The Tide Project News
Oct 5 2020

Join us for two evening sessions (5-6.30pm) on 9 & 11 November 2020 

Register here 

In an age of geographic discoveries and colonisation, easier communication, and international trade growing steadily from the mid-16th century, England gradually established itself as an Atlantic and global power, as a prelude to the formation of the British empire. English records of this era of expansion offer multiple examples of linguistic contacts with the wider world, with translations, lexical borrowings, and records of multilingual exchanges between travellers and the peoples they encountered. 

These two online evening seminar sessions, jointly organised by TIDE (University of Oxford, ERC) and LARCA (University of Paris, CNRS), aim at exploring some of the practices and strategies underpinning polyglot encounters in travel accounts produced or read in England. Drawing on linguistic, lexicographic, literary and historical methodologies, we will look into some of the contexts and significances of these textual contact zones. Particular attention will be paid to uses of polyglossia in processes of identity construction, defining and promoting national or imperial agendas, appropriating and assimilating foreign linguistic capital, or meeting resistance and limits from linguistic and cultural others refusing to lend themselves to subaltern status. 

The event is supported by ERC-TIDE (Oxford), the “Early Modernities” seminar of LARCA (UMR 8225, CNRS, University of Paris), the “Translation and Polyglossia” project (Université Paris Nanterre & Institut Universitaire de France), IHRIM (UMR 5317, CNRS, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon), and the EMRC (University of Reading). 


Andrew Hadfield (University of Sussex): “The Madoc Legend, Language and Race at the Dawn of The First British Empire” 

Sarah Knight (University of Leicester): “‘Their Garments variegate like ye fishes in ye Euxine sea’: fashion, languages and perceptions of the Ottoman world at the early modern English universities” 

Donatella Montini (University of Sapienza Rome): “Travel and Translation in John Florio’s Two Navigations “ 

Matthew Dimmock (University of Sussex): “Ylyaoute! English Engagements with the ‘Strange Tongues’ of the Far North” 

Oct 5 2020

Ladan Niayesh is Professor of Early Modern Studies at the Université de Paris and a member of the LARCA research centre (UMR 8225, CNRS). She will be a Visiting Fellow at Exeter College over Michaelmas term 2020. Her research focuses on early modern travel writings and travel plays in English, with a special interest in travels to Muscovy and Persia. Her latest book-length publications include Three Romances of Eastern Conquest (MUP, 2018) and Eastern Resonances in Early Modern England: Receptions and Transformations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Her forthcoming projects are a co-edition, with Kurosh Meshkat and Alasdair MacDonald, of documents related to the diplomatic missions of the Sherley brothers to and from the Sophy of Persia (contracted to the Hakluyt Society), and a monograph on Models of Race and Empire in Early English Accounts of Russians and Tatars (contracted to CUP). For the TIDE project, she will be organising this Autumn a set of online seminar sessions on “Polyglot encounters in early modern English narratives of distant travels”.

Sep 10 2020
Porcelain tea caddy painted in underglaze blue, Qing dynasty, c18th century. Photo © World Museum/National Museums Liverpool.

We are delighted to share ‘From Silk Roads to Tudor Ships: Poetry and Porcelain Dream-Worlds’, a collaboration between the World Museum and the TIDE project (Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, 1550 –1700). Our partnership brings curators, academic researchers, poets, filmmakers, and students together in a creative project that illuminates the histories of museum objects and their connection to contemporary issues of identity and belonging. This partnership will culminate in the permanent redisplay of the World Museum’s pre-modern Chinese ceramics in the World Cultures gallery, providing an immersive museum experience that threads the ceramics’ places of origin and migrations to their presence in the gallery. From the furnaces in Fujian, China to the cabinets of Renaissance Europe, and finally to the museum itself, these travelling porcelains connect us to global and historical currents.

Apr 24 2020

'Wither would you go? What country/should give you harbour…?

Based on TIDE and Runnymede Trust's pioneering Beacon Fellowship, this course material draws on the TIDE project’s Keywords essays to offer support for educators looking to teach migration, race, and identity, and to diversify their approaches to the National Curriculum. This mini course is concerned with how we incorporate a history of cross-cultural identities and a history of human mobility into the national story, drawing on material from the sixteenth and seventeenth century. It is our contention that this era is critical to understanding colonialism and its legacies. This was the time when the English first began to extend their authority over territories and peoples beyond the British Isles. Many of the ideas around civility, empire, citizenship, and race that underpinned subsequent colonial projects were first debated under the Tudors and Stuarts. As we explain below, each Reading Pack builds on several of our TIDE: Keywords essays, clustered in four themes: Belonging, Outsiders, Perceptions, and Empire.

We believe that developing conversations in schools about migration and transcultural identities – including the possibilities of being a ‘third thing’, belonging neither to one culture or another, but a mixture of them based on personal experiencing and adaptation – is integral to understanding our history and who we are today. We hope these resources can assist teachers who face the task of moving their teaching to online platforms and devising alternatives to school trips to museums and historic properties to engage with issues of cultural heritage and identity.

Each Reading Pack in this 4-part mini-course centres on one or more keywords, most of them terms of identification or categorization that offers a prism through which to explore key ideas around citizenship, belonging, and colonial/imperial legacies. Alongside the TIDE Keywords essays that address those specific terms, you will find a cluster of historical and literary excerpts, with brief explanatory headnotes. These can be used to spark conversations, open up debates, and prompt further activities or assignments.

Jan 23 2020

We warmly invite you to two events on Wednesday 29 January, both of which will be held at the FitzHugh Auditorium in the Cohen Quadrangle (Exeter College) on Walton Street.

TIDE seminar: Anglo-Iberian Exchanges


Popery, rumours, and a royal palace: our first TIDE seminar of term on the theme of ‘Anglo-Iberian Exchanges’ will feature papers by Ana Sáez-Hidalgo and Berta Cano Echevarría from the University of Valladolid, with Cecilia Tarruell (Oriel College) and Stephanie Cavanaugh (Exeter College) as discussants. Refreshments will be served. See the here for more details.

TIDE Annual Report and book launch


Join us as we celebrate the launch of TIDE's third annual report, and Lauren Working's newly-published book, The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis (Cambridge University Press, 2020). This event will be followed by a wine reception.

We hope to see you at one or both events!

Wednesday, 29 January, at the FitzHugh Auditorium, Exeter College, Cohen Quad, Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2HE

Dec 12 2019

We are delighted to announce that this year’s TIDE Visiting Writer is Dr Preti Taneja. Preti teaches writing in prisons and holds an honorary fellowship at Jesus College, Cambridge. From 2017-2019 she was a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at Warwick University and in 2019 was the UNESCO Fellow in Prose Fiction at the University of East Anglia. Her novel We That Are Young (Galley Beggar Press) won the 2018 Desmond Elliot Prize for the UK’s best debut of the year. It was also listed for a number of other awards, including the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, the Folio Prize, and the Prix Jan Michalski. It has since been published into several languages. One of the subjects Preti wishes to explore during her time on the project is what we mean by ‘self-translation’ in the early modern period, the process undergone when people move across borders and boundaries, physical and conceptual, visible and invisible. To keep up to date with Preti’s work with TIDE, be sure to follow @ERC_TIDE on Twitter.

Oct 14 2019

TIDE is pleased to invite you to its first Oxford seminar and the first Early Modern English Literature Seminar of 2019/2020. The seminar will take place on 15 October at the T.S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College at 17:15.

This round-table session will discuss some of TIDE’s research into keywords and a few of the case studies that help to illuminate our fragmented understanding of cultural difference, transculturality, and the idea of ‘betweenness’ in the early modern period. TIDE: Keywords, including Agent, Alien, Ambassador, Broker, Denizen, Exile, Heathen, Interpreter, Mahometan, Savage, Settler, Spy, Stranger, Subject, Traitor, Translator, Traveller, and Turk (among others), can be found here:

More information can be found here:

Oct 9 2019

Join our very own Professor Nandini Das at the 31st SEDERI (Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies) Conference held in La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), on 6-8 May 2020.

The Conference theme is "Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England" and invites re-examinations of literal and figural representations of hells and heavens, from places to states, including conditions of supreme suffering or bliss. The Conference also aims at scrutinising divides and liminal sites in which antithetical agents associated with decadence and innovation emerged, coexisted, collided, overlapped, blended and reshaped transformative factors in early modern English society, its language, literature and culture.

For more information download the CFP here

Sep 11 2019

After three lively years at the University of Liverpool, TIDE will be moving at the end of the month to its new home at the University of Oxford.

Although we’re leaving, we are looking forward to continuing our collaborations with friends and colleagues at the University of Liverpool, the School of the Arts, the Centre for New and International Writing, the Everyman Theatre and National Museums Liverpool. At the same time, our move to Oxford is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the project and the team. We are looking forward to starting the new academic year and making contact with old and new friends at Exeter College, the English Faculty, and TORCH.

We look forward to seeing you in Oxford at a TIDE event soon!

Jul 2 2019

The TIDE Project (University of Liverpool) and the leading race equality think tank, The Runnymede Trust, have today published a report calling on the government to make the teaching of migration, belonging, and Empire, mandatory in secondary schools, and to provide teachers with the practical support and resources necessary to equip them to teach these topics sensitively and effectively.

The National Curriculum explicitly calls for pupils to be taught ‘tolerance’, as part of the British values agenda. It calls for young people to understand their own and others’ cultures ‘as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain’, in which ‘they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity’. Teaching the long, diverse, often-fraught history of migration, belonging, and empire would help to achieve this. To adequately prepare students to be tolerant, confident citizens, these topics must be understood as integral both to our history and to the richness of British culture. All children and young people need to feel a sense of belonging, and understand their identities. Migration and empire are not marginal events, neither are they of interest only to specific communities within British society. They are central to a shared national story, and as it stands, the story we are telling is incomplete.

The report Teaching Migration, Belonging, and Empire in Secondary Schools, is based on extensive discussions with teachers, exam boards, and educators, and draws on TIDE and Runnymede's innovative 12-week TIDE Beacon Fellowship programme to support secondary school teachers actively engaged in teaching migration, belonging, and empire.

The full report is now available here. It explains why teaching migration, belonging, and empire matters. It outlines what is currently available on the curriculum and what is missing. It assesses the barriers teachers face in grappling with sensitive topics. Finally, it gives recommendations for change so that we can address the gaps in the curriculum for the benefit of students of all backgrounds.

Dawn Butler MP, is hosting and chairing a panel discussion in Parliament on Thursday, July 4 on the findings of the TIDE-Runnymede report and how the teaching of migration and Empire can be expanded and improved in schools.

Jun 16 2019

What place does “civilised debate” have in today’s political climate?

Do ideas of civility hark back to colonial ideas of “civilising savages”?

TIDE visiting writer Nikesh Shukla joins Nish Kumar, Priyamvada Gopal, and Hussein Kesvani in Waterstones Piccadilly for a discussion on the merits of civilised debates, and whether absolutes can ever lead to nuanced conversation.

Nish Kumar is a critically-acclaimed comedian. He is the host of The Mash Report on BBC Two, co-host of The Bugle podcast and the Netflix series Joel & Nish Vs The World, and makes regular appearances on panel shows including Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, and QI.

Priyamvada Gopal is University Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge and Fellow Churchill College. She is the author of Literary Radicalism in India and The Indian English Novel. Her latest work Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent upsets received views to show how rebellious colonies changed British attitudes to empire.

Hussein Kesvani is a journalist, editor and producer. He is the Europe editor of MEL Magazine, and has written for BuzzFeed, Vice, The Guardian, the New Statesman and The Spectator. He is the author of Follow Me, Akhi: The Online World of British Muslims, a rich exploration of the world of memes and influencers, Muslim dating apps, and alt-right Islamophobes that considers how a new generation of young Muslims growing up with the internet are using social media to determine their religious identity on their own terms.

Nikesh Shukla is a social commentator, critically-acclaimed author, and ERC-TIDE's visiting writer for 2018-19. He novels include Coconut Unlimited, which was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010, Meatspace, The One Who Wrote Destiny, and Run, Riot. He edited The Good Immigrant, co-edited The Good Immigrant USA, and continues to edit The Good Journal. In 2017, he co-founded The Good Literary Agency to increase opportunities for under-represented writers.

Please join the TIDE team for what promises to be a fantastic evening of discussion. For more information download poster here.

Tickets available here.

Apr 24 2019

Victoria Gallery & Museum - Leggate Theatre | University of Liverpool

Wednesday, 1 May 2019 from 17:00 to 19:00pm

Movement, Place and Meaning is the first of an annual series of public lectures presented by the School of the Arts at the University of Liverpool. The lectures showcase the research of the School and its relevance to the wider world. This year’s theme responds to urgent issues of our time that the Arts can help us better understand.

Professor Nandini Das from the Department of English presents 'The Stranger at the Door'. Strangers were everywhere in Tudor England. They sometimes crop up on the stage in the 1580s and 90s, in the guise of Jews and Turks and the occasional blackamoors and Indians. At the same time, English life and culture was being transformed by the first and second-generation continental Europeans who settled in Tudor England in large numbers. This lecture, part of a larger project about perceptions of identity, mobility, and belonging in sixteenth and seventeenth century England, examines Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors against the backdrop of such dramatic predecessors and contemporary social and legal discourses about 'strangers', 'foreigners', and 'aliens'. How did you identify one? How long did one remain a stranger? And what happened when the stranger entered your everyday world, when ‘strangeness’, to borrow Geoffrey Hill’s evocative phrase, turned into ‘strange likeness’?

Please register your attendance here

The lecture will be followed by wine and nibbles.

All welcome!

Mar 6 2019

Thu 14 Mar 2019, £5, includes free drink on arrival, EVERYMAN BISTRO

Join the award-winning author Nikesh Shukla (The Good Immigrant), comedians Robin Ince and Josie Long and researchers from the University of Liverpool’s TIDE project for a conversation about identity, humour, and Englishness.

Playing on differences of culture and language has long been a mainstay of British comedy and debates about national identity, from the writings of second-generation migrants living in Elizabethan England to Fawlty Towers. At the heart of it all is the question of voice.

Who has a right to express themselves? Who is prevented from doing so? How does the subversive nature of comedy give space to these debates? Accents become battlegrounds for a range of social, cultural, and political concerns, magnified by innovations in social media from the first printing presses to Twitter.

Come along and revel in comedy's recklessness, power, and ability to probe our sense of belonging and identity, with some of the leading voices in comedy today.

Bookings available here.

Feb 12 2019

TIDE is pleased to invite you to its spring seminar on Monday, 25 March at 16:30 at the University of Liverpool's Campus in London.

Join us to hear William O'Reilly (University of Cambridge) on ‘"Soul Sellers". Migrant Recruiters, Traffickers and the Trade in Strangers in Europe and America in the 17th and 18th Centuries’ and Oliver Finnegan (Prize Papers Project/Carl von Ossietzky University), 'Conceptions of Piracy in Early Modern England' (see attached poster).

All are welcome. Tea and coffee will be served.

Monday, 25 March (16:30), at The University of Liverpools Campus, 33 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AG.

Register here.
Nov 16 2018
TIDE: Keywords is currently under maintenance, but will be back soon. Watch this space!
Sep 27 2018

TIDE is pleased to invite you to its first seminar of this academic year on Thursday, 1 November at 12:30 at The Old Library.

Join us to hear Marion Wynne-Davis (University of Surrey) on ‘Margaret Cavendish as Traveller: gender, geography and The Blazing World’ (see attached poster).

All are welcome. Tea and coffee will be served; guests are invited to bring sandwiches to this lunchtime seminar.

Thursday, 1 November (12:30), at The Old Library, School of Arts, University of Liverpool, 19-23 Abercromby Square.

May 21 2018

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for our summer conference in London On Belonging: English Conceptions of Migration and Transculturality, 1550 – 1700’ which will take place at the London Campus of the University of Liverpool between 26 and 28 July 2018.

Download a #Onbelonging programme here!

Confirmed speakers include: Marina Warner, Raingard Esser, Katy Gibbons, Imtiaz Habib, Claire Jowitt, Beverley Lemire, Gerald MacLean, Angela McShane, Sarah Knight, Barbara Ravelhofer, Edmond Smith

Register here

May 14 2018

Join researchers from the School of Arts, University of Liverpool under the moon for a series of short performances about early modern fantastic voyages. In collaboration with the University of Liverpool Players, costumed actors will enliven historical documents written by Renaissance writers including Shakespeare. These dramatic readings of journeys involving exploration and moon topographies explore humankind’s curiosity about the unknown, and how our imaginations and aspirations shape our creative self-expression.

Performance includes extracts from the following texts: William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600) and the Merchant of Venice (1600), Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590), Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations (1599), Elizabeth I’s Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh (1584), Ben Jonson’s News From the New World Discovered in the Moon (1621), and Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moon (1638).

This programme is based on the research of 'Travel, Transculturality and Identity in England, c. 1550-1700' (TIDE), a major 5-year project on English ideas of belonging and betweenness, based at the University of Liverpool and funded by the European Research Council.

Suitable for all ages.

May 8 2018

We are thrilled to announce the publication of TIDE's first major collaborative output -- the online, open access resource, TIDE: Keywords. Keywords is the product of 18 months of collaborative work by the whole TIDE team, producing 39 short essays on a selection of keyword terms covering topics related to language, Renaissance, travel, migration, religion, diplomacy, and national/cultural identity. The selection of words examined in TIDE: Keywords all reveal similarly complex histories of usage; in many cases, the concepts, preconceptions, and debates that they embody (or subsume) came to play seminal roles in articulations of identity, rights, and power in subsequent periods. Our aim is not to settle on a single definitive description, but to illuminate precisely the complexity – and often, the multiplicity – inherent in the usage of these terms in early modern English. Each essay and citation of usage offered here emphasises the fact that the terms in question share a certain slipperiness, that they are altered, revised and transformed repeatedly by multiple imperatives. TIDE: Keywords will continue to be a work in progress throughout the duration of the project, with new examples and interrogations added as fresh material emerges through our collective research.

Apr 25 2018

Join us and Professor Sylvia Adamson (University of Sheffield) on 9 May for the launch of TIDE's open access keyword resource and an informal lunch time talk (bring your own sandwiches) on ‘Ideology and Language-change 1500-1800: Literary and Linguistic perspectives’.

Sylvia Adamson is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Sheffield and TIDE Visiting Fellow for 2018. She has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Virginia and Naples and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford and Cambridge. She is considered the UK’s leading exponent of historical stylistics and has contributed to the Cambridge History of the English Language. Her published works include Reading Shakespeare’s Dramatic Language (Arden, 2001) and Renaissance Figures of Speech (Cambridge University Press, 2007). She is also contributing to updating Raymond William’s pioneering Keywords (Keywords for Today, Oxford University Press, in press), and is an advisor for TIDE: Keywords.

Mar 28 2018
Thursday April 12, 18:00-19:45, Everyman Theatre - Liverpool
This workshop, jointly hosted by the University of Liverpool’s TIDE project and the Runnymede Trust, offers an opportunity for KS3 teachers of all disciplines to think more about how to engage students with the study of Britain’s rich and diverse migration history.

The 'Travel, Tranculturality and Identity in Early Modern England, c. 1550-1700' (TIDE) project, an interdisciplinary, ERC-funded project at the University of Liverpool’s School of the Arts, considers questions of cultural assimilation and social cohesion, recurring themes in public and academic discourse as we face a seemingly unprecedented movement of peoples across the globe. The Runnymede Trust is the UK’s leading independent think tank on race equality and race relations. The Trust has extensive experience in working with schools and examination boards on related issues, with highly commended HEI partnerships working within the area of migration.

The aims of this workshop are twofold:
- to provide a forum in which KS3 teachers can informally learn from subject specialists about new spaces opening up in the national curriculum for the study of migration in Britain; to hear directly from academics about cutting-edge research on transculturality, movement and migration in Britain; and to discover creative ways of engaging with original source materials in the classroom.  
- to foster discussion and collectively identify areas in the curriculum where teachers can engage KS3 students with questions of travel, mobility, identity, cross-cultural encounters and difference. Possibilities might range from History and Literature, to Drama, Modern Languages, RE, Geography, and Art and Design.

From these discussions, we will develop school resources on early modern migration and belonging across multiple areas for the new GCSE modules on migration. As such, we are keen that teachers use this opportunity to tell us exactly what types of material would be most useful to them as they tackle these important but sometimes challenging, topics in the classroom.

All teachers will receive £20.00 in Amazon vouchers for their participation. Refreshments will be provided.
KS3 teachers of all subject areas are welcome to attend, but places are limited.

To register your interest, please email with your name, subject, and institution

Feb 19 2018

TIDE is excited to announce that the award winning author Nikesh Shukla shall be joining TIDE as our 2018-19 writer in residence. Nikesh has authored three books and his latest work, The One Who Wrote Destiny comes out in Spring 2018. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2010. His second novel Meatspace was released to critical acclaim in 2014. Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Observer, Independent, and BBC2, LitHub, Guernica and BBC Radio 4, among others. Nikesh is also the editor the bestselling essay collection, The Good Immigrant. He was one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Global Thinkers and The Bookseller's 100 most influential people in publishing in 2016 and in 2017, and is the co-founder of the literary journal, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency.

Jan 31 2018

We are very pleased to announce that the eminent novelist, historian, and mythographer Dame Marina Warner will deliver a public lecture at TIDE’s July conference ‘On Belonging: English Conceptions of Migration and Transculturality, 1550 – 1700’ (26-28 July 2018).

We hope you had received our earlier call for papers. If not, please find attached an updated CfP with these and some other exciting news about our conference.

Details of the conference and a link to the Call for Papers can also be found here

Dec 15 2017

Call for Papers: ‘On Belonging: English Conceptions of Migration and Transculturality, 1550 – 1700’, 26 - 28 July 2018

London Campus, University of Liverpool, 33 Finsbury Square EC2A 1AG

How did early modern processes of global exchange influence English identity? How did the movement of peoples, objects, and ideas across the globe shape English concepts of self and belonging, both at home and abroad? Join the ERC-funded ‘Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, 1550 – 1700’ (TIDE) project to explore these questions through a three-day interdisciplinary conference in summer 2018.

Download Call for Papers here.

Public Lecture

Dame Marina Warner

Confirmed Speakers

Raingard Esser

Katy Gibbons

Imtiaz Habib

Claire Jowitt

Beverley Lemire

Gerald MacLean

Angela McShane

Sarah Knight

Barbara Ravelhofer

Edmond Smith

Nov 29 2017

Lauren has received a grant for a short-term residency at the Anthropology Library in the British Museum next spring, where she will be one of two RAI fellows for the upcoming year. Her research will focus on gaining a deeper anthropological understanding of Native American material culture, to better understand the role of indigenous objects in shaping discourses about Englishness and empire in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. How can historians learn to 'see' and interpret the indigenous artefacts that individuals collected, appropriated, and brought back to England, particularly in ways that restore greater agency to Native Americans and their systems of belief and knowledge-transmission beyond texts? How can the more nuanced study of Algonquian and Tupí artefacts - their colours, natural properties, and the technical production of pearls, shells, fur, and feathers - and the way the English used these objects shed light on early modern civility and consumption? The longer-term aim will be to link these initial encounters and artefacts to the afterlives of objects, encouraging greater dialogue among museums and visitors about the legacies of colonialism, and about the relationship between the Native American objects in domestic collections and national heritage. The RAI committee has commended Lauren for offering 'new perspectives on historical anthropology and the role that Native Americans and their material culture played in English people's conceptions of themselves, their nation, and their empire'.