Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Conference: Libel: Discourses and Practices in Early Modern Britain and Europe

This weekend (April 20-21, 2012), the Alexander Library at Rutgers University (New Brunswick campus) is hosting a conference on "Libel: Discourses and Practices in Early Modern Britain and Europe, c.1500-1800.” Here's the announcement:
“Though some make slight of libels, yet you may see by them how the wind sits….More solid things do not show the complexion of the times so well, as ballads and libels” (John Selden).

Over the past twenty years, historians and critics have found ever more sophisticated ways to use early modern libels—what they said, how they said it, to whom and under what conditions—to reveal “the complexion of the times”.  This interdisciplinary conference builds upon two decades of pioneering work on early modern libel to open new areas of study and to connect hitherto disconnected fields and approaches. It explores the interrelationship of visual and textual
libel; the nature of libel as legal category, politico-religious discourse, literary form and underground communication in different confessional and national contexts; the transnational circulation of libelous texts and rumors; and the shifting meanings and uses of libel over more than two centuries of often turbulent political and cultural change.
More information, including a full program, is here.

Hat tip: H-Law