Enigmas in Editing Early Modern Manuscripts

As part of the IJBS Blog Series Vera J. Camden, Professor of English at Kent State University, explores the the trials and tribulations of editing the diary of the eighteenth-century Presbyterian widow of a London goldsmith, Hannah Burton.

Margaret Ezell has reflected that the survival of manuscript documents such as early modern women’s diaries are like insects in amber, occupying a ‘long since deceased literary landscape’ that yet offer a ‘continuation of that presence which survives destruction, that matter which the living are permitted still to embrace.’[1]  

Continue reading

The Recorder 2021

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The annual IJBS newsletter The Recorder will be composited together close to the end of the summer, and is still looking for more pieces. We already have an excellent portion of content, but more pieces are always appreciated. Please share more of what you’re writing, reading, and hearing about.

We are happy to accept entries throughout July, but would prefer to receive confirmation of all entries by 30 June 2021. We’re looking for the following sorts of things, but anything in the spirit of interest to the society would be splendid: 

  • Notes
  • Short Articles
  • Meditations/reflections/strategies on teaching and researching Bunyan in the era of COVID-19
  • Reviews and/or descriptions of recent publications (yours or others’)
  • Reports on past and upcoming events (including the upcoming tenth triennial IJBS conference)
  • Calls for papers
  • Book and media reviews that have direct or indirect relevance to Non-conformist writing (if not already consigned for Bunyan Studies)
  • Interviews
  • Dissertations and post-doctoral research (abstracts, announcements, etc.)

We are especially interested in hearing about forthcoming books or edited collections! Images of all types should serve, though ones in JPG or .PNG with better resolution are preferred.

If you want to see how entries have functioned in the past, the previous issues are available at https://johnbunyansociety.org/the-newsletter/past-issues/. Please send your submissions to the following addresses, preferably with a subject heading referring to The Recorderrbergen@corpuschristi.ca; or richard.angelo.b@gmail.com.

If you have any questions, please let us know. We greatly look forward to seeing your contributions. 

Wishing safety and wellness to all!
Richard Bergen (Editor of The Recorder)

Reading Dissent and Dissenting Readers in the Reformation World, 1500-1800

The 10th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society

Northumbria University, Newcastle (UK) 7–9 July 2022

CALL FOR PAPERS

Plenary Speakers: Marie-Louise Coolahan (NUI Galway), Crawford Gribben (Queen’s University Belfast), Johanna Harris (Exeter), Nicholas Seager (Keele)

‘Reading Dissent’ is a major multi-disciplinary and international conference which seeks to investigate the multifarious ways reading proved vital, or potentially fatal, to the everyday lives of Puritans, Dissenters and/or Nonconformists, both to themselves, their households, wider communities and churches during the Long Reformation, 1500-1800.

POSSIBLE TOPICS INCLUDE:

  • Tracing manuscript readers (marginalia/interlining/erasing/re-copying/editing).
  • The buying, circulating & borrowing of prescribed/proscribed religious texts.
  • Dissenting academies/libraries (their sponsors/users/legacies).
  • Seditious reading (controversies/plots/debates/apologetics).
  • Communal reading (at conventicles/homes/prisons/chapels).
  • Ungodly reading (jestbooks/playbooks/romances/foreign histories/lewd poetry).
  • Reading the ministry (through clerical ‘lives’/diaries/church & court books/parish registers/wills).
  • Cross-confessional readers (of prayers/psalters/meditations/catechisms/devotional manuals).

Modest travel bursaries (on request via e-mail) are available for postgraduate students whose papers are accepted. Selected papers will form a special issue in the Society’s peer-reviewed journal: Bunyan Studies: The Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture.

Please send a biography (100 words), along  with a CV, title and brief abstract (250-words) of a 20-minute paper, or for panels (3 x 20 minute papers) – no later than 15 September 2021 – to Dr Robert W. Daniel: IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.

For a PDF copy of this CFP click here.

2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize Winner

The International John Bunyan Society is pleased to announce that its 2021 Early Career Essay Prize has been awarded to Michelle Pfeffer (@michpfeffer) for the essay: ‘Mortalism and the Social Consequences of Religious Heterodoxy in Yorkshire at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century’. The winner’s certificate and cash prize of £300 has been sent to Michelle by Professor David Walker, IJBS President. The selection panel was chaired by David Walker, and its members were Rachel Adcock, David Parry and Robert W. Daniel.

Continue reading

Glorious Sounds: Exploring the Soundscapes of British Nonconformity: 1550-1800

Virtual Conference, 14-15th April 2021

The International John Bunyan Society welcomes you to the Glorious Sounds: Exploring the Soundscapes of British Nonconformity: 1550-1800 – a virtual conference hosted by Northumbria University, Newcastle and organised in association with the University of Bedfordshire, Keele University, Loughborough University and the University of Warwick.

This major two day multi-disciplinary conference seeks to explore the various ways that sound impacted the lives and writings of early modern Nonconformists and, in turn, their spiritual practices. It will consider:

Hymns/sermons/prayers/catechisms.

Sacred/profane songs.

Ambient noise/s (in houses, churches, prisons).

Psychoacoustics.

Oral culture/s and reading aloud.

Early modern deafness.

Sound, suffering and trauma.

How did godly noises/speeches/music compete with and/or complement one another? Did the propinquity of households/meeting houses/churches hinder or help religious worship? How were the same prayers and sermons spoken/heard differently? Did silence, or its lack thereof, effect the delivery/auditory of God’s Word? In short, what sounds defined and defied British Nonconformity? The full conference programme can be accessed here.

Registration is free, but essential, as places are limited. For more information please visit the conference website.

2021 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

Image

SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW OPEN

Deadline: 1 March 2021

The annual International John Bunyan Society (IJBS) Early Career Essay Prize recognises the cutting-edge research of junior scholars in the field of early modern religion and dissent.

Criteria:

  • The competition is open to PhD students and post-doctoral researchers up to two years after their viva.
  • To be eligible, applicants MUST be members of the IJBS. Membership enquiries/ subscriptions can be made via the Society’s UK Treasurer: r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk.
  • Applicants can submit an essay of up to 8,000 words (e.g. part of a chapter or a draft of an article or a written version of a conference paper) by 1 March 2021 (as an email attachment). The word count includes footnotes, but excludes title, bibliography and any appendixes (which, however, should not be longer than the text of the essay).
  • The name of the author, their affiliation and their role (e.g. final-year PhD student) as well as the word count should be indicated on the title page.
  • A brief biography outlining the applicant’s current research project (150 words) is to be included.

This year the IJBS particularly welcomes contributions discussing the pastoral care, medical practices, and welfare of religious Dissenters during the Long Reformation (global perspectives are especially welcome). All submissions will be judged by members of the Society’s Executive Committee who may ask other experts to join them. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by email within a month of the submission date. The winner will be officially announced at the next Regional IJBS Conference in April 2021 (TBC) and will receive a certificate, a financial award of £300, one year’s free membership to IJBS and a year’s subscription to the Society’s peer-reviewed journal: Bunyan Studies.

Please send all submissions by 1 March 2021 to the Society’s General Secretary, Robert W. Daniel, via IJBSSecretary@outlook.com.

Obituary: Vincent Newey

We write to share the sad news that Vincent Newey, one of the great Bunyan scholars of his generation, has passed away.

Vince was born and raised in the West Midlands. His teaching career began at the University of Liverpool in 1967, where he remained for twenty-two years before his appointment as Professor of English at the University of Leicester. He took early retirement in 2006, due to ill health.

An outstanding literary critic, Vince’s specialisms encompassed the poetry of the pre-Romantic and Romantic periods (Cowper, Gray, and Goldsmith, as well as Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, and Byron) alongside the work of several nineteenth-century novelists (Eliot, Dickens, Hardy, and ‘Mark Rutherford’). He published two monographs – Cowper’s Poetry: A Critical Study and Reassessment (1982), and The Scriptures of Charles Dickens: Novels of Ideology, Novels of the Self (2004) – and edited numerous collections of essays.

Members of the International John Bunyan Society will be familiar with the publications that Vince produced on Bunyan. The first was his ground breaking edited volume, The Pilgrim’s Progress: Critical and Historical Views (1980), which included his own fine essay ‘Bunyan and the Confines of the Mind’. Vince also contributed chapters in N. H. Keeble (ed.) John Bunyan: Conventicle and Parnassus (1988), W. R. Owens and Stuart Sim (eds.) Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress: Reception, Appropriation, Recollection (2007), and Michael Davies and W. R. Owens (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan (2018). His articles on Bunyan included‘Wordsworth, Bunyan and the Puritan Mind’ (1974);‘Dorothea’s Awakening: The Recall of Bunyan in Middlemarch’ (1984); ‘The Disinherited Pilgrim: Jude the Obscure and The Pilgrim’s Progress’ (1987); ‘Mark Rutherford and John Bunyan: A Study in Relationship’ (2012); and ‘Centring Bunyan: Macaulay, Froude, Hale White’ (2013).

As with every piece Vince published, his writings on Bunyan present a master-class in the art of literary criticism. Each displays the hallmarks of his enviable style: one that combines acute insight and sensitivity to language and form with an ambitious intellectual vision, all shaped by a delicate yet robust prose crafted to convey something profoundly engaging and perceptive. A collection of essays, Literature and Authenticity, 1780–1900, published in Vince’s honour in 2011, includes an ‘Afterword’ paying full tribute to his achievements, and to his incomparable strengths as a reader, teacher, critic, colleague, and friend.

Vince died on Saturday 16 May, aged 76. He is survived by his wife Sue and their two sons, Matthew and Nathan. A member of IJBS for many years, he will be missed, and we mourn his passing.

Michael Davies and Bob Owens

2020 IJBS Early Career Essay Prize

The International John Bunyan Society is pleased to announce that the 2020 Early Career Essay Prize has been awarded to Eleanor Hedger, for her essay entitled ‘Singing in the Face of Death: Making Martyrs on the Scaffold during the English Reformation’. The prize was intended to have been announced at the Regional IJBS Conference planned for 16 April 2020, but this event had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the winner’s certificate and prize has been sent to Eleanor by David Walker, IJBS President. The selection panel was chaired by Bob Owens, and the members were Rachel Adcock, Isabel Rivers, and David Walker. hedger-eleanor-Cropped-230x230

Eleanor Hedger is a third-year PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands4Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. A musicologist by training, she completed a BMus in 2014, followed by an MA specialising in Early Music. Her PhD thesis is exploring two unusual and extensive questions: what did the unsettled, conflicted, and turbulent world of post-Reformation England sound like? And what did the sounds associated with conflict, violence, and punishment signify to those that made and heard them? To answer these questions she is carrying out research into the sonic and musical characteristics of conflict and punishment from the start of Mary I’s reign in 1553 until the death of Charles I in 1649. This includes examining the ways in which sound functioned during rituals of punishment, such as public executions and charivari, and also how sound reflected and heightened aspects of social and religious conflict in spaces such as the early modern prison and the parish church. Her argument is that consideration of the sonic experience of such rituals and spaces can serve as a conduit for investigating the complex social, political, and religious tensions that surfaced during this period. Her essay, ‘Heinrich Isaac’s Missa Comme femme desconfortée: A Musical Offering to the Virgin Mary’, has been published in Stefan Gasch, Markus Grassl, and August Valentin Rabe (eds.), Henricus Isaac (ca. 1450–1617): Composition – Reception – Interpretation (Vienna: Hollitzer Verlag, 2019), pp. 177–188.

This is the inaugural year of the IJBS Early Career Essay Prize, which is open to PhD Students and to post-doctoral researchers within the first two years after their viva. Applicants must be members of IJBS. The prize is for outstanding scholarly work in the field of early modern religion and Dissent, including its literature, history and reception. Further details about the prize will be posted on the IJBS website.

2020 IJBS Regional Day Conference Programme

Glorious Sounds: Exploring the Soundscapes of British Nonconformity, 1550-1800

We are pleased to announce that the programme for the 2020 IJBS Regional Day Conference is now set.The conference is organised in association with University of Bedfordshire, Keele University, Loughborough University, Northumbria University and the University of Warwick. Details are below and a Conference Programme can be downloaded here.

Lipman Building (Room 121), Northumbria University,

 Newcastle, Thursday 16 April 2020

 

PROGRAMME

10.00–10.20      Registration and coffee

10.20–10.30      Introductory remarks: Robert W. Daniel

10.30–11.30      Plenary 1:
Rosamund Oates, Manchester Metropolitan
Speaking in Hands:  Preaching, Deafness and Sign Language in Early Modern Europe

11.30–11.50      Coffee break

11.50–1.00        First Panel
Robert W. Daniel, University of Warwick:
‘Piety, but Quietly: The Devotional Soundscape of Dissenting Households’
Eleanor Hedger, University of Birmingham:
Acoustic Territorialisation and Sonic Conflict in the Early Modern English Prison’

1.00–2.00          Lunch

2.00–3.30          Second Panel
Matthew Stanton, Queen’s University, Belfast:
‘Charisma and Controversy: Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) and the Debate About Congregational Song’
Rosamund Paice, University of Portsmouth:
‘Sound Theology: Serious Punning in Paradise Lost
Mary Fairclough, University of York:
‘Anna Laetitia Barbauld and the Dissenting Art of Reading’

3.30–3.40          Coffee break

3.40–4.40          Plenary 2:
John Craig, Simon Fraser University:
Sounding Godly: from Bilney to Bunyan

4.40–4.50          Concluding remarks and departure 
 

REGISTRATION

Attendance is free of charge, but prior registration by 1 March 2020 is essential as numbers are limited. The conference opens at 10.00am, and ends at 5.00pm. Morning and afternoon refreshments and a light lunch will be provided, costing £15 payable on the day. For further inquiries, please e-mail Robert W. Daniel (IJBSSecretary@outlook.com), Rachel Adcock (r.c.adcock@keele.ac.uk), or David Walker (david5.walker@northumbria.ac.uk).  Travel information for Northumbria University can be found here.