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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership


Writing Women in History: Programme 2017-18

5.30-7pm, Tuesdays, even weeks of term, Grad Board Room, Raised Faculty Building, Sidgwick Site

Michaelmas 2017

Patronising Women

17 October –  Isabella d’Este, Marchesa of Mantua and Patron of the Arts

31 October – Muscovite Royal Women

6 November – Trip to the ‘Enlightened Princesses’ Exhibition at Kensington Palace

28 November – Catherine the Great


Lent 2018

Women and Medicine

30 January – Trotula, the First Female Physician

13 February – Tour of Medical Manuscripts in the University Library

27 February – Medieval and Early Modern Obstetrics

13 March – Imperfect Creatures: The Female Body


16 March – Writing Women in History Symposium and Concert


Easter 2018

Monstrous Women

8 May – Petrarchan Perfection: Cosmetic Recipe Books

22 May – The Giantess in Old Norse Literature

5 June – Snake-Women: Medusa and Melusina

19 June – Early-career speaker (tbc)


The Cambridge Medieval Literature and Culture Seminar 

The Cambridge Medieval Literature and Culture Seminar will organise up
to ten meetings during the Academic year of 2017/2018: the purposes of
these meetings, which will host Cambridge graduates along with speakers
from the UK and abroad, is to represent and foster the interdisciplinary
inherent in all Medieval subjects (be it literature, arts, history).
Speakers will present a paper (20-50 mins.), questions and informal
conversation, along with a dinner, will follow.
The Seminar is organised by Giulia Boitani (; Blake Gutt
(; and Anna-Louise Wagner (


Cambridge Group for Endangered Languages and Cultures (CELC)

The Cambridge Group for Endangered Languages and Cultures (CELC) pursues an interdisciplinary approach to the theory, methodology and practice of endangered language and culture documentation.

The group brings together linguists and anthropologists from Cambridge and other academic institutions to create a forum where scholars interested in linguistic diversity and cultural heritage can exchange ideas and discuss common concerns. We remain committed to the dissemination of research findings from language and cultural documentation research to a wider public and to source communities.

Through our series of workshops and seminars, we connect scholarship across disciplines and provide a forum for early career researchers and senior scholars to engage in a dialogue on linguistic and cultural preservation.

CELC Programme Lent term 2017: ‘Endangered and Minority Languages of Italy’

‘The hidden multilingualism of Italy: issues and challenges’ (talk co-organized with the department of Italian)
Speaker: Dr Marco Tamburelli (Prifysgol Bangor/Bangor University)
Date: Wednesday 25 January, 5.15pm
Location: English Faculty, GR 05

‘The revival of Italo-Greek: language ideologies and folklorization'
Speakers: M. Olimpia Squillaci (University of Cambridge) & Dr Manuela Pellegrino (Brunel University)
Date: Wednesday 22 February, 5.15pm
Location: English Faculty, GR 05

‘The Arbëresh linguistic archipelago: a natural laboratory of contact induced variation and change’
Speaker: Bora Strati (Leiden University)
Date: Monday 13 March, 5.15pm
Location: English Faculty, GR 05

For more information visit:
Group Page
Facebook Page


Kim Groothius:

Oliver Mayeux:


Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar

The Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar is a fortnightly meeting of scholars whose work relates to any aspect of early modern History. The seminar exists to highlight and discuss innovative research that weaves together a diverse array of disciplines, including History, English Literature, Philosophy, Law, Geography, Archaeology, Linguistics, Economics, and Theology. The seminar aims to bring academics, researchers and students from a wide variety of fields and academic backgrounds into evercloser dialogue with one another, and to explore the many ways in which cross-disciplinary themes, ideas, arguments and evidence can illuminate the early modern period. The seminar also seeks to challenge convention boundaries of periodisation and space, inviting scholars of ancient, medieval and modern worlds to explore the relationships between their work and the early modern period. The meeting is divided into two sections. The first section invites a guest speaker to deliver a paper on their research for one hour. The second section provides 15-30 minutes for the speaker to answer questions on the topic and engage in a discussion on the cross-disciplinary implications of their work.

Attendees are invited to bring a packed lunch to the seminar. Tea and coffee is also provided.

Lent 2017
Wednesdays 12 - 1:15pm
English Faculty, Room GR03

1st February [Little Hall, Sidgwick Site]
Dr Hannah Murphy
University of Oxford
"No day without a line": calligraphy, perspective and the craft of writing in early modern Nuremberg

15th February [History Faculty, Room 5]
Dr Alex Robinson
'Et le roi prit tant plaisir à la musique': Royal taste and music in the Renaissance - the case of Henri IV of France (1589-1610).

1st March [English Faculty, Room GR03]
Nailya Shamgunova
University of Cambridge
Queering the Anglo-Ottoman Contact, c. 1550-1700

15th March [English Faculty, Room GR03]
Dr Oliver Morgan
University of Geneva
Apostrophising the King in Shakespeare's Richard II

Simone Hanebaum (sh840) | Nadine Weiss (nw349) | Joseph Ashmore (ja443) | Patrick McGhee (pm541)


Materials in Practice: What Do the Humanities Do?

The ‘Materials in Practice’ student-led study group explores the points of contact between two emerging fields of interest in the humanities: ideas of materiality on the one hand, and theories of practice on the other. The group’s activities in 2016-17 will be focused on a series of podcasts, including interviews with scholars, reading group-style discussions, and reviews of recent cultural events. We also plan to host two seminars with guest speakers, details of which will be published on our website. 

‘Materiality’ and ‘practice’ are polyvalent terms, difficult to pin down, and the group explores what is at stake in their increased currency in scholarly discourse. Part of the answer has to do with the blurring of disciplinary boundaries (hence the growing presence of ecological and anthropological paradigms in literary and cultural studies). Another part points to an increased concern over academia’s relation to public debate and everyday life. The group will therefore aim to use the podcast format to investigate new forms of scholarly practice and engagement.

We are always looking to expand the group, and welcome contact and suggestions from anyone interested in related areas. For contact details and information on last year’s programme, please visit our website at


Practices and Concepts of Observing Others

Draft program for Lent and Easter Terms 2017

February 6 to March 12 – An exhibition of stills from David MacDougall’s observational film Ghandi’s Children together with a daily showing of the film in the exhibition space. Venue: King’s College Art Rooms. 10-5pm.

March 2 – In advance of MacDougall’s visit, a round table discussion about the theory and practice of observational filmmaking in social research. Links to film clips to view and theoretical texts to read will be shared in advance of the session. Venue: King’s College Art Rooms (Top of Staircase ‘A’). Time: 4pm.

March 9 – A day with David MacDougall

AM screening and Q&A with David MacDougall of children's films from Childhood and Modernity Project - Venue: Faculty of Education/Homerton College. 10 am - Midday.

PM screenings from observational cinema. Venue: The Babbage Theatre in New Museums Site from 1 – 5pm.

Evening Talk by MacDougall in conjunction with an exhibition of stills from Gandhi's Children. Venue: King's College. 6.30pm.

Friday March 10 – Children as observational filmmakers in research – Faculty of Education. We will view examples of observational films made by 10 to 12-year-old Indian childrenProfessor MacDougall with talk about his work with children as filmmakers. There will be plenty time for questions and a discussion about the theory and practice of observational filmmaking in social research. Venue: Faculty of Education, 184 Hill’s Road, Room GS5, 10 am – Midday.

March 16 – Cross-disciplinary round table discussion on participant observation with video cameras. Venue and time: TBA.

April 7 – Round table discussion on readings/viewings recommended in advance of visit by Tobias Zielony and Agnieszka Piotrowska. Venue and time: to be announced.

April 24 or 25 – A day with Tobias Zielony and Agnieszka Piotrowska

Presentations, screenings and discussions on the topic: 'Observing Others. Venue: King’s College and the Babbage Theatre. Times TBA.

May 12 – Seminar style event: An invitation to contribute content and discuss: "Observation can also have a transformative potential for the observer and the observed alike. Ethical dilemmas are thus at the heart of concepts and practices of observation across the sciences, humanities and the arts". Venue and time: TBA.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Cambridge, with support from King’s College and the Division of Social Anthropology, is supporting these sessions in the 'Practices and Concepts of Observing Others' series organised by Nigel Meager and Rafael Dernbach.


Value of the Humanities Research Group

Readings for Lent 2017

31st January, St John’s College
Presenter: Christina Farley
Selected readings on the theme of: 'The Public Debate about Art History A-Level - A Case Study for the Defence of a Humanity'

17th February, St John’s College
Presenter: Mikołaj Sławkowski-Rode
Edmund Husserl, ‘Die Krisis des europäischen Menschentums und die Philosophie’, trans. ‘Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man’

21st February, St John’s College
Presenter: Samuel Hughes
From Ernest Gellner, Relativism and the Social Sciences 

14th March, St John’s College
Guest talk: Prof. Peter Mandler, Former President of the Royal Historical Society
Prof. Mandler will be discussing his new research on why students choose the subjects they do at school and university.

Details of rooms will be confirmed in due course.  Please contact Samuel Hughes at for further information.

Convenors: Samuel Hughes, Christina Farley, Sara Caputo, Ralph Weir.  


Writing Women in History

‘Writing Women in History’ is an interdisciplinary reading group looking at writing by, for, and about women. Covering the twelfth to eighteenth centuries, we look comparatively at how such writings functioned within a wide variety of social and historical contexts. The group’s founders come from a range of disciplines: English, Theology, Slavonic, and Italian. It became clear to us that although our interests overlap, our approaches are very different and we could learn from the methods and knowledge of other disciplines.

Each term we choose an overarching theme, and a sub-topic for each fortnightly session. We circulate the primary source in advance, in translation where necessary, in conjunction with a piece of more theoretical secondary reading. The primary material is designed to elucidate the reading of the critical piece.

In its first term, the group focused on ‘Spaces’, which included discussions of domesticity in Early Modern Dolls’ Houses and women’s experiences with the Academy. In the last session we had a presentation from one of our graduates on the Medieval English anchorite cell. This precedent is set to continue next year with early career speakers from Cambridge and other institutions.

Check out our website here for sessions beginning Autumn 2016:

Group page:

Twitter: @WritingWomenIH

Programme of events 2016-2017
11am-12pm, even Tuesdays, Raised Faculty Building room 142

Easter term 2017

Alternative Mediums of Expression

9 May

  • Lace-making

Secondary texts:  

'"Painting with the Needle": An Art of Virtue & Virtuosity', pp. 39-46, in Femke Speelberg, 'Fashion & Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620', The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 73.2 (2015)

'Tarabotti and the Venetian Lace Industry', pp. 51-62, in Meredith K. Ray, 'Letters and Lace: Arcangela Tarabotti and Convent Culture in Seicento Venice', in Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters, ed. by Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (Burlington: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 45-73.

25 May

  • Museum visit to the ‘Madonnas and Miracles’ exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, with tour from co-curator Dr Abigail Brundin

Meet at 10am at Courtyard Entrance

6 June

  • Spinning

Primary and secondary texts: TBC

13 June

  • Visiting speaker: Ran Huo (University of Cambridge)

Subject of talk: The Art of Power and the Power of Art: Sofonisba Anguissola's Partita a scacchi (1555)