Research Programs: Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Period of Performance

1/1/2014 - 6/30/2017

Funding Totals

$252,300.00 (approved)
$240,331.60 (awarded)

Long-term Residential Fellowships at the Folger Shakespeare Library

FAIN: RA-50128-13

Folger Shakespeare Library admin by Trustees of Amherst College (Washington, DC 20003-1004)
David Schalkwyk (Project Director: August 2012 to April 2013)
Michael Lawrence Witmore (Project Director: April 2013 to April 2014)
Kathleen Lynch (Project Director: April 2014 to May 2017)
Amanda Herbert (Project Director: May 2017 to March 2021)

Eighteen months of stipend support (2 fellowships) per year for three years and a contribution to defray costs associated wtih the selection of fellows.

The Folger Shakespeare Library requests $365,700 in outright funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the Library's long-term residential Fellowship Program, which brings five Fellows per year to Washington, DC to research in our extensive early modern collections and to write critical monographs on any of the humanities subjects supported by primary sources. The grant period will begin with selection in 2014; fellows will start residencies in the academic year 2014-15. The funds will cover stipends for three fellows per year through 2016-17. Included in our request are funds to defray the expenses for lodging and travel associated with gathering an external committee of five senior scholars to select the Fellows.

Associated Products

Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World (Book)
Title: Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World
Editor: Paul Dover
Abstract: One of the prominent themes of the political history of the 16th and 17th centuries is the waxing influence officials in the exercise of state power, particularly in international relations, as it became impossible for monarchs to stay on top of the increasingly complex demands of ruling. Encompassing a variety of cultural and institutional settings, these essays examine how state secretaries, prime ministers and favourites managed diplomatic personnel and the information flows they generated. They explore how these officials balanced domestic matters with external concerns, and service to the monarch and state with personal ambition. By opening various perspectives on policy-making at the level just below the monarch, this volume offers up rich opportunities for comparative history and a new take on the diplomatic history of the period.
Year: 2016
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Type: Edited Volume
ISBN: 9781474402231
Copy sent to NEH?: No

The Bible and English Readers (Article)
Title: The Bible and English Readers
Author: Thomas Fulton
Abstract: Abstract not available.
Year: 2017
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Publisher: Duke University Press

The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage (Book)
Title: The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage
Editor: Thomas Fulton
Editor: Kristen Poole
Abstract: The Bible was everywhere in Shakespeare's England. Through sermons, catechisms, treatises, artwork, literature and, of course, biblical reading itself, the stories and language of the Bible pervaded popular and elite culture. In recent years, scholars have demonstrated how thoroughly biblical allusions saturate Shakespearean plays. But Shakespeare's audiences were not simply well versed in the Bible's content - they were also steeped in the practices and methods of biblical interpretation. Reformation and counter-reformation debate focused not just on the biblical text, but - crucially - on how to read the text. The Bible on the Shakespearean Stage is the first volume to integrate the study of Shakespeare's plays with the vital history of Reformation practices of biblical interpretation. Bringing together the foremost international scholars in the field of 'Shakespeare and the Bible', these essays explore Shakespeare's engagement with scriptural interpretation in the tragedies, histories, comedies, and romances.
Year: 2018
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Type: Edited Volume

Lynn, Walsingham, Norwich (Book Section)
Title: Lynn, Walsingham, Norwich
Author: Gail McMurray Gibson
Author: Theresa Coletti
Editor: David Wallace
Abstract: This collaborative literary history of Europe, the first yet attempted, unfolds through ten sequences of places linked by trade, travel, topography, language, pilgrimage, alliance, disease, and artistic exchange. The period covered, 1348-1418, provides deep context for understanding current developments in Europe, particularly as initiated by the destruction and disasters of World War II. We begin with the greatest of all European catastrophes: the 1348 bubonic plague, which killed one person in three. Literary cultures helped speed recovery from this unprecedented "ground zero" experience, providing solace, distraction, and new ideals to live by. Questions of where Europe begins and ends, then as now, and disputes over whom truly "belongs" on European soil are explored, if not solved, through writing. A war that would last for a century convulsed much of western Europe. Divisions between Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianities endured, and in 1378 the West divided again between popes of Avignon and Rome. Arabic literary cultures linked Fes and Granada to Jerusalem and Damascus; Persian and Turkish writings began to flourish south and west of Constantinople; Jewish intellectuals treasured Arabic texts as well as Hebrew writings; Armenian colophons proved unique. From 1414-18 western nations gathered to heal their papal schism while also exchanging literary, humanist, and musical ideas; visitors from the East hoped for commitment to wider European peace. Freed from nation state historiography, as bequeathed by the nineteenth century, these 82 chapters freshly assess the free movement of European literature in all its variety, local peculiarity, and regenerative power.
Year: 2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Book Title: A Literary History, 1348-1418: Volume I
ISBN: 9780198735359

Doodles and Dragons (Blog Post)
Title: Doodles and Dragons
Author: Gail McMurray Gibson
Abstract: A guest post by Gail McMurray Gibson, William R. Kenan Professor Emerita of English and Humanities, Davidson College.
Date: 11/12/2015
Primary URL:
Blog Title: The Collation

The Invention of Atmosphere (Article)
Title: The Invention of Atmosphere
Author: Craig Martin
Abstract: The word "atmosphere" was a neologism Willebrord Snellius created for his Latin translation of Simon Stevin's cosmographical writings. Astronomers and mathematical practitioners, such as Snellius and Christoph Scheiner, applying the techniques of Ibn Mu'adh and Witelo, were the first to use the term in their calculations of the height of vapors that cause twilight. Their understandings of the atmosphere diverged from Aristotelian divisions of the aerial region. From the early years of the seventeenth century, the term was often associated with atomism or corpuscular matter theory. The concept of the atmosphere changed dramatically with the advent of pneumatic experiments in the middle of the seventeenth century. Pierre Gassendi, Walter Charleton, and Robert Boyle transformed the atmosphere of the mathematicians giving it the characteristics of weight, specific gravity, and fluidity, while disputes about its extent and border remained unresolved.
Year: 2015
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Elsevier

Providence and Seventeenth-century Attacks on Averroes (Book Section)
Title: Providence and Seventeenth-century Attacks on Averroes
Author: Craig Martin
Editor: Paul J.J.M. Bakker
Abstract: Ibn Rushd (1126–1198), or Averroes, is widely known as the unrivalled commentator on virtually all works by Aristotle. His commentaries and treatises were used as manuals for understanding Aristotelian philosophy until the Enlightenment. Both Averroes and the movement commonly known as "Latin Averroism" have attracted considerable attention from historians of philosophy and science. Most studies focus on Averroes' psychology, particularly on his doctrine of the “unity of the intellect,” Averroes’ natural philosophy as a whole and its influence still remain largely unexplored. This volume aims to fill the gap by considering various aspects of Averroes’ natural philosophical thought and evaluating its impact on the history of philosophy and science between the late middle ages and the early modern period.
Year: 2015
Publisher: Leuven University Press
Book Title: Averroes’ Natural Philosophy and its Reception in the Latin West
ISBN: 946270046X

The Aeolipile as Experimental Model in Early Modern Natural Philosophy (Article)
Title: The Aeolipile as Experimental Model in Early Modern Natural Philosophy
Author: Craig Martin
Abstract: What causes winds was regarded as one of the most difficult questions of early modern natural philosophy. Vitruvius, the ancient Roman architectural author, put forth an alternative to Aristotle’s theory by likening the generation of wind to the actions of the aeolipile, which he believed made artificial winds. As Vitruvius’s work proliferated during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, numerous natural philosophers, including Descartes, used the aeolipile as a model for nature. Yet, interpretations of Vitruvius’s text and of the relation of the aeolipile to natural winds varied according to definitions and conceptions of air, wind, rarefaction, condensation, and vapor.
Year: 2016
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Perspectives on Science
Publisher: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Lodovico Settala’s Aristotelian Problemata Commentary and Late-Renaissance Hippocratic Medicine (Book Section)
Title: Lodovico Settala’s Aristotelian Problemata Commentary and Late-Renaissance Hippocratic Medicine
Author: Craig Martin
Editor: Evan R. Ragland
Editor: Benjamin Goldberg
Editor: Peter Distelzweig
Abstract: Renaissance physicians, influenced by humanism and spurred by their increased knowledge of Hippocratic and Galenic writings, attempted to assimilate these medical works with Aristotelian thought. The similarities between the Aristotelian Problemata and the Hippocratic Airs, Waters, Places allowed Girolamo Cardano and Lodovico Settala, among others, to blur the distinctions between natural philosophical and medical authorities. Philological and historical considerations of these texts as well as judgments about authenticity were colored by the belief that these works were useful for humoral physiology and offered insights into the unity of ancient and modern knowledge.
Year: 2016
Publisher: Springer
Book Title: Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy
ISBN: 978-9401773522

"The Macro Plays in Georgian England" (Article)
Title: "The Macro Plays in Georgian England"
Author: Gail McMurray Gibson
Abstract: This collection of essays examines medieval and early modern drama in the context of a rich and varied manuscript culture. Focusing on the production, performance, and reception of dramatic documents made in Britain between 1400 and 1700, the essays in this book shed new light on the role of dramatic manuscripts in a range of different social and literary spheres. From extant manuscripts of England’s mystery cycles to miscellanies kept by seventeenth-century readers, the documents discussed in this volume reflect a culture of producing and using drama in ways that have been overlooked by the recent critical focus on drama and print by theatre historians and literary critics. By showing the various continuities, exchanges, lendings, and borrowings between medieval and early modern scribal practices, as well as between manuscript and print practices, this volume interrogates accepted critical narratives about the way that drama has been historicized.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Link to Journal
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Early British Drama in Manuscript
Publisher: Brepols Publishers

"Aristotelian Meteorology in Renaissance Technical Literature" (Article)
Title: "Aristotelian Meteorology in Renaissance Technical Literature"
Author: Craig Martin
Abstract: A comprehensive definition of Rnaissance and medieval Aristotelianism.
Year: 2018
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Link to journal
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: link to pdf of article
Access Model: Subscription
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: I generi dell'aristotelismo volgare nel Rinascimento
Publisher: CLEUP

"Teresa Sampsonia Sherley: Amazon, Traveler, and Consort" (Book Section)
Title: "Teresa Sampsonia Sherley: Amazon, Traveler, and Consort"
Author: Carmen Nocentelli
Editor: Bernadette Andrea
Editor: Patricia Akhimie
Abstract: Known in England as the Circassian wife of Robert Sherley—the Sussex adventurer who served as Shah 'Abbas I’s ambassador to Europe during the early decades of the seventeenth century—Teresa Sampsonia Sherley was often lionized on the Continent because of her travel exploits in unfamiliar and often hostile environments. Drawing on archival research as well as hitherto ignored early print sources, Nocentelli argues that Lady Sampsonia Sherley’s travel adventures helped theorize female mobility as an enterprise that could be respectable and even exemplary.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Link to publishing house.
Access Model: Subscription
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Book Title: Travel and Travail: Early Modern Women, English Drama, and the Wider World
ISBN: 978-1-4962-022

“Dilated Materiality and Formal Restraint in The Faerie Queene.” (Article)
Title: “Dilated Materiality and Formal Restraint in The Faerie Queene.”
Author: Debapriya Sarkar
Abstract: Scholars have long been interested in the materialistic theories and natural philosophies in?uencing Spenser's poetry. This essay traces the philosophy of conserved matter that pervades TheFaerie Queene — a philosophy in which indestructible matter re?gures itself into different forms — to argue that the physics underlying the poem’s cosmology originates from its internal encounters with problems of formal excess, instead of from philosophical doctrines that precede narrative.
Year: 2018
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Spenser Studies 31 (February 2018), 137-166.

“The Tempest’s Other Plots.” (Article)
Title: “The Tempest’s Other Plots.”
Author: Debapriya Sarkar
Abstract: ONE OF THE MOST SKILLED ORCHESTRATORS of theatrical action on the Shakespearean stage, Prospero successfully directs his revenge plot towards its desired ends in The Tempest. Hence it might be surprising that, just when Prospero's "project gather[s] to a head," Ariel interrupts his plans by imagining another reality: "Your charm so strongly works 'em/ That if you now beheld them, your affections/ Would become tender." To Prospero's subsequent query, "Dost thou think so, spirit?," Ariel responds: "Mine would, sir, were I human" (5.1.1, 17-20). (1) Prospero suppresses this speculation of an alternate mode of being--what "would" happen "were [Ariel] human"--by asserting the fact of his own humanity.
Year: 2017
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Shakespeare Studies 45 (October 2017), 203-230.

Philological Quarterly Special Issue: Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms (Book)
Title: Philological Quarterly Special Issue: Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms
Editor: Debapriya Sarkar
Editor: Jenny C. Mann
Abstract: This special issue argues that early modern science is shaped by imaginative engagements with the problem of form. These articles reveal how early modern natural philosophy requires the category of form to define itself and its objects of inquiry. They also illustrate how the language arts and imaginative literature are sites of philosophically consequential formal innovation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Together, these essays assert that the current “return” to form in the literary humanities signals the emergence of a new methodological paradigm in literature/science studies, one that treats form as an ontological as well as an epistemological category. “Introduction: ‘Capturing Proteus’” defines early modern scientific form in terms of the interactions of form and formation. Early modern allusions to the capture and chaining of Proteus reveal that form is a mode of being and a process of becoming that is arrested in moments of knowledge production.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Abstracts of articles included in the Special Issue.
Access Model: Subscription Only
Publisher: The University of Iowa
Type: Edited Volume
Copy sent to NEH?: No

Francis Bacon, José de Acosta, and Traditions of Natural Histories of Winds, Annals of Science (Article)
Title: Francis Bacon, José de Acosta, and Traditions of Natural Histories of Winds, Annals of Science
Author: Craig Martin
Abstract: It is well attested that Francis Bacon considered his History of Winds to be an exemplar, but what lessons should be taken from its example have been subject to debate. Instead of looking at this work as a mere model for the fusion of natural history and natural philosophy, it is also possible to see Bacon as trying to provide tentative solutions to outstanding questions regarding the wind, a topic that was deeply scrutinized during the early modern period. An examination of Bacon’s provisional concluding rules reveals deep correspondences with earlier works, such as José de Acosta’s Natural and Moral History of the Indies, that revised classical understandings of the wind based on experience, experiments, and accounts of travels beyond Europe. Understanding the History of Winds as a genuine attempt to solve outstanding questions about the wind uncovers its debt to earlier traditions, including those related to Renaissance natural history, and shows it’s influence in relation to specific theories of the wind beyond its call for methodological reform.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Access Model: Open Access Online
Format: Other
Periodical Title: Taylor & Francis Online

“Literary Justice: The Participatory Ethics of Early Modern Possible Worlds.” (Book Section)
Title: “Literary Justice: The Participatory Ethics of Early Modern Possible Worlds.”
Author: Debapriya Sarkar
Editor: Wendy Beth Hyman
Editor: Hillary Eklund
Abstract: This book is for teachers who want to heighten the intellectual impact of their courses by using their classrooms as a creative space for social formation and action. Its twenty-one chapters provide diverse perspectives on Shakespeare and early modern literature that engage innovation, collaboration, and forward-looking practices. They model ways of mobilizing justice with early modern texts and claim the intellectual benefits of integrating social justice into courses. The book reconceives the relationship between students and Renaissance literature in ways that enable them – and us – to move from classroom discussions to real-life applications.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Access Model: Hardback, ebook, and PDF
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Book Title: Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare: Why Renaissance Literature Matters Now
ISBN: 9781474455589

The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Book)
Title: The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe
Author: Paul M. Dover
Abstract: This provocative new history of early modern Europe argues that changes in the generation, preservation and circulation of information, chiefly on newly available and affordable paper, constituted an 'information revolution'. In commerce, finance, statecraft, scholarly life, science, and communication, early modern Europeans were compelled to place a new premium on information management. These developments had a profound and transformative impact on European life. The huge expansion in paper records and the accompanying efforts to store, share, organize and taxonomize them are intertwined with many of the essential developments in the early modern period, including the rise of the state, the Print Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and the Republic of Letters. Engaging with historical questions across many fields of human activity, Paul M. Dover interprets the historical significance of this 'information revolution' for the present day, and suggests thought-provoking parallels with the informational challenges of the digital age.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781316556177