Atelier Epistémè à la RSA, 22 mars 2018

Epistémè est présent au congrès de la Renaissance Society of America, qui se tient cette année à la Nouvelle-Orléans, pour un atelier autour des ballades imprimées ou broadside ballads

Titre de l’atelier: Recovering Lost Voices: The Broadside Ballad from Street to Court, on Page and Stage

La session sera présidé par Simon Smith, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, School of English, Drama, and American & Canadian Studies, University of Birmingham

Communication 1 – Angela MCShANE, Research Development Manager, Wellcome Institute, London, « From stage to page, and back again: Performing religious disharmony, with words, ink and music, in Restoration England »

Résumé en anglais: This paper illuminates how, in the fraught and divided religious and political landscape of seventeenth-century England, political balladeers sometimes used the vehicle of song to create and debate the idea of harmony. The paper emphasises contemporary perceptions of the broadside ballad as an object, and shows how the material, graphic and literary elements of printed ballads were sometimes appropriated by satirists, with the help of the printing trade, producing a parodic cast of performing sheets that battled over religious harmony in the street, the coffee-house, and the study.

Communication 2 – Anne-Marie MILLER-BLAISE, MCF-HDR, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, IUF, «  ‘Captaine Cut-Purse’ Redeemed: Broadside Ballads and Poems of Salvation »

Résumé en anglais : Recent scholarship on broadside ballads has led to reassess the pervasiveness of popular music and cheap print in the early modern period. In this paper, I wish to show that broadside ballads were at once consonant with a biblical poetics based on the literary form of the parable, itself rooted in popular culture, and in which cut-purses, prisoners and robbers furnished the poet with prime protagonists to allegorize the divine economy of redemption. Drawing from poems by John Donne and George Herbert belonging to the canon, as well as a corpus of contemporary broadside ballads, I shall argue that ballads actually served as quiet yet powerful models for shaping more intellectual and meditative poems of redemption. In “The Bag,” George Herbert appropriates the material and musical qualities of the broadside ballad to conceive of a new kind of printed poetry that might be as effeciently distributed, circulated and remembered.

Communication 3; Emma WHIPDAY, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, University College London « Title: Lost plays, lost voices: staging and singing early modern ‘true crime’ »

 Résumé en anglais: The Jacobean play ‘Keep the Widow Waking’ (1624) stages a recent ‘true crime’: the forced marriage of an elderly widow, while under the influence of drink and drugs, to an opportunist young suitor. The text of the play is lost, but the records of the resulting Star Chamber court case give us the text and tune of an accompanying ballad. This paper explores the representation of true crime and domestic disruption in broadside ballads and on the stage, investigating: the ‘Keep the Widow Waking’ play and ballad; the London murder in Two Lamentable Tragedies (1601) and the lost ballads on the same topic; and the lost play ‘Page of Plymouth’ (1599) and the surviving ‘Page’ ballads. In so doing, it traces the relationship between the material and the immaterial in the study of early modern plays and ballads – both surviving and lost.

Communication 4: Chantal SCHUTZ, Professeur chargé de cours, Ecole Polytechnique et EA PRISMES, « Court Airs, Lute-songs, and Broadside Ballads: Intersections and Contamination »

Résumé en anglais: When Edward Filmer published his French court-aires, vvith their ditties Englished, in 1629, he was keen to underline in his preface that these were court airs that had been born in the same rarefied atmosphere as the queen to whom they were dedicated. Likewise, when Dowland published his First Book he had insisted on the aristocratic origin of his compositions. Yet both of these books include songs that share many features with ballads, with their strophic structure and simple tunes. And the very fact that Filmer was writing contrafacta in English to French songs make them fit into the pattern of Ballads, which were always “sung to the tune of” other songs. Using the format of the ballad seems to make it possible to tread unusual ground, be it with the political implications of Dowland’s song to Fulke Greville’s “Faction that ever dwells” or the “risqué” subtext of Guedron’s “Un jour l’amoureuse Silvie.”