne/events/march-2011-editing-donne

For more information about the Donne Project see http://www.cems-oxford.org/donne

Professor Moshe Idel, Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought Emeritus at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a leading authority on the history and historiography of Jewish mysticism, gave a CEMS lecture on ‘The Transition of Ars Combinatoria from Kabbalah to European Culture: Ramon Llull, Pseudo-Llull, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’ (10 February). This was one of a series of visiting lectures, on the influence of the mystical treatise the Sefer Yetzirah from the medieval period through to Derrida and Eco. Professor Idel showed how Pico’s knowledge of the Kabbalah, gained through commissioning Latin translations of works by Abraham Abulafia and others, allowed him to grasp connections with Ramon Llull’s ars combinatoria. The lecture ended by tracing links through to Leibniz’s use of combinatory techniques.

Fiona Macintosh (Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama) opened a rewarding discussion on 1 February with the latest news of the APGRD. The Archive’s database of worldwide performances from antiquity to the present day, including details of actors, directors, translators etc., has now exceeded 11,000 entries and further work is in progress. The Archive has organized a series of conferences which have led to twelve publications since its foundation in 1996. Perhaps less well known is its role as a physical archive, with a substantial collection of playbills, scores, photographs etc. Programmes on ‘performing epic’ and ‘translation’ are now under way. The Archive has been chosen by the University as a model of research with a major public impact, with examples ranging from Katie Mitchell’s National Theatre production of Ted Hughes’s translation of Aeschylus’ Oresteia to the Northern Broadsides’ performance of Tom Paulin’s version of Euripides’  Medea at the Oxford Playhouse. It was good to welcome Oliver Taplin, one of the founders of the APGRD, to the session.

Other presentations discussed various aspects of classical reception and imitation. Tim Smith-Laing raised some questions about what counted as ‘Senecan’ drama, pointing out the ongoing confusion in the early modern period about the works to be ascribes to the elder and younger Seneca – sometimes, indeed, thought to have been the Seneca brothers –  and the general nature of the elements, such as stichomythia and sententiae, sometimes said to define the Senecan. Turning to an Elizabethan tragedy, Legge’s Ricardus Tertius, he argued that a more crucial Senecan feature was the sense of inwardness given by self-addressed asides. Cressida Ryan discussed the neo-Latin comedy Ignoramus by George Ruggles, focussing on the way in which performing such a play brings out elements that are easily lost in reading, such as the mosaic of different idioms, and in some cases languages, as means to a lively audience involvement. Joshua Billings discussed Walter Benjamin’s Origin of German Tragic Drama as a useful counter to a homogenizing literary history that would impose timeless models of the tragic.