A PDF version of the conference programme can be downloaded here.

To register for the conference, please visit

Please click on the speaker’s name to read their abstracts and a short bio.


9.15 Registration

9.45 Welcome (Thomas Goodwin – New College, Oxford)

10.00 First Keynote (chair: Emma Claussen – New College, Oxford)

Emily Butterworth (King’s College, London)

Rumour and Nouvelles in Sixteenth-Century France

11.00 Break

11.30 Session I

Truth and Falsehood in Early Modern Writing

(chair: Rowan Tomlinson – Bristol)

  • Barret Reiter (Cambridge) A ‘Fiction of the Mind’: Imagination and Idolatry in Early Modern England
  • Luke O’Sullivan (King’s College, London) ‘Paradoxalles, et neanmoinsvrayes’: Paradoxical Truth-Telling in Montaigne, Saint-Julien, and Plutarch
  • Karen Petroski (Saint Louis) Hermeneutics of Bistability: Fiction, Politics, and Conspiracy

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Session II

Disinformation, Diplomacy and Material Texts 

(chair: Filippo de Vivo – Birkbeck, University of London)

  • Monique O’Connell (Wake Forest) Renaissance Political Communication and the Case of the False Oration
  • Chiara De Caprio & Andrea Salvo Rossi (Naples Federico II) ‘The Effect of Reality’ and the Manipulation of Discourse: Historical Writing and Diplomatic Reports in Early Modern Italy
  • Mustafa Altuğ Yayla (Hamburg) Informing the Ottoman Literati on the “Real Sufi Islam”: The Venture of Lamii Çelebi’s Sufi Biographical Dictionary in the Age of Manuscripts (ca. 1500-1800)

3.30 Break

4.00 Session III

Fabrications of Race and Religion

(chair: Giuseppe Marcocci – Exeter College, Oxford)

  • Nora Galland (Paul Valéry-Montpellier 3) The Discourse of Race from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period in England: A Fallacious Tale of Identity and Alterity
  • Alejandro Enriquez (Illinois State) Franciscan Fake News at the Margins of Empire: Maya Ritual Murder Propaganda and Blood Libel in the 1562 Idolatry Trials in Colonial Yucatàn

5.00 Break

5.15 Session IV

Fiction and Deceit in Travel Accounts 

(chair: Giuseppe Marcocci – Exeter College, Oxford)

  • Emily Teo (Free University of Berlin & Kent) Hyperbole and Deceit in Early Modern Missionary Accounts of China
  • Jessica Reuther (Ball State) ‘It is a Fable that the Negres Sell their Children’: Child Circulation and Parental Norms along the Slave Coast during the Early Modern Era

6.15 Drinks Reception


10.00 Second Keynote (chair: Luca Zenobi – New College, Oxford)

Alejandra Dubcovsky (University of California, Riverside)

Communication and Miscommunication in Colonial North America

11.00 Break

11.30 Session V

Media, Authority and Public Opinion

(chair: John-Paul Gobrial – Balliol College, Oxford)

  • Fara Dabhoiwala (Princeton) Inventing Free Speech in 18th-Century England
  • Giulia Delogu (Ca’ Foscari) Global (Fake) News: the 18th Century Debate on Smallpox
  • Deborah Steinberger (Delaware) “Fake news” in 17th-Century France: The Case of Le Mercure Galant

1.00 Lunch

2.00 Session VI

Libel, Rumour and Gossip 

(chair: Kathryn Murphy – Oriel College, Oxford)

  • Clare Egan (Lancaster) Performing Provincial Libel: (Dis)information and Identity Formation in Early Modern England
  • Charlène Cruxent (Montpellier 3) ‘Their Whispering Tales’: Cultural Representations of Rumour in Queen Elizabeth I’s Writings
  • Frances Gage (Buffalo State) Caravaggio’s Rumore: Painters, Disinformation and Gossip Networks in Early Modern Art Criticism

3.30 Break

4.00 Session VII

Historiography and the Manipulation of the Past

(chair: Liesbeth Corens – Queen Mary University of London)

  • Marcus Meer (Durham) Deconstructing “Myths” and Fabricating “Truths”: Scholarly Debates on Heraldry and History in Early Modern London and Augsburg
  • Robert Fucci (Columbia) Imagined Ruins / Real Past: Cultural and Political Ramifications of Imagined Antiquity in the Early Dutch Republic
  • Kira von Osterfeld-Suske (Columbia) Humanist History, Truth, and Polemics: The Artes Historicae of Philip II’s Official Historians

5.30 End

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