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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto
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Early Modern Interdisciplinary Graduate Forum VII

March 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm



Paul Harrison (English)

Bernice Mittertreiner Neal (English)


Paul Harrison (English): “‘I had rather see a Brathman, or a Gymnosophist yet:’ Ben Jonson’s War on Occult Knowledge Claims”

Bernice Mittertreiner Neal (English): “Stage Props Take Their Places: Testing a Methodology.” This paper argues that any play features a unique property strategy, one that intervenes critically into the authority of the characters/actors who employ them. It examines such strategies in three early modern plays: The Tragedie of Dido, Queen of Carthage, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Arden of Faversham, by creating a series of property charts to trace when, where, and with whom the props appear onstage in each play. Studies by Frances Teague, Andrew Sofer, and Douglas Bruster have examined how individual early modern props may “speak” in a particular play or across plays. With these studies in mind, my paper will offer a distant reading of how props signify collectively in a play, testing an innovative critical approach to the early modern props’ ability to perform and exercise authority in Elizabethan and Jacobean playhouses.


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 Victoria University 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 organizer, Leslie Wexler with any questions at:


March 15, 2018
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Victoria University Common Room; 89 Charles Street West, Rear Entrance
89 Charles Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5S1K7 Canada
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