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 (

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.


Kate Bolton Bonnici, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UCLA ( and Rhonda Sharrah, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UCLA (

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

IMVCA is an interdisciplinary working group aimed at facilitating the study of indigenous cultural productions from across the Americas: South, Central, and North. There is an early modern focus but also potential to expand the chronological scope. Meetings take place throughout the year and include talks by guest speakers from leading research institutions and graduate student work-in-progress presentations, as well as primary source workshops and secondary source reading sessions. The 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.

Faculty Advisor: Stella Nair, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, UCLA ( and Kevin Terraciano, Professor, Department of History, UCLA (

Organizers: Rebeca Martínez, Ph.D. Student, Department of History, UCLA ( and Alba Menéndez Pereda, Ph.D. Student, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA (

Irish and Scottish Enlightenment(s) Reading Group

The group reads and discusses 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 be involved in selecting readings, so that our choices serve everyone’s interests over the course of time. The group is open to graduate students and faculty throughout the Los Angeles area, and to visiting scholars at the Clark or other area research institutions.

Organizers: Donald Marshall, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago (

Slavery and Animals

The way a society treats its animals often highlights intersectional divergences in moral codes that often begin with childhood education and consume discourses on class, race, and gender. The systems of chattel slavery that developed within the Atlantic World were directly intertwined with both these nonhuman animal discourses and the material lives of laboring slaves. Enslaved peoples worked with animals and were often also considered nothing more than agricultural implements. The intersections of slavery and nonhuman animals accordingly involves discourses on labor, capitalism, human rights, and the suffering of conscious beings. We plan to meet monthly to discuss a pre-circulated paper for the Working Group.

Faculty Advisor: Brenda E. Stevenson, Professor, Department of History, UCLA ( Organizers: Chris Blakley, Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellow, Clark Library ( and Andrew Kettler, Ahmanson-Getty Postdoctoral Fellow, Clark Library (

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

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