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Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum VII

April 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


Tatevik Vika Nersisyan (English): “The Real Utopia: Dialogue in Thomas More’s Utopia

For decades, scholars of Thomas More’s Utopia has been studying for its inherent dialogism, though the majority of these studies have focused their attention upon Book I of the text, as well as the paratextual letters and materials that accompanied the initial Latin publications of it (parerga). This paper argues that the dialogism of Utopia continues even in the monologue of Book II.

Leslie Wexler (English): “The Battle of the Botanists”

From 1555 to 1565, Pietro Andrea Mattioli and Conrad Gesner were locked in controversy over the veracity of Mattioli’s picture of aconitum primum. This dispute led to numerous vehement publications and to intensive exchanges of letters, not only between the protagonists but also within their own and sometimes interconnected networks of correspondence.

Moderator: Alex Logue (History)

Vika is a PhD Candidate at the Department of English at Queen’s University. Her dissertation, titled “Notes on a Page: Discursive Communities in Early Modern England,” studies early modern English prose fiction, book history, and communication theory. 

Leslie is a PhD Candidate in English. Her dissertation is representations of insects in the Early Modern period and specifically within natural history and English poetics. She works within the departments of English and the School for the Environment at the University of Toronto and is supervised by Elizabeth Harvey.

The Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum (EMIGF) is a monthly event hosted by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS) at the University of Toronto. EMIGF is a platform for PhD candidates, post-docs, fellows, and recent graduates to deliver papers in an informal setting. Our mandate is to provide junior and emerging scholars with the opportunity to present work in progress, and to facilitate dialogue on current topics in early modern research across the disciplines.

EMIGF hosts seven annual meetings. Each meeting features two speakers who each deliver a paper, and commentary and discussion guided by a moderator to elaborate the points of contact or departure between the two approaches presented. The EMIGF is an interdisciplinary forum. Each meeting brings two speakers from different departments working on similar topics, or on topics that may seem at first dissimilar. The emphasis of discussion is on connections between different fields, topics and research methods and how one perspective may inform or be informed by another.

EMIGF held its inaugural season in 2011-2012, initiated by former CRRS graduate fellow Tim Harrison. Now in its fifth consecutive year, EMIGF meetings are well attended by graduate students, faculty, and fellows from the early modern community at the University of Toronto and beyond. Please consider joining us at the next meeting!

Our monthly meetings are held Thursday afternoons (4:00-5:30 pm), and are located in the Senior Common Room of Burwash Hall (89 Charles St. West). To demonstrate its dedication to early modern graduate research in Toronto, the CRRS supplies coffee and snacks for each meeting. Contact organizers Lindsay Sidders or Sebastiano Bazzichetto with any questions at:


April 4, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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