The Early Modern Center ("EMC") at UCSB mobilizes the English department's strength in sixteenth- through eighteenth-century studies, which is maintained by seven faculty members in the field. The EMC has created a specially-constructed space (consisting of a seminar area, resource library, and networked computers) that promotes collaborative research and teaching. The EMC also creates graduate and undergraduate courses around innovative annual themes; organizes colloquia and conferences; supervises the department's undergraduate specialization in Early Modern Studies; and offers a graduate student assistantship each year. The EMC also hosts several groundbreaking digital humanities initiatives. The English Broadside Ballad Archive ("EBBA") digitizes, transcribes, and catalogues the images from extant early modern ballad collections in order to improve scholarly and public access. To date, EBBA has received four National Endowment for the Humanities grants and has transcribed more than seventy-five percent of surviving seventeenth-century ballads. The Early Modern British Theater Archive ("EMBTA"), meanwhile, assembles and digitizes multimedia resources relating to the history of early modern British theater and dramatic literature. Finally, the EMC is in the process of creating an online publishing platform, the emcIMPRINT, to offer an innovative open access venue for scholarly work. Graduate students from the EMC are involved at a number of levels with these digital humanities projects.
This Year's EMC Events
Current Projects at the EMC
The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) makes 17th-century broadside ballads accessible as text, art, music, and cultural records. To date the archive includes over 5,000 ballads--more than half of the estimated 10,000 extant 17th-century ballads. EBBA's holdings are free and open to the public.
The emcIMPRINT is an innovative open access venue for scholarly work and communication. We would like to combine 4 virtues of our print media inheritance:
with four virtues of new computable media:
- Patient and rigorous care with writing, anonymous peer-review, editing & publishing
- Meet exacting standards of correctness
- A publication event of all-at-once presentation to the public
- A permanence that equals or approaches that of a printed product
Examples of early publications under the emcIMPRINT
- The speed, cheapness, and global reach of Internet publication
- By exploiting the plasticity of a computer-enabled interface, we could enjoy to the productive integration of traditionally separate functions of writing, editing & design
- Incorporation of text,image, sound, video, database, etc. to become multimedia
- The final transmission of the publication to reader could benefit from earlier format and design decisions
The Early Modern British Theater Archive assembles and digitizes multimedia resources relating to the history of British theater and dramatic literature during the period 1500-1800, our goal being to help students understand early modern theater as a multisensorial and collaborative art form. EMBTA is unique in that most archives on English drama either begin or end with the mid-17th-century closure of theaters by Puritan officials during England’s Civil Wars, and while post-1660 theater was in many ways radically different from the theater of Shakespeare, this archive aims to make apparent both the continuities and innovations in British theater over these three centuries.
EMC co-sponsored events
Lecture: "The Poetry Nobody Knows: Rare or Unique Poems in Early Modern English Manuscript Collections"
Arthur Marotti (Wayne State University)
Thursday, November 14, 2013, 4:00pm, HSSB 6056
This paper discusses some of the hundreds of (mostly anonymous) poems that survive in various manuscripts from the early modern period in only one or two copies. It examines the various socioliterary uses to which poetry was put and argues for broadening the literary history of the period to include this largely unknown work.
Elisa Tamarkin (UC Berkeley)
Thursday, December 5, 2013, 3:30pm, South Hall 2635
What does it means to read for relevance? This talk provides a history of the fallacy that John Stuart Mill calls the "red herring," or the problem of the irrelevant thesis. While Mill's logic insists on making every statement matter toward a final effect or principle, the red herring lures readers to conclusions of no consequence. But when we think about red herrings—a practice I suggest we derive from the nineteenth century—we are committing ourselves to knowing the sources of error, and especially the feelings, passions, and intentions that enhance or restrict the application of our understanding in particular contexts. I look at relevance as a principle of logic in the nineteenth century and at the fallacy of the red herring, and its aesthetic meaning, in the philosophy of Mill and Bentham, in Poe's poetry, and in the paintings of the Aesthetic Movement.
James Simpson (Harvard University)
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 3:30pm, South Hall 2635
Deidre Lynch (University of Toronto)
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 3:30pm, South Hall 2635
Keynote: Gordon Sayre (University of Oregon)
May 16-17, 2014
This year's conference will explore readings of the complex and developing connections between ecological and transnational thought in the early modern period. It will be held in conjunction with the Literature and Environment Center’s Symposium on Disaster.
The Early Modern Center Gallery is a featured resource of the center, containing reproductions of many important period images in thumbnail, browser, and large high-quality sizes. A random image from the Gallery is sampled below.
|Ladder of Divine Ascent. Unknown Artist, 12th Century. RectangularSt. Catherine's Monastary, Mount Sinai|