Working Groups

The UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library host several working groups in early modern studies. The goal is to stimulate the discussion of research issues and the exchange of work in progress among faculty, post-docs, and graduate students at UCLA and in the Los Angeles area. Reading or writing groups, workshops, lecture series with local scholars, and interdisciplinary exchanges are just some of the possibilities envisioned. Limited research funding is available for each group, to be used towards refreshments and hosting speakers. Each group determines the schedule and nature of the meetings, typically held on the UCLA campus or at the Clark Library (depending on space availability).

The Comedia in Translation and Performance

The idea is to provide a space in which to think about how to bring the comedia to a wider audience, in particular to audiences in Los Angeles. In a city of so many Spanish speakers, the fabulous corpus of Spanish Golden Age plays should be more frequently staged, but it is not always easily available to practitioners. This working group attends to issues of translation and adaptation, while also connecting academics with playwrights, translators, directors, and actors. The group maintains the website, Diversifying the Classics.

Organizer: Barbara Fuchs, Professor, Departments of English and Spanish & Portuguese, UCLA (fuchsbar@humnet.ucla.edu)

Cultivation and Ideology: Land, Literature, and Art in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Throughout the nineteenth century, the seizure, enclosure, colonization, cultivation, and “improvement” of land embedded a wide range of narratives deep within the grounds of British art and literature.  In this multidisciplinary working group, we will explore how the physical transformation of land across Britain and its former empire in turn transformed its broader cultural landscape.

Beginning in January 2022, we invite UCLA students, faculty, and staff to join us for monthly meetings that examine the aesthetic and spatial politics of land, landscape, and cultivation in nineteenth-century Britain.  Our readings will draw together literature studies and art history with recent scholarship from the energy humanities, postcolonial and decolonial studies, ecocriticism, and critical plant and animal studies, with the aim of developing a shared bibliography for scholars working across diverse fields.

This working group builds on themes from the 2021-22 Core Program “Victorian Apocalypse: The siècle at its fin” hosted by UCLA’s Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.  As a complement to the Core Program, “Cultivation and Thought” will explore how land management functioned as both an antidote and agent of extraction, entropy, and exhaustion in nineteenth-century Britain.  Meetings will be convened by the Clark Library’s 2021-22 Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellows.

Please join us on Wednesday, January 19th at 3pm over Zoom for our first meeting, where we will discuss Sria Chatterjee’s recent conversation piece “The Arts, Environmental Justice, and the Ecological Crisis” from British Art Studies: https://britishartstudies.ac.uk/issues/issue-index/issue-18/arts-environmental-justice-ecological-crisis For a link to the meeting, please contact the organizers.

Organizers: Lindsay Wells, 2021–22 Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (lfwells@g.ucla.edu) and Zach Fruit, 2021–22 Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellow (zfruit@sas.upenn.edu)

Early Modern Research Group

The Early Modern Research Group comprises faculty and graduate students at UCLA. The Works-in-Progress Workshop series provides a forum for advanced graduate students and junior faculty from across the humanities and social sciences at UCLA and neighboring institutions to workshop ongoing projects invested in the history, literature, and cultures of the early modern world. For more information and updates, please contact the organizer.

Organizers: Rhonda Sharrah, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UCLA (rhondas@ucla.edu), Laura Hutchingame, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History, UCLA (lhutchingame@g.ucla.edu), and Leah Marangos, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History, UCLA (leahmarangos@ucla.edu)

Indigenous Material and Visual Culture in the Americas, circa 1450–1750 CE

IMVCA is an interdisciplinary working group aimed at facilitating the study of indigenous cultural productions from across the Americas: South, Central, and North. Although there is an early modern focus, the group often expands its chronological scope.

IMVCA meetings seek to provide a space for engagement between disciplines and geographic fields in order to develop and strengthen both individual research projects and collective scholarly advancement. Meetings take place throughout the year and include talks by guest speakers from leading research institutions, as well as graduate student work-in-progress presentations. Aside from these primary meetings, the group also holds primary and secondary source reading workshops. A listing of past events is available here: https://ioa.ucla.edu/content/imvc-working-group-events. Those interested in participating or being added to the listserv should email the graduate student organizers below.

Faculty Advisors: Stella Nair, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, UCLA (snair@humnet.ucla.edu) and Kevin Terraciano, Professor, Department of History, UCLA (terra@history.ucla.edu)

Organizers: Tania Bride, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UCLA (taniabride@ucla.edu) and Lisl Schoepflin, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UCLA (lisl.schoepflin@gmail.com)

Irish and Scottish Enlightenment(s) Reading Group

This group will read and discuss works by Irish and Scottish writers of the long Eighteenth Century, including works from literature, moral philosophy, political theory, and other fields.  We have prepared a fairly comprehensive list of eligible works, and participants are welcome to add titles and will be involved in selecting readings, so that our choices will serve everyone’s interests over the course of time.  The group is open to graduate students and faculty throughout the Los Angeles area, to visiting scholars at the Clark or other area research institutions, and to independent scholars and anyone interested in reading and discussing the works we read.

Organizers: Donald Marshall, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago (profdon43@gmail.com)


To propose a new working group, please submit a brief description and proposed meeting schedule to Kathy Sanchez, Program Manager, at ksanchez@humnet.ucla.edu. There is no deadline for the submission of working group proposals.

Here are the guidelines for working groups.


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Professor Michael Hackett and first-year students in the MFA Acting and Directing Programs, Department of Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, in a staged reading of Lope de Vega’s A Wild Night in Toledo, translated by The Comedia in Translation and Performance working group directed by Barbara Fuchs.
Photographer: Reed Hutchinson