Enfilade

Call for Papers | CSECS 2018, Niagara Falls

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 20, 2017

From the Call for Papers, which includes the full French version:

CSECS, 2018: Wonder / L’émerveillement
Four Points Sheraton, Niagara Falls, Canada, 10–13 October 2018

Organized by Christina Ionescu and Christina Smylitopoulos 

Proposals for panels and workshops due by 5 January; proposals for papers due by 20 February

The 2018 annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies will take place at Niagara Falls, Ontario. Comprised of three distinct cascades that monumentally culminate to drain Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls occupies a significant place in eighteenth-century contemplations of natural wonder. When confronted with the unparalleled sight of a “vast and prodigious cadence of water,” the mesmerised Franciscan missionary Louis Hennepin (1626–1704) attempted to capture “this wonderful downfall” with both text and image in his travelogue, and his account had a long-lasting effect on how Niagara Falls was perceived in the following centuries. Niagara Falls, today considered one of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world, was more often imagined than visited during the Enlightenment years, when wonder-seekers relied upon the accounts of travellers who had experienced firsthand this natural masterpiece. During the Enlightenment, this preoccupation with the wonder of nature can be tied to engagements with wonder more generally. Despite Samuel Johnson’s disdain for wonder as “the effect of novelty upon ignorance,” contemporaneous writers, artists, thinkers, historians, travellers, and scientists sought to seize and understand this feeling of surprise mixed with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable, which manifested itself across a broad spectrum of human experience and creative output.

This conference organizers invite papers that consider wonder as deployed, depicted, and discussed in a range of contexts: Enlightenment thought, natural science treatises, religious works, cultures of collecting, historical accounts, literary texts, visual production, as well as travel narratives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• the theorisation of wonder as a concept
• the wonder of everyday life and material culture
• the cultivation of (or scepticism toward) wonder in Enlightenment thought
• spectacle and spectatorship in visual representation and culture
• artistry and wonder
• narrative strategies and rhetorical devices for producing wonder
• wonder as an affective response or aesthetic experience
• wonder and scientific knowledge
• wonder and its miraculous manifestations
• collections displaying wondrous thing

In keeping with CSECS tradition, proposals for papers devoted to elements of the long eighteenth century not directly related to the general theme of the conference are also welcome. Individual proposals should include a 150-word abstract of the paper and its title, as well as a biographical statement including the presenter’s name, academic status, institutional affiliation, and e-mail address. Panel proposals should include the above, as well as a brief description of the panel itself. Participants can present in either English or French. An issue of the Society’s bilingual journal, Lumen, will feature a selection of revised proceedings from this conference. Deadline to submit proposals for panels and integrated workshops: January 5, 2018. Deadline to submit individual proposals: February 20, 2018. Proposals should be emailed to csecs2018@yahoo.com.

Invited Speakers
Nathalie Ferrand (École Normale Supérieure / Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes, Paris)
Sandro Jung (Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel)
Sarah Tindal Kareem (University of California, Los Angeles)

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