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.

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, art history, literature, and cultures of the early modern world.  For more information and updates, please contact the organizers.

Organizers: Rhonda Sharrah, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, UCLA (, Laura Hutchingame, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History, UCLA (, and Leah Marangos, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Art History, UCLA (

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: 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 ( and Kevin Terraciano, Professor, Department of History, UCLA (

Organizer: Tania Bride, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UCLA (

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. Occasionally, we reach out to include an English author that our discussion seems to point us toward. 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.  Participants are welcome to join at any time; no previous knowledge of works from the era is required or expected.  We meet approximately monthly (on a Friday, from 11 am to 1 pm) by Zoom and will continue to meet by Zoom for the next year.  Feel free to contact the organizer for information or with any questions you may have.

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

Making Green Worlds: Early Modern Art and Ecologies of Globalization

Making Green Worlds contributes to current debates about climate change that are at the forefront of public and academic discourse by re-assessing the intersection of global mobility, environmental change, and artistic invention before the advent of the modern era. Historical narratives of early globalization (c. 1492-1700) and its impact on artistic production need revision to consider the complex and multi-faceted effects of colonial violence and environmental degradation. Making Green Worlds takes up this challenge by addressing urgent questions raised by ecocritical studies, decolonial approaches, and growing interest in “green worlds,” a concept expanded from literary studies. Green worlds are fabricated by artists, poets, and playwrights who created illusory visions of the natural world; they are also shaped by practices like garden design, agriculture, town planning, and land reclamation. These human-made environments are conceived as second worlds, controlled spaces that vie with nature itself in fashioning an artfully designed setting. Such spaces advance new understandings of the world as human-made. Creative processes of engagement with the earth foreground the critical, technological, and imaginative elements of world-making processes. A central question is how the making of green worlds operated in tandem with a significant escalation in environmental devastation unleashed by global mobility and the brutal exploitation of people and natural resources worldwide. This dynamic tension between the creation and destruction of green worlds is at the core of the research agenda.

Making Green Worlds is necessarily a collaborative research initiative; it fosters relationships with institutions in Canada, the USA, and Europe in order to generate interdisciplinary conversations with researchers and activists across and beyond the university. Developing a collaborative model of graduate and faculty research in the humanities is central to our approach.

Organizers: Bronwen Wilson, Art History, University of California, Los Angeles ( and Angela Vanhaelen, Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University (

To propose a new working group, please submit a brief description of the working group and proposed meeting schedule to Jeanette LaVere, Manager of Programs & Development, at There is no deadline for the submission of working group proposals.

Here are the guidelines for working groups.

Working group forms can be found on our forms page