Welcome to the Early Modern Center

Isaac Oliver, Girl Aged 4
Isaac Oliver, Girl Aged 4


The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara supports a community of scholars and students committed to innovative approaches to studies of the early modern period, from 1500 to 1800. Located within the English Department, the EMC fosters interdisciplinary research, hosts colloquia and conferences, and houses groundbreaking digital humanities initiatives. Our theme for this year is Bodies and Boundaries, 1500-1800.





The Early Modern Center is thrilled to announce it’s annual conference will take place March 9-10, 2018 at the University of California, Santa Barbara! See the schedule and other details at the Conference Website.


The EMC is excited to announce the opening of the Maker Lab, consisting of The Center for Printing Practice—Founding Director, Patricia Fumerton—and punctum books—Founding Director, Eileen A. Fradenburg Joy. A collaborative space that explores the history of printing and publishing from the early modern to the contemporary, the Maker Lab houses a replica 19th-century Albion printing press (named Mad Madge by the EMC’s own Kristy McCants), cases of type, and a 3D printer. For more information about the space, see the article on its opening in The UCSB Current, “Back to the Future.”


Bodies and Boundaries, 1500-1800
University of California, Santa Barbara
Conference Date: March 9-10, 2018
Abstracts Due: December 15, 2017

The Early Modern Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites proposals for our annual conference, “Bodies and Boundaries, 1500-1800,” to be held on March 9 and 10, 2018. We are happy to announce our two keynote speakers: Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University) and Michelle Burnham (Santa Clara University).

We invite presentations that connect broadly to our theme of bodies and boundaries in early modernity. With the rise of both border studies and body studies in the academy, and the imperative need to think with and be with bodies at political, cultural, and social borders, we hope to investigate the ways that bodies and borders shape and inform literature, art, music, history, religion, philosophy, or other fields of inquiry. How are both bodies and boundaries intimately connected to our study of early modernity? And what is at stake in rethinking both the boundaries of the body, and bodies at various borders?

Johann Remmelin’s Catoptrum Microcosmicum (1619)

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The boundaries of the body
  • Bodies in, at, and near borders and borderlands
  • The non-human animal, animality
  • “Bare life,” bio-politics, bio-technology
  • The politics of ethics and asylum
  • The transatlantic early modern
  • Race, religion, ethnicity
  • The violence of colonialism and imperialism
  • Disability in early modernity
  • Disciplinary boundaries, periodization
  • Sex, sexuality, gender, trans* studies, queerness
  • Embodied voice, the aural, sound studies
  • Limits, liminality, the in-between
  • Pain and pleasure
  • Cartesian dualism (and its limits)
  • Transgression
  • Food, incorporation, digestion, waste
  • Ecological and environmental boundaries
  • Object studies, materialisms, thing theory
  • The digital early modern
  • Margins, print culture
  • Health, illness, skin, the humours, “leaky” bodies
  • Affect, emotion, phenomenology, cognitive literary studies

We invite abstracts of 300 words or less and a 1-page CV to be sent to EMCConference@gmail.com by December 15, 2017. In the spirit of the pushing boundaries, we envision and invite both traditional conference presentations, shorter 10 minute presentations to be delivered in a roundtable discussion, or other ideas that engage with the audience.

Please feel free to contact the conference organizer, Katie Adkison, at emcfellow@gmail.com with any questions you may have.


The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA)

The English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) makes 17th-century broadside ballads accessible as text, art, music, and cultural records.

The EMC Imprint

The EMC Imprint is an innovative open access venue for scholarly work and communication and a peer-reviewed publishing platform for digital scholarship. See their first peer-reviewed publication, The Making of a Broadside Ballad, here!

The Early Modern British Theater: Access (EMBTA)

The Early Modern British Theater: Access assembles and digitizes multimedia resources relating to the history of British theater and dramatic literature during the period 1500-1800.)