Apply by Nov 13 | Folger Institute symposium on the Futures of Early Modern Literatures, Philosophies, and Sciences

The Futures of Early Modern Literatures, Philosophies, and Sciences (spring symposium)

Organized by Liza Blake

This symposium invites participants to take stock of the study of various literary forms as they intersect with the histories of natural philosophy and science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries before those fields were reified in the academy. Decades of work in this field have advanced beyond locating figurative language in “scientific” texts, or finding references to scientific ideas in, say, poetry, and are now investigating, for instance, how the question of form might cut across both literary and non-literary texts. Participants will be invited to present polemical manifestos sketching their visions for futures of the intersections of these three fields in the study of early modernity, especially as those fields take up questions of race, empire, gender, and sexuality. How, this symposium will ask, might the boundaries of all three modes of thinking and writing stretch, bend, or break when different voices and approaches are included in the “canon” of literature-science-and-philosophy?

Organizer: Liza Blake is Associate Professor of English at the University of Toronto, with research interests and publications in the intersections of early modern literature, philosophy, and science. She is currently completing a monograph entitled Early Modern Literary Physics, and she is one of three General Editors (with Jacob Tootalian and Shawn Moore) of The Complete Works of Margaret Cavendish.

Anticipated Schedule: Thursday evening, Friday, and Saturday, May 30-June 1, 2024.

ApplyNovember 13, 2023


Questions? Please email