Call for Papers | ASECS 2023, St. Louis

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on September 28, 2022

Proposals are due on Monday! In addition to the following selected panels, the full Call for Papers is available here. And please pay special attention to HECAA’s New Scholar Session, chaired in 2023 by Emily Casey and Amy Torbert.

2023 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference
Hyatt Regency at the Arch, St. Louis, 9–11 March 2023

Proposals due by 24 October 2022 (extended from 3 October)

The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) is pleased to announce our Call for Papers for our 53rd Annual Meeting, to be held 9–11 March 2023 at the St. Louis Hyatt Regency at the Arch. The Society, established in 1969, is the foremost learned society in the United States for the study of all aspects of the period from the later seventeenth through the early nineteenth century.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming conference environment in which all members participate fully in the exchange of knowledge and ideas. We welcome scholars pursuing all aspects of eighteenth-century studies and in all careers and career stages: in graduate studies; in tenured, tenure track, or non-tenure track academic positions; in part-time or temporary positions in the academy; and colleagues in contexts beyond the academy including libraries, museums, publishing, and teaching, as well as independent scholars. Please join us whether you are a long-time member, or new to ASECS!

New this year! We are collecting submissions centrally. Chairs of sessions will review applications to their sessions as in past years and forward their decisions to the Executive Director, Benita Blessing (director@asecs.org). You can find further instructions on the form itself.

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Aesthetics and Politics in Ireland [Irish Caucus]
Scott Breuninger, Virginia Commonwealth University, breuningersc@vcu.edu

During the eighteenth century, questions of aesthetics in Ireland were often linked to notions of political or social authority. Working in a society divided by religion, gender, and race, Irish artists and writers were faced with the uncomfortably stark nature of political power and the (mis-)attribution of meaning(s) to their work. In this context, many of the themes that were explored by Irish poets, playwrights, and musicians (among others) were necessarily grounded in discourses that tried to walk a fine line between personal expression and social expectations. Some of these creative works explicitly drew from Ireland’s past to inform their meaning, while others looked toward the future with varying degrees of optimism and pessimism. In this nexus of aesthetic creativity, artists were forced to negotiate with a wide range of pressures that were unique to Hibernia. This panel welcomes proposals that address how issues of artistic representation related to questions of political and social power within eighteenth-century Ireland, as well as modern scholars’ interpretations (or reinterpretations) of the significance of these works. Of particular interest are proposals that investigate how politically disenfranchised groups in Ireland addressed the connection between artistic representation, political power, and/or historical memory along lines associated with religion, gender, and race.

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All Things Great and Small: Miniatures and Monstrosities
Daniella Berman, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, daniella.berman@nyu.edu; and Blythe C. Sobol, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, blythe.sobol@gmail.com

From netsuke to Antonio Canova’s colossal nude statue of Napoleon as Mars, the visual culture of the long eighteenth century offers a multitude of examples through which to interrogate questions of scale and size. The period saw a rise in the prevalence of portrait miniatures, the expansion in size of pastel portraits facilitated by technical innovations, the advent of large-scale religious paintings in viceregal Mexico, the proliferation of reverse-painted Chinese snuff bottles, the growth in the number and variety of pieces in European porcelain services, and important shifts from large-scale history subjects to more intimate, so-called decorative ones in canvas painting and back again. This era provides a particularly fruitful opportunity to consider the impact of the miniature and the monumental on works of art, artists, and viewers alike. We seek papers that consider questions of size and scale, either by focusing on examples of extremes, by exploring the limitations or changing possibilities of certain media through technical innovations, or by considering the ways in which concerns of size and scale were discussed and theorized between artists, patrons and critics. What representational conundrums did artists encounter in these extremes of scale—in terms of production, display, and reception—and how were these negotiated? How did size and scale play a role in the rapidly changing hierarchies of the period, both art historical and political? And how were these tiny and grandiose wonders understood and consumed by an increasingly attuned public? Global approaches to this wide-ranging subject are especially welcome.

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Amateur Art
Katherine A. P. Iselin, University of Missouri, iselink@missouri.edu

The established hierarchy of the art historical canon excludes a significant number of art forms and media, centering instead almost entirely on painting and sculpture. Yet other types of art proliferate outside the Academy in the long eighteenth century. Often due to the inaccessibility of formal art training, ‘amateur’ artists worked in a variety of media that were strong departures from the professional art of the day, ranging from scrapbooks and dressed prints to shellwork and embroidery, along with everything in between. At the same time, many of these works of art incorporated subject matter that aligned with contemporary professional art, such as neoclassical themes. Though many of these works of art continue to be identified as “craft” today, they remain expressions of significant technical and creative achievement. This panel aims to highlight art frequently left outside the art historical canon, particularly encouraging an examination of how gender, race, and class intersect with the production of such works.

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Asia in the Eighteenth Century
Susan Spencer, University of Central Oklahoma (Emerita), sspencer@uco.edu

Asia in the long eighteenth century was a dynamic place. Widespread social and political upheaval, along with efficient, affordable new avenues for the dissemination of written material and household goods, created a ready market for novel commodities and fresh genres in art and literature. An increasingly affluent merchant class demanded luxury goods and commodities that reflected their own needs and interests rather than catering exclusively to the courtly tastes of the entrenched aristocracy. The age also produced written works that diverged from convention and are now valued as cultural treasures: the rising popularity of operatic musical theater, subversive collections of ghost tales, and domestic novels in China; Japan’s reinvention of haiku as performance art, sophisticated puppet theater and richly illustrated ukiyozōshi narratives of the rising merchant class; Vietnam’s national epic, The Tale of Kiều, with its graphic account of sexual trafficking from the victim’s perspective; and, in Korea, innovative new portraiture and a firsthand description of the corruption of courtly values in the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong. How did the creations of Asian artisans, artists, and authors question—or fail to question—traditional expectations for class and gender? How did they challenge aristocratic values charged with assumptions that privilege rank, property, and patriarchy? This panel welcomes reflections on these and other developments in eighteenth-century Asia.

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Anne Schroder New Scholars Session [HECAA]
Emily Casey, University of Kansas; and Amy Torbert, Saint Louis Art Museum, emilycaseyphd@gmail.com

The Anne Schroder New Scholars Panel, sponsored by the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, seeks to promote scholarship that represents the future of eighteenth-century studies. We invite proposals from dissertating graduate students and early-career scholars working in the academy or museum. We welcome submissions that explore topics across the cultures, spaces, and materials that are related to art and architectural history over the long eighteenth century and around the globe. We especially encourage projects that reflect new approaches to both long-standing and under-studied issues and methods in eighteenth-century studies broadly, including but not limited to: critical race art history; Disability studies; ecocriticism and environmental studies; empire, colonization, and decolonial theory; gender and queer theory; global diasporic histories; Indigeneity; and material culture studies. Papers can be based on dissertations, book or article manuscripts in progress, Digital Humanities collaborations, or curatorial projects. We particularly encourage BIPOC scholars, contingent or independent scholars, and those working outside of North America to apply.

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Building the Eighteenth Century: Histories of Physical Form
Janet R. White, UNLV School of Architecture, janet.white@unlv.edu

Historians of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior architecture are invited to submit proposals for papers dealing with the physical form, built or unbuilt, of the long eighteenth century. Subjects may range from neoclassical churches to exotic garden follies, Rococo salons to utopian images. The goal of the session is to cast a wide net and increase the coverage of physical form on the ASECS program.

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Changing Course: Riverways
Kathleen Fueger, Independent Scholar, kmfueger@gmail.com

St Louis lies just south of the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, a geography that attracted and sustained the Mound Builders of the Mississippian culture at Cahokia. The same watershed later inspired the city’s settlement by Europeans in the 1760s, first by French fur traders, later ceded to Spanish rule, retroceded to France and finally to the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. These rivers formed the political, economic, and communicative crossroads of the nascent country. In 1804 Lewis and Clark began their journey on the Missouri to explore the western territory; the east remained accessible via the Ohio River; and by 1818 steamboats travelled south on the Mississippi, connecting the city with New Orleans. All great global waterways, from the Amazon to the Chang Jiang to the Thames to the Tagus, are simultaneously a site of possibility—commerce, transportation, natural resources, protection, energy, exploration—and of peril: flooding, disease, invasion, isolation, exploitation, and colonization. This panel seeks contributions from a broad range of fields that explore the representations of rivers in the long eighteenth century. How are rivers a site of expansion and exploitation? What kinds of cultural, commercial, and environmental contributions or conflicts take place on their banks? Are rivers commodities or protagonists? How do rivers change the course of human communities, and how are the rivers changed in turn? Does the eighteenth century allow for an ecological view of rivers?

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Civility and Incivility in Early-Modern Salon Culture
Downing A Thomas, University of Iowa, downing-thomas@uiowa.edu

From the seventeenth through the eighteenth century, the salon provided a space for the acquisition of knowledge, civil exchange of ideas, and refinement of manners. Frequently feminocentric—although the gender profile changes over the years—salons provided men and women with the opportunity to engage in intellectual debates that influenced the cultural life of the French capital and the usage of language itself. Roturiers (non-nobles) could rely on their wit, wealth, and education to acquire the kinds of social skills previously reserved for the nobility, while the aristocracy frequented the salons to maintain and develop cultural capital garnered during the feudal era. Civil exchange was at the basis of the social processes advanced by the salon, and notions of ideal civility, love, and friendship were frequent topics of discussion, particularly in the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth, those debates became more aligned with the intellectual agendas of the philosophes and with the development of public-sphere sociability. This panel seeks to explore how civility as well as its opposite, incivility, defined the life of the salon in early modern France. How did refinement of manners exist in tension with the competition for cultural capital? What happened in the wake of instances of incivility, whether blatant or subtle? To what degree did the salons continue to be engaged in literary production throughout the ancien régime? What vestiges of salon society endured beyond the Revolution of 1789 to serve as points of reference in modern polite society?

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Botanical Gardens
Katie Sagal, Cornell College, asagal@cornellcollege.edu

Our annual meeting in 2023 will take place in St. Louis, home of the renowned Missouri Botanical Garden and the equally illustrious Peter H. Raven Library. Taking inspiration from this impressive duo, this panel seeks papers that investigate European botanical gardens of the eighteenth century. Collectors of both indigenous and exotic plants donated or contributed specimens throughout the century to a variety of professional gardens, adding to an explosion of known botanical specimens in Western scientific circles. Notable aristocrats cultivated expansive personal botanical gardens, burgeoning centers of naturalist study emerged alongside institutional gardens, and renowned artists travelled England and Europe for inspiration from a wide spectrum of professional garden spaces. This was an area where women’s contributions to botanical science shone, too, from Princess Augusta’s involvement in the founding of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to Mary Delany’s creative sourcing of plant models from her mosaics to from a selection of botanical gardens great and small. Crucially, however, much of the plant sourcing for these domestic gardens relied upon imperial bioprospecting, as plants with deep significance for local populations—cultural, religious, and economic—were literally uprooted by European adventurers for financial gain. Papers that examine botanical gardens as centers of scientific research and development, as spaces for socio-cultural negotiation, as sites of imperialist violence, and as loci for fluctuating gender dynamics are all welcome, as well as other approaches to the topic.

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The Eighteenth-Century Fragment
Andrew Selcer, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, amselcer92@gmail.com

Material fragments such as a scrap of ancient poetry, a fractured sculpture, a torn diary page, or a partially written novel warranted increasing attention during the eighteenth century. The unfinished aesthetic of fragments offered an experience that was contrary to the sense of completion provided by whole and polished texts, and provided access to voices that would be otherwise inaccessible and lost. How do we understand this fascination with fragments in their various aesthetic, material, and political conditions? This panel invites contributions of papers on any aspect of the fragment. Papers may consider a single work, author, or artist; a theoretical approach; individual fragments or their role in larger works. We welcome papers from any discipline and national literature.

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Embodiment of Ideas in the French Enlightenment
Mladen Kozul, University of Montana, mladen.kozul@gmail.com

One could criticize the French Enlightenment for its superficiality, its lack of intellectual rigor or even its failure to elaborate coherent systems of thought. Conversely, one could appreciate the works of Kant or Hegel as signs of the emergence of a comprehensive continental philosophy. But the interest in the French Enlightenment lies not only in the resistance that it opposes to the system but equally in its recourse to both literary fiction and the theater to turn thoughts into action. In its opposition of embodiment to abstraction, confrontational ethics to systematic ethics, and in its proclivity for accepting allegory only if it makes ideas emerge in the flesh, the literature and theater of the eighteenth century in France paved the way to different ways of thinking. This panel aims to explore various modes of embodying ideas in narrative fiction and in theater, as well as in paintings, during the eighteenth century in France. It seeks to deepen our comprehension of the radical turn fiction gives to ideas, to examine textual traces of author’s voice, to identify tensions, contradictions and mutations inherent to the processes of embodiment. In short, to examine how thinking is carried out in the novel, comedy, tragedy and, indeed, in painting.

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Fashioning Eighteenth-Century Masculinities
Denise Amy Baxter, University of North Texas, denise.baxter@unt.edu

This panel invites papers that explore how masculinity was presented in the long eighteenth-century through clothes, accessories, and other forms of bodily adornment. Taking inspiration from exhibitions such as Reigning Men or the V&A’s recent Fashioning Masculinities this panel asks: how did suits or snuff boxes or sword bows (or the like) make the man? Papers that engage with material culture or its visual or verbal representations are equally welcome, as are those that discuss later re-fashionings of eighteenth-century masculinities.

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Indigenous, Black, Asian, and Mixed-Race Architects and Builders in the Americas
Luis Gordo Peláez, California State University, Fresno, luisgordopelaez@mail.fresnostate.edu; and Juan Luis Burke, University of Maryland, jlburke1@umd.edu

In colonial Mexico City, the guild of master builders barred the membership of people of Indigenous origin to its ranks. Some 120 km to the southeast, in Puebla de los Ángeles, the city’s guild of master builders, contrary to Mexico City’s, granted membership to indigenous builders, given the high demand for qualified builders in the region. Despite Mexico City’s official ban on Native builders’ membership to its ranks, recent scholarship is demonstrating that people of color took on roles of design and construction that were integral to the building of the colonial world in diverse regions of the Americas, besides constituting the bulk of the labor in many colonial settings. This panel welcomes proposals that investigate the role played by people of color across the long eighteenth century in the built environment of colonial settings, indistinct of geography. We are particularly interested in narratives that reveal the role that Black, Indigenous, Asian, and other non-White builders played in architecture and the construction world in general, such as in building guilds, the practice of architecture understood widely, the writing of treatises or other technical or philosophical texts regarding architecture, their participation in constructing the infrastructure of the eighteenth-century Americas, or other building endeavors. We look for works that reveal the forgotten role that builders of color played in colonial environments that traditional historiographical narratives have neglected to tell.

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Inventing the Global and Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century
Idolina Hernandez, Lindenwood University, ihernandez@lindenwood.edu; and Heesoo Cho, Washington University in Saint Louis, heesoocho@wustl.edu

An expansion of travel and communications across continents led to new understandings of empires and belonging in the eighteenth century. Real and perceived discoveries of peoples and places in far away locations contributed to a process of imagination and invention that sought to make them legible as what scholars have identified as a ‘global’ perspective. As concepts of the ‘global’ center in eighteenth-century studies, what are the limits and opportunities that this term affords scholars? What are some of the ways in which an analytical conceptualization of the world as ‘global’ contributes to our understanding of an emerging global imagination? This panel seeks papers that explore how an eighteenth century understanding of the global contributes to current scholarship. We invite papers that explore how the global was established and discussed through narratives, art, empire building, commerce, and identities.

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Johnson, Art, and Aesthetics [Samuel Johnson Society of the West]
Timothy Erwin, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, timothy.erwin@unlv.edu

The Samuel Johnson Society of the West invites papers for a panel on Johnson and art at the 2023 St Louis meeting. Our period saw a divide open between notions of creating the artwork and experiencing a sensory response to it. Across the century the discourse of painting and connoisseurship found in Dryden and Pope became opposed to the novel aesthetic discourse of Addison, Burke, and their successors. The concept of the beautiful shifted away from classical outline and proportion to bright coloring, and the rough beauty of the landscape picturesque may be read as a synthesis of the two. Until the appearance of Morris Brownell’s Samuel Johnson’s Attitude to the Arts, Johnson was generally thought to be uninterested in the arts, and this despite his friendship with Charles Burney and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Brownell establishes another Johnson, one wholly familiar with developments in the fine arts.
Building on the revisionist view, this panel will host a reconsideration of Johnson’s views of music, painting, gardening, and architecture, and also those of the Johnson circle. Among many others, possible topics might take up the relation of Johnson’s generalized aesthetics to empiricism and academic painting more generally, along with his role in fashioning Reynolds’s Discourses; the portraits that Hester Thrale commissioned from Reynolds to hang in the Streatham library, each of which she annotated in ekphrastic verse; and the lyrics by Johnson that Haydn set to music, “The Winter’s Walk . . .” and “Even now . . . ,” or the melody of songs that Goldsmith included in ‘She Stoops to Conquer,’ both recently recovered by Ross Duffin.

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Knowing from Making, Ideas from Things
Sean Silver, Rutgers, sean.silver@rutgers.edu

What is to be learned by attending to the materials and practices of the Restoration and eighteenth-century arts and sciences? What is to be gained from historical recreation or exploratory archaeology? This panel aims to find out. Papers might recover a process or material from eighteenth-century texts; they might introduce and discuss an instrument, tool, or innovative device; they might discuss a historical recreation or reenactment which adds to our knowledge about the design arts, practical chemistry, the book trade, and so on. This panel invites reflections (theoretical, descriptive, or historical) on eighteenth-century craft knowledge, materials, instruments, and processes. It is especially interested, however, in projects that find their way from hands-on labor to ideas and argument. Not the archive, but the repertoire is especially wanted; not talk about craft, but craft itself; not historical recovery, but critical historical recreation.

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Le goût de la reine: Marie-Antoinette as Patron, Collector, and Connoisseur of the Arts
Todd Larkin, Montana State University, tlarkin@montana.edu

Charles-Nicolas Cochin completed a drawing and Benoît-Louis Prévost carried out the engraving for an elaborate allegorical conceit, Hommage des Arts (1776) sold as a single sheet and selected as the frontispiece for Boilly’s IVeme recueil d’airs choisis. The operatic image boasts no fewer than five cloud-supported genies—Music, Painting, Architecture, Sculpture, and Theater—gathered around a smoldering altar and raising flaming hearts to a portrait of Marie-Antoinette borne by angels and cherubs. The conceit is double edged: a mere two years into the queen’s reign she has commissioned cultural projects sufficient to be heralded a great patroness and the artistic community have placed their hopes in her that this beneficence may extend far into the future. What was the range of Marie-Antoinette’s patronage of the arts between 1774 and 1792, and of what was “le gout de la reine” said to consist during the same period? Objects, letters, texts, inventories, and documents permit a series of case studies on the fine arts, decorative arts, and material culture. Papers that employ archival, epistolary, and material resources to identify a particular creative approach, to relate a broader artistic trend, to underscore an aristocratic, bourgeois, or popular phenomenon, or to employ theoretical models for assessing power promotion, group affiliation, consumption practices, and audience reception will be particularly welcome. This session commences a reassessment of Marie-Antoinette’s contribution to the arts to mark the semi-quincentennial of her accession to the throne in 1774.

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Making it Work: Women, Labor, and Agency
Heidi Strobel, University of North Texas, Heidi.Strobel@unt.edu; and Jennifer Germann, Independent Scholar, jennifer.germann04@gmail.com

While working several jobs at the same time seems to exemplify work in the twenty-first century, it was a fairly common practice in the eighteenth century. Examples include portrait painter/surveyor Robert Feke, tailor/author James Carter, and teacher/gallery entrepreneur Mary Linwood, to name a few. Authors who have focused on this phenomenon include (but are not limited to) Zara Anishanslin (Portrait of a Woman in Silk), Carolyn Steedman (Labour’s Lost: Domestic Service and the Making of Modern England), and David Waldstreicher (Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution). This panel invites interdisciplinary papers that consider non-elite women who worked multiple jobs and/or multitasked in multiple ways. For some women, ‘multi-jobbing’ was an autonomous choice, a means of expressing agency, and an avenue to economic success. For others (such as enslaved workers/laborers, indentured servants, and others in forced labor contexts), such work was a necessity. This panel welcomes papers that focus on individual case studies from around the globe in light of broader themes including agency, autonomy, and necessity.

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Making Knowledge in the Atlantic World
Alexandra Macdonald, William & Mary, ammacdonald@wm.edu; and Diego Pirillo, dpirillo@berkeley.edu

Where was knowledge produced in the eighteenth century? By whom? Whose hands and labour shaped knowledge in workshops, kitchens, universities, libraries, museums, and societies? And how did this knowledge circulate across the Atlantic World? This panel welcomes papers on topics relating to the production, circulation, and performance of knowledge in the eighteenth-century Atlantic World. We are particularly interested in papers that expand our definition of what knowledge is and complicate our understanding of whose knowledge drove the eighteenth-century Atlantic world. We seek papers from a broad range of disciplines and approaches including, but not limited to, art history, material culture studies, literary studies, and social, cultural, and gender history. Additionally, we welcome submissions from scholars at any stage in their program or career, both in and outside of academia.

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‘Nature display’d’: Visualizing the Natural World
Anne Nellis Richter, Independent Scholar, anne.nellis@gmail.com; and Melinda McCurdy, Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, mmccurdy@huntington.org

This panel seeks to explore the developing awareness of the impact that human activity had on the natural world during the long eighteenth century (1688–1815) and its expression through a wide range of visual media and material culture. Over the course of the eighteenth century, the taste for natural forms was expressed by a variety of theoreticians including figures like J.-J. Rousseau and William Hogarth; Theories about nature, and particularly their influence on the development of landscape painting and on trends in interior design, have long been the focus of art historians. However, the emergence of global networks of exchange alongside forms of industry and technology that left increasingly noticeable and unavoidable traces of human presence on the natural world in ways permeated the literary and visual arts. Certainly, painters, printmakers, and sculptors explored these themes in their work, and we welcome papers seeking to shed new light on how artists navigated the depiction of nature in the context of an increasingly globalized and industrialized world and in relation to issues like race, gender, and class. In addition, we hope this panel will be able to expand the discussion to explore how the makers of everyday and luxury objects, interior designers, architects, and garden designers thought about and visualized relationships between humans and their environment across the full range of media that constituted the visual field of the global eighteenth century.

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Off the Beaten Path: New Perspectives on the Grand Tour
Sarah Carter, University of Chicago, sarah.carter@mail.mcgill.ca; and Lauren DiSalvo, Utah Tech University, lauren.disalvo@utahtech.edu

The Grand Tour calls to mind British and other European elite males who visited continental Europe and Italy in pursuit of the antique and other cultural experiences afforded by travel. In light of new approaches toward the Grand Tour, such as Sarah Goldsmith’s Masculinity and Danger on the Eighteenth-Century Grand Tour or Emma Gleadhill’s Taking Travel Home: The Souvenir Culture of British Women Tourists, this interdisciplinary panel seeks papers that examine the Grand Tour and European travel in the eighteenth century from new perspectives. Panelists may explore unusual visual or literary representations of travel, unfamiliar routes and destinations, or the experience of travel across different classes, genders and nationalities. We also encourage papers that address how the Grand Tour influenced visual and material culture in surprising ways or that were produced at a remove from the Grand Tour.

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On the Wings of Enlightenment: Birds and Other Airborne Organisms [South-Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies]
Kevin L. Cope, encope@lsu.edu

Birds, not to mention airborne creatures such as insects, flying squirrels, and the occasional unexplained airborne entity, not only outnumber people during the Enlightenment but engage universally with all sorts of cultural activity. Most obviously, birds and their colleagues fill the pages of natural history, cultural geography, and travel books, but they also spread across paintings, ornament sculpture, provide themes and sound effects for music, decorate porcelain, punctuate poetry, festoon furniture, and fill landscape gardens. Birds could happily and tunefully accomplish what was impossible during the period, high-speed heavier-than-air flight, thus encouraging while also perplexing the first modern scientists. Sometimes domestic and sometimes migratory, sometimes in a zoo but more often en route and above ground, sometimes restricted to the barnyard and sometimes globally nomadic, birds both epitomized and challenged the border-defined nations and empires that emerged during the long eighteenth century. This panel welcomes papers addressing any aspect of the Enlightenment avian experience, including presentations addressing bird-like or bird-imitating creatures.

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Print Albums: From Artistic Collaboration to Geo-political Ramifications
Susanne Anderson-Riedel, University of New Mexico, ariedel@unm.edu

Print albums and printed and bound gallery collections are among the most prestigious and valuable graphic productions from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, before they were replaced by reproductive photo albums. Publishing print albums raised the reputation of art collections, collectors, artists, and publishers alike, whether the publications focused on individual artists (such as the “Recueil Julienne,” publishing Watteau’s paintings and drawings in prints) or on entire collections (such as the print folios “Le Cabinet du Roy,” “La Galerie de Florence,” “Shakespeare Gallery,” “Le Pitture Antiche d’Ercolano,” et.al). Print albums posed new and innovative questions for their time. They competed with older publications in terms of content and technique. They played a significant role in cultural politics. Not only did print albums contribute to making the reproduced artworks known beyond the region, but the prints contributed to the arts’ global visibility due to their multiplicity and wide dissemination. Thus, they shaped the teaching at art academies and applied arts schools worldwide, forming the first canon of European vs non-European art. From the perspective of their audiences, print albums influenced tastes, shaped artistic perceptions and expectations, and constructed cultural cognition. From the viewpoint of the producing artists (draughtsmen and engravers), authors, publishers, and editors, the collaborative print publications allowed for intense professional networking. We invite scholarship on the production, collaboration, dissemination, and the market of print albums and/or art books during the long eighteenth century, along with inquiries on theoretical frameworks that scholarship applies to understand the cultural, trans-regional, and geo-political ramifications of print publications.

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Rethinking Women and the Material World
Margaret Yoon, Kenyon College, yoonm@kenyon.edu

This panel seeks contributions from scholars working on women’s engagement with the material world in the long eighteenth century. Proposals are welcome from all disciplines and from a global perspective. For example, how might we reconsider the role and/or position of women in the global marketplace? Can we reassess women’s connection to the marketplace and investigate women as artisans, producers, and entrepreneurs? How have they shaped fashions and influenced culture? Other proposals might consider reassessing the power of women within their domestic spaces. For example, the growing research on children’s literature in the long eighteenth century focuses on women as the primary educators of children in the home. How might we re-examine the power of that role and the contributions of women to the nascent market for children’s books? Other papers may address how we can rethink domestic spaces as creative, open, or safe spaces rather than as private spaces that limit women’s creative potential. Women also historically have been associated with nature as a way to undermine their intellectual potential and in ways that diminish the power of that connection. Can we reconsider this connection with nature? And, of course, how might we reconsider the role of women in the literary world? Can we expand our knowledge of women and their involvement in writing, printing, and publishing? This panel welcomes papers from all disciplines that reconsider women’s roles and that reassess the question of their marginality.

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The Supernatural Enlightenment: Demons, Devils, Ghosts, and Spectres
Mira Zaman, Borough of Manhattan Community College / CUNY, mizaman@bmcc.cuny.edu

As serious investigations of the natural world rose up against an enduring legacy of the supernatural, the Enlightenment era witnessed, according to Ricardo Capoferro, the emergence of two new genres, both interested in the mode of empirical representation: first, the scientific writing advanced by Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, and Francis Bacon, which privileged empirical reasoning and description; and second, a genre that “deployed empiricist modes of presentation to flesh out entities that transcended the materialist view promoted by the new science,” including “empirical apparition narratives” (70). The late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century works of Joseph Glanville, Henry More, Richard Baxter, and Richard Boulton presented supposedly eye-witness accounts of invisible spirits, specters, ghosts and other supernatural entities. For instance, Boulton’s 1722 account of witchcraft trials (the last of its kind) presents firsthand testimony of those who claim to have conversed personally with demonic spirits. Such works engage the epistemological crisis of the late-seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Often adopting the language of empiricism, many writers attempted to verify the existence of an unseen spirit world to those who clamored for physical proof. This panel invites papers discussing any elements of the supernatural as it is represented in Enlightenment works of literature, art, science, history, or culture. Special consideration will be given to papers focusing on the problems and contingencies of empirical representation of supernatural entities—ghosts, spirits, specters, witches, demons, etc.—across various forms of media in the Enlightenment.

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Tangling with Natural History
Anita Guerrini, Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University/UC Santa Barbara, anita.guerrini@oregonstate.edu

The eighteenth century was the heyday of a particular style of natural history collecting. Poised between the cabinet of curiosities and the new taxonomy of Linnaeus, European natural history collections were the result of a vigorous global trade in natural objects. ‘Natural history’ was itself a broad and amorphous category, spilling over on the one hand into antiquarianism and on the other into natural philosophy. It encompassed plants, minerals, fossils, taxidermy and other forms of animal preservation, and all manner of animal and human bones, skeletons, and skulls. Anthropologist Nicholas Thomas coined the term “entangled objects” over thirty years ago, and eighteenth-century natural history objects are quintessentially entangled across continents, species, and bodies, in voyages of discovery and colonization, as well as in metropolitan worlds of capital, value, and exchange. This panel particularly invites papers that take postcolonial or decolonial perspectives, but all approaches are welcomed.

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‘Translating’ Shakespeare: Language, Image, Body in the Global Eighteenth Century
Monica Anke Hahn, Community College of Philadelphia, mhahn@ccp.edu

In 1767 the Cherokee leader Attakullakulla watched a performance of Richard III in New York City. London engraver and publisher John Boydell famously embarked on his ambitious project to illustrate the plays of William Shakespeare in a grand edition in 1786. Goethe’s discovery of the plays in the 1770s and his reverence of the Bard ushered in the German notion of “unser Shakespeare.” In 1784 Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet appeared on stage at The New Playhouse in Kolkata. Eighteenth-century acting manuals in many languages coached performers on pose and gesture to express the plays’ tragic and comedic plots. In transnational and colonial contexts, Shakespeare’s plays were restaged, reimagined, and refashioned. This panel will examine the ways in which actors, writers, artists, producers, and audiences mediated the words of William Shakespeare in the global eighteenth century. It seeks contributors who think capaciously about the notion of translation, as words that originated in The Folio became images, gestures, utterance. Especially encouraged are projects with interdisciplinary approaches, and those that consider wide geographical, social, and racial contexts. Proposals from scholars in and outside of academia, and at any stage in their program or career are welcome.

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Westminster Abbey Revisited
Bradford Mudge University of Colorado Denver, bradford.mudge@ucdenver.edu

This panel will reconsider the cultural importance of Westminster Abbey over the course of the long eighteenth century. Specifically, it invites papers to examine any facet of the Abbey’s complex role in the memorializing and the commemoration of national identity. Such examinations may focus on individual monuments or sculptures or on larger theoretical concerns, but they should acknowledge the ongoing controversies about funereal sculpture and its role in the Abbey (Addison, Goldsmith, etc.), the evolution of Poet’s Corner and its importance to the Abbey’s larger role and mission (Kent’s monument to Shakespeare, for example), and the increasing importance of the Abbey as a site where Britain’s national identity was made visible, rendered into a collection, a gallery, of material objects that could and should be visited, appreciated, and understood as vital to and synonymous with Britain itself.

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Roundtable: The Effect of Illustration
Emily Hodgson Anderson, USC, ehanders@usc.edu; and Jessica L. Leiman, jleiman@carleton.edu

From Pope’s copperplate sylphs, to Gravelot’s Pamela engravings and Sterne’s marbled page, many of the most famous works of eighteenth-century literature benefit from the art of illustration—and its effects. But the choice of eighteenth-century authors, editors, and booksellers to add illustrations to textual works raises a range of questions pertinent to how we study the art and literature of the time: how is the experience of reading affected by the addition of images? What moves an author, or an editor, to add illustrations to a previously unillustrated textual work? How are illustrations integrated into text? How does text inspire new directions in visual art? This roundtable asks participants to consider the image alongside the word and the word alongside the image: in the context of eighteenth-century literature, how did visual and verbal representation co-exist? Ways into the topic could include, but are not limited to:
• a focus on frontispieces
• analysis of illustrated versus non-illustrated editions of the same work
• ekphrastic language, or the interplay between word and image
• focus on material culture / book history: how textual illustrations are produced / inserted / excerpted from the literary work
• extra-textual author-artist relationships
• the commerce of illustrations: when are illustrations commissioned for a work? when are they not?
• the evolution of illustrations across successive editions

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Roundtable: Rethinking ‘Eighteenth-Century Women’
Susan S. Lanser, Brandeis University, lanser@brandeis.edu

A half-century of feminist scholarship has expanded our knowledge of the lives, works, and representations of eighteenth-century women. Yet in both the popular and scholarly imaginary, ‘women of the eighteenth century’, like the word ‘woman’ itself, still conjures images of whiteness and class privilege at odds with the realities of most eighteenth-century lives. This panel invites an expansion, critique, and reconception of ‘eighteenth-century women’. Which primary materials and iconic figures shape our current teaching and scholarship about women in the eighteenth century? What messages are conveyed through reinscriptions of the period in film and popular culture? Who were (not) included under the sign ‘woman’ during the eighteenth-century itself, and who resisted the period’s definitional practices? Who benefits from limited understandings of women, and how can these be dismantled and replaced? How might we build on the work of scholars who have pioneered in challenging these narrow definitions? This roundtable aims, in short, to ask how we can continue to change cultural and scholarly consciousness by re-presenting eighteenth-century women through antiracist, anti-elitist, queer, and intersectional lenses. Both ‘thought experiments’ and contributions grounded in research are welcome. Scholars working in all disciplinary and geographical arenas are encouraged to submit (one-page) proposals.

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Special Session, Lightning Round: ‘Sex Objects’ and Unstable Luxury
Joelle Del Rose, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MI, Joelledelrose@gmail.com

The material elements of the ‘polite’ western world multiplied rapidly over the course of the long eighteenth century. As a new world of goods flooded middling homes and social spaces in the British and Atlantic world, they became closely integrated with personality, gender, and respectability. New luxury objects were often unstable, facing pejorative connotations before their eventual acceptance in later decades or centuries. This panel seeks to explore the connections to objects associated with luxury and sexuality over the course of the long eighteenth century. We are interested in discussing both middling and elite goods that signified wantonness, sexual availability, or decadence to onlookers, particularly in social settings. The social elements and of material use is significant to our discussion, and the goods themselves can be extant or represented in print culture or texts. We hope for creative, diverse approaches to understanding the context of women’s power and positive and pejorative associations with sexuality and luxury within particular social and spatial arenas. We invite short ‘lightening round’ presentations of seven to eight minutes so that we may devote the remaining time to a robust roundtable discussion for greater context.

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Special Session: Workshop, Style: A Seminar with a Common Text
Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University, csmith03@wesleyan.edu; and James Mulholland, North Carolina State University, mulholland@ncsu.edu

Note: This session is open to all without application, but you may note your interest in attending on this survey form for planning purposes.

What is style? This seminar with a common reading will revisit a fundamental question of eighteenth-century aesthetics to ask how we read and pursue literary criticism now. This session will be organized as a seminar with a common text, with each participant taking an active role in the discussion of a single pre-circulated reading. Everyone is welcome, without registration or application. This year’s common text will be selections from Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783). The Scottish critic offers an early, influential set of lectures on English literature–giving us a glimpse of how an eighteenth-century scholar taught some of the same material we teach today. Dwelling on styles alternatively “feeble,” “nervous,” “neat,” or “flowery,” Blair brings a set of moral and social associations to his judgments about the work of thinking displayed in writing. We seek to gather people to recover a provocative aesthetic concept and readerly posture. What does style mean–aesthetically or formally–when we talk about poetry or prose, music or art, raced or gendered bodies? How is it taken up in criticism now, and how is this related to an eighteenth-century understanding?

New Book | Burning the Big House

Posted in books by Editor on September 28, 2022

From Yale UP:

Terence Dooley, Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in a Time of War and Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022), 368 pages, ISBN: 978-0300260748, $35.

During the Irish Revolution nearly three hundred country houses were burned to the ground. These ‘Big Houses’ were powerful symbols of conquest, plantation, and colonial oppression, and were caught up in the struggle for independence and the conflict between the aristocracy and those demanding access to more land. Stripped of their most important artifacts, most of the houses were never rebuilt and ruins such as Summerhill stood like ghostly figures for generations to come. Terence Dooley offers a unique perspective on the Irish Revolution, exploring the struggles over land, the impact of the Great War, and why the country mansions of the landed class became such a symbolic target for republicans throughout the period. Dooley details the shockingly sudden acts of occupation and destruction—including soldiers using a Rembrandt as a dart board—and evokes the exhilaration felt by the revolutionaries at seizing these grand houses and visibly overturning the established order.

Terence Dooley is professor of history at Maynooth University and director at the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates. He is the author of numerous books including The Decline of the Big House in Ireland.

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