Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age

Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Early Modern Words 2022: Call for Papers

New Conference Date: 14-16 July 2022, Loughborough University UK

Like so many events and occasions, the planned end-of-project conference ‘Early Modern Words’ had to be postponed back in April 2020. However, given the national and international developments in the pandemic, the project team now hope the event can go ahead next year with the new dates of 14-16 July 2022.

Our objectives for the conference, taking place at Loughborough University, remain the same: to foster interdisciplinary exchanges between those working on early modern texts, society and culture in literature, linguistics, history and other fields; to provide a potential spark for future collaborations and research projects; and to shamelessly promote Aphra Behn’s life and works alongside recent, innovative and cutting-edge research in early modern studies.

We look forward to welcoming our four plenary speakers who represent the range of disciplinary expertise in early modern studies:

  • Professor Terttu Nevalainen, University of Helsinki
  • Professor Martin Dzelzainis, University of Leicester
  • Professor Ruth Ahnert, QMUL
  • Professor Tim Harris, Brown University

We are also pleased that so many of our original speakers have confirmed their intention to participate in the rescheduled event.

Given that more than two years will have passed between the original conference date and the rescheduled event, we are also issuing a further Call for Papers to allow others working on relevant areas to join the conversation and share their research.

Download the Call for Papers here.

~~ Deadline for abstracts: 31st January 2022 ~~

If you have any queries about the conference, please contact: earlymodernwords2022@gmail.com

A is for Aphra: the Behn Statue Campaign

Elaine Hobby is working with the Canterbury Commemoration Society to fund and commission a bronze statue of Behn to take pride of place in Canterbury, Behn’s likely place of birth. The Society, via the campaign ‘A is for Aphra‘, are presently inviting artists to submit designs for consideration, with the shortlisting process anticipated to take place in 2022.

Aerial view of Canterbury

As a public campaign, this will only be made possible with the generous support of those in Canterbury – many of whom are as yet unaware of Behn’s significance for their city – and those further afield. The Society explain:

‘We think Aphra Behn deserves to be remembered. That’s why we are launching a fundraising campaign for a statue of her in Canterbury, the city she grew up in. We want Aphra Behn to take her place alongside Marlowe and Chaucer as one of the literary giants celebrated not only by this fantastic city, but also by those far beyond it’

If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, and supporting the creation of a Behn statue, please visit A is for Aphra to learn more.


The 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition (SSEMWG)

Logo for SSEMWG

The general editors and project team are delighted to learn that The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn: Plays 1682-1696 has been awarded the 2021 Josephine Roberts Award for a Scholarly Edition by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender (SSEMWG) 

The first volume of eight volumes to be published, it contains the final five plays that Behn wrote. The award reflects the effort and care of the seven editors involved in preparing those texts for a new readership: Rachel Adcock, Kate Aughterson, Claire Bowditch, Elaine Hobby, Alan James Hogarth, Anita Pacheco, and Margarete Rubik.  

The awarding committee praised the volume for providing ‘a welcome focus on [Behn] as a woman and a writer in a specific historical context, and will be useful for both specialists and anyone interested in learning or teaching about women and gender in the early modern world’. 

We’re very grateful to the society for their recognition, and their support for our goal of making Behn’s works increasingly accessible to a wider, diverse readership. 

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