Memory and Performance: Classical Reception in Early Modern Festivals (15th-18th Century)

Thursday, February 23, 2023 - 10:00am to Friday, February 24, 2023 - 5:00pm
University College London

We are happy to announce that registration is now open for the second stage of the conference, in London on 23-24 February. Please register here. For more information, please visit:

For any questions, please contact

Key Dates:

13-14 October 2022, University of Parma

23-24 February 2023, University College London

Abstracts submission: 13th April 2022


Francesca Bortoletti (UNIPR), Giovanna Di Martino (UCL & APGRD)

Scientific Committee:

Mariella Bonvicini (UNIPR), Francesca Bortoletti (UNIPR), Nicola Catelli (UNIPR), Giovanna Di Martino (UCL & APGRD), Giorgio Ieranò (UNITN), Fiona Macintosh (OXFORD), Massimo Magnani (UNIPR), Eckart Marchand (WARBURG), Lucy Jackson (DURHAM), Eugenio Refini (NYU); Paolo Russo (UNIPR), Carlo Varotti (UNIPR), Erika Valdivieso (YALE), Federica Veratelli (UNIPR).

Sponsors and Partners:

Supported by the University of Parma, the Centro per le Attività e le Professioni delle Arti e dello Spettacolo (CAPAS, UNIPR), UCL, the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges (UCL), the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (Oxford), and the Leventis Foundation; in collaboration with the Centro Interateneo sulla Memoria delle Arti Performative (MAP – Roma, Parma, Genova), the Centro Interuniversitario di ricerca di ‘Studi sulla Tradizione’ (Bari, San Marino, Padova, Trento), the Laboratorio Dionysos (Trento), and The Warburg Institute (London).

Thursday 23rd February

Time: 10.00am-7pm GMT
Place: St George's Church Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SA

10.15-10.45 Registration and Coffee 

10.45-11.00 Welcome from Gesine Manuwald (UCL), and the conference organisers, Giovanna Di Martino (UCL) and Francesca Bortoletti (Parma)

11.00-12.20: Politics and Performance I - Chair: Lucy Jackson (Durham)

Kristen Vitale (Connecticut, ONLINE): Anne Boleyn as England’s Triumphator: The Transformation of Early Henrician Civic Triumph Pageantry 

​​Francesco Dall’Olio (Verona): Orestes at Elizabeth's court: a possible court representation of John Pikeryng’s Horestes

12.20-1.30pm Lunch

1.30-3.00pm Politics and Performance II - Chair: Francesca Bortoletti (Parma) 

Jan Bažant (Centre for Classical Studies at the Institute of Philosophy, Prague - ONLINE): Pompa in honorem Ferdinandi, 1558

Lindsay Reid (University of Galway): Planting English Daughters in the Ovidian Landscape: The Entertainments at Bisham Abbey and Sudeley Castle (1592) 

Carlo Varotti (Parma): Tieste: The Words and Actions of a Degenerate Power

3.00-3.15pm Coffee/Tea Break

3.15-4.45pm Religion and Performance - Chair: Carlo Varotti (Parma)

Maria Czepiel (Oxford)Christian and Classical sources in Calderón’s El divino Orfeo (1634)

Maria Maciejewska (Innsbruck): 17th-Century Opening of the Jesuit Church in Lucerne from the Perspective of the Play Written for this Occasion

Beatriz Catão Cruz Santos (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - ONLINE): The meanings of Awnings and Columns at the Lisbon Corpus Christi Procession (1717-1777)

4.45-5.15 Coffee/Tea Break

Demonstration-Performance: Performing Aristophanes' Wealth in Early Modern Translations

Time: 6.00-7.00pm
Place: St George's Church Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SA

Introduction to the demonstration-performance: Fiona Macintosh (Oxford, APGRD), Francesca Bortoletti (UNIPR), Giovanna Di Martino (UCL), Marco Martinelli (Playwright/Theatre Director)

*The conference will be preceded by three days of theatre workshops, supported by the Widening International Didactics and Education Programme (w.i.d.e; 2022, Parma), the Classical Association, the Institute of Classical Studies, the Gilbert Murray Trust Fund, UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, and the Leventis Foundation and organised by Francesca Bortoletti (Parma) and Giovanna Di Martino (UCL). These will be directed by playwright/director Marco Martinelli (Teatro delle Albe) and academic/dramaturg Giovanna Di Martino. Participants will be 10 university students from the University of Parma and UCL, and 14 school students from the following state schools: Jewish Community Secondary School, St Olave’s Grammar School, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Highgate Wood Sixth Form, Mossbourne Community Academy Sixth Form, and Enfield County School for Girls. The group will work on the performance of a number of scenes from a selection of early modern performance scripts based on Aristophanes’ Wealth, and will investigate the performability and intricate web of citations embedded within early modern dramatic scripts*

Friday 24th February

Time: 10.30am-5.15pm GMT
Place: IAS Common Ground, G11, ground floor, South Wing, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom

10.30-11.30pm: Performance in the Academies I - Chair: Lucy Nicholas (Warburg)

George Brocklehurst (Warburg): Humanism and the Afterlife of Classical Conviviality: The Case of the Accademia Pontaniana

Angelica Vedelago (Padua): ‘Nature did wrong to give us memory / A nest wherein builds naught but misery’: ‘Tragic’ Memories in Pelopidarum Secunda (ca. 1590)

11.30-11.45 Coffee/Tea Break

11.45-12.45pm: Performance in the Academies II - Chair: Eckart Marchand (Warburg-Bilderfahrzeuge)

Anouska Lester (Roehampton): “Strange snow”: Representing and Remembering Weather in The Masque of Janus and Dido 

Martina Treu (IULM): The Italian ‘Original sin’: The First Oedipus at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza (1585)

12.45-2.00pm Lunch

2.00-3.30pm Performance on the Popular Stage - Chair: Ottavia Mazzon (Padua)

Evgeniia Ganberg (Cambridge): ‘Cives Trojani in Suspicionem Aguntur & Prope Seditionem’: Being a Low-Born Trojan on the Early Modern Stage

Raf Van Rooy (KU Leuven): Greek as the Language of Performance in the Early Modern Low Countries 

Christopher Jotischky (Brown): Terence in Greek: The Transformation of Roman Comedy in Early Modern Greek Theatre

3.30-3.45pm Coffee/Tea Break

3.45-4.45pm Performance and Archives - Roundtable Discussion: Margaret Shewring (Warwick)

APGRD: Fiona Macintosh (Oxford, APGRD); FRIDAtlas: Francesca Bortoletti (Parma); MNEMOSYNE: Steffen Haug (Warburg/Bilderfahrzeuge); DSPace-MuTheA: Paolo Russo (Parma); Laboratorio Dionysos: Giorgio Ieranò (Trento) and Gaia Benamati (Bari); University of Warwick-British Library Festival Books Digitisation: Alexander Samson (UCL); The Renaissance Cultural Crossroads Catalogue: Brenda Hosington (Warwick-Montreal)

4.45-5.15pm Response by Eugenio Refini (NYU) and Plenary