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Project funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant (CFRG\103244) (Image: SP49/3, f.28. Henry VIIII to James V, 1524. The National Archives)

Call for Papers

Performing and Resisting Power in Early Modern Life

Plate 1 from Thomas May, Arbitrary government displayed to the life, 1690. Image from The Folger Shakespeare Library (

Online Symposium, 19th May 2023

Call for Papers:

Ideas, acts and practices of power were intrinsic to all levels of early modern life. This online conference will explore, question and evaluate how power was constructed, resisted, performed and undone across local, national and international spheres, through language, text, politics, technology, kinship, kingship, literature, and more. It will promote discussion that crosses disciplinary boundaries such as history, language, literary studies, material culture, art history, among others, considering the ‘known’ from new perspectives and shedding light on lesser-discussed dimensions of society and culture between 1450 and 1700.

We invite 20 minute papers from scholars that engage with the above themes from any discipline. Submissions from PhD and early career researchers are very much encouraged! We hope to provide a supportive and open space for the sharing of research findings, ideas, theories and methods.

Themes that might be addressed include:

  • National and political structures and systems of power
  • Construction and uses of space and place
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Social rank, class and community identities
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Language, norms, innovations, prescriptions and ideology
  • Literary representations
  • Literary markets and competition
  • Rhetoric and discourses of power
  • Strategies of influence and persuasion
  • Objects and material forms
  • Counter narratives
  • Identity and recognition
  • Imposters, pretenders and impersonations

Contact the organisers ( with any questions about the format, theme or accessibility

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