Collaborations and Networks

Samuel Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (2011-2036)ell-beckett-project

Mark Nixon is co-director of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project, which is an ongoing, long-term collaboration between the Centre for Manuscript Genetics (University of Antwerp), the Beckett International Foundation (University of Reading) and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (University of Texas at Austin). The project is supported by the Estate of Samuel Beckett, as well as a range of institutions holding Beckett materials worldwide.

The BDMP, which was launched in June 2011, is creating for the first time and in a highly innovative and facilitative format, a comprehensive record of Beckett's work, making all Beckett's manuscripts available in facsimile and transcription in an electronic environment. The project will run until 2036 and brings together, in 26 'research modules', digital facsimiles of documents preserved in different holding libraries, and adds transcriptions of Beckett's manuscripts, tools for bilingual and genetic version comparison and a search engine. Each online module is complemented by a published analysis of the textual genesis of Beckett's work, published by the University Press of Antwerp.

For more information please see

Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project (2004-present, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Pilgrim Trust)ell-alleyn

Grace Ioppolo is the Project Founder and Director of the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project, co-sponsored by the University of Reading and King's College London's Centre for Computing in the Humanities, which has made the single largest manuscript collection on early modern English theatre production and performance available as an electronic archive and website.

Diasporic Literary Archives (2012-2015, Leverhulme International Network)

David Sutton (PI), Alison Donnell and Andrew Nash (along with other researchers in Modern Languages) co-ordinate and run the Leverhulme International Network, 'Diasporic Literary Archives: Questions of Location, Ownership and Interpretation'. This network has been established to promote international collaboration in the preservation of, and access to, literary archives. It brings together a group of established scholars and experts from a variety of institutional backgrounds, and across different disciplines and regions, to initiate a context in which to practice and scrutinise methodological and conceptual frameworks. The network's five partners are: the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University; a prominent archivist from Trinidad and Tobago; the Centro di Ricerca sulla Tradizione Manoscritta di Autori Moderni e Contemporanei at the University of Pavia; the Institut Memoires de l'Edition Contemporaine in France; and the National Library and Archive Service of Namibia.

Collaborative Doctoral Award on The Place of the Royal Society in Victorian Literary Culture (2011-2014, AHRC)royal-society-skull

John Holmes and Andrew Mangham have been working with Keith Moore, the Librarian at the Royal Society, and doctoral student Katherine Ford on a Collaborative Doctoral Award on The Place of the Royal Society in Victorian Literary Culture. This project runs from 2011 to 2014. Prior to the award, John spoke at the Royal Society twice, in Nov. 2009 and Oct. 2011, while Felicity Henderson, then events manager at the Royal Society, spoke here at the BSLS conference in March 2009. As part of this collaborative project, Katherine organised a conference at the Royal Society on the prominent Victorian scientist and politician Sir John Lubbock. The Royal Society is also one of the external partners for the new Faculty-wide research theme on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and Science.

Mediating Early Modern Women's Writing (2012-2014, Australian Research Council Discovery Grant)early modern womens writing

Michelle O'Callaghan is part of the project, 'Mediating Early Modern Women's Writing, 2012-14', funded by Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, along with Drs. Ros Smith (PI) and Patricia Pender (University of Newcastle, Australia), Prof Paul Salzman (La Trobe), Prof. Kate Lilley (Sydney), and Prof. Susan Wiseman (Birkbeck). The project provided funding for travel to a conference in Australia, February 2013, and for speakers at the 2013 Reading Conference in Early Modern Studies.

La Dispute: cas, querelles, controverses et création à l'époque moderne (France-Grande-Bretagne) (2010-14, Agence National de la Recherche, France)

Rebecca Bullard is a member of an Anglo-French consortium of researchers involved in 'La Dispute: cas, querelles, controverses et création à l'époque moderne (France-Grande-Bretagne)', a research project funded by the Agence National de la Recherche (France), co-ordinated by Alexis Tadie (Paris IV) and Alain Viala (Oxford).

The aim of the AGON project is to place social interaction and practice at the heart of literary and artistic creation in the early modern period (16th-18th Centuries). Without overlooking the importance of individual psychology, or literary and genetic analysis, the project proposes a discursive approach, exploring creation in relation to the customs, needs, and constraints of intellectual life. These dynamics help reveal the thought processes behind texts by highlighting instances of confrontation, comparison and opposition. This study will focus in particular on the analysis of polemics: the querelle des femmes, the querelle des Bouffons, disputes involving L'École des Femmes, the use of colour in art, as well as the ongoing querelle des Anciens et des Modernes. The research conducted by project membrs is based on two comparisons: the first, between the diverse domains of cultural life and the second, between two different countries-France and England. Further details are available at

The Pre-Raphaelites and Science (2012-13, AHRC Research Project)bacon-for-pre-raphaelites

John Holmes is working on a research project on the importance of science to Pre-Raphaelite poetry, painting and sculpture, and of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics within Victorian science itself. From 2012 to 2013 he held an AHRC Research Fellowship, working with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Centre for Arts and Humanities Research (CAHR) at the Natural History Museum on Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics in Victorian natural history museums, and with the Manchester Art Gallery and the Manchester Museum on science in Pre-Raphaelite painting. These collaborations are all on-going, with particular plans to hold an exhibition at the OUM and to work on new projects with CAHR through the new Faculty-wide research theme on Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and Science.

Platform for a Cultural History of Children's Media (2011-2013, University of Maastricht and CIRCL)

CIRCL participates in 'Platform for a Cultural History of Children's Media' (PLACIM), which is run and funded from the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands. Events that have taken place include PLACIM's international workshops on Children's Media and (Post) Colonialism 1880-2000: Remediating the Child-Savage Analogy in August 2011, The Multiple Life Cycles of Children's Media: Childhood Nostalgia in Contemporary Convergence Culture', which was hosted by CIRCL and took place in Reading at Blackhorse House and a PLACIM workshop at Maastricht in August 2013 laying the foundations for further funding proposals, starting with an EUROCORES Theme Proposal for a European Collaborative Research Program in 2014.

Paul's Cross and the 'culture of persuasion': Tudor origins of the early-modern public sphere (2010-2013, Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research)ell-st-pauls-cross

Mary Morrissey is a collaborator on a three-year project (2010 - 2013)on 'Paul Cross and the "culture of persuasion": Tudor origins of the early-modern public sphere', funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, with PI Professor Torrance Kirby (McGill University, Montreal).

Charlemagne in England: The Matter of France in Middle English and Anglo-Norman Literature (2009-12, AHRC Research Project)

Phillipa Hardman, Reader in Medieval Literature, has been working since 2009 with Dr Marianne Ailes (French), University of Bristol, on a project investigating the production and reception of insular epic and romance narratives of Charlemagne in the later Middle Ages.ell-charlemagne

The collaborative 3-year AHRC-funded project, 'Charlemagne in England: The Matter of France in Middle English and Anglo-Norman Literature' (2009-12), was launched at a symposium on the theme of Charlemagne and Arthur in the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies in 2009, and papers from the symposium, including those by Dr Hardman and Dr Ailes, are published in the latest issue of Reading Medieval Studies (2012). The project is due to culminate in a co-authored monograph (the first book-length study of the material). In the meantime, Dr Hardman and Dr Ailes have given numerous conference papers based on this project work, both jointly and separately, chiefly in the UK, but also in the US (Michigan, 2011) and RoI (Cork, 2010), most recently at three UK conferences in 2013. They have organized sessions devoted to the project findings at International Medieval Congresses (Kalamazoo 2011; Leeds 2012), and the International Rencesvals Society Conference (Oxford 2012), at which the two doctoral students attached to the project also presented papers. Dr Hardman's PhD student, working on the afterlife of the Charlemagne tradition in Britain, successfully defended her doctoral thesis in January 2013. Forthcoming publications include: Hardman and Ailes, 'Texts in Conversation: Charlemagne Epics and Romances in Insular Plural-Text Codices'; Hardman, 'The Ashmole Sir Fyrumbras: Thoughts on Reading a Work in Progress'. The podcast for Dr Hardman's talk to the IMEMS Video-link Research Seminar in 2011 can be heard here:

An online link to a video interview with both AHRC project investigators is available on the website of the Bayard's Colts Project, a community project in Walsall devoted to street theatre and other activities based on a set of 16thc artefacts known as Bayard's Colts and believed to be related to the story of Bayard in the Matter of France tradition. Dr Hardman and Dr Ailes supported the project's successful bid for Heritage Lottery Funding and gave a presentation on the Matter of France at the launch of the project in 2012. After the successful first year's performances of the Bayard's Colts play cycle, an Awards ceremony was held in Walsall in 2013, when Dr Hardman and Dr Ailes were among those presented with awards in recognition of their contribution to the project.

Anglo-Spanish Research Network (2009-12, Spanish Government Research Fund)

Mark Hutchings is co-founder of an Anglo-Spanish research network that has received funding from the Spanish government for a three-year (2009-12) project. (Full ref: I+D+i project Libros, viajes, fe y diplomacia: interpretación y representación del intercambio cultural entre España e Inglaterra en la Edad Moderna (Minist. Ciencia e Innovación: FFI2009-10816).) The other members are from the Universidad de Valladolid and the University of Manchester. The network thus far has supported collaborative publications, panels, conference papers, and workshops.

Independent Publishing: Making and Preserving Culture in a Global Literary Marketplace (2012, Scottish Institute for Advanced Studies Project)

Alison Donnell and Andrew Nash are working on 'Independent Publishing: Making and Preserving Culture in a Global Literary Marketplace', A Scottish Institute for Advanced Studies Project with Dr Gail Low (Dundee) and Professor Claire Squires (Stirling).


Shaping Strangers in English Travel Writing (2012)

Chloe Houston, with a colleague from the University of Helsinki, runs a project on 'Shaping Strangers in English Travel Writing', which will produce a special issue for the peer-reviewed journal Journeys (for which she has co-written the introduction) in 2013.

Caribbean Irish Connections (2012)

Alison Donnell co-organised (with Maria McGarrity (LIU Brooklyn, USA), and Evelyn O'Callaghan (University of the West Indies, Barbados) a multidisciplinary conference and workshop, 'Caribbean Irish Connections', held in Barbados on November 16-17, 2012. An edited collection, Caribbean-Irish Connections: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, with a preface by Professor Hilary Beckles, will be published by the University of the West Indies Press in 2014, as part of a special series to mark the 50th anniversary of the Cave Hill Barbados Campus.

Cultivating Common Ground: Biology and the Humanities (2012, AHRC Workshop) ell-biology-to-biologists

In July 2012 Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, John Holmes, Nick Battey (Biology), David Stack (History) and Francoise Le Saux (French) ran a workshop, entitled 'Cultivating Common Ground: Biology and the Humanities', which introduced practicing biologists to humanities research into biology, and provoked some unexpected responses. The workshop proved to be a very lively and positive event: there was throughout a sense of enthusiastic engagement and thought. The workshop was divided into several sections: first there was a morning introduction from Professor Battey, followed by presentations from each of the four co-investigators on their specific areas of expertise. The presentations were then responded to through group-discussions based on five pre-set questions.

After a break for lunch Dr Paul Hatcher introduced and presented two short natural history films on parasitoids, one from 1931 and one more contemporary one, to see what responses these might elicit in the light of the humanities. After this everyone departed to join one of four break-out groups that had been signed-up for earlier on the day: either a group thinking about interdisciplinary research-proposals, led by Professor Battey and Professor Le Saux, or a group on how humanities might be used in natural history museum curating, led by Dr John Holmes and joined by the Director of the University of Reading's Cole Museum of Zoology (where that break-out group also took place), Dr Amanda Callaghan, or a group on teaching an interdisciplinary science and humanities module, led by Dr David Stack and based on a module designed and forthcoming at the University of Reading, or a group considering analytic ways of reading led by Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein, focussing on a critical reading of an article by Vittorio Gallese and Alvin Goldman on 'Mirror Neurons and the Simulation Theory of Mind-Reading', Trends in Cognitive Sciences2:12, December 1998, 493-501. The workshop then ended with a summarising of the day's events by Professor Battey.

'Breaking sexual silences: literature and the re-imagination of Caribbean sexualities' (2010, British Academy/ACU grants for International Collaboration)

Alison Donnell and Professor Evelyn O'Callaghan (University of the West Indies, Barbados) collaborated on a series of workshops in Reading and Barbados in 2010 that resulted in a co-edited Special Issue of Journal of West Indian Literature on 'Shani Mootoo: Writing, Difference and the Caribbean' published in April 2011.

Intoxicants and Intoxication in Cultural and Historical Perspective: An Inter-Disciplinary Network (2008-2010, ESRC)

Michelle O'Callaghan contributed to the ESRC funded network, 'Intoxicants and Intoxication in Cultural and Historical Perspective: An Inter-Disciplinary Network: 2008-2010', supported by the V&A and Leeds University, PI Prof. Philip Withington. She was one of the invited core participants in the network and gave papers in the multidisciplinary workshops held at the V&A between 10th September 2008 and June 2009.

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