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 The Phenomenology of Playing, 1500-1800.



June 6, 2016 | Arnhold Undergraduate Fellow Jessica Sparks launches “Come Live With Me”

Graduating senior and Arnhold Undergraduate Fellow Jessica Sparks has launched her exhaustively-researched website, “Come Live With Me: Living the History of a Ballad,” which traces the many permutations and afterlives of Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd To His Love.” Visit the site here, and check out the EMC’s blog “Miscellany” for a description from Jessica herself. Congratulations, Jessica, we’re so proud of you and all of your hard work! See the English Department’s post about this wonderful project here.


A Playful Conversation with Julie Carlson and Aranye Fradenburg, November 13, 2015
A Playful Conversation with Julie Carlson and Aranye Fradenburg, November 13, 2015.


Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, 2016 | Annual EMC Conference: Play’s the Thing: Phenomenology and Play in Early Modern Literature, 1500-1800
Keynote SpeakersLaura Engel (Duquesne University), James A. Knapp (Loyola University Chicago), and Bruce Smith (University of Southern California)
Alumni Hall (Mosher Alumni House) & McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020)

Conference Details

“Phenomenology and Play” Call for Papers | “Phenomenology and Play” Website


October 1, 2015 | TALK: Roze Hentschell
“Church, Playhouse, Market, Home: The Cultural Geography of St. Paul’s Precinct, 1561-1625”
Roze Hentschell (Colorado State University)
South Hall 2635, 4:00 PM

Event Flyer | Event Details and Photos

November 13, 2015 | A Playful Conversation with Julie Carlson and Aranye Fradenburg
Julie Carlson (English, UCSB) and Aranye Fradenburg (English, UCSB)
Sankey Room (South Hall 2623), 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Email emcfellow@gmail.com for copies of the readings.

Event FlyerEvent Details and Photos

November 19, 2015 | TALK: Julie Park
“Making Storylines in the Country House Poem: Interiority and the Play of Perspective in Marvell’s Upon Appleton House
Julie Park (Vassar)
South Hall 2635, 5:00 PM

Event Flyer | Event Details

January 28, 2016 | TALK and PERFORMANCE at UCI: Matthew Smith
“Ending with Music: Romeo and Juliet and the Renaissance Jig”
Matthew Smith (Asuza Pacific University)
English Broadside Ballad Archive Performance Group (UC Santa Barbara)
The Little Theater, Humanities Hall Ground Floor, UC Irvine, 6:00 PM

Event Details | Register Here! | Interested in Carpooling from UCSB?

February 5, 2016 | TALK: Christopher Foley
“The Hazardous Proximity of Other Bodies in Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist (1610)”
Christopher Foley (UCSB)
South Hall 2635, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Event Details

February 11, 2016 | TALK: Johanne Kristiansen
“Intended for Insertion: Newspaper Editing and Public Debate in England, 1790-1795”
Johanne Kristiansen (Dept. of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
South Hall 2635, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Event Details

April 7, 2016 | SYMPOSIUM: “Cognition, Phenomenology, Play” with Jaak Panksepp and Kay Young
Jaak Panksepp (Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Washington State University)
Kay Young (English, UCSB)
McCune Conference Room (HSSB 6020), 3:00 PM
Sponsored by the IHC Series The Humanities and the Brain

Event Details | Event Flyer

May 5, 2016 TALK: Pamela Reinagel
“Ballads on the Brain”
Pamela Reinagel (Neuroscience, University of California, San Diego)
Location TBA, 3:30 PM
Cosponsored by Literature and the Mind

Event Details | Event Flyer

May 16, 2016TALK: Liza Blake
“Lucy Hutchinson’s Non-Atomistic Lucretius: How the World Did Not Become Modern”
Liza Blake (English, University of Toronto)
Sankey Room (South Hall 2623), 2:00 PM

Event Details | Event Flyer

May 19, 2016 | Bliss-Zimmerman Memorial Lecture with Gail Kern Paster
“‘After his sour fashion’: The Cognitive Ecology of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.”
Gail Kern Paster (Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly and Director Emerita of the Folger Shakespeare Library)
Henley Board Room (Mosher Alumni House), 4:00 PM

Event Details | Event Flyer


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.)