Founded in 2001 and based in the Department of English at Western University, the Western Early Modern Society (WEMS) is dedicated to the exploration and dissemination of research relating to a very broadly-defined field of literary and cultural history, ranging from the end of the Middle Ages to the onset of Romanticism.
The breadth and apparent vagueness of this range is deliberate: one of the functions of the Western Early Modern Society is to challenge the conventional demarcations of literary "period," especially those separating the "Renaissance" from the "Restoration and eighteenth-century." It is a fundamental tenet of the group that the continuities of literary history are at least as important as the convenient but disruptive "epochal milestones" that have tended to dominate critical thinking.
The Western Early Modern Society holds a number of special readings, lectures, and events throughout the year, and frequently joins with other groups as a co-sponsor of colloquia or guest lectures. Both faculty and graduate students have been invited to present papers, and the activities of the group are open to all interested participants.
For more information on the Western Early Modern Society, please contact Professor M.J. Kidnie.