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Festivals Research

Festivals Research

Welcome to the Society’s website


The Society for European Festivals Research brings together established and early-career scholars, including archivists and curators, from across Europe, the United States and more widely, engaged in Renaissance and Early Modern Festivals research. It promotes shared activities including conferences and publications and disseminates information about research developments.


The Society’s Series, European Festival Studies 1450–1700, initially published by Ashgate (2013-2017),,then appeared under the Routledge imprint of the Taylor and Francis Group (2017-2018) and from 2019 will be published by Brepols. The Series includes both monographs and edited collections stemming from SEFR conferences. The General Editors are J.R. Mulryne (Warwick), Margaret Shewring (Warwick), Margaret M McGowan (Sussex) and Marie-Claude Canova-Green (Goldsmiths, London). For further details see:


Membership of the Society is available without fee to interested scholars via this website, or by entering ‘Society for European Festivals Research’ in your browser. We currently have more than 200 members across a range of countries and academic disciplines.

For further details about the Society, click here


CfP: 'Celebrations, Communities and Performances: festival occasions in Coventry and the surrounding region from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries and their legacy'

Call for Papers for a conference to celebrate Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021 (May 2021–April 2022). This conference will see the Society for European Festivals Research (SEFR) collaborate with academics, curators, independent researchers, industry professionals, students, and community groups for a three-day conference, on ‘Celebrations, Communities and Performances: festival occasions in Coventry and the surrounding region from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries and their legacy.’ The Conference will take place from 20 April to 22 April 2022. Cfp deadline 31 January 2022. 

CfP: 'Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683)'

The Centre for Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London, in collaboration with the Society for European Festivals Research, are pleased to announce a call for papers for their conference on 'Spectacular Orientalism in Early Modern Europe (1529-1683)'. The conference will be held on 24-25 February 2022, via Zoom. Deadline 29 October 2021.


On 17th April 2020, the 385th anniversary of the Joyous Entry of Cardinal-Infant Ferdinand of Spain into Antwerp, which had taken place on this day in 1635. This conference had originally been planned to mark the anniversary. This event, which includes a number of SEFR members among the speakers, was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020 at the Rubenianum in Antwerp and has been postponed. Now, due to the dynamic situation of the Covid-19-pandemic, the two-day conference will take place in a digital format. DATE: 10 and 11 December 2020, 15:30 - 18:40

Individuele bezoekers

This event brings together the leading scholars of this field of art and ritual history whose contributions have made it possible to gain a deeper understanding of the early modern festivities held in the Netherlands to assert and negotiate power between the ruler and the ruled. Together with (young) colleagues and specialists from adjacent disciplines, we aim to discuss the challenges and opportunities of studying such significant moments in history. Full details of the programme are available at Please register for the conference via email to and to receive further information and access to the event.

Call for Journal Articles: Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts

Donatella Gavrilovich has invited Margaret Shewring to co-edit, with Silvia Carandini and Leila Zammar, the 2020 issue of the journal Arti dello Spettacolo / Performing Arts. The issue will be titled Performance and Spectacle in Early Modern Europe and is intended as a tribute to Ronnie Mulryne. Please do consider offering an article. It will be a great way not only to celebrate Ronnie’s contribution to Festival Studies but, of course, to make the cross-disciplinary study of festivals more widely known. Full details here

Professor J. R. (Ronnie) Mulryne (1937–2019)

Dear SEFR Friends and Colleagues

It is with great sadness that we write to let you know that J.R. (Ronnie) Mulryne died on Monday 28 January. He had become increasingly unwell in the past two months and, although he remained mentally alert, his body had become very frail as the cancer had spread and the treatments became more difficult to cope with. He died at home in his sleep. Full obituary here


Substantial collections of Renaissance and Early Modern festival books