Reflections on SRS 2014

October 18, 2014
By Claire Jowitt and Ros King

From the October 2014 edition of the Bulletin:

The University of Southampton’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Culture hosted the 6th Biennial SRS Conference on the theme of ‘Performative Spaces’ between 12th and 15th July 2014. With lovely sunshine on all four days, and about 200 delegates in total, the whole event was a great success. There were 4 inspiring plenary lectures by Lena Cowen Orlin (Georgetown), Wendy Heller (Princeton), Greg Walker (Edinburgh), and Simon Thurley (English Heritage). 170 established and rising scholars from all over the world also gave tremendous talks across more than 60 sessions, which mixed and balanced literature, music, history, material culture, art history, and theatre.

It all started off on the afternoon of Saturday 12th July with a fascinating visit to the Mary Rose in Portsmouth which included a lecture on making music at sea. In addition, on Sunday 13th July, delegates enjoyed a fabulous concert at Turner Sims Concert Hall of ‘Cut Down Comus’ with words by Milton, music by both Lawes brothers, and performed by 5 professional musicians and 4 young actors, followed by a reception generously sponsored by the Society’s publisher Wiley, rounded off with a conference dinner at a local restaurant. On Monday 15th July delegates were treated to a private view and reception at the Hartley Library of the exhibition ‘The Early Modern Image: Patronage, Kings and People’ which focuses on one of the library’s own holdings, an album of 163 sketches by Frances Cleyn (1582-1658). At the reception, SRS Chair Peter Mack also presented Alec Ryrie (Durham) with the 2014 SRS Book Prize for Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Feedback from those attending the conference indicates that everyone had an intellectually stimulating and socially convivial time in Southampton, and that they are already looking forward to the 7th Biennial Conference in Glasgow in 2016.

Claire Jowitt and Ros King, SRS 6th Biennial Conference Organizers

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