Call for Papers | ASECS 2021, Toronto

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 22, 2020

From the Call for Papers for the conference:

2021 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference
Sheraton Centre, Toronto, 8–10 April 2021

Proposals due by 15 September 2020

Proposals for papers to be presented at the 52nd annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, in Toronto, are now being accepted. In addition to sessions newly proposed for the 2021 meeting, this Call for Papers includes sessions carried over from the (cancelled) 2020 annual meeting in St. Louis that are seeking additional presenters. Sessions carried over from St. Louis that are not part of the CFP but that will be presented in Toronto are listed here.

Proposals should be sent directly to the session chairs no later than 15 September 2020. Along with our annual business meeting, HECAA will be represented with the Anne Schroder New Scholars’ Session, chaired by Susanna Caviglia (already booked from 2020). A selection of additional sessions that might be relevant for HECAA members is included below. A full list of panels is available as a PDF file here.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The Rise of the House Museum: Domestic Curatorial Practices
Kirsten Hall (The University of Texas at Austin), kirstenahall@utexas.edu; and Teri Fickling (The University of Texas at Austin), terifickling@utexas.edu

When Elizabeth Bennet and the Gardiners are led on a tour of Pemberley by housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds, Elizabeth owns, “Mrs. Reynolds could interest her on no other point. She related the subjects of the pictures, the dimensions of the rooms, and the price of the furniture, in vain.” As the Pemberley tour proves, the rising popularity of country house tours as a leisure pursuit suggests that the gentry had become captivated by the prospect of seeing up close how others—especially the rich, powerful, or famous of the present and past—lived through their catalogues of “fine carpets and satin curtains.” On one hand, “great house” tourism shored up class hierarchies, celebrating the prestige of the aristocracy. On the other hand, the case of Mrs. Reynolds seems to show how the practices of archiving and exhibiting were increasingly open not just to the elites of clubs and universities but also to women and, to some extent, the working class. This panel invites papers that address the popularity of domestic curatorial practices in the long eighteenth century, inviting a range of interdisciplinary perspectives that may consider topics such as: collecting, curating, and housekeeping in the public vs. private spheres; the relationship between literary genres like biography, the novel, the travel guide, and the encyclopedia and house tours; taxonomic and empirical methods in the arts and sciences; tourism and secular pilgrimage; women and museums; historic preservation, antiquarianism, and historical consciousness; current scholarly practices in historicizing ordinary life in the eighteenth century; and the status of eighteenth-century historic house museums today.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Mineralogy and Artful Metamorphosis
Tara Zanardi (Hunter College), tzanardi@hunter.cuny.edu; and Christina Lindeman (University of Southern Alabama), clindeman@southalabama.edu

The burgeoning field of mineralogy in the eighteenth century not only pointed to the increase in the scientific study and mining practices of minerals, such as amethyst and emeralds, but also to their greater manipulation by artisans, architects, and artists in the creation of decorative objects, textiles, jewelry, interiors, and garden grottoes. Since antiquity humans have analyzed and contemplated minerals for their beauty, intricate structures, purported mystical and therapeutic powers, economic benefits, and spiritual and chemical properties. In the 1700s, they were avidly incorporated in elite and amateur collections and displayed in natural history cabinets, and this interest became more systematic and rigorous, aided by a constellation of institutions and governing bodies that funded expeditions and fostered scientific inquiry. This session invites papers to consider the multiple and complex roles of minerals in artistic and natural history contexts. How did the raw materials, mined at home or abroad, relate to nationalistic and imperial pursuits and the kinds of terrestrial bounty boasted by nations? How were such materials then catalogued, displayed, wielded, or molded in their new, ‘civilized’ environments? How were such natural objects sources of pleasure, instruction, wonder, spirituality, and the exotic? Ultimately, how did these minerals undergo metamorphosis in new and artful ways that embodied an individual’s or collective taste, knowledge, and identity? We also welcome papers that address the explorative methods of quarries and the labor used to extract minerals.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Colonial Matter
Kaitlin Grimes (University of Missouri-Columbia), krgxb6@mail.missouri.edu; and Danielle Ezor (Southern Methodist University), dezor@mail.smu.edu

The long eighteenth century witnessed a freer and faster movement of increasingly diverse goods around the world than had ever existed before. New objects, materials, and consumables traversed oceans and crossed over lands to serve new global marketplaces. These material goods travelled not just from or to Europe as much recent scholarship has suggested, but between global metropoles well outside of Europe, as for example between China and New Spain or India and East Africa. However, colonialism facilitated the movement of these goods, and so colonialism also marked these objects, materials, and consumables. Studies of traded materials provide a greater understanding of relations between colonizer and colonized as well as illustrate how particular materials were received and perceived in an eighteenth-century colonial context. This panel seeks to explore the connection between material culture and colonialism and to decentralize Europe as the main purveyors of these materials. Such topics could include but are not limited: colonial materials, objects used to house, contain, or exhibit colonial goods and consumables and their display; the trade and/or market of colonial goods in the long eighteenth century; and colonial interpretations of such objects and consumables. The goal of this panel is to develop an ongoing conversation on the relationship between material culture and colonialism within the long eighteenth century and how colonialism’s role in spreading objects aids in the comprehension of eighteenth-century material and visual culture.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Collecting, Antiquities, and Eighteenth-Century Art
Lauren DiSalvo (Dixie State University); lauren.disalvo@dixie.edu; and Katherine Iselin (University of Missouri), ktp.iselin@gmail.com

The influence of the Greco-Roman world permeated eighteenth-century visual and material culture following the excavations that began at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Demand for large-scale sculpture and their copies, Greek vases, and the many Neoclassical paintings that were influenced by antiquity rose in the wake of eighteenth-century excavations as collectors passionately sought such objects. Likewise, more portable souvenirs such as prints, micro-mosaics, fans, gems, and architectural models also found their way into collectors’ hands. This panel seeks papers that examine the intersections of collecting, antiquities, and eighteenth-century art. What new perspectives can be used to explore how Greco-Roman art functioned in collecting during the long eighteenth century? This panel looks to examine collecting more broadly, including collections of specific collectors, types of popular collectibles, or reworked Greco-Roman artifacts. Papers focusing on non-traditional or little-known objects and collectors are particularly welcome.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Spanish Sensorium
Elena Deanda (Washington College), edeanda2@washcoll.edu

Sensorium is the seat of sensation in the human limbic system. It receives, processes, and interprets sensory stimuli. Humans normally respond more to visual components than to other stimuli. Therefore, most of our experience knowing distant places and periods is through the visual imagination. Yet in order to fully understand the civilization and culture of another country, we need to engage with and experience elements of their environment in order to forge perceptual connections with their time and space. We are inviting scholars who are interested in ‘flipping’ the traditional conference panel and offer new approaches to knowing the eighteenth century in general and the Ibero-American eighteenth century, in particular. We propose a panel with a sensorial approach to imperial Spain and its material culture, through the stimulation of the senses, be them visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, vestibular (motion), or proprioceptive (body awareness). We welcome proposals from eighteenth century specialists on the Ibero-American history, literature, art, and materiality who work with sounds, smells, food, or physical forms both in the peninsula and/or in the Americas, and who would like to offer a sensorial experience to reduced audiences in an interactive way. This non-traditional panel will be integrated by a limited number of experiential interventions guided by a panelist who will provide a short explanatory talk.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The Visual Gothic
Kristin O’Rourke (Dartmouth College), kmo@dartmouth.edu

The burning of Notre Dame cathedral made clear how present the Gothic still is today in everyday life in Paris and throughout much of Europe: as tourist attraction, as spectacle, as nostalgia, as cultural or religious symbol. This panel strives to think about how the visual image of the Gothic impacted contemporary art and literature of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The ‘new’ Gothic fantasy of Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, Gilpin’s picturesque tours, the Troubadour style in French art, and the restoration and completion of centuries-old cathedrals, for example, demonstrate how the Gothic re-gained a hold over architecture, painting, and literature at a time of political and social change throughout Europe. Was the Gothic revival a rejection of the classicism spurred on by the Grand Tour and Napoleon’s empire, or one aspect of a nascent Romanticism? How do politics and religion figure into an aesthetic focus on the vernacular and idiosyncratic aspects of the Gothic as opposed to the universalizing rationality of the classical tradition? Can we read an anti-modern, anti-Enlightenment reaction in the art of the time, or was the Gothic just another form of exoticism?

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The Woman of Color in the Eighteenth Century
Regulus Allen (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo), rlallen@calpoly.edu; and Nicole Aljoe (Northeastern University); n.aljoe@northeastern.edu

The republication of the 1808 novel The Woman of Colour, A Tale; the debut of Belle, a film inspired by the 1779 portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle; the reissue of the 1767 text The Female American; a new edition of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s 1763 Turkish Embassy Letters; and work by scholars such as Lyndon Dominique, Felicity Nussbaum, and Sarah Salih have facilitated a greater focus on eighteenth-century representations of women of color, and have indicated that such depictions are more prevalent and complex than the criticism has previously suggested. This panel invites papers from all disciplines as we consider verbal and visual depictions of women of African, American, or Asian descent and their impact on eighteenth-century culture and society.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Visualizing the French Empire
Izabel Gass, izabel.gass@gmail.com; and Philippe Halbert (Yale University), philippe.halbert@yale.edu

In recent years, art history’s ‘global turn’ has worked to acknowledge the vital role that non- Western cultures and imperialism played in the formation of European art and material culture. This commitment to more inclusive narratives has had a pronounced impact on many fields that privilege and address eighteenth-century art and history. For example, the study of British culture in this period has in many instances been fully eclipsed by the emergence of a ‘British Atlantic World’ and a model of empire that no longer views colonies in isolation from metropolitan centers, and vice versa. This phenomenon is comparatively less pronounced among scholars of French art and those exploring the various legacies of France’s ‘first’ overseas empire, which at its height stretched from Cayenne to Québec and also included points in Africa, India, and the Indian Ocean. This panel seeks to address, and hopefully redress, this disparity as we meet in Saint Louis, founded by the French in 1764 and North America’s last French colonial settlement. We are interested in two lines of inquiry: first, historiographical and methodological papers that explore why, exactly, French visual culture (inclusive of canonical art and material culture) of the long eighteenth century has received less of a global perspective within art history; second, papers that take on this global perspective in exploring topics and themes within the visual culture of a larger, lived French colonial experience.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

The Politics of Citation (Roundtable)
Sal Nicolazzo (UCSD), snicolazzo@ucsd.edu

As scholars such as Sara Ahmed have argued, and as movements like #CiteBlackWomen insist, citation is political. This roundtable seeks to open up conversations about the politics of citation in eighteenth-century studies, broadly understood. Which scholars, theorists, and intellectual traditions should we be citing more, and why? How do patterns of citation and non-citation reveal the dynamics of race and gender as they structure the field of eighteenth-century studies? What might citation tell us about the history of our field? What new approaches might we take to eighteenth-century forms and networks of citation? In particular, this panel’s priority is to amplify the work of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) scholars, intellectual traditions, and histories.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Playing with Pigments: Color Experiments in the Visual Arts
Daniella Berman (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and Metropolitan Museum of Art), daniella.berman@nyu.edu; and Caroline M. Culp, (Stanford University and Metropolitan Museum of Art), cmculp@stanford.edu

With the emergence of novel pigments and dyes—some from the New World—prompting myriad experimentation in color and facture, the eighteenth century is widely acknowledged as a turning point for artists’ materials. This panel explores the impact of such innovations on artistic practice across the long eighteenth century. The microcosm of color in art exemplifies larger trends of the period as technological and scientific advances transformed the ways in which color was perceived, described, transmitted, commodified, thematized, and preserved. From furniture and paper makers to aquatint engravers and history painters, artists and artisans were invested in discussions about hue, discoloration, and the impact of time on color. Explorations in alternative mediums such as encaustic and enamel aspired to the most saturated, the most authentic, or the most durable color palettes. Advances in printmaking revolutionized the circulation of chromatic knowledge, including a new understanding of Old Masters through reproductive engravings and the transmission of cultural and botanical information about distant lands. We welcome papers that consider the full spectrum of artistic production and experimentation across the visual arts during this transformational period. Papers considering the science and materials of color, the restoration of historic palettes, or issues of pigmented materials’ change over time are also encouraged.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

William Hogarth in the 21st Century
Debra Bourdeau, taylo13f@erau.edu

William Hogarth’s engravings invite us to view the streets, parlors, insane asylums, prisons and gambling houses of 18th-century London. Through his ‘modern moral subjects’, his satirical
eye exposed hypocrisy, aristocratic excess, and overwrought devotion to foreign artists. His influence can be seen in political cartoons, graphic novels, and even cinema. This panel will discuss Hogarth’s place in 21st-century culture. During this time that seems desperately to need keen, perspicacious satire, can we turn to Hogarth as a paragon? What can an artist so inextricably linked to 18th-century life teach us about ourselves? He clearly demonstrated a need for social change in his time, but do the issues that he decried remain as pervasive almost 300 years later?

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Publishing Natural History
Eleanore Neumann (University of Virginia); and Agnieszka Ficek (City University of New York – Graduate Center), anna.ficek@gmail.com

Natural history in the global eighteenth century involved an interconnected set of practices. A lady sketched her exotic plant specimens while also collecting mineral samples. A botanist mailed seeds to his network of colleagues and then recorded the anatomy of quadrupeds. A gentleman investigated volcanic eruptions while sketching the physiognomy of Indigenous peoples. Each of these practitioners also consumed and contributed to a proliferation of illustrated natural history publications, which included everything from periodicals to multivolume scientific treatises and from travel accounts to entries in Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. Authors, artists, printmakers, and publishers often collaborated across borders to produce an extraordinarily wide variety of texts and images that organized and displayed nature. This session invites papers that reconsider natural history as it was practiced and presented through publications in the long eighteenth century. What does the interplay of image and text or an examination of whole books and compendia reveal about how the natural world was understood? How did readers engage with these publications in their daily lives, artistic practices, and professional pursuits? How was Indigenous knowledge of the natural world represented and/or interpreted for Western readers? Why was the publication of natural history far more abundant for certain imperial powers? How was natural history and its practice narrated in actual and fictional accounts? Was the translation of drawings into print affected by the cross-cultural nature of scientific publication? We invite papers covering any geographical area or methodological approach for this interdisciplinary panel.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Networks and Practices of Connoisseurship in the Global Eighteenth Century
Valérie Kobi (Universität Hamburg), valerie.kobi@uni-hamburg.de; and Kristel Smentek (MIT), smentek@mit.edu

The eighteenth century was the age of the connoisseur, the disciplined interpreter and assessor of artworks whose authority, like that of the natural philosopher, was founded on his (more rarely her) extensive and sustained visual analysis of physical things. An era of accelerating trade and imperial conquest, the eighteenth century was also a period of an expanding global consciousness. This panel seeks to link eighteenth-century connoisseurship to a corresponding awareness of the diversity of artistic practice in different regions of the globe. Studies of connoisseurship have tended to be local, focusing, for example, on Western European or Chinese art to the exclusion of works from unfamiliar artistic traditions to which eighteenth-century art experts, collectors, and colonial administrators were also increasingly exposed. Questions we are interested in pursuing include: What were the channels through which encounters with art from afar were made possible? What methods were used to analyze and categorize art from other parts of the globe? And how might a recognition of the conventionality of artmaking have shaped local definitions of art and artistic quality in such regions as Asia, the colonial Americas, and Europe? We welcome papers that investigate the social, institutional, and commercial networks of international information and object exchange that facilitated eighteenth-century engagements with unfamiliar art. Proposals that introduce new interdisciplinary and methodological approaches are especially encouraged.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Raw: Materials, Merchants, and Movement
Brittany Luberda (Baltimore Museum of Art), bluberda@artbma.org

During the eighteenth century, maritime trade networks circulated goods ranging from mahogany to silver, cotton to ginseng. How did the influx or movement of mass raw material transform social or visual environments? Papers are invited which explore the extraction or transportation of raw goods between municipalities or continents from any decade or geography. Topics might include the establishment or disruption of material movement due to war, economy, taste, or invention, human trafficking, environmentalism, or artistic production. Speakers are also welcomed to focus on a specific product, object, anecdotal history, literary record, or conceptual framework related to material acquisition and mobility. The moderator will open with a history of silver mining in Potosi, Bolivia and its reappraisal in a present-day museum display of pan- American colonial histories.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Material Forms
Chloe Wigston Smith (University of York), chloe.wigstonsmith@york.ac.uk

This panel focuses on how material objects were shaped by empire, colonialism and geographic circulation in the eighteenth century. It engages, in particular, the form and aesthetics of objects that moved through different spaces and regions of the global eighteenth century. How were ceramics and textiles, and other products, redesigned for export to specific destinations? How did individuals adapt imported goods by altering their appearance and affordances? What kind of material entanglements emerged in the contact zones? What kind of hybrid and intercultural objects were created? What do these remade, reworked, and refashioned things illuminate about the intersections of material culture and empire? The panel invites especially papers that address the transculturation of material objects. We hope to assemble an interdisciplinary group of papers, so proposals from across humanities disciplines are especially welcome. Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief biography.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Imagining the Future in Ruins
Thomas Beachdel (Hostos, CUNY), trb202@nyu.edu

Ruins were popular for artists, writers, travelers, and tastemakers throughout Europe during the eighteenth century. By their very nature, ruins are dualistic, acting as sites of memory and erasure, sites of presence and transience, evocative of grand, sublime ideas while at the same time falling physically to dust. Ruins represent a way of thinking about the future. In his Paris Salon writing of 1767, Denis Diderot evoked the present and an imagined future: “…in our imagination we scatter over the ground the rubble of the very buildings we still inhabit in that moment…we are sole survivors of an entire nation that is no more…Such is the first tenet of the poetics of ruins.” Reflecting this, French artist Hubert Robert showed pendant paintings at the Paris Salon of 1796 with the Louvre as their subject. Project for the Transformation of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre shows how the Grand Gallery might appear upon its completion, while Imaginary View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in Ruins shows it as a future ruin, projecting it as a far distant image of monumentality. Worldwide, as we stand on the brink of an uncertain, or much different future than imagined, Diderot’s poetics of ruins takes on a reinvigorated meaning. This panel seeks papers that not only address the significance of ruins as a means of imagining the future, both as a symbol of loss and greatness or continuity, but also, more widely, how the future was imagined in the global eighteenth century.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Ephemeral Objects
Matthew Gin (Harvard University), matthewgin@gmail.com

The term ‘ephemeral’ can be used to describe a wide variety of objects. There are, on the one hand, things like pamphlets, tickets, and broadsheets that have been traditionally categorized as ephemera. While on the other are objects that also existed only momentarily but are more difficult to categorize. By way of example are sugar sculptures, napkin art, and the elaborate temporary decorations built for festivals. Ephemeral objects abounded in the eighteenth century and especially notable is the sheer volume of printed matter that emanated from the Republic of Letters. The survival rate for ephemeral material from the eighteenth century, broadly speaking, is relatively poor but what does remain serves as vital evidence of the politics and culture of this period. This panel invites papers that address ephemeral objects either directly or obliquely. Among the questions to be considered are: in what ways do ephemeral things actually prove to be enduring? And how might they confound ideas about permanence? Through what media are ephemeral objects perpetuated and known? And what limitations and opportunities do these sources present? How do texts capture the momentariness of an object or image? What do ephemeral items reveal about histories of collecting, sociability, or consumption? Papers that take an interdisciplinary or global approach to these and other pertinent questions are especially welcome.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

‘Canada or the Tower’: Finding, Depicting, and Imagining Canada
Cristina S. Martinez (University of Ottawa), martinezcsm@gmail.com

In 1763, with the conclusion of the Seven Year’s War, Canada was annexed to the British Empire. Alluding to the important political event is the anonymous print Canada or the Tower. In it, John Wilkes (exactly as portrayed by William Hogarth’s earlier satirical print) sits next to a devil-like Lord Bute, coins in hand, who is nudging the politician to accept a bribe while poking him with a stick on which is inscribed ‘have Canada or to the Tower’, indicating that Wilkes had to choose between governance of Canada or prison. His supporter, Lord Temple, leans on Wilke’s chair to exclaim ‘O! Liberty O! my Country’. In The Death of General Wolfe (1770), a landmark history painting by Benjamin West, a Native American, the St. Lawrence River and a glimpse of Québec city are shown. In these works and others, is Canada seen as a land of opportunities, a commodity to exploit, or a territory fraught with difficulties and people to overcome? This panel invites reflections on how a real or imagined Canada came into view throughout the eighteenth century. How were its landscape, foreboding climate, geographical position, inhabitants and tales represented in prints and drawings, literature, theatre and other arts? How did these, in turn, shape public opinion, policies, legislation, viewpoints on taxation, etc.? The panel solicits proposals on these matters as well as on the myths and fabulations that rendered Canada an attractive or a feared land.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊

Note (added (30 June 2020) — The original Call for Papers did not include Kristin O’Rourke’s session on The Visual Gothic; the posting has been updated to include it here, along with an updated full CFP (as a PDF file with link at the top and here).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: