The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Fellows

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

Women Patrons as Playmakers

A guest post by Elizabeth Kolkovich In the summer of 1602, Alice Egerton, Countess of Derby, did something rather extraordinary. When Queen Elizabeth I visited her house, she brought to the forefront the female patrons who usually remained behind the scenes. As part of several days of pageantry and feasting, Alice hired the writer John Davies to devise a pageant—a mock “lottery”—celebrating the influential women who gathered at Harefield estate for the event.… Continue Reading

Reading Shakespeare in English in Eighteenth-Century Spain

a guest post by John Stone Deanne Williams, who was a Folger fellow in 2003, tells the story of how her work on early modern girlhood took shape just after her daughter was born—she began thinking about histories of gender, development, reading and the stage in a new way. My interest in English print in old-regime Spain likewise began with my kids.… Continue Reading

Reading the Past and Researching During COVID-19

a guest post by Daniel Davies I defended my Ph.D. dissertation on April 3, 2020. The defense happened on Zoom, which has become standard academic operating procedure by now but at the time felt like an extreme oddity. ‘Zoom is a really easy-to-use program and is more reliable, and flexible, than Skype,’ I wrote to my advisor on March 12, without any sense of how this program would come to define our lives.… Continue Reading

Interview and excerpt: Simon P. Newman, Freedom Seekers: Escaping from Slavery in Restoration London

At the Folger, we are proud to sponsor research inquiry within a vibrant and intellectually generous community. Periodically, as that research is published, we circle back to talk with recent authors to showcase the role of collections-based inquiry on their methods and arguments. Today, we pose a series of questions to 2018-2019 long-term fellow Simon P. Newman, followed by an excerpt from his new book, Freedom Seekers: Escaping from Slavery in Restoration London, published by University of London Press.… Continue Reading

Visualizing Shakespeare’s Birds

a guest post by Missy Dunaway Greetings! I was the Folger Shakespeare Library’s artist-in-residence in November of 2021. I dedicated my Folger Institute Fellowship to a painting project entitled Birds of the Bard. This growing collection of paintings will catalog every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays and poems—at least 65 species. My paintings aim to present natural science facts and literary analysis about each species.… Continue Reading

Interview and excerpt: Paul Dover, The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe

At the Folger, we are proud to sponsor research inquiry within a vibrant and intellectually generous community. Periodically, as that research is published, we circle back to talk with recent authors to showcase the role of collections-based inquiry on their methods and arguments. Today, we pose a series of questions to 2015-2016 NEH Long-term Fellow Dr. Paul M. Dover that get at the heart of his research at the Folger, followed by an excerpt from Dr.… Continue Reading

Alcohol, Armies, and Contested Sovereignty in Early Modern Ireland

a guest post by Lila Chambers The association between Ireland and excessive drinking is a pervasive one, from fifteenth century texts detailing treacherous feasts held by Irish opponents to Henry II, to Edmund Spender’s A View of the Present State of Ireland (1596), to simian caricatures promoted in Victorian-era Punch cartoons, to the present-day effluvia of t-shirts, buttons, and banners that linger after St.… Continue Reading

Recipe Books, Plague Cures and the Circulation of Information

a guest post by Yann Ryan As well as its terrible consequences for health and mortality, plague in early modern England had a major impact on the communication and circulation of information. Movement was restricted, towns with suspected cases were put on severe lockdowns, and ships from places known to be ‘hot’ with the plague were held in ports for up to forty days (quarantined).… Continue Reading