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History of the Society for Neo-Latin Studies




The Society for Neo-Latin Studies (UK & Ireland) was set up in September 2004 and formally established in April 2005, mainly through the initiative of Philip Ford, Professor of French and Neo-Latin Literature at Cambridge, with the aim of the Society being the promotion of an interest in all disciplines in which Neo-Latin served as a principal means of communication. Professor Ford’s intent was for a national society growing out of the Cambridge Society for Neo-Latin Studies (CSNLS) that would have a broader reach than the local society and that would enable the securing of funding for workshops and conferences, and facilitate a connection to other national and international organisations, such as the Classical Association in the UK and the International Association of Neo-Latin Studies (IANLS). The SNLS would thus exist on a par with the other national Neo-Latin societies that had come into existence by that time.

Ann Moss, emerita Professor of French at Durham, was the Society’s first President. An Executive Committee to run the Society was set up, and the first AGM took place in Cambridge in September 2005. Subsequently, in autumn 2005 and spring 2006, a website was set up under the aegis of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick and the logo of the cornucopia was selected. Development of the website continued rapidly in 2007, thanks to the work of Ingrid De Smet, Sarah Knight and Victoria Moul, who set up pages designed to assist in the teaching of Neo-Latin: the Instrumenta didactica (a list of online teaching resources) and an anthology of Neo-Latin texts. Since 2020, the website anthology has been complemented and the availability of texts expanded in print by the Neo-Latin series published by Bloomsbury, with which the SNLS is closely connected. The website continues to announce and promote the activities of the Society, and the President of the Society now sends out a quarterly newsletter to members by email. Since 2019 the website has also included Neo-Latin podcasts.

From 2006, the SNLS began to undertake the organization of workshops and conferences, beginning in September of that year with a workshop on ‘Teaching Post-Classical Latin and Latin to Non-Classicists’ held at Clare College, Cambridge. During the period 2008– 2010 many of the Society’s events moved to London, largely due to the change of officers and the efforts of Victoria Moul and Gesine Manuwald in teaching a Neo-Latin module for the London MA, which generated much interest in the field and attracted students to the SNLS. In 2008 the SNLS Annual General Meeting and lecture began to be held in London, first at the Warburg Institute, then at King’s College London. Since 2014 this event has been held at various historical venues and points of interest in the city, including at the Middle Temple, the Museum of London and Westminster School. At the same time, the Society continues to run events across the UK and Ireland, including in Birmingham, Galway, Manchester and Oxford, and the Executive Committee has members from across the UK and Ireland.

The SNLS has created a tradition of making particular provision for graduate students and early career scholars; since 2008 it has placed an emphasis on activities tailored for this group. The Society normally hosts two events addressed to this constituency annually, one with a more ‘practical’ (i.e. workshop-based) and interactive focus (on research skills, editing, publication, navigating a career, etc.) and one with an emphasis on research papers; these meetings were later named after a key figure in founding the SNLS, Philip Ford (SNLS Philip Ford Annual Postgraduate Days). Moreover, in 2015 the Society instituted an essay prize for PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers, since 2018 named after the first President, Ann Moss, to honour her activities on behalf of the Society and especially her support for junior scholars. For 2022 a prize for final-year undergraduates was added. In the 2010s the Society’s Executive Committee was expanded to create spaces for representatives of postgraduate students and early career researchers. Moreover, in order to support this group, the SNLS co-operates closely with the Warwick Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, the Warburg Institute and University College Cork.

In 2010 the SNLS became officially affiliated with the IANLS – meaning that SNLS representatives would attend the two meetings of the Advisory Board held during the triennial IANLS congress – thus confirming the presence of the SNLS on the international scene. Indeed, SNLS conferences, normally organized every three to four years on specific Neo-Latin topics, now regularly attract speakers and attendees from the Continent and America (e.g. 2013: Theatrum Mundi conference, Oxford; 2017: CSNLS/SNLS conference ‘Neo-Latin Literary Perspectives on Britain and Ireland, 1520–1670’, Churchill College, Cambridge; 2021: ‘Baroque Latinity’, online, originally to be held at Churchill College, Cambridge, in 2020). At the same time the Society has expanded its public engagement activities in recent years, for instance by school talks, liaising with libraries and archives as well as participation in festivals for the general public.

Jacqueline Glomski, with thanks to Ingrid De Smet, Sarah Knight, Gesine Manuwald, Victoria Moul and Andrew Taylor




Presidents: Ann Moss, 2005–2008; Sarah Knight, 2008–2014; Gesine Manuwald, 2014–present

Vice-Presidents: Jacqueline Glomski, 2005–2007; Sarah Knight, 2007–2008; Victoria Moul, 2008–2018; Jacqueline Glomski, 2018–present

Secretaries: Andrew Taylor, 2005–2015; Paul White, 2015–present

Treasurers: Ingrid De Smet, 2005–2015; Luke Houghton 2015–2017; Lucy Nicholas, 2017–present

Website administrators: Ingrid De Smet, 2005–2006; Demmy Verbeke, 2006–2007; Maude Vanhaelen, 2007–2015; Máté Vince, 2015–2017; Bobby Xinyue, 2017–2021; Iván Parga Ornelas, 2021–2024; Alex Tadel, 2024–present




2010 KCL: Gesine Manuwald, ‘Thomas Campion (1567–1620): a look at his Elizabethan poetry and its classical basis’

2011 KCL: Stephen Harrison, ‘George Buchanan: The Scottish Horace’

2012 UCL: Maude Vanhaelen, ‘Renaissance scholars and their demons: on Ficino and Iamblichus’ De Mysteriis’

2013 KCL: Roger P.H. Green, ‘The Poetry of George Buchanan 1973–2023’

2014 The Shard (‘Warwick in London’): Catarina Fouto, ‘Horace, Prudentius and Buchanan in Jacobus Tevius’s Epodon libri tres (1565): Classical and Christian Letters in Counter-Reformation Portugal'

2015 Middle Temple Library, Inns of Court: Hugh Adlington, ‘John Donne’s Latin Books: ‘Per Rachel ho seruito & non per Lea’

2016 Museum of London: Victoria Moul, ‘Latin Poetry and the Fire of London’

2017 Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: Martin Wiggins / Elizabeth Sandis, ‘Dramatic Discoveries: ‘New’ Plays of the English Renaissance’

2018 Westminster School: Sarah Knight, ‘Surge, age surge: the Latin Writing of London Students’

2019 St George’s Church Bloomsbury: David McOmish, ‘Reconstruction the Library of a Neo-Latinist: Adam King’s Scientific and Classical Books’

2020 online: Jan Papy, ‘The Dangers of Philosophy: from Lipsius the Humanist Scholar to Lipsius the Neostoic’

2021 online: Jan Bloemendal, ‘Erasmus as a Theologian and a Paraphraser: A Comparison of the Paraphrase on Luke and the Paraphrase on John

2022 John Barclay Conference (Scottish House): Stefan Tilg, ‘Barclay and the roman-à-clef: his relation to the tradition and his impact’

2023 Swedenborg House: Paul White, ‘Elegy’s Past, and Futures’

2024 Cambridge, Trinity College