Society for Renaissance Studies Ninth Biennial Conference

July 14, 2020

29 June – 1 July 2021, University of East Anglia, Norwich.

We are delighted to announce that the Society for Renaissance Studies’ postponed Ninth Biennial Conference will take place between Tuesday 29 June and Thursday 1 July 2021. 

At this stage, none of us can claim to know exactly what next year will bring. Uncertainties surround everything from the immediate impact of social distancing to longer-term questions about careers, research funding, and much more. Nevertheless, at present, our firm hope is that this conference will still take place in Norwich. If, however, COVID-19 seems to make that impossible, we are naturally investigating every means of transforming the event into a fully online conference — but one that will still ensure you can encounter both the riches of our fields’ latest research and Norwich’s unique early-modern history and culture.

The conference’s confirmed keynote speakers remain Professor Suzannah Lipscomb (Roehampton), Professor Jan de Jong (Groningen), Dr John-Paul A. Ghobrial (Oxford), and Professor Jessica Wolfe (UNC Chapel Hill).

New Paper or Panel Proposals for SRS 2021

We are delighted now to reopen the conference’s call for papers for 2021. Panels and papers are invited from any field of Renaissance and early modern studies, and are encouraged to engage with any of the following themes:

  • Archives and the History of the Book
  • Cities, States, Regions
  • Music, Play, Festivity
  • Scholars, Patrons, Collectors, and Natural Philosophers
  • Religion, Devotion, Confession
  • Border crossings, Communications, the New World

We welcome submissions that are interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary in scope, and papers/ panels should feel free to combine elements of the above themes together. The conference will also feature an open strand for papers which engage with themes other than those listed above. We also encourage panel submissions organised by scholarly societies or submissions which emerge from research projects broadly relating to Renaissance and early modern studies. We also look forward to receiving some proposals for sessions which explore how the fields of Renaissance and early modern studies have responded to the challenges of COVID-19 (e.g. through new digital humanities initiatives).

Proposals for panels (90 minutes, including discussion) and individual papers (20 minutes) should be sent to by Fri 2nd October 2020. For each paper proposal: please provide the paper title and an abstract of 150 words. For each panel proposal: please provide the panel title, details of the panel chair and any respondent, and individual paper titles, abstracts of 150 words, and full contact details for each presenter. In your submission, please indicate which conference theme or themes are most relevant to your panel/paper (or whether your submission is part of the open strand). The conference committee aims to communicate decisions about panels and speakers during November.

When you submit your proposal, please indicate whether you (and your panellists, if relevant) could present at (a) an in-person conference in Norwich and/or (b) in a fully online conference.

The Society is eager to encourage postgraduates working in any field of Renaissance or early-modern studies to give papers or organize panels. A reduced conference fee will be offered to them. We also envisage offering reduced rates for postdoctoral scholars who are either unemployed or on hourly-paid or fixed-term contracts which do not support their personal research (e.g. teaching-only contracts or research associates on funded projects).

Existing Conference Delegates

All panels and papers that were accepted for 2020 remain accepted in 2021. Thank you to everyone for your ‘in principle’ acknowledgments of whether or not you will be able to attend the rescheduled 2021 conference. We now ask for a confirmation by 2nd October 2020 of whether you could give your paper (a) in person in Norwich and/or (b) in a fully online conference by email to For those who wish to change topics of their papers/panels, please submit new details by the same deadline following the submission guidelines above. We guarantee your submission will remain accepted.

SRS Public Lecture

2021 sees the inauguration of the SRS Public Lecture, which will be presented by Professor Suzannah Lipscomb and is planned to take place on the evening of 28 June 2021 in St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich city centre. This public event will open the conference, with registration and papers commencing on 29 June. All delegates are warmly invited to attend this free public lecture. SRS 2021 delegates will be able to book tickets when the conference registration page goes live.

Conference Mentoring

The committee will be facilitating a conference mentor/ buddy system, pairing up postgraduates and early career scholars with more experienced or senior colleagues. Each pair will make contact over the course of the conference to discuss career strategies and share experiences. The SRS is committed to postgraduate and early-career development, and the committee hopes this system will strengthen the Society as a whole. If you are interested in taking part in the buddy system, either as a postgraduate/early career scholar or as a mentor, please indicate this when you submit your proposal. If you are an existing delegate and have already indicated you would like to take part in this scheme we would be grateful if you would still reconfirm this.

We recognise the uncertainties voiced here are unusual in a call for papers — but the times are not usual. We are simply trying to be honest about the difficulty of this process, and we are also eager that decisions about how to host the conference reflect the needs and circumstances of our delegates. We will make all final decisions about the exact format of the conference with plenty of advance notice.

It remains our hope that we will welcome you to early modern England’s second city next summer.

Follow us on Twitter @SRS2021Norwich