The Early Modern Transnational Book Conference

by | Jun 16, 2024 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

By Seren Morgan-Roberts, University of Manchester

On the 28th and 29th of May 2024, Ellen Werner, a member of The Bodies, Emotions and Material Culture Collective, and Seren Morgan-Roberts hosted a two-day conference that celebrated the early modern book as an object of transnational exchange. It was hosted in part in The Boardroom at Oddfellows Hall on the university’s campus and in the Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library.

Panel topics ranged from libraries as sites of transnational exchange to the international reception of neo-Latin texts to gendered approaches to reading and publishing in the early modern period. The wide range of topics and approaches to the conference’s theme were testament to the varied and interdisciplinary research produced by early career and postgraduate researches engaging with early modern books in transnational contexts. The conference attracted speakers from a variety of institutes spanning six different countries across Europe and North America.

Keynote speakers Dr. Fred Schurink from the University of Manchester and Dr. John Gallagher from the University of Leeds offered engaging talks on their recent research. Dr. Fred Schurink’s paper titled ‘The Making of a European Bestseller: Willem Silvius’s Edition of Jacques Amyot’s Les vies des hommes illustres grecs et romains (Antwerp, 1564)’ showcased some of his work on the various editions and translations of Plutarch’s in French. John Gallagher’s keynote paper, ‘‘Everywhere, where they learn French’: early modern language manuals in transnational perspectives’, combined broader reflections on Gallagher’s work with language manuals with a focus on his recent research into Claude Mauger’s multilingual and transnational language learning manual.

The conference was generously funded by the  Northwest Consortium Doctorial Training Partnership (NWCDTP), Chetham’s Library, the Society for Renaissance Studies (SRS), and the University of Manchester’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Arts and Languages (CIDRAL), which allowed us to host a wonderfully rich and informative conference.


Image Credits: Dr. John Gallagher presenting his keynote talk in the historic Baronial Hall at Chetham’s Library.