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  1. September 2021: Of Pirates and Politics – Revisiting Watchmen at 35 - by Tobias Kunz As the changing seasons make outdoor activities increasingly unattractive, the slow re-opening of cinemas has coincided, unsurprisingly, with the return of superhero blockbusters to the top of the box-office rankings. Films like Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings or Suicide Squad (all 2021) and the comics that inspired them have become cultural mainstays and are being taken seriously by casual viewers and academics alike. However, these big-screen adaptations are in many ways less challenging and ambitious than the work that arguably made their success possible in the first place. Today, Watchmen, written by… Continue Reading
  2. The 16th International Connotations Symposium on “Metagenre” - From July 26 to 28, 2021, the 16th International Connotations Symposium will take place online in collaboration with the Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen and the Ruhr University Bochum. The speakers will look into questions of “Metagenre” and will focus on works that, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Good Soldier, reflect on the genre(s) to which they belong; this self-reflection may be either explicit or implicit. For more information and to find the programme, follow this link. Continue Reading
  3. July 2021: In Contemplation of Sheep – Celebrating 400 Years of The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania (1621) - by Sarah Briest As sheep roam the early summer meadows of Tübingen, creating idyllic pastoral tableaux on the slanting green hillsides, it is not incongruous to feel reminded of the setting of early modern pastoral romances. The imagination only has to supply a prince or two, in shepherd’s robes, striding across these Arcadian fields, possibly whistling a mournful tune, for the picture to be complete. In Mary Wroth’s prose romance The Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, which sees the 400th anniversary of its publication this year, the titular character, shepherd-raised Urania, ponders her own identity in a similar setting. Ignorant of… Continue Reading
  4. April 2021: Henry Vaughan, Doctor and Poet (born 1621) - by Matthias Bauer   This month, April 2021, we are celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Henry Vaughan, one of the most fascinating Early Modern English poets. He was born on 17 April 1621, at Newton-upon-Usk, Brecknockshire, Wales, together with his twin-brother Thomas, who later devoted his life to chemistry and pharmacy. Henry Vaughan’s interests were similar. After studying at Jesus College Oxford and perhaps serving on the royalist side during the civil war, he settled down in his native Brecknockshire, where he practiced as a country doctor until his death in 1695.  The beginning of his medical practice… Continue Reading