CFP: Ink in Early Modern England (2/15/07; MLA '07)

full name / name of organization: 
Karen Britland

Ink in early modern England: CFP, MLA 2007

Early modern literature is awash, to quote George Herbert, with 'Oceans of
ink': whether it's Cleopatra calling for 'Ink and paper', or Hamlet's 'inky
cloak', or Westmoreland imagining turning 'your ink to blood', to cite only
well-known instances from Shakespeare. In manuscript miscellanies and
commonplace-books, recipes 'To make excellent Inke' are common: early modern
individuals were aware of ink's constituent parts, and the process of its
production. We invite proposals that consider the role of ink in early
modern English culture. What work did ink perform in early modern literary
texts, as both material and metaphor? What metaphorical associations
surrounded ink? What was the relationship between ink and (im)permanence;
between blotting, staining and corruption; between printer's and writer's
inks; between black and coloured letters; between ink and other liquids? We
particularly welcome papers that use archival research to throw new light on
literary texts.

Please send paper proposals of 400 words to Adam Smyth (
and Karen Britland ( by 15 February 2007.

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Received on Mon Dec 11 2006 - 19:53:13 EST