Tag Archives: Literature


Tuesday 19 April, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

All welcome.

This session will be led by Professors Lorna Hutson and John Hudson, Directors of CMEMLL.

There will be no reading in preparation for this session since it is intended both to follow on from the CMEMLL Annual Lecture to be given by Steve White and Gadi Algazi, and to draw together the year’s conversations around ‘Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution.’



CMEMLL/ILCR Annual Lecture: Steve White (Emory) & Gadi Algazi (Tel Aviv)

‘Boy meets Gift: or, The Uses of Literature’

Monday 18 April, 5.15 – 7.00 pm
Parliament Hall, South Street

This lecture, given collaboratively by Professor Stephen D. White (Emory) and Professor Gadi Algazi (Tel Aviv) is a joint venture of CMEMLL and the Institute of Legal and Constitutional Research. This year, the CMEMLL Annual Lecture is also the ILCR Annual Academic Lecture.

A wine reception will follow the event.

All welcome.

Stephen D. White is Asa G. Candler Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at Emory University.

He is author of Custom, Kinship, and Gifts to Saints: the Laudatio Parentum in Western France, 1050-1150Sir Edward Coke and the Grievances of the Commonwealth, 1621-1628Feuding and Peacemaking in Eleventh-Century France; and Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe.

He is currently completing a collection of essays on treason, vengeance and feuding in eleventh- and twelfth-century France and England; and a book manuscript provisionally entitled, ‘Bad Kings, Felonious Barons, and Unfaithful Ladies: The Representation of Treason Trials in Old French Literature, c.1150 to c.1240.’

Gadi Algazi is Professor of History at the Department of History, Tel Aviv University, and senior editor of the journal History & Memory. He is also member of the editorial board of the journals Past & Present and Historische Anthropologie.

He is author of Herrengewalt und Gewalt der Herren im späten Mittelalter: Herrschaft, Gegenseitigkeit und Sprachgebrauch [Historische Studien, vol. 17] (Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus, 1996) [Seigniorial Power and Violence in the Later Middle Ages: Lordship, Reciprocity and Language Use] and, with Valentin Groebner and Bernhard Jussen, he coedited Negotiating the Gift: Pre-Modern Figurations of Exchange (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003).

He is currently completing a book on the shaping of scholars’ way of life and habitus between 1480 and 1630.


Tuesday 8 March, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History



Tuesday 16 February, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

All welcome.

This session will be led by Professor Anthony Lang, Director of the Centre for Global Constitutionalism.


Anthony F. Lang, Jr. Between International Law in The City & The City and Embassytown. In China Miéville: Critical Essays, ed. Caroline Edwards and Tony Venezia (Canterbury: Gylphi, 2015), pp. 213-238.

Miéville, China. ‘Editorial Introduction.’ Marxism and Fantasy [Special Issue]. Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, 10.4 (2002), pp. 39–49.


Reading Group: ‘Interpreting Literature, Law, and Constitution’ (ii)

Tuesday 17 November, 1.00 – 2.00 pm
Old Seminar Room, 71 South Street, School of History

All welcome.

“When, in the early modern period, “the waves ruled Britannia”, the examples of Greek maritime empire became standards against which British rights and obligations in the world could be measured”     (Christopher Warren)

In our second reading group this semester we will be exploring the ‘international thought’ of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) in the context of his translation of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.

Did Hobbes simply ’translate’ Thucydides (c.460-400BCE) from Greek into English, or was he also reshaping and restating Thucydidean ideas for an early modern audience? Why was Hobbes interested in the ancient Athenian constitution, the ‘way of life of the citizen-body’ and how did he relate this to Athenian imperialism? If we read Hobbes’ translation of Thucydides as ‘literature’, how might this challenge our understanding of Hobbes as a ‘realist’ or a ‘rationalist’, in terms of subsequent international relations theory? Can Thucydides, moreover, help us to unravel ‘the peculiar nature’ of Hobbes’ thought on natural law and the law of nations?


Christopher N. Warren, Literature and the Law of Nations, 1580-1680 (Oxford, 2015). Chapter 5, “From Imperial History to International Law” [St Andrews University Library Ebook]


Further reading:

Malcolm, N., Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford, 2002), Chapter 13 “Hobbes’ Theory of International Relations” [St Andrews University Library Ebook]

Boucher, David, ‘Hobbes’s Contribution to International Thought, and the Contribution of International Thought to Hobbes,’ in History of European Ideas 41:1 (2015), pp. 29-48.