Premodern Studies Seminar | Newberry

Premodern Studies Seminar

Franceso Colonna, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1499. (folio Inc. 5574)

This seminar provides a forum for new approaches to classical, medieval, and early modern studies, allowing scholars from a range of disciplines to share works-in-progress with the broader community at the Center for Renaissance Studies. We meet three times a year. Every meeting is free and open to the public, and participants are encouraged to attend as many seminars as they are able.

The call for proposals for the 2021-2022 Premodern Studies Seminar is now closed. Please check back in the spring for more information.

The theme of the 2021-2022 seminars is “Premodern Migration, Diaspora, and Exchange.” Our aim is to examine the experience, understanding, and consequences of migration before 1800. How and why did ancient, medieval, and early modern people cross the borders that define individual and collective identity? In what ways did the exchanges and interactions caused by the movement of different peoples (either voluntary or forced) shape political, social, scientific, economic, and linguistic developments across the globe? How did a global traffic in ideas and objects influence national literary and cultural traditions? Moreover, how might the study of premodern migration help us to confront the persistent legacies of settler colonialism, racism, and imperialism today?

We welcome submissions on these questions from all fields of premodern studies. Global approaches are particularly welcome, and we invite work that is at once archival and theoretical. Papers will be pre-circulated, so that the majority of the seminar session will be devoted to discussion. Due to the continued uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic, all 2021-2022 seminar meetings will take place virtually.

Organized by Timothy Crowley, Northern Illinois University; Megan Heffernan, DePaul University; Lydia Barnett, Northwestern University; and Christopher Fletcher, the Newberry.

If you have any questions about the seminar, please send an email to

Past Premodern Studies Seminars

Upcoming Events

Friday, February 4, 2022
Mediterranean Displacements: Morisco Migrations in the Sixteenth Century, Mayte Green-Mercado, Rutgers University-Newark
Friday, February 25, 2022
The Legend of Troy in the Middle Ages: Imagining Migration as Regeneration, Elena N. Boeck, DePaul University
Friday, May 6, 2022
Worldling, Stranger, Citizen: Cosmopolitanism and Migration in Early Modern England, Natalya Din-Kariuki, University of Warwick
Friday, May 20, 2022
Details coming soon.