Call for Papers

Call for Article Submissions

The open access online journal entitled Literature is calling for papers for a special issue on Realpolitik in Renaissance and Early Modern British Literature.

The collection of essays will offer innovative readings of British literature of the Renaissance and early modern period that reflect the influence of realpolitik, especially as embodied in Machiavelli’s writings, and The Prince in particular. Topics of interest for this volume may include (but are not limited to) the following: the depiction of major Machiavellian tenets; the contrasting of the traditional concept of the divine right of kings with the secular view of power; the portrayal of women as astute Machiavels; the concealment of secret plotting through literal and figurative disguises, with the characters who are most adept at dissembling being the most challenging to detect as political strategists; the appearance of Machiavellian strategies in literary works that are not overtly political in nature; the subversiveness of literary texts that explore early modern politics; and the literary depiction of conspiracies and planned invasions, like those occurring in early modern England. The deadline for the submission of essays is April 30, 2024, and the recommended minimum word count is 4,000 words, with no maximum word count limitation. Send a 400 to 600 words abstract to Dr. Carolyn Brown, guest editor, at

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2024

For more information, consult this link:

CFP:  Titanic Optimism: Shakespeare in Tempestuous Times

Editors: Craig Dionne, Tim Francisco, and Sharon O’Dair

Seeking essays for an edited collection

In December 2021, a kerfuffle played out across the pages of The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. The topic: two books that defend “Great Books” courses taught by generalists. Especially piqued was Louis Menand in The New Yorker who, according to Leonard Cassuto in the Chronicle, “lost his cool” by insisting on the superior importance of specialist research and pedagogy for these works. Academics badly need a conversation about this topic, says Cassuto: we face uncertain, possibly grim futures.

But, as is too often the case, debates about the current and future states of academia circulate among elite professors, far from the majority working in higher education. What the conversation so far lacks areperspectives of those teaching at regional publics, small liberal arts colleges, HBCUs and community colleges, the institutions that educate the majority of students. These perspectives, and the challenges they address, are important, as James Shapiro wrote in 2019, because they “are likely to be visited soon upon those who teach at research universities,” and evidence suggests that they already are, in states like Florida and Nebraska…

In contrast to the situation at elite institutions, where the generalist is under fire, at many institutions, the specialist is under fire. These colleagues, often trained at elite institutions, are becoming generalists, or even do not teach literature at all; the “GreatBooks” are long gone and so, too, are many single-author or even survey courses in our field.

Titanic Optimism: we mean the double-entendre of titanic/Titanic for faculty at the many institutions who struggle with the goals of the discipline in what feels like the final hour. Forced to make difficult decisions about what sections of creative writing or literature or technical writing to cut given stretched budgets and declining admissions, we do not get to choose, if you will, our place on the deck—arranging chairs, as the adage goes. We don’t have the luxury of choice. This the hand we are dealt, which we must play whether we acknowledge it, see it as a double bind, or choose to ignore it altogether.

On the Titanic, the small orchestra played familiar but upbeat pieces as the ship went down, trying to prevent panic among the passengers. Heroic, true, but what this collection will explore is whether preventing panic by reciting what's familiar is the answer we need.

Most of us face enrollment declines—which equals funding declines for state-supported institutions—which the continuing pursuit and promotion of STEM and other “practical” subjects, and legislative backlash to CRT and DEI. 

Countless opinion pieces have appeared on how we got here with no shortage of antagonists or culprits, so we seek papers that do not finger-point. That said, analyses of root causes, surprising connections between the material, the political, and the pedagogical, and radical strategies for intervention are welcome—and encouraged. 

We seek papers that assess the situation, either broadly across institutions or on the ground of one’s home institution:  what is changing, what has changed, what do colleagues do in response, what do you do in response?  How is your institution representative of broader trends and issues—or not? What, ultimately, do we envision as the future of the discipline, of disciplinary study writ large, and what strategies exist to survive—or even thrive—in tempestuous times?


Abstracts of no more than 300 words due 1 June 2024

Completed drafts 1 January 2025. 


Call for Conference Talks


October 31 – November 2, 2024

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The International Sidney Society will sponsor panels at the 2024 Sixteenth-Century-Society Conference and invites paper proposals related to Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert (Countess of Pembroke), Lady Mary Wroth, other members of the Sidney-Herbert-Dudley family, or English and international associates of the broader Sidney circle.  

As always, we encourage submissions by scholars within and beyond institutional academies: including professors and instructors, graduate students, and independent scholars.  Please submit abstracts of 150-300 words as e-mail attachments.  On the abstract, please include your name, affiliation or status as independent scholar, and e-mail address. Also, please indicate whether you need equipment and what kind (e.g., projector for PowerPoint). Reading time for completed papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Please direct abstracts and questions to Daniel Lochman, For conference data, see

Deadline: April 15

Nature and Science in Premodern Literature at PAMLA in Palm Springs, CA

This panel is open to papers that focus on the relationship between the natural sciences and ancient, medieval, and early modern literature (before roughly 1700 CE) from all parts of the globe. This panel explores the ways in which pre- and early modern literature works with and against contemporary scientific theories, methods, and discourses. Papers may engage any element of the natural sciences, from philosophy, theology, and theory, to inventions and practical technologies. Scientific fields may include astronomy and cosmology, biology and medicine, mathematics, physics and chemistry, and many more.

Deadline: April 30

All abstracts should be submitted via the PAMLA website.

This year's Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) will be held November 6-10 in Palm Springs, CA. More conference information can be found here.

Please feel free to send any questions to

Medieval Literature at PAMLA in Palm Springs, CA

Abstract: Medieval Literature will study multiple aspects of medieval literature, with special consideration for work that engages with the conference theme, "Translation in Action." This panel welcomes a broad interpretation of the theme as it relates to Medieval literature as well as the field of medieval studies itself. We also welcome work that considers translation and other similar frameworks.

Description: While Medieval Literature will consider a variety of papers, we welcome proposals that engage with the conference theme, "Translation in Action." This panel welcomes work on any aspect of Medieval literature, but work that considers translation from a broad range of perspectives in terms of the Medieval is particularly welcome. Some questions to ponder include, but are not limited to: what happens when texts move from one space to another? How does the movement between different spaces affect a character? What are the ways in which medievalists can make their work legible and accessible to those outside of the field? In what ways can translation be a metaphor? What is the relationship between an original and a translated copy? What are the limits to translation, and how do we deal with them? What dictates the ability for some things to carry over from one context into another? How might translation forge connections?

Deadline: April 30, 2024.

Please submit paper proposals through PAMLA's online system:

Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society 2024 Annual Meeting: Rethinking Inquiry

In this post-pandemic, climate-disaster moment, what are academic conferences for? What can scholars do in rooms together that we can’t do online? In 2024 in Spokane the PNRS will once more convene our tight-knit yet welcoming regional community of scholars and teachers of the Renaissance to consider such questions. We will extend our mission of advancing knowledge about the early modern past and presents, while also seeking to facilitate new ways of exchanging ideas beyond the traditional paper and panel formats. We invite proposals centered around the theme of rethinking, broadly or narrowly construed: rethinking settled orthodoxies about the past, but perhaps also rethinking methods of inquiry, of research, of mentorship, of teaching, of authorship, of writing, of publishing, and of exchange.

Conferences have always been about presenting work in progress, and ours is no exception. But in 2024 we seek to draw back the methodological curtains around our work in this period and welcome a focus on the methods as much as the results of your research.

Presentations can focus on any facet of researching and teaching Renaissance texts and culture: such as working with archives, databases, software platforms, editing systems, assignments, classroom activities, and annotations.

We welcome proposals for papers, panels or roundtables, as well as workshops, lightning talks, digital posters, salon discussions, and other formats for in-person exchange.

October 17th to 19th, 2024 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Hotel and registration details forthcoming in spring 2024.

Plenary Speakers

  • Dr. Tiffany Werth, University of California-Davis
  • Dr. Katherine Schaap Williams, University of Toronto

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Heather Easterling Richie, Gonzaga University
  • Katey Roden, Gonzaga University
  • Michael Ullyot, University of Calgary

Land in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The 29th Biennial Conference of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program of Barnard College 

Barnard College, New York City

December 7, 2024

King Lear begins with a so-called love test that is also a problem of land. Having decided to divide up his territory among his daughters, the old king demands from them in exchange a profession of love. “Which of you shall we say doth love us most?” Almost immediately, problems of land ownership become “interessed” with seemingly less concrete aspects of human interrelationship. When his eldest daughter, Goneril, professes a limitless love that is without bounds, for example, Lear gives her land that is limited and that exists within “these bounds”: forests and meads that stretch, he explains, “from this line to this.” If in this case the granting of land is transactional, it is also resistant to any system of fungibility or equivalence. Land is on the one hand inherently material and tangible, but is on the other hand also abstract, symbolic, and often spiritual.

The 29th biennial conference of the Barnard Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program will explore the intractably complex meaning of land in the long period from approximately 400 to 1700. This one-day, interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars of multiple disciplines (art history, history, literary studies, religion, history of science, legal history). Topics could include but are not limited to the following: boundaries, environment, enclosure law, surveying and measurement of land, trees and vegetation, pastoral poetry, claims of geographic origin, waste, shifting national boundaries, agrarian practices, herding, migration, indigeneity, and vernacularity.

The conference will be held Saturday, December 7, 2024 on the Barnard College campus in New York City.

Plenary Speakers:

Eleanor Johnson, Columbia University

Rebecca Zorach, Northwestern University


Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words and a 2-page CV to Rachel Eisendrath,

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2024


12th annual Tudor and Stuart Ireland Conference

This conference will take place at the University of Galway from 16-17 August 2024. Any papers related to Ireland and Spenser, Sidney (Henry or Philip), or Raleigh are most welcome. Please see the conference website for more details.

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes) and group panel submissions are now welcome on any aspect of Ireland or the Irish abroad during the Tudor and Stuart periods, including:

  • Gaelic Ireland and the Irish language
  • Gender and society                                                                
  • Poetry, theatre, literature, and song
  • Ireland in a comparative/European context
  • Classical and medieval reception 
  • Political, military, and economic history
  • The archaeology and architecture of the early modern period
  • Religious/ecclesiastical history
  • Writing (and rewriting) the past
  • Environmental literature and history
  • Archives and records – new directions
  • Print and manuscript culture
  • Parliaments, parliamentarians and law-making
  • Mobility, migration, and the Irish abroad
  • Digital humanities and methodologies

Postgraduates, postdoctoral scholars, early-career researchers, independent researchers, and scholars from the disciplines of English, Irish, history, archaeology, art history, theology, philosophy, music, digital humanities, and Irish studies are particularly welcome to submit proposals for consideration. Proposals for panels in Irish are strongly encouraged.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words can be submitted through the conference email:

Deadline: May 3, 2024