Memory and Material in Early Modern England

Memory and Material in Early Modern England
Memory and Material in Early Modern England seeks to continue a conversation, building on recent work in early modern studies, about the many ways in which early modern literature and culture imagine and articulate the relationship between memory and materiality. This conference considers both of its key terms broadly, interested in memory in its physiological, cultural, and personal manifestations, and in the myriad ways materiality emerged as a shaping force in early modern life. The conference bring together a diverse group of scholarly interests drawing on comparative literary and cultural studies, ecocriticism, queer theory, and critical race studies, among other approaches, to pursue these questions from as many methodologies and perspectives as possible.
This accompanying rare book exhibit surveys several ways in which early modern texts and materiality intersected, from mnemonic texts that took advantage of developing print technologies to spread the techniques of the "Art of Memory," to writing tables that enabled early modern thinkers to record and erase thoughts, functioning as a material memory aid. Drawing on the RBML's broad early modern collections, it provides a glimpse into the rich material world of  memory in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Exhibit Curator

Kevin Windhauser, PhD Candidate in English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. East / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5153 /