We’re really looking forward to this evening, when we start a rich and lively round of CREMS events with a paper from Adam Smyth, of Birkbeck, University of London. Adam will be talking about the fabulous — and bizarre — Little Gidding Harmonies, a series of books created by cutting up and sticking together bits of different bibles. It should be a great opportunity to reflect on questions about our attitudes to books and the sacred, about women’s agency (it was the founder of the community, Nicholas Ferrar’s, nieces who did most of the scissor work, under their uncle’s instruction), and about how we understand authorship and acts of making meaning.
Members of the CREMS community are big fans of Adam’s work, from his book on Printed Miscellanies to his collection on drinking in early modern England. The Conversion Narratives team are particuarly influenced by his recent book on early modern autobiography, which pushes scholars to look to new sources and structures (including financial records) to find people quite literally ‘accounting for’ themselves before the emergence of the diary or autobiography as a recognisable genre.
There’s lots more coming this term as well, with seminars and lectures on subjects as diverse as Colonial America, the Reformation in York, the influence of Seneca, the elites of Golden Age Spain, ‘Substance, Creation, and Transformation’ in a Roman chapel, and a convent kitchen, where nuns combined cuisine and curatives.
The CREMS seminars are open to all. You can download a copy of our handsome events poster for this term, or visit the CREMS website. And there will be lots more over the next two terms, from Nigel Smith giving our annual Patrides lecture to a major conference on Sensing the Sacred.