Medieval and Early Modern Swiss-British Relations

CfP - Medieval and Early Modern Swiss-British Relations

Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies (English Department Basel, Prof. Ina Habermann, Prof. Elisabeth Dutton, Université de Fribourg)
English Department Basel, Prof. Ina Habermann, Prof. Elisabeth Dutton, Université de Fribourg
University of Basel
Gefördert durch
Schweizer Nationalfonds
Findet statt
In Präsenz
Vom - Bis
04.09.2024 - 06.09.2024
Ina Habermann

Call for Papers

We are inviting papers for our international conference on the theme of medieval and early modern Anglo-Swiss cultural relations. The conference is organized by the Swiss Association of Medieval and Early Modern English Studies and will take place at the University of Basel in Switzerland from 4-6 September 2024. Deadline for proposals April 14, 2024.

CfP - Medieval and Early Modern Swiss-British Relations

The next international SAMEMES conference will take place within the framework of the SNSF-project SwissBritNet: Swiss-British cultural exchange and knowledge networks 1600-1780. The conference will extend the investigation of these networks back through the Middle Ages.

The study of early modern transnational relations in Europe has been advanced in recent years by digital humanities initiatives enabling the large-scale collection, visualization and analysis of data designed to improve our understanding of knowledge networks and the Republic of Letters. Joining this international research community, SwissBritNet will highlight the nature and relevance of Swiss-British relations as an intrinsic part of a bigger European picture. While both continental Anglophilia and the British enthusiasm for Switzerland are often seen as late-18th century phenomena, this conference will show that they have a much longer and intricate history. From the 7th century Irish monks who established the monastery of St Gallen and the Bishop of Sion who helped found Westminster Abbey to the English envoys stationed in the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century, from the Genevan teacher Antoine-Rodolphe Chevalier, who was Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge in the reign of Edward VI to the English knowledge networks of Swiss theologians and scholars in the 17th and 18th centuries; from the Marian exiles in Basel and Geneva in the 1550s to Puritan regicides in Geneva and Lausanne – to name only a very few examples – there has been constant movement and cultural exchange between Switzerland and Britain, and considerable resulting mutual influence. At the SAMEMES conference, we will be able to discuss medieval and early modern case studies as well as larger theoretical and methodological considerations.

Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to

Transmission of medieval manuscripts
Libraries and collections
Go-betweens and brokers of knowledge
Modes of exchange in the Republic of Letters
Drama and itinerant players
Translations of literary works and devotional literature
Travel accounts and letters
Economic relations, trade, crafts and art
Natural philosophy, medicine and science
Diplomacy and warfare
Religion and theology

Global Medieval Studies, Transnational Studies, Network Studies, Digital Humanities, and Gender Studies approaches are encouraged in the investigation of literary and cultural history. Select papers presented at this conference will be edited by the conference organizers and published in the open access Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL) in 2025.

For 20-minute conference papers, please send a 250-word abstract and a short bio (max 100 words) to Prof. Ina Habermann ( by April 14, 2024.

This conference is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), grant no. 215254, project title: SwissBritNet: Swiss-British Cultural Exchange and Knowledge Networks 1600–1780.


Plenary Speakers:
Ardis Butterfield, Yale University
Erin McCarthy, University of Galway
Annina Seiler, University of Zurich
Dirk van Miert, Huygens Instituut Amsterdam


Prof. Ina Habermann, Department of English, University of Basel,

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