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Living English Broadside Ballads Conference

April 4-5, 2014
Huntington Library
San Marino, CA

On April 4-5, 2014, EBBA Director Patricia Fumerton convened a two-day conference at the Huntington Library, "Living English Broadside Ballads, 1500-1700: Song, Art, Dance, Culture." The program featured experts on English broadside ballad culture from universities worldwide! The conference was generously funded by the Huntington's William French Smith Endowment, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Logan, the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, UC Santa Barbara, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

View selected highlights from the conference, including ballads being sung and played, on YouTube, and view the songbook to follow along!

Download the conference program brochure here.

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 4, 2014
8:30 Registration and Coffee
9:30 Welcome: Steve Hindle (The Huntington)
Remarks: Patricia Fumerton (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Coming Alive: Archiving the Huntington Ballads”
10:00 Session 1: Anonymity and Truth
Moderator: Charlotte Becker (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Frances E. Dolan (University of California, Davis), “Mopsa’s Method: Truth Claims, Ballads, and Print”
Eric Nebeker (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Common Truths: Poetic Authority and Anonymous Voices”
12:00 Lunch, extended by "A Taste of Song"
Conductor: Katherine Brokaw (University of California, Merced)
Musicians: Leeza Bautista, Erik Bell, Caroline Bennet, Cristina Lord, Christopher Marsh, Lucie Skeaping, Bruce Smith
2:00 Session 2: Music and Performance
Moderator: Matthew Smith (Azusa Pacific University)
Bruce Smith (University of Southern California), “Putting the Ball Back in Ballads”
Angela McShane (Victoria & Albert Museum), “‘How happy the State where no discords are breeding’: Disharmony and 17th-Century ‘Politopop’”
Lucie Skeaping (BBC, London) and Roger Clegg (De Montfort University), “‘Getting Jiggy With It’: Recuperating the Theatrical in Dialogue Ballads and Dramatic Jigs on the Early Modern Stage”
Saturday, April 5, 2014
8:30 Registration and Coffee
9:00 Session 3: Communities of Ballads
Moderator: Kristen McCants Forbes (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Adam Fox (University of Edinburgh), “Jockey and Jenny: English Broadside Ballads and the Invention of Scottishness”
Mark Hailwood (St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford), “The Honest Tradesman’s Honour: Occupational Identity in English Broadside Ballads”
Exhibit: Huntington Broadside Ballads and Woodcuts (in the Floralegium)
Interpreter: Stephen Tabor (The Huntington)
11:30 Lunch
12:30 Session 4: Mobile Pictures
Moderator: Julia Reinhard Lupton (University of California, Irvine)
Megan Palmer (University of California, Santa Barbara), “The Persistence of Meme-ory: Imitation in Ballad Illustration”
Christopher Marsh (Queen’s University, Belfast), “Woodcuts and their Wanderings in Early Modern England”
2:30 Break
2:45 Session 5: The Preservation of Ballads in a Digital Age
Moderator: Heidi Brayman Hackel (University of California, Riverside)
Michael Heaney (Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford), “A New Tune for an Old Ditty: Ballads on the Web”
Carl Stahmer (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Ballad Sheet Forensics, Preservation, and the Digital Archive”
4:45 Conclusion: Patricia Fumerton, “Good night good people all”