Current fellow: Professor Susan Wiseman

Essay and panel: The 'collection' and the English Civil War: Shaping scholarship and memory

Susan's project will analyse the significance of the 'collection' as a shaping influence on the way in which both memory and scholarship have understood the turbulent period of the English Civil War and its aftermath. Her project approaches this by focusing on the highly politicised use of the pre-existing term and idea of a 'collection' in relation to this period.

From about 1641 the idea of collecting and the collection developed a simultaneously broadened and more specific set of meanings as an index of and intervention in mid-17th-century politics. Although hitherto used rather than considered by scholarship, the emerging centrality of the idea of a 'collection' as an address to politics parallels the much-investigated Civil War reinvention of 'news'.

The primary outcome of Susan's research will be an essay on the 'collection' of the English Civil War. A second outcome will be a panel on Collections and Collecting of the English Civil War to be held during Birkbeck Arts Week, May 2019.

Professor Susan Wiseman currently holds the position of Professor, Department of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London. She holds a BA in English Literature, University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of London.

Her research interests are in Renaissance and 17th-century writing and culture. Specific interests include the writing of night 1540–1650 and investigation of the places of the 'English Renaissance'. She is also interested in the literature of change and transformation; women's writing; writing of the early 17th century; and writing of the English Civil War.