Stories from the birthing room

Event Date: 
18 May 2017

Early Modern Arts Week events at Birkbeck

London Renaissance Seminar

3pm-8.30pm, Room G04, 43 Gordon Square


What happened in the early modern birthing room? Though the scene of birth is often understood as secret, a surprising number of texts tell us its story. Exploring material from Mary Tudor and Jane Seymour to the plays of Margaret Cavendish and the testimony of vagrant women, this event involves a seminar and a performed reading.


3pm-5pm Seminar. Speakers: Leah Astbury, Isabel Davis, Adrian Wilson, Susan Wiseman


5-6 Break


6-8 Stories from the Birthing Room and Round Table.


Scripted and directed by Emma Whipday (UCL), actors perform writings from seventeenth-century courtrooms, plays and songs to disclose how women understood birth.


Round Table with the director, Emma Whipday, the actors and the academics who supplied the texts – Laura Gowing (Kings College) Birkbeck’s Isabel Davis and Sue Wiseman.