The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Fellows

Interpreting Systems that Make Place

a guest post by Lehua Yim It’s not often that one has the opportunity to study a fully digitized, 420-ish year old, almost 750 page manuscript that never went where it was supposed to go. This manuscript, Folger MS V.b.182, is barely mentioned in scholarship, with only a handful of scholars interested in its contents. Instead, it mostly appears as a kind of footnote in the biography of an Elizabethan administrator whose influential relationship to Shakespeare’s plays, sixteenth-century English pageantry and theater history, and government censorship drives most interest in his life and work.… Continue Reading

The habitability of our planet—is it only a contemporary issue?

a guest post by Mauricio Onetto Over the past decade various states and scientific agencies that promote science at a global level and study climate change have invested in research programs to study the habitability of our planet and also of other planets. They have sought to understand some forms of adaptation and resistance that certain organisms have in extreme ecosystems (poles, deserts, etc.),… Continue Reading

When Past is Prologue: Munro, Malley, and the #IranRevolution

a guest post by Nedda Mehdizadeh I’m currently revising an essay for publication that centers on a Persian-language manuscript I found at the Folger Shakespeare Library while on fellowship in 2017. The catalog entry for the manuscript, S.b. 122, includes information about its ownership and acquisition in the metadata, which is also summarized in its assigned title: “Copy in the hand of Sir Thomas Munro of The Mussulman and the Jew, a Persian MS [manuscript], 1786.”… Continue Reading

The Fairy King’s Grimoire

A guest post by Alexander D’Agostino I am an artist working with queer histories and images, through performance and visual art. During my Artist Research Fellowship with the Folger, I am creating The Fairy King’s Grimoire: a reimagining of the magic and rituals outlined in Manuscript V.b.26, The Book of Magic with instructions for invoking spirits, etc. while considering needs and beliefs of queer people today.… Continue Reading

The art of dying

a guest post by Eileen Sperry For early modern English Christians, dying was an art form. The bestseller list of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, had there been one, would have been topped by some of the period’s many ars moriendi texts. These treatises, which took hold in England in the late 15th century and remained present through the country’s many doctrinal shifts, were wildly popular.… Continue Reading

When the Body is Ill, The Mind Suffers: Shakespeare’s Unravelling of Women’s Hysteria and Madness in the Elizabethan Era

a guest post by Alexandria Zlatar During my research fellowship with the Folger Institute, my investigation has undertaken an exploration into a highly under-represented aspect of mental health and has focused on lived-in experiences of mental illness in Shakespearian England. What did it mean not only to treat mental illness but also create art and write about these experiences? There have been dominant answers to this question throughout literary studies, which have traditionally emphasized the focus of “illness” and reinforced the notion that people were too un-fit to function.… Continue Reading

Performing Diplomacy and Selling Spectacle

a guest post by Nat Cutter In this post, following on from a previous one on Shakespeare and Beyond that introduced my ASECS-Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship project, I’ll share some of the (still ongoing) findings of my research into North African diplomats, public performance, and newspaper advertising in London, 1681-1734. During this period, more than a dozen embassies from the Moroccan Empire and the Ottoman Regencies of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripolitania visited London and the surrounding regions.… Continue Reading

2022-2023 Folger Fellows

The Folger Institute is pleased to announce the 2022-2023 cohort of research fellows. Two years of virtual fellowships and programming have taught us the importance of supporting not only collections-based research, but also the various forms research support must take to create more equitable access to funding opportunities. Our virtual fellowships have supported and will continue to support time to write, summer teaching releases, caregiving responsibilities, digital humanities initiatives, and the creation of undergraduate course materials, in addition to time to consult online resources or request the digitization of materials.… Continue Reading

Europa into the Waves: John Dee and Meandering Research

a guest post by Dyani Taff Research feels nonlinear, like tracing a spiral, or a meandering river, or possibly like following ants’ pheromone trails, squiggly lines that crisscross each other and yet create a navigable chaos central to the ants’ communication. Sometime in 2017, I was reading Elizabeth Bellamy’s Dire Straits, and I learned that some scholars locate the earliest use of the phrase “British Empire” in a book by John Dee called General and Rare Memorials Pertayning to the Arte of Navigation, printed in 1577.… Continue Reading

The Meaning/s of Massacre

a guest post by Georgie Lucas Content Note: Massacres, Assassination, Graphic Images In August 1572 thousands of French Protestants—known as Huguenots—were slaughtered in a surprise attack by their Catholic compatriots in Paris. The Huguenots had descended on the French capital to celebrate the wedding of the Catholic Princess Marguerite of the royal house of Valois to the Protestant Prince Henri of Navarre.… Continue Reading