Skip to main content

The Court of Elizabeth I – A European Drama

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COEED (The Court of Elizabeth I – A European Drama)

Reporting period: 2016-10-03 to 2018-10-02

Problem/issue addressed

The Court of Elizabeth I – A European Drama (COEED) is a multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary and distinctively European research project into a political culture which is studied in universities and schools around the globe. The enduring fascination with the political culture of Elizabethan England has often served to divert attention away from the fact that across early modern Europe responses to the final Tudor monarch were being formulated in early novels, dramas, essays, correspondence and travel narratives. This project brings together a study of English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Latin in order to offer a hitherto unprecedented enquiry into European representations of a nation under the final Tudor monarch.

Importance for society

At a critical time when European society is exercised by questions of national interest, the possible parameters of its community and suspicion of external cultural influence, COEED is invested in challenging the premisses often underpinning such thorny debates. This project highlights the international sphere of reference in which all political life must be seen to operate. Drawing upon a wealth of research from often neglected sources, this ambitious project by interrogates the very viability of considering political life and textual production in terms of national literary traditions.

Overall objectives

The overall objectives of this research project have been many and various but they all focus upon the internationalisation of our understanding of late Tudor culture – and an internationalisation which is not simply linked to binary comparative studies across two political states. Thus, COEED has focused upon consulting a range of European archives in the desire to formulate a more global understanding of a given political culture and to disseminating this research to scholarly and non-scholarly audiences. If COEED centrally concentrates upon unearthing a multi-lingual corpus of early modern materials with which to understand Elizabethan political and literary culture from an international perspective, it also extends this focus by considering nineteenth-century pan-European appreciations of Shakespeare and international initiatives in adapting Shakespeare for the dance stage in the modern period.
The COEED project began on 3rd October 2016 (for full details see at the Institut de Recherche pour la Renaissance, l’Âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL), Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3 and the prime investigator, Andrew Hiscock, was involved in a host of different activities during the fellowship:

• Full participation in the academic programme of the IRCL
• Consultation of European archives: Montpellier 3 library collections; Maison Jean Vilar of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Avignon; British Library; Bibliothèque Nationale de France ; Biblioteca Casanatense; The Venerable English College; Biblioteca Nazionale di Roma; Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu ; Mediathèque Emile Zola, Montpellier ; Columbia University Library Collections ; New York Public Library Collections ; Heinkenszand City Archives, Netherlands ; Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid ; Biblioteca de Catalunya, Barcelona.
• Experience of public outreach events and/or participation in events to non-academic audiences: Avignon Festival; Musée Roybet Fould, Courbevoie; Théâtre de la Vignette, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 ; Salle Rabelais, Montepellier ; collaborations with the Montpellier Public Reading Group Mots-Passants ; Festival Shake-Nice!, Théâtre National de Nice ; Festival Radio France in Montpellier ; schoolteacher workshops in Occitanie ; Mas Reynes Cultural Centre, Montpellier ; Montpellier’s Printemps des Comédiens festival.
• Dissemination of project research to academic audiences: Modern Humanities Research Association conferences; colloques internationaux du Chateau de Bournazel; Facultat de Filologia, University of Valencia, Spain; University of Porto in Portugal; Société Française Shakespeare ; Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership New Faces (Facing Europe in Crisis: Shakespeare’s World and Present Challenges) coordinated by IRCL; Comparative Drama Conference XLI; SEDERI international Conferences (Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies); Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SAES); European Shakespeare Research Association Conference; Associazione Italiana di Anglistica; Renaissance Society of America; Université Paris 3; postgraduate international Shakespeare Summer School, held at Montpellier 3 in collaboration with Queensland University; International Shakespeare Conference at Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham.
• Professional training at Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3: European language training; powerpoint presentation; blog construction on the web; making a research film presentation.

In addition to the all the university and non-university events outlined above, the results from COEED are to be disseminated through journal articles and a monograph publication.
At the close of this fellowship, AH had submitted four COEED-related articles to journals which have been accepted and will be held at the Bangor University e-repository after a period of Green OA.

The completed manuscript of the monograph treating the research covered in this project was submitted to an academic press and is at present under consideration with readers.

During the period of the fellowship, AH was invited to join the Advisory Boards of: Erasmus + project New Faces at IRCL; ‘Dynamiques des Héritages, Montpellier (September/October 2018); Ben Jonson Journal. At the close of the Fellowship period AH was granted status as a Research Fellow at IRCL and became an Associate Researcher of the Shakespeare and Dance Project based in North America.

In November 2018, AH continued his collaboration with the public reading group in Montpellier, Mots Passants, and more events are planned for 2019. It is envisaged that a counterpart activity will be initiated in North Wales with public outreach activities.

AH is invited to give a presentation of his COEED-related research to the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Research Seminar for Welsh universities in 2019 and will present his COEED research findings to colleagues at IRCL in January 2019. In addition, in 2019 he will be speaking to the project research at the Warburg Institute in London as an invited conference speaker, has been invited to contribute an article to the academic journal Arrêt sur Scène dedicated to the Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi and is invited plenary speaker at the 2019 European Shakespeare Research Association’s conference to be held at Rome university in July of that year. In collaboration with NVG and European colleagues, AH is also preparing an ERC Synergy grant bid for the 2019 competition.