Reimagining the Ballet des Porcelaines

Posted in books, exhibitions by Editor on December 10, 2021

The Ballet des Porcelaines cast in the Venetian Room, Albertine Headquarters, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, NYC. From left to right: Daniel Applebaum (Prince); Georgina Pazcoguin (Princess); Tyler Hanes (Sorcerer). Photo by Joe Carrotta.

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As part of the media preview of the exhibition Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, guests were given a special chance to see the first performance in centuries of the Ballet des Porcelaine. A publication, noted below, is forthcoming. Additional information about the performance, including credits, is available here.

The original Ballet des Porcelaines, written by the comte de Caylus and staged around 1740 at a château outside of Paris, was based on an Orientalist fairy tale in the same literary milieu as Beauty and the Beast (1740). The story tells of an Asian sorcerer who lives on a ‘Blue Island’ and transforms anyone who dares to trespass into porcelain cups, vases, and other wares. When the sorcerer turns a captive prince into a teapot, a princess comes to rescue her lover by stealing the sorcerer’s wand and turning him into a pagod, an eighteenth-century version of a porcelain bobblehead. Displayed today in museums like The Met, pagods were collectible trinkets that inspired Oriental caricatures in the performing arts. European choreographers mimicked the features and gestures of these porcelain figures, which persist in such iconic, problematic productions as The Nutcracker’s “Chinese Tea” dance.

Scheduled Performances

6 December 2021, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2–3 March 2022, The University of Chicago
18–19 March 2022, Princeton University
16–17 June 2022, Waddesdon Manor
19–21 June 2022, Royal Pavilion, Brighton
25–26 June 2022, Capodimonte, Naples
28–29 June 2022, Palazzo Grassi, Venice
2–3 July 2022, Sèvres Museum, Paris

Meredith Martin, with contributions by Phil Chan and Charlotte Vignon, Reimagining the Ballet des Porcelaines (Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2022).

In addition to the performance and the book, many readers will find this recorded conversation fascinating as well:

Phil Chan and Meredith Martin, hosted by the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU, “Reimagining the Ballet des Porcelaines: A Story of Magic, Desire, and Exotic Entanglement,” YouTube, posted 9 November 2021, 63 minutes.

Phil Chan and Meredith Martin have reimagined this lost Baroque work with an all-Asian American creative team, aiming to make it meaningful and relevant for a multiracial and contemporary audience. This talk explores their process and performance plans and features performances by Martha Graham Principal Dancer Xin Ying and actor, singer, dancer, choreographer Tyler Hanes.

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Note (added 15 December 2021) — The posting has been updated to include the cast photo by Joe Carrotta.


Panels and Performances | Porcelain, Chinoiserie, and Dance

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on June 6, 2022

The Ballet des Porcelaines arrives in the UK this month with performances at Waddesdon Manor (16–17 June) and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion (19–21 June). In conjunction with the project, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) presents a day of panel discussions:

Porcelain, Chinoiserie, and Dance: The Teapot Prince
Worcester College, Oxford, Friday, 17 June 2022

Waddesdon Manor

Three panels of creative artists and academics discuss the porcelain ballet, The Teapot Prince, as part of its world tour. Panel members include choreographer, Phil Chan, founder of Final Bow for Yellow Face; Meredith Martin, art historian and co-creator with Phil Chan, of The Teapot Prince; artist, Hannah Lim; poet and academic, Sarah Howe; ceramicist, Matt Smith; writer and ceramicist, Edmund de Waal; and art historian, Katie Scott. All are welcome! Registration is available here»

The Teapot Prince is based on an Orientalist fairy tale about a sorcerer who lives on a ‘Blue Island’ and transforms anyone who dares to trespass into porcelain cups, vases, and other wares. When the sorcerer turns the eponymous prince into a teapot, his lover, the princess comes to his rescue…The original Ballet des Porcelaines can be seen as an allegory for the aggressive European desire to know and steal the secrets of Chinese porcelain manufacture. In the new version, the narrative is flipped. The main protagonists are now Chinese, the Sorcerer a mad European porcelain collector, modelled on Augustus II the Strong (1670–1733), King of Poland, elector of Saxony and founder of Meissen, the first European manufactory to succeed in making true porcelain.

Music Room at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton,
Photo by Jim Holden

ASECS 2022, Baltimore

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on March 24, 2022

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
(Photo by Patrick Gillespie, September 2016; Wikimedia Commons)

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2022 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference
Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, 31 March — 2 April 2022

The 52nd annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies takes place in Baltimore. HECAA will be represented by the Anne Schroder New Scholars’ Session, chaired by Aaron Wile and Dipti Khera and scheduled for Thursday afternoon. HECAA’s annual business meeting will take place online in advance of the conference on March 25. A selection of 30 additional panels is included below (of the 172 sessions scheduled, many others will, of course, interest HECAA members). For the full slate of offerings, see the program.

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T H U R S D A Y , 3 1  M A R C H  2 0 2 2

Time and Temporality
Thursday, 8:00–9:30am, Key 1
Chair: Craig HANSON, Calvin University
1. Helena YOO ROTH, CUNY, “The Many Deaths of George II and Colonial Time Consciousness”
2. Stuart SHERMAN, Fordham University, “‘Unknown to All the Rest’: the Play of Time in Restoration Prologues and Epilogues”
3. Alexander CREIGHTON, Harvard University, “Tristram Shandy’s Variations on Habit”

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How ‘Byzantine’ was the Eighteenth Century? New Insights on the Christian Orthodox Art and Architecture of the Late Ottoman Empire, Part I
Thursday, 8:00–9:30am, Paca
Chair: Demetra VOGIATZAKI, Harvard University and Nikolaos MAGOULIOTIS, ETH Zurich/gta
1. Alper METIN, Università Sapienza di Roma, “Reflections of the So-called Ottoman Baroque on the 18th-Century Orthodox Buildings: Towards the Emergence of a New Imperial Architectural Synthesis?”
2. Theocharis TSAMPOURAS, University of Western Macedonia / Greek Ministry of Culture (Ephorate of Antiquities of Kozani), “Artists and Patrons Changing the Norms of Post-Byzantine Painting in the Eighteenth-Century-Ottoman Balkans”

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Skin & Bone: Animal Substrates
Thursday, 8:00–9:30am, Pickersgill
Chair: Sarah GRANDIN, The Clark Art Institute
1. Katherine FEIN, Columbia University, “Cracks in the Ivory: The Violence of Portrait Miniatures”
2. Catherine GIRARD, St. Francis Xavier University, “Forms of Erasure: Theorizing Reuses of Indigenous Beaver-Pelt Coats in European Hats”
3. Marianne VOLLE, York University/Glendon College & Université Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne, “Flora Meets Fauna: A Reflection on the Use of Vellum for Botanical Illustrations at the Jardin du Roi”

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How ‘Byzantine’ was the Eighteenth Century? New Insights on the Christian Orthodox Art and Architecture of the Late Ottoman Empire, Part II
Thursday, 9:45–11:15, Paca
Chair: Demetra VOGIATZAKI, Harvard University and and Nikolaos MAGOULIOTIS, ETH Zurich/gta
1. Alexandra COURCOULA, MIT, “Ottoman Ecclesiastical Objects in the Benaki Museum: Shaping Greek National Historiography and Perceptions of Ottoman Art”
2. Maria GEORGOPOULOU, Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, “Center and Periphery in the Ottoman Balkans: The Cultural Heritage of Ottoman, Turkish, Post-Byzantine and Greek Monuments”
3. Cosmin MINEA, ETH Zurich, “Writings about Romanian Art in the Late 19th Century and the Rise of the Brâncovenesc Heritage as National Style”

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Materials of Global Trade: Networks, Mobility, and Transformation
Thursday, 9:45–11:15, Key 5
Chair: Jennifer GERMANN, Independent Scholar
1. Tara ZANARDI, Hunter College, CUNY, “Bittersweet Empire: Alcora, Natural History, and the Chocolate Service”
2. Emily Rose BEEBER, University of Delaware, “Rubens Peale with a Geranium: Botanical Science and Slavery in the Early Republic”
3. Christina LINDEMAN, University of South Alabama, “Vermilion and Cinnabar: Seeing Red in Eighteenth-Century Europe”

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Spreading the Image: Print Cultures
Thursday, 11:30–1:00, Key 10
Chair: Susanne ANDERSON-RIEDEL, University of New Mexico
1. Michael FEINBERG, University of Wisconsin, Madison, “Flaming Landscapes in Stedman’s Narrative of a five year expedition”
2. Arthur LEE, Johns Hopkins University, “Illustrating the Haitian Revolution: Marcus Rainsford and Atlantic Visual Politics”
3. Ruth DAWSON, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, “Picturing an Upstart Tsarina for a Downmarket Audience: Early Prints of Catherine the Great”

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Objects and the Making of Enlightenment Selves
Thursday, 11:30–1:00, Paca
Chair: Mary PEACE, Sheffield Hallam University, and Joelle DEL ROSE, College for Creative Studies
1. Sara WHISNANT, East Tennessee University, “‘The Sense of Taste’: Agency and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Group Portraiture”
2. Katherine ISELIN, University of Missouri, “Women and Eighteenth-Century Antiquarianism”
3. Lauren KELLOGG DISALVO, Dixie State University, “Women and Eighteenth-Century Antiquarianism”
4. Mary CRONE-ROMANOVSKI, Florida Gulf Coast University, “The Circulation of Material Objects In and Across Novels by Women”

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Gale Digital Scholar Lab, Lunch and Learn
Thursday, 1:00–2:15, Tubman B
Gale invites ASECS members to a lunch conversation about Gale Digital Scholar Lab, a text and data mining and visualization tool built specifically for primary sources. Using the analysis tools in the Lab, researchers can explore topics and patterns across collections including ECCO. During the session, Gale will provide an overview of the tool and case studies of how it’s been used in teaching and research at institutions around the world. Register at: https://forms.gle/hTMhLKirWMXm4usTA

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Anne Schroder New Scholars Session (HECAA)
Thursday, 2:30–4:00, Key 12
Chair: Aaron WILE, National Gallery of Art, and Dipti KHERA, New York University
1. Zoë DOSTAL, Columbia University, “From Idle to Industrious: Picturing Women Beating Hemp in the Bridewell”
2. Anna FICEK, CUNY Graduate Center, “From Print to Parlor: Les Incas’ Long Shadow in Visual and Decorative Arts”
3. Jinyi LIU, New York University, “Seaborne Craftsmen and Their Elastic Workshop Knowledge: An Eighteenth-Century Fujianese-made Sculpture of Mourning Mary”
4. Ankita SRIVASTAVA, Jawaharlal Nehru University, “The Architect and the Marchese: Two Italians at the Court of Begum Samru of Sardhana, India”

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Seen Here Making a Masterpiece: Rendering Artists, Musicians, and Authors in Painting, Poetry, Sculpture, and Prose [South-Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies]
Thursday, 2:30–4:00, Douglass
Chair: TBD
1. Bradford MUDGE, University of Colorado, Denver, “Transmediation and Portraiture”
2. Kristin O’ROURKE, Dartmouth College, “Picturing Artists and Writers: Media Specificity, Genre and Cultural Mythmaking”
3. Kevin L. COPE, Louisiana State University, “My Easel Just Fell into an Abysm and I’m under a Tidal Wave: Picturing Earthquake Experiencers”

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Performing the Eighteenth Century Today
Thursday, 4:15–5:45, Key 2
Chair: Ellen WELCH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
1. Olivia SABEE, Swarthmore College, “Eighteenth-Century Performance Theory and Twenty-First Century Performance: Diderot, Noverre, The Noble, and the Grotesque”
2. Amanda MOEHLENPAH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Foreign and Familiar: Cultural Codes and Affective Performance in Eighteenth-Century Ballet”
3. Meredith MARTIN, New York University, “Reimagining the Ballet des Porcelaines: Commerce, Colonialism, and Chinoiserie”

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Reproduction and Futurity, Part I
Thursday, 4:15–5:45, Key 9
Chair: Jane WESSEL, U.S. Naval Academy
1. Kirsten MARTIN, Rutgers University, “‘A Kind of Magick’: Imitation and Futurity in Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Pedagogy”
2. Laura EARLS,University of Delaware, “‘They could hardly persuade themselves they were not human creatures’: Women Waxwork Sculptors and Reproduction in the British Atlantic World”
3. Chelsea PHILLIPS, Villanova University, “Conceiving Genius: Sarah Siddons and the Future of Tragedy”

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Members’ Reception
Thursday, 6:00–7:30, Eutaw Street (Weather Permitting)

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Eighteenth-Century Game Night
Thursday, 7:30–midnight, Key 12
An open house to explore games inspired by the eighteenth century. For more information or to sign up for games, see http://aub.ie/asecs22games. Game Night also will be held on Friday, April 1.

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F R I D A Y ,  1  A P R I L  2 0 2 2

The Eighteenth-Century Last Will and Testament, Part I
Friday, 9:45–11:15, Douglass
Chair: Pamela PHILLIPS, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras
1. Yvonne FUENTES, University of West Georgia, “Spanish Testaments, Wills, and Inventories: Bridging Heaven and Earth”
2. Melanie HAYES, Trinity College Dublin, “Crafted Legacies: Artisans’ Wills in Early Georgian Britain”
3. Stephanie KOSCAK, Wake Forest University, “‘Tokens of My Love’: Money, Memory, and Mourning in Eighteenth-Century England”
4. Emily ENGEL, Independent Scholar, “Portraits and Luxury in Eighteenth-Century South America”

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Let’s Get Small: Micro-Art Histories, Part I
Friday, 9:45–11:15, Key 6
Chair: Melissa HYDE, University of Florida
1. Rori BLOOM, University of Florida, “Miniature Portraits as Erotic Currency in Casanova’s Histoire de ma vie”
2. Jeff RAVEL, MIT, “An Eye on Theatrical Disorder: France and England, ca. 1800”
3. Yasemin ALTUN, Duke University, “Original-itty in Translation: Sophie Chéron’s Creative Reproduction of Miniature Gems”

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Presidential Session | Venice: Real and Imagined
Friday, 11:30–1:00, Key 12
Chair: Irene ZANINI-CORDI, Florida State University
1. Rebecca SQUIRES, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, “Vedute of Venice: The Visual Construction of the Picturesque”
2. John HUNT, Utah Valley University, “Imaginary Hells: Witches and Magic Wells in Early Modern Venice”
3. Susan DALTON, Université de Montréal, “Venice’s Amazon? Giustina Renier Michiel’s Strategic Accommodations of Occupying Forces”
The panel will begin with a performed reading: “Giustina Renier Michiel’s and Chateaubriand’s Views on Venice,” presented by Aleksondra HULTQUIST, Stockton University, and Sayre GREENFIELD, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. *This reading is supported by the Arts, Theater, and Music Fund*

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Curious Taste: The Transatlantic Appeal of Satire
Friday, 11:30–1:00, Paca
Chair: Nancy SIEGEL, Towson University
1. Cynthia ROMAN, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, “Museums ‘Look down on Them’ Librarians ‘Don’t Know How to Handle Them.’ The Layered Histories of Scholarship and Collecting of Eighteenth-Century British Satiric Prints at the Lewis Walpole Library”
2. Rebecca SZANTYR, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, “Compiling Singularities: Alexander Anderson’s The Wheel of Fortune”
3. Allison STAGG, Technische Universitat Darmstadt, Germany, “Charles Pierce’s Album of Caricatures”

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Let’s Get Small: Micro-Art Histories, Part II
Friday, 11:30–1:00, Key 6
Chair: Melissa HYDE, University of Florida
1. Aoife COSGROVE, Trinity College Dublin, “Isabel Farnesio, Amateur: A Small-Scale Artist in a Big World”
2. Philippe HALBERT, Yale University, “Rouge, Redress, and the Sauvage: Reading Madame Bégon as Microhistory 1748–1753”
3. Ashley HANNEBRINK, Harvard University, “Small Sculptures, Big Ideas: Terracotta Statuettes and Theories of the Earth in Eighteenth-Century Paris”

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Conversations across the Arts: Adaptations
Friday, 11:30–1:00, Key 12
Chair: Daniella BERMAN, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and Ashley BENDER, Texas Women’s University
1. Bethany E. QUALLS, University of California, Davis, “Sally Salisbury’s Eighteenth- Century Transmedia Adaptations and the Creation of B-List Celebrity”
2. Hamish WOOD, University of Sydney, “Adaptation, Epistolarity, and Staging the Letter: Jane Austen’s ‘Sir Charles Grandison or the happy man. A comedy’ (c.1800)”
3. Kathryn DESPLANQUE, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Starving Artists? The Presence and Absence of Women in Parisian Art-World Satire in the Long Eighteenth Century”

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Clothing and Empire: Dress and Power
Friday, 11:30–1:00, Douglass
Chair: Kristin, O’ROURKE, Dartmouth College
1. Marina KLIGER, Metropolitan Museum of Art, “A Turk at the Paris Salon: The Ambiguities of Dress and Cosmopolitanism in Jean-Baptiste Isabey’s Le Grand escalier du musée (1817)”
2. Jacqueline DELISLE, independent researcher, “The Straight-Edge Razor as a Tool of Masculine Self-Fashioning”
3. Nancy KARRELS, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Fashionable Loot: Female Influencers in Revolutionary France’s Cultural Heritage Debates”
4. Christine ADAMS, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, “Fashion and Politics: Élégantes and Merveilleuses under the Directory and Beyond”

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Lunches, Excursions, and Late-Breaking Special Sessions
Friday, 1:00–3:15
Use this time to explore Baltimore’s eighteenth-century history, connect with colleagues, or just take a breather amid our busy agenda!
Excursions: Except when noted, these are suggestions for members to organize on their own.
Guide to Indigenous Baltimore (self-guided walking tour created by American University faculty member, Elizabeth Rule)
Baltimore African American Heritage Walking Tour (self-guided walking tour)
Baltimore Black History Tour (guided walking tour run by Black-owned business, I Love Baltimore Personal Tours)
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
• Not exactly an excursion: but this an interesting digital resource: Visualizing Early Baltimore (batch of digital resources at UMBC, including BEARINGS of Baltimore, ca. 1815, an interactive 3D map that allows overlay of contemporary onto 1815 Baltimore)
• Walters Art Museum Guided Tour (capacity limited to 30; already full). On this two-stop private tour for ASECS members at the Walters Art Museum, Joaneath Spicer, the James A. Murnaghan Curator of European Renaissance and Baroque Art, will talk about two subjects for which she is well known: first, the presence and representation of Africans in Europe, specifically the museum’s newly acquired portrait of an African prince at the court of Louis XIV; and second, the Chamber of Wonders and its shifting character from the early 1600s to the 1700s.

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Flames of Freedom Showcase
Friday, 2:00–3:15, Key 12
Emily Friedman, Emily Kugler, and Sören Hammerschmidt will offer a brief introduction to Flames of Freedom, a table-top role-playing game that blends historical setting and folk horror genres with a deep commitment to diversity and equity in gaming, game design, and the broader community—followed by a hands-on showcase of the game’s approach to race, ethnicity, class, gender, disability, and other consideration in the character generation process. Those interested in playing the game can sign up for sessions on Thursday and Friday night, at http://aub.ie/asecs22games.

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Baltimore Museum of Art, HECAA Visit
Friday, 3:30–6:00
HECAA member Brittany Luberda, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art, has been kind enough to organize a HECAA-only tour of the museum’s eighteenth-century collections on Friday afternoon. Virginia Anderson, Curator of American Art, will be leading a tour of the early American galleries, and Brittany herself will offer a walk-through of the eighteenth-century European galleries. The tours are followed by an informal social hour at the museum bar starting at 5:00. Space is limited, so advanced registration for this event is required (see the HECAA email for details).

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ASECS Business Meeting / Presentation of ASECS Awards
Friday, 3:15–5:00, Key 7 & 8
Rebecca MESSBARGER, ASECS President, Mark BOONSHOFT, ASECS Executive Director, Joseph BARTOLOMEO, ASECS Treasurer

ASECS Presidential Address
Friday, 3:15–5:00, Key 7 & 8
Rebecca MESSBARGER Washington University in St. Louis, “Demystifying the Corpse in Italy’s Age of Reform”

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Eighteenth-Century Game Night
Friday, 7:00–midnight, Key 12
An open house to explore games inspired by the eighteenth century. For more information or to sign up for games, see http://aub.ie/asecs22games. Game Night also will be held on Thursday.

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S A T U R D A Y ,  2  A P R I L  2 0 2 2

Transplanted Lives and Foreign Presence: Seeing Migration
Saturday, 9:45–11:15, Key 5
Chair: Marina KLIGER, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Thea GOLDRING, Harvard University
1. Harvey Guy SHEPHERD, The Courtauld Institute of Art, “Alpine Identity in Transit: The Visual Culture of Savoyard Migrants in Eighteenth-Century Paris”
2. Oliver WUNSCH, Boston College, “The Limits of Visual Sensitivity: Sympathy, Sensibility, and Jean-Baptiste Perronneau’s Portrait of Mapondé”
3. Daniel O’QUINN, University of Guelph, “Between Superlunary and Sublunary Worlds: Muslims in the Metropolis of London”

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Trying to Earn Some Dosh: Chasing Economic and Professional Success in the in the Atlantic World
Saturday, 9:45–11:15, Key 10
Chair: Heather ZUBER, Queens College, CUNY and Amanda SPRINGS, Maritime College, SUNY
1. Christine WALKER, Yale-NUS College “‘I will not leave my affairs in any other hand:’ Women’s Trans-Atlantic Crossings and Caribbean Interests”
2. Heidi STROBEL, University of North Texas, “Mary Linwood’s Balancing Act”
3. Sonja LAWRENSON, Manchester Metropolitan University, “‘A World of New Wonders Shall Open on You’: Maria Edgeworth and Transatlantic Exchange”
4. Sarah CARTER, McGill University, “Artists, Antiquaries, and the Cosmopolitan Career of John Brown”

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The 38th James L. Clifford Memorial Lecture
Jennifer L. MORGAN, New York University, “On Race and Reinscription: Writing Enslaved Women into the Early Modern Archive”
Saturday, 11:30–12:30, Key 7 & 8
In this talk, Jennifer Morgan uses the history of three Black women from the sixteenth and seventeenth century to explore questions of methodology and evidence in the early history of the Black Atlantic. Through evidence from visual art, law, and commerce Morgan considers the challenges and possibilities of crafting a social historical study of women whose voices are so often absent from the archival record but whose lives and perspectives have proven to be essential for comprehending the origins of racial capitalism.

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Arts of the Table in Global Perspective
Saturday, 2:00–3:30, Key 9
Chair: Sarah R. COHEN, SUNY University at Albany
1. Ralph HOYLE, Independent Scholar, “The English Tea as Global Consumption”
2. Alicia CATICHA, Northwestern University, “Material Masquerade: Sugar and Marble on the Eighteenth-Century Dining Table”
3. Jacob MYERS, University of Pennsylvania, “The Cane-Rat, Delicacy, and Archival Stickiness on British Jamaica”
4. Susan B. EGENOLF, Texas A&M University, “Soup Tureens and Global Politics: Josiah Wedgwood’s Green Frog Service”

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Materializing Time and Temporality
Saturday, 2:00–3:30, Brent
Chair: Helena YOO ROTH, CUNY
1. Alexandra MACDONALD, William & Mary, “No Time to Dye: Gendered Labour in Eighteenth-Century Craft”
2. Craig HANSON, Calvin University, “The History and Present State of Before and After, The Origins of a Visual Convention”
3. Daniella BERMAN, NYU, “Uncertainty and Time: The Problem of Representing the French Revolution”

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Geographical Frontiers
Saturday, 2:00–3:30, Paca
Chair: Matthew GIN, Northeastern University
1. Zoe BEENSTOCK, University of Haifa, “Shifting Sands: Thomas Pownall’s Colonial Antiquarianism”
2. Laura GOLOBISH, University of New Mexico, “Piss, Poison, Potions, and other Paths from Scotland to England in London Caricature after 1745”
3. Emily CASEY, Independent Scholar, “Hydrographic Frontiers: Imagining Land and Sea in the Early Nation”
4. Nika ELDER, American University, “John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark and the Whitewashing of History”

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Who Run(s) the World? Girl Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century
Saturday, 3:45–5:15, Key 9
Chair: Maura GLEESON, Valencia College, and Lauren WALTER, University of Florida
1. Nicole M. STAHL, West Virginia University, “The Girl in the Book: Anna Seward and Her Literary Forefathers”
2. Fiona BRIDEOAKE, American University, “Girls Narrating Girlhood in The Governess: or, The Little Female Academy”
3. Amanda STRASIK, Eastern Kentucky University, “Painting Paradoxes: Jeanne-Elisabeth Chaudet’s Little Girl Teaching her Dog to Read

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Portraiture in the Americas
Saturday, 3:45–5:15, Armistead
Chair: Emily THAMES, Florida State University
1. Emily ENGEL, Independent Scholar, “Manifesting Visual Battlefields in Late Viceregal South America”
2. Kristi PETERSON, Skidmore College, “Material Ecologies: Silver, Women, and the Body Politic in Spanish American Portraiture”
3. Emily GERHOLD, High Point University, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Pair of Breasts: (Re)Considering Sarah Goodridge’s Self Portrait (1828)”

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HECAA Reception
Saturday, 5:00–7:00, Paca
A cash bar with conviviality; bring your friends!

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Note (added 25 March) — The original posting did not include the HECAA-organized tours at the Baltimore museum or the HECAA reception.

Exhibition | Casanova: The Seduction of Europe

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 1, 2017

From the Kimbell Art Museum and Distributed Art Publishers (DAP) . . .

Casanova: The Seduction of Europe / Casanova’s Europe: Art, Pleasure, and Power
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 27 August — 31 December 2017
The Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 10 February — 28 May 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1 July — 8 October 2018

Jean-Marc Nattier, Portrait of Manon Balletti, 1757, oil on canvas, 54 × 47.5 cm (London: National Gallery). Balletti was the fiancée (1757–60) of Giacomo Casanova and then wife (1760–74) of the architect Jacques-François Blondel.

Casanova: The Seduction of Europe explores the 18th century across Europe through the eyes of one of its most colorful characters, Giacomo Casanova (1725–1798). Renowned in modern times for his amorous pursuits, Casanova lived not only in Italy, but in France and England, and his travels took him to the Ottoman Empire and to meet Catherine the Great in Saint Petersburg. Bringing together paintings, sculpture, works on paper, furnishings, porcelains, silver, and period costume, Casanova will bring this world to life. Following its display in Fort Worth, the exhibition will be on view at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Frederick Ilchman, Thomas Michie, C.D. Dickerson III, and Esther Bell, with texts by Meredith Chilton, Jeffrey Collins, Nina Dubin, Courtney Leigh Harris, James Johnson, Pamela Parmal, Malina Stefanovska, Susan Wager, and Michael Yonan, Casanova: The Seduction of Europe (Boston: MFA Publications, 2017), 344 pages, ISBN: 978 087846 8423, $45.

In 18th-century Europe, while the old order reveled in the luxurious excesses of the Rococo style and the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of revolution, the shapeshifting libertine Giacomo Casanova seduced his way across the continent. Although notorious for the scores of amorous conquests he recorded in his remarkably frank memoirs, Casanova was just as practiced at charming his way into the most elite social circles, through an inimitable mix of literary ambition, improvisational genius and outright fraud. In his travels across Europe and through every level of society from the theatrical demimonde to royal courts, he was also seduced by the visual splendors he encountered.

This volume accompanies the first major art exhibition outside Europe to lavishly recreate Casanova’s visual world, from his birthplace of Venice, city of masquerades, to the cultural capitals of Paris and London and the outposts of Eastern Europe. Summoning up the people he met and the cityscapes, highways, salons, theaters, masked balls, boudoirs, gambling halls and dining rooms he frequented, it provides a survey of important works of 18th-century European art by masters such as Canaletto, Fragonard, Boucher, Houdon, and Hogarth, along with exquisite decorative arts objects. Twelve essays by prominent scholars illuminate multiple facets of Casanova’s world as reflected in the arts of his time, providing a fascinating grand tour of Europe conducted by a quintessential figure of the 18th century as well as a splendid visual display of the spirit of the age.

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Note (added 20 August 2018) — This article might be of interest for anyone thinking about the exhibition and its reception within our own political/cultural context: Cynthia Durcanin, “Casanova as Case Study: How Should Art Museums Present Problematic Aspects of the Past?,” ArtNews (13 August 2018). As noted in the essay: “The MFA also changed the show’s title from the Legion of Honor’s, removing the word ‘seduction’ so that it became ‘Casanova’s Europe: Art, Pleasure and Power in the 18th Century’.” According to Katie Getchell, the chief brand officer and deputy director of the MFA Boston, “It’s an important nuance. The show is not about Casanova—it’s about Europe in Casanova’s time.”









Exhibition | Handel Exhibition at Boughton House

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 13, 2016


Boughton House, Northamptonshire. Most of the present building was undertaken by Ralph Montagu, 1st Duke of Montagu (d. 1709) who inherited the house in 1683. The Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust now looks after the house and estate.

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Later this summer at Boughton:

Handel Exhibition at Boughton House
Boughton House (near Kettering), Northamptonshire, August 2016

This August Boughton House celebrates the composer George Frideric Handel’s extraordinary legacy with items from the Buccleuch musical archives. The exhibition looks at key moments in Handel’s life, from his formative years in the palaces of cardinals and princes in Rome, to his rise as England musical genius presiding over London, the European capital of music theatre in the eighteenth century.

The exhibition will launch with an event hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch on Sunday, 17th July (see below). The Paris dance company, Les Corps Eloquents, will create a unique Handel performance in Boughton’s Great Hall, including re-created scenes from some of Handel’s most spectacular operas. London theatre-goers expected ballet in their opera, and Handel did not disappoint. He created over 70 works for the French dancers he had at his disposal, thanks to patrons like the Duke of Montagu.

The exhibition presents
• Glimpses of Handel’s early life in the palaces of cardinals in Rome
• Rare images of Handel and his colleagues, including a life size bust after Louis François Roubiliac
• Roubiliac’s terracotta model for the Handel statue in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens
• A 1720 harpsichord thought to have belonged to Handel
• Original choreographies as used by Handel’s dancers at The Kings Theatre, Haymarket
• A small orchestra of Chelsea Porcelain musicians
• Rare scores and manuscripts including the first edition of The Messiah
• When Handel came to lunch: the menu and guest list from Montagu House April 1747
• Musical instruments as used in the music for the Royal Fireworks

Handel at Boughton
Boughton House (near Kettering), Northamptonshire, 17 July 2016

Hosted by the Duke of Buccleuch, this unique event begins with a welcoming coffee and the opportunity to stroll through Boughton’s glorious gardens and landscape. A buffet brunch is then followed by a tour of the house as well as a private view of Boughton’s 2016 Handel exhibition, which takes a fresh look at Handel’s life in Rome and London—with rare paintings, instruments, and original scores from the family archives, including The Messiah.

This one-off programme of events includes a splendid Handel performance in the Great Hall with counter-tenor James Laing and Paris dance company Les Corps Eloquents. Together they will re-create scenes from some of Handel’s most spectacular operas. You’ll also be treated to the first public performance of composer Luke Styles’s Passacaille—an extraordinary 21st-century re-imagining of Handel’s work through music, song, and dance. Tea and cakes will be served shortly afterwards. Luke Styles is one of the UK’s leading composers of his generation. Over the last four years his operas have been performed at Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Vault Festival. Passacaille, his new piece for Boughton, is a re-imagining of an original Handel dance. For voice, instruments, and four dancers, its harmony, phrasing and melodic shapes are all given a 21st-century treatment, combining Sytles’s own musical language with the Handelian aesthetic.

The day starts at 11am and ends at 5pm. Please advise us in advance if you are a wheelchair user by calling 01536 515731 or emailing us. Early bird tickets cost £55 if purchased before 20th June and £65 thereafter.

Exhibition | Sweet 18: Contemporary Art, Fashion, and Design

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on February 14, 2015


Kasteel d’Ursel at Hingene (Bornem), Belgium.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons, 4 May 2009.

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Press release for the exhibition:

Sweet 18: Contemporary Art, Fashion, and Design Inspired by the 18th Century
Kasteel d’Ursel, Hingene, Belgium, 1 May — 5 July 2015

Curated by Luisa Bernal, Dieter Van Den Storm, Wim Mertens, Tamara Berghmans, and Hélène Bremer

This spring the former summer residence of the aristocratic d’Ursel family will be the setting for the exhibition Sweet 18, presenting the 18th century through the eyes of fifty contemporary designers, artists, and fashion designers—from Erwin Olaf and Wim Delvoye to Walter van Beirendonck and Philippe Starck.

Jessica Harrison, Painted Lady.

Jessica Harrison, Painted Lady (10), found ceramic, enamel paint, 22 x 17 x 13cm, 2014.

We all have somewhere in our minds the same images of the 18th century: wigs and hooped petticoats, towering hairstyles and elegant furniture, fine porcelain on lavishly decked tables, sensual portraits and frivolous paintings. The 18th century was the time of the Enlightenment and of the flowering of the arts and sciences. But it also created a playful, artificial world for aristocrats wanting to escape reality and immerse themselves in fantasy. A charmed world of pleasure, abundance, and voluptuousness, of pastel tints and curlicues, a world that inspires many an artist to this day. Spreading themselves over all three floors of the castle, these artists will show you the 18th century as you have never seen it before.

Sweet 18 has been brought together by the following team of curators: Luisa Bernal (art), Dieter Van Den Storm (design), Wim Mertens (fashion), Tamara Berghmans (photography) and Hélène Bremer (art).

Ode to Marie Antoinette

Whether it be for her extravagant lifestyle, influential fashion sense or her tragic death, French Queen Marie-Antoinette still speaks to our imagination. Director Sofia Coppola’s film spear- headed the revival. For pop stars like Madonna and Beyoncé, she is also a powerful icon. German illustrator Olaf Hajek gives his own take on her in the Black Antoinette series while top Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf offers up a gory portrait of the queen: beheaded.

Exuberant Fashion

Walter Van Beirendonck. Foto: Ronald Stoops

Walter Van Beirendonck. Foto: Ronald Stoops

The extravagant wardrobe of Marie-Antoinette is the springboard for many a contemporary fashion designer: from the minimalism of Japanese Yohji Yamamoto and eccentricity of German Bernhard Willhelm to French fashion houses Nina Ricci and Thierry Mugler. American artist Yasemen Hussein recreates one of her wigs in metal, and English milliner Stephen Jones is inspired by her to create his evocative hats. The outsized dresses, tight corsets, and tailored jackets of Belgian designers Walter Van Beirendonck and Olivier Theyskens also sample the 18th century.

Transparent Plastic en Burnt Wood

Dutch designer Hella Jongerius immersed herself in the archives of the German porcelain manufactory Nymphenberg to come up with plates which combine hand-painted patterns and little sculptured animals, all done in 18th-century style. Designer Maarten Baas literally set fire to a number of antique chairs before reworking them in lacquer. His Smoke Chair has become a classic. Even more famous is French star designer Philippe Starck’s Ghost Chair, which references a Louis XV chair in a pared-down, transparent design. Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s lounge chair and an outlandish seat by British designer Nina Saunders also find a home in the exhibition. One absolute high point is L’ornement jamais by Swiss designer Philippe Cramer, an outstanding piece of pine furniture executed in 18th-century style and partially dipped in liquid gold.

Deformed Status Symbols

The fine china of Meissen, Sèvres, and Wedgwood remains to this day an inexhaustible source of inspiration. The sculptural groups of American artist Chris Antemann may look like replicas but reveal themselves on closer inspection to be rather wicked tableaux, full of forbidden fruit. British artist Jessica Harrison makes superficially sweet female figurines that are actually hideously mutilated, with their deformed heads and coloured tattoos. With War and Pieces, Dutch ceramicist Bouke de Vries offers a modern interpretation of the extravagant banquets that were thrown the night before a battle. British artist Amy Hughes’s Trésor découvert suggests treasure that has been lying buried for centuries under that same battlefield, treasure that has lost its gleam but has a story of the past and its rediscovery to tell.

Fêtes Galantes

In Stavronikita Project Austrian photographer Andreas Franke recreates 18th-century festivities. By situating them in the unusual setting of a sunken ship he emphasises the beauty that underlies decadence and decline. The tableaux of Canadian artist Ray Caesar border on the surreal, while the work of English painter Patrick Hughes plays games with the laws of perspective.

Pastoral Scenes

Richard Saja

Richard Saja

Nothing is more typical of the 18th-century domestic interior than ‘toile de Jouy’, cotton wall- coverings depicting scenes of rural life. American artist Richard Saja pimps its little cowherds into clowns or punks, while the French Collectif Ensaders transforms them into figures of fantasy and Virginie Broquet gives them an erotic spin. Scottish design studio Timourous Beasties substitutes its idyllic villages with views of the London skyline, while French artist Joël Ducorroy reduces it to its bare essentials. American Beth Katleman brings toile de Jouy wallpaper to life in a vast 3D construction, introducing flea market finds into her installation to accentuate the strangeness of the effect.

Lavish Finery

British artist Jo Taylor translates the extravagant stucco ornament of the grand 18th-century house into three-dimensional porcelain objects. American Molly Hatch’s porcelain plates, when set together, form a landscape painting covering an entire wall. Taking as her inspiration the bizarre wigs of the French court, English artist Kathy Dalwood turns
casts of utilitarian objects into plaster portrait busts.

Made in Belgium

Belgian artists easily hold their own amongst all these international heavyweights. Isabelle Copet lays a gigantic lace collar in the pool behind the castle. In the park Michaël Aerts places an inverted statue of Louis XIV on a pedestal made of flight cases and builds a seven metre high obelisk from the same black cases. Two twisted sculptures by Wim Delvoye overlook the entrance hall. Zaza contributes a print. In the mirrored room Bart Ramakers has filmed a richly imaginative ballet on the theme of romantic love. Painter Jan Devliegher exhibits gigantic porcelain plates and Nick Ervinck has printed two stunningly designed vases in 3D. A design for a bedroom by architect Koen Deprez combines classic panelling and Fragonard paintings with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Pieter Theuns (BOX) has composed music inspired by Mozart for the exhibition.

Kasteel d’Ursel

For nearly four centuries Kasteel van Hingene was the favourite summer residence of the aristocratic d’Ursel family. Every summer the Duke would travel with family and servants to his magnificent country house. Now it is the property of the Province of Antwerp, which is restoring it to its former glory. In 2014 Kasteel d’Ursel won the ‘Flemish Heritage Award’.

The exhibition begins on the first floor and leads you through the noble family’s former bedchambers. The service stairs bring you directly to the second floor where once the servants and the children of the family were accommodated. The circuit ends in the hall of mirrors and the reception rooms of the ground floor. The restored castle, with its characteristic Chinese interior decoration, is the perfect setting for this contemporary look at the 18th century.

Call for Papers: ASECS in Vancouver

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on June 23, 2010

2011 American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference
Vancouver, British Columbia, 17-20 March 2011

Proposals due by 15 September 2010

The 2011 ASECS conference takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, March 17-20, at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. Along with our annual luncheon and business meeting, HECAA will be represented by two panels chaired by Douglas Fordham and David Ehrenpreis and Kevin Justus. In addition to these, a wide selection of sessions are also included below. For the full CFPs, see the ASECS website.

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Art Before Nationalism (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture)

Douglas Fordham and David Ehrenpreis, U. of Virginia, McIntire Dept. of Art, PO Box 400130, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4130; Tel: (434)243-2285 (Douglas work); Fax: (434) 924-3647 (Douglas work); E-mail: fordham@virginia.edu, EHRENPDH@jmu.edu

The concept of nationalism is often associated exclusively with modern state formation and the push for popular sovereignty that accompanied the American and French revolutions during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. But how are we to interpret the shifting attitudes toward the state in other periods and/or in other places? This session seeks papers that explore the relationship between visual art and the concept of nationhood at a variety of moments and geographic locations throughout the long eighteenth century. Papers could address this relationship through a focused examination of individual works of art, aesthetic theories, or broader frames of inquiry. Relevant questions might include: Has there been a tendency to read 19th century notions of nationhood and nationalism back onto the eighteenth century? Were there aspects of either art production or aesthetic writing that failed to cross national boundaries?  Is there a difference between patriotism and nationalism during this period? Have British and/or French conceptions of nationhood been imported uncritically into our understanding of other ‘national’ artistic traditions? These are the types of questions that we encourage contributors to pose through the lens of their own regional and interpretative specializations.

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Looking Forward, Looking Back: HECAA’s New Scholars Session (Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture)

Kevin Justus, 4134 E Hayne Street, Tucson, AZ 85711; Tel: (520) 327-8407; E-mail: kevinjustus@yahoo.com

This session seeks to present works by new scholars who are members of HECAA. A diverse subject matter is encouraged and welcomed.

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The Beginnings and Ends of Cultural Studies (Roundtable) (Cultural Studies Caucus)

Laura Rosenthal, U. of Maryland, College Park, English Dept., College Park, MD 20742; Tel: (301) 405-1408; E-mail: lrosent1@umd.edu

This roundtable takes up two related issues around cultural studies with a pre-1800’s focus: (1) The ends: Has cultural studies become overly predictable? Has it run its course?  If so, what might be on the horizon next? Has it left behind valuable traditional concerns or, alternatively, has it failed to detach itself from them? (2) The beginning: Can there be a productive “early modern cultural studies,” or has “early modern” ceased to include the long eighteenth century?  Does (or should) cultural studies defy or reinscribe traditional periodization?

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Animal Studies: New Perspectives on the Enlightenment (Cultural Studies Caucus)

Lucinda Cole, Dept. of English, U. of Southern Maine, Portland ME; Tel: (207) 780-4093; E-mail: lcole@maine.rr.com

We seek theoretically informed papers on how the field of animal studies has–or has not–altered traditional views of the long eighteenth century, literature and culture.

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Evaluating Digital Projects: A Roundtable Discussion of New Forms of Grading and Peer Review  (Digital Humanities Caucus)

Lisa Maruca, 5057 Woodward, Dept. of English, Wayne State U., Detroit, MI 48202; Tel: (248) 890-5177; E-mail: lisa.maruca@wayne.edu AND gwilliams@uscupstate.edu

As new media projects begin to supplement or in some cases replace the print essay, research paper, scholarly article or monograph, what modes of evaluation should we expect or demand of students (undergrads and graduate students), colleagues, and ourselves? In recent times groups like HASTAC and the MLA  begin discussion on evaluating digital work—the latter appropriately enough on a wiki (http://wiki.mla.org/index.php/Evaluation_Wiki) –while the president of the MLA has even advised that more digital dissertations be produced.  Similarly, the American Historical Association and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University announced in 2008 a new annual prize for “an innovative and freely available new media project that reflects thoughtful, critical, and rigorous engagement with technology and the practice of history.”  Since our students now might ask to produce a YouTube video instead of a paper, and our colleagues go up for tenure with a digital archive instead of a book, it behooves the member of ASECS to join this discussion and reflect on both methods and criteria for judging specifically historical work.

The organizers welcome descriptions of your own or others’ classroom or institutional experiments; policies that you or others have authored; ideas for future criteria, rubrics, methods and standards for evaluation; as well as theoretical examinations of evaluation as a concept. Panelists might reflect on the following, applied to both students and faculty:

  • Which standards should we preserve and which reject as we move from evaluating print work to digital projects?
  • What are the digital equivalents to (or replacements for) familiar print products such as (for undergrads) the interpretive essay or research paper; (for graduate students) the seminar paper or dissertation; (for faculty) the journal article, chapter or book?
  • How do we transfer such criteria as length and depth to innovative projects?
  • How do we account for the new skills that may need to be acquired to produce works in new media?
  • How do we fairly assess forms requiring multiple team members?
  • How can we import crowdsourcing as a method into the classroom or for examining scholarly work?
  • How do we allow for citation and account for influence in the digital realm?
  • What is the relationship between methods of evaluation for students and that for faculty?
  • How do new media projects de- and re-construct print-based concepts we bring to evaluation, such as periodicity, authorship, originality, knowledge, and intellectual property?
  • How might digital pedagogy and service be reconceived as valuable and quantifiable forms of scholarly work?

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The Eighteenth Century in the Twenty-First: The Impact of the Digital Humanities (Digital Humanities Caucus) (Roundtable)

Lisa Maruca AND George Williams, Williams, LLC Dept., USC Upstate, Spartanburg, SC 29303; Tel: (864) 529-1950; E-mail:  lisa.maruca@wayne.edu; gwilliams@uscupstate.edu

“The digital humanities comprise the study of what happens at the intersection of computing tools with cultural artifacts of all kinds. This study begins where basic familiarity with standard software ends. It probes how these common tools may be used to make new knowledge from our cultural inheritance and from the contemporary world.”

—Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London1

“It isn’t a matter of getting things done more quickly; rather it is about getting things done that couldn’t be done before. That’s the game-changing aspect of technology.”

—Brett Bobley, Director, Office of Digital Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities2

This roundtable will consider how digital tools and digital methodologies are shaping eighteenth-century studies. Participants might reflect on the following questions, applied to both students and faculty:

  • What sorts of new research and teaching models are emerging in the digital age?
  • What drawbacks should scholars and teachers be wary of as we are confronted with these new possibilities?
  • How are collaborative, interdisciplinary projects affected by the digital humanities?
  • What lessons might we learn for our use of twenty-first-century technologies from eighteenth-century observations about print technology’s influence upon learning, knowledge, and communication?
  • Conversely, in what ways does the media culture of the twenty-first century shape our understanding of the eighteenth?

1. Brett Bobley, “Why the Digital Humanities?” Office of Digital Humanities. National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008. Web. 1 May 2010.  <http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/cio/odhfiles/Why.The.Digital.Humanities.pdf&gt;

2. “Introduction to the Digital Humanities” Center for Computing in the Humanities. King’s College London, 2006. Web. 1 May 2010. <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/depts/cch/digihum/&gt;

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Surrounded by Bodies: Contact, Corporeality, and the Long Eighteenth Century (Graduate Student Caucus)

Nicholas E. Miller, Washington U. in St. Louis, Dept. of English, One Brookings Drive, CB 1122, Saint Louis, MO 63130; Tel: (314) 750-8185; E-mail: n.e.miller@go.wustl.edu

Much has been said about bodies, yet the body still remains one of the most contested concepts in fields such as anthropology, art, history, literature, medicine, philosophy, religion, and gender/sexuality. In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689), John Locke noted that all “are born into the world, being surrounded by bodies that perpetually and diversely affect them.” By conceptualizing the world as one of bodies in contact, his assertion prefaced a growing eighteenth-century preoccupation with corporeality. This panel seeks to explore such investigations of the body by examining how these figures wrote about and experienced bodies, health, illness, contagion, mixture, and death. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the eighteenth-century body and invite submissions from graduate students and junior scholars across disciplines. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: the medical body, sentimentality and the emotional body, discourses of corporeality, the legible body, animal bodies, travel narratives and the body in transit, representations of pathology in literature and art, the grotesque, the sciences aesthetically imagined, the body in pain, the politics of contagion, corpses, and theories of embodiment.

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Queer Materiality (Gay & Lesbian Caucus)

Paul Kelleher, Dept. of English, Emory U., Atlanta, GA 30322; Tel: (404) 727-2223; Fax: (404) 727-2605; E-mail: pkelleh@emory.edu

We invite paper proposals that offer queer perspectives on eighteenth-century materiality, broadly conceived. Possible topics include: the queer life of eighteenth-century objects, things, commodities, ruins, remainders, keepsakes, collectibles, portraits, landscapes, dwellings, etc.; queering empiricism; queer (re)visions of the mind-body split; the sacred, the profane, and the queer; theories of materiality (e.g., Marx, Althusser, Foucault, Deleuze, Butler) and their relevance to eighteenth-century queer cultures, practices, and pleasures. We are eager to receive proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines. Email submissions preferred.

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New Media In the Eighteenth Century (New Lights Forum: Contemporary Perspectives on the Enlightenment)

Lee Morrissey, Dept. of English, 801 Strode Tower, Box 340523, Clemson U., Clemson, SC 29634-0523; Tel: (864) 656-3151; Fax: (864) 656-1345; E-mail: lmorris@clemson.edu

Developments in new media are putting pressures on and also changing the humanities. This panel is focused on a different, but related question: what about new media in an earlier period? What can changes in print technologies from the late seventeenth to the early eighteenth centuries tell us about the change from print to digitization today?

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Will Tomorrow’s University Be Able to Afford the Eighteenth Century?  If So, How and Why? (Roundtable) (New Lights Forum: Contemporary Perspectives on the Enlightenment)

Lee Morrissey, Dept. of English, 801 Strode Tower, Box 340523, Clemson U., Clemson, SC 29634-0523; Tel: (864) 656-3151; Fax:  (864) 656-1345; E-mail: lmorris@clemson.edu

Given the various pressures on the humanities generally, and on historical/chronological specializations in particular, this panel worries that the university of the future will decide it cannot afford to fund researching and teaching the eighteenth century. We ask, therefore, not only whether tomorrow’s university will be able, but, more importantly, on what grounds we might explain and defend such an investment.

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The Eighteenth Century on Film (Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)

John H. O’Neill, Dept. of English, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY 13323; Tel: (315) 859-4463; Fax: (315) 859-4390; E-Mail: joneill@hamilton.edu

The session welcomes and encourages proposals for papers on any aspect of this topic, including film adaptations of eighteenth century narratives (for example, “The Castaway, “Tom Jones”), films set in the period (e.g., “Stage Beauty,” “Amazing Grace”), and film exploration of eighteenth-century history (e.g., Peter Watkins’s “Culloden,” Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette”).

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Prayer:  Renderings, Interpretations, and Representations, Whether in Literature or Art or Philosophy and Whether Sober or Satiric (South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)

Kevin L. Cope, Dept. of English, Louisiana State U., Baton Rouge, Louisiana   70803; Tel: (225) 578-2864: Fax: (225) 751-3161; E-mail: jovialintelligence@cox.net or encope@lsu.edu

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Race et Couleur au 18e siècle (Society for Eighteenth-Century French Studies)

Christine Clark-Evans, Dept. of French & Francophone Studies, 211 Burrowes Building, Pennsylvania State U., PA 16802; Tel: (814) 865-1960; Fax: (814) 863-1103; E-mail: cxc22@psu.edu

Le concept moderne de « race » voit le jour au 18e siècle. La « couleur » devient aussi bien une caractéristique intrinsèque et transmissible, qu’un élément inséparable de la  « race » dans la catégorisation hiérarchique des variétés de l’espèce humaine. Cette séance a pour but d’explorer la signification du concept de « race » sous tous ses aspects, et d’en élaborer les implications pour le concept de « couleur » tant au physique qu’au moral. On espère examiner dans le système de représentation les débats entre philosophes de tous bords, artistes et écrivains, et leurs conséquences pour l’individu et la société. On encourage des propositions de communication en science, en droit, en art, en littérature, en politique, entre autres cadres esthétiques et éthiques.

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Women and Popular Culture (Southeastern American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies)

Tiffany Potter, Dept. of English, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC; V6T 1Z1  CANADA; Tel: (604) 822-5651; Fax: (604) 822-6906; E-mail: tpotter@interchange.ubc.ca

This panel seeks to bring together four scholars from divergent fields of study to present papers that illuminate the ways in which modern theories of popular culture and eighteenth-century cultural theory can be used together to consider the experience of women in eighteenth-century Europe. Recent studies of contemporary popular culture have illuminated the complex relationships that individuals and groups maintain with the larger artistic, political, and social movements around them. Such methodologies, however, have rarely been applied historically, and even more rarely to the eighteenth century. Though historical ideas of the popular are indeed complex, the papers in this panel will provide analysis of representations of women’s engagements of popular culture, illuminating the relationships among high culture, women’s culture, and popular culture, and the ways in which the conventional masculinization of high culture creates the feminine as the popular.   I seek complementary papers from among the following areas: theatre and actresses, fiction, art and portraiture, and the domestic arts.

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From Dissertation to Publication (Women’s Caucus) (Roundtable)

Misty G. Anderson, Dept. of English, U. University of Tennessee; e-mail: manderson@utk.edu

This roundtable will bring together editors, published authors, and dissertation writers for a discussion about how to turn the dissertation into a book manuscript or a series of articles.

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Women and Networks: Local and Transnational (Roundtable) (Women’s Caucus)

Katherine Binhammer, English, U. of Alberta AND Julie Hayes, U. of Massachusetts Amherst; Katherine Binhammer: Dept. of English, U of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2E5; Julie Hayes: Dept. of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003; Tel: (780)  428-9279; Fax: (780) 492-8142; E-mail:  katherine.binhammer@ualberta.ca and jhayes@llc.umass.edu

This panel will examine the ways in which women connected with other women, whether via larger communities such as salons and literary circles, patronage relationships, epistolary circuits and other networks of information exchange, or by supporting activities such as publication or travel by other women. Papers may examine a particular figure or network, or offer theoretical models for the study of networking relationships. Comparative international perspectives are particularly encouraged.

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The Royal Society

Cynthia Wall, Dept. of English, U. of Virginia, 219 Bryan Hall, P. O. Box 400121, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4121; Tel: (434) 924-7015 or 434-924-6615; Fax: (434) 924-1478; E-mail: wall@virginia.edu

Four 15-minute papers; the idea comes from the fact that my 2011 MLA divisional session, “The Royal Society,” got so many excellent contributions that I couldn’t take! But for the record: The Royal Society is the longest-running scientific society in the world, and as we all know, it’s a seventeenth – eighteenth century production. The body attracted architects, playwrights, artists, musicians, novelists, historians, and clergy, as well as natural philosophers, mathematicians, and those sorts. It also inspired a vast amount of literary production—poetic, dramatic, satiric—and popular culture. Papers are welcomed on any aspect of the Seventeenth – Eighteenth Century Royal Society, its agenda, members, production, or critics.

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Celebrity and Fame in the Enlightenment

Ourida Mostefai, Romance Languages & Literatures Dept., Boston College, Lyons Hall, 140 Commonwealth Ave., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3804; Tel: (617) 552-3518; Fax: (617) 552-2064; E-mail: mostefai@bc.edu

This panel invites papers dealing with the changing notions of fame in the Enlightenment in literature and the arts, focusing especially on the rise of a modern form of celebrity.

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Aesthetics, Ethics, and Economics in Late Eighteenth-Century Art and Literature

Catherine Labio, Dept. of English, U. of Colorado at Boulder, Hellems 118, UCB 226, Boulder, CO 80309; Tel: (303 ) 492-6321; Fax: (303 ) 492-8904; E-mail: catherine.labio@colorado.edu

The goal of this interdisciplinary panel is to test two propositions: a) that aesthetics and economics were in disciplinary conflict soon after their contemporaneous conception and b) that works of art and literature of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries furthered this distinction by modeling a series of practical conflicts between moral and economic value, in which the former tends to get the upper hand.  I welcome proposals that deal with intellectual or disciplinary history or that study specific manifestations of this “conflict of the faculties” at play in works of art and/or literature in Britain or the continent.

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Looking at Disability in the Eighteenth Century

Chris Mounsey, U. of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR, UK; Tel: (+44) 7981 883815; E-mail: cmouns@aol.com

Disability studies is a new and vibrant area of academic study, but is under represented in eighteenth-century studies. There were as many disabled people in that century as there are in this, but we don’t hear much if anything about them. This panel will begin to open up the field, and is interested in papers on any form of disability: blindness, deafness, physical disability or any others. The expectation is to receive papers on both the representation of disabled people (in images or in words) as well as personal accounts of disability, so we can explore the intersection between the views of disability, the medicalization of disability and the life stories of the disabled, a problematic which is as relevant today as it was in the eighteenth century.

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Eighteenth-Century Reception Studies

Marta Kvande, Dept. of English, Texas Tech U., Lubbock, TX 79409; Tel: (806) 742-2500; Fax: (806) 742-0989; E-mail: marta.kvande@ttu.edu

This panel seeks papers on any and all aspects of reception study as it pertains to the eighteenth century, including (though of course not limited to): the reception of specific works, authors, or artists; literary criticism and/or art criticism during the eighteenth century; the emergence of an audience for the ‘literary’; the audience for particular genres or subgenres; the role of anthologies and republication in shaping an audience; the development of a national and/or transnational audience; the relations between the marketplace and audiences/readers; specific readers’ and/or viewers’ responses to texts/works of art; class, race, gender and audiences/readers; how particular texts/works of art constructed and instructed their audiences; and the history of the book.

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Body Parts

Sonja Boon, Dept. of Women’s Studies, Science Building SN4080, Memorial U. of Newfoundland, St. John’s NL, Canada A1C 5S7; Tel: (709) 737-2551; Fax: (709) 737-2067; E-mail: sonja.boon@gmail.com

This panel considers body parts as imagined, constructed, theorized and lived during the eighteenth century. From debates around premature burial, to Boerhaave’s embalmed baby’s arm, the virility of the calves, the glowing bottoms of Boucher’s odalisques, and the seemingly endless debate around the social and moral function of the lactating breast, the body was central to eighteenth-century debates about the nature of the human and the relationship between the mind and the body. What role did the body serve in the eighteenth-century’s cultural imagination? How was it experienced? How was it lived? What might we learn from a consideration of individual body parts? This panel invites papers considering moral, aesthetic, medical, philosophical and auto/biographical aspects of the body and its parts in the eighteenth century.  

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Rethinking William and Mary

Linda Zionkowski, Dept. of English, Ellis Hall, Ohio U., Athens, OH  45701; Tel: 740-597-2749; Fax: 740-593-2832; Email: zionkows@ohio.edu

In Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory, Lisa Jardine argues that the Dutch had a transformative influence on English culture and society in the seventeenth century, an influence that paved the way for the relatively peaceful military invasion of William of Orange in 1688.  In the years leading up to the Glorious Revolution, Dutch scholars, investors, artists, and landscape architects deeply affected the intellectual and cultural climate of England by becoming fellows of the Royal Society, financing the Bank of England, contributing to debates on religion and political economy, and initiating popular innovations in painting and design.  Yet the Anglo-Dutch connection was not uniformly comfortable: the two nations occasionally fought over the possession of colonial territories, with tensions continuing well into the late eighteenth century, and satire of the Dutch was a common feature of Tory discourse.  This session will examine how the relationship between the English and the Dutch was represented in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century texts, material culture, and visual arts.  Papers might consider the effect of Dutch institutions and customs on English life; conflicts engendered by the acceptance of or opposition to Williamite rule; and the portrayal of the English in contemporary accounts by Dutch writers.

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Magic and Religion in the Enlightenment

Mary Helen McMurran, 5858 SW Riveridge Lane #27 Portland, OR 97239; Tel: (206) 372-5053; E-mail: mmcmurr2@uwo.ca

The standard view that Enlightenment secularism caused a precipitous decline in magic, superstition, and religion has been called into question by several scholars. The broad question for this panel is: How did magical and religious thought survive and thrive in the eighteenth century? Papers may address any aspect of the non-secular eighteenth century including the role of such supposedly secular phenomena as popular entertainments, aesthetic pleasure, and the Enlightenment’s rationalizing theories of apparitions, of shamanism, or of the material magic of the fetish may have played. We welcome new research and new perspectives on the spiritual arts in the Enlightenment era with a special interest in African, Native American, and other non-Christian manifestations of belief.

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Imagining Iberia

Judith Broome, Dept. of English, William Paterson U., 300 Pompton Rd., Wayne NJ 07040; Tel: (973) 720-3065; E-mail: broomej1@wpunj.edu

This panel will explore the ways Spain and Portugal were “imagined” in Britain, the Americas, the Caribbean, or other cultures from which the Iberian peninsula was geographically isolated.  Papers may approach the topic from a variety of disciplines, calling on resources such as travel narratives and journals by individuals, accounts in periodicals, or commentary on law, religion, or medicine.  The working question is, how was Iberia imagined outside the peninsula?

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The Alps, the Pyrenees, the Andes: Literature and Arts

Theodore E. D. Braun, French and Comparative Literature, U. of Delaware, E-mail: TEDBraun@comcast.net, nuarb@myway.com

These three mountain chains, so important in Western letters and thought in the long eighteenth century (1650-1850), are featured in countless works of literature, painting, music, and other arts. In the surrounding countries and even from farther away (the Shelleys, Byron, etc.) creative people drew inspiration from the mountains themselves, from the people who lived in these often foreboding areas in Europe and South America, and from their history and culture. I invite scholars to suggest ways in which they might explore the role of the mountains in the writing and arts of the time.

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Circulating Politeness in the Eighteenth Century

Catherine Jaffe, Dept. Modern Languages, Texas State U., San Marcos, TX 78666; Tel: (512) 245-2360; Fax:  (512) 245-8298; E-mail: cj10@txstate.edu

Politeness was a set of cultural and social norms whose basic codes were shared in eighteenth-century Europe, in a context of accelerated circulation of fashion, of international development of polite sociability, travel, and translations and adaptations (often unacknowledged) of texts. However, the alleged cosmopolitanism of politeness, justified as expressions of natural inclination to sociability, was controversial. On one hand, politeness was considered as one of the signs of civilization, which could be identified and measured in different societies in order to establish their position in a scale of progress. On the other hand, polite codes were often perceived as foreign (usually, French) intrusions and as a menace to emerging notions of national identity. This session aims at bringing together research on notions and practices of politeness in different countries, focusing on the tensions between the definition of common standards and the effort to define national identities through stress on particular types or degrees of politeness.

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Food and Eating in the Long Eighteenth Century

Anita Guerrini, History Dept., Oregon State U., 306 Milam Hall, Corvallis OR 97331-5104; Tel: (541) 737-1308; Fax: (541) 737-1257; E-mail:  anita.guerrini@oregonstate.edu

Food and eating have become increasingly important topics in cultural history, the history of medicine, the history of science, and cultural studies. I hope in this session to bring together people working on the many and varied aspects of food, diet, and eating in the eighteenth century from a number of disciplinary perspectives.

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Confluences and Continuities in Eighteenth-Century French Literary, Visual and Musical Arts: A Seminar in Memory of Ted Rex

Mary Sheriff, Dorothy Johnson, Downing Thomas, Address: Mary Sheriff Dept. of Art, CB 3405 Hanes Art Center, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599  3405; Tel: (919) 967-2647; Fax: (919) 962-0722; E-mail: msheriff@earthlink.net

This seminar is linked to another seminar taking as its topic the literary and visual arts and held in memory of Ted Rex. This seminar invites papers that explore the intersections of the literary and musical arts, on the philosophical, aesthetic and cultural levels in a multiplicity of contexts. In particular, we are looking for papers the question the received ideas of eighteenth-century French literary and musical studies in the spirit of the work of Ted Rex. This seminar is held in his memory.

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Histories of Love (Roundtable)

George E Boulukos, Dept. of English, Southern Illinois U. Carbondale, Mailcode 4503, Carbondale, Illinois 62901-4503; Tel: (618) 453-6810; Fax: (618) 453-8224; E-mail: boulukos@siu.edu

This roundtable seeks to investigate the how the history–even the histories–of love are being conceived in current studies of eighteenth-century literature and culture. Does love change and develop over the long eighteenth century? Are representations of love configured to reflect other newly emergent cultural phenomena? Do new and unprecedented forms and objects of love appear, or achieve new significance, in the century? How do new academic approaches, such as affect studies, change our understanding of love in the century?

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Class and Sociability: The Art of Dancing in the Iberian World of the Eighteenth Century

Gloria Eive, 1814 Marineview Drive, San Leandro, California 94577; Tel: ( 510) 895-9118; Fax: (510) 895-5960; E-mail: gloriaeive@gmail.com

Dance in its many forms was an integral component of seventeenth- and eighteenth- society, on the village green, at court, in court-supported formal entertainments, and in theatrical productions. In European society, the ability to dance well was both a requisite demonstration of one’s social standing, and an essential skill in the politicized contexts of court ballets and spectacles. The diffusion of French, Italian, and English dance forms in Europe and the New World during the eighteenth century, and the intersections of their musical and artistic idioms with regional traditions produced reciprocal stylistic and musical changes in their respective traditions. Papers are invited on the art of dancing and its significance in the Iberian world of the eighteenth century.

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Globalizing the Enlightenment through the Representations of Asia

Naoki Yoshida, 5-22-9 Irifune, Otaru 047-0021 JAPAN; Fax: 81-134-29-5030; E-mail: yoshida@res.otaru-uc.ac.jp

This panel will assess how the Enlightenment was prepared, realized, and developed through the representations of Asia.  All presentations will include comparative readings of individual works or groups of works from the long eighteenth century.  How does Sinophobia in The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe lead to the later construction of nation state?  What intercultural negotiation can we find in Gulliver’s encounter with Japanese emperor?   At ASECS in Vancouver current ideas about the center and the periphery will be problematized.  By redrawing the national boundaries of the Enlightenment the panel will begin to interrogate and define new meanings of the globalization for future ASECS meetings and for eighteenth-century studies more broadly.

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The Culture of Diagram (Roundtable)

John Richetti, 276 Riverside Drive  (9E), New York, NY 10025; Tel: (212) 865 2967; E-mail: jrichett@english.upenn.edu

Roundtable discussion of John Bender and Michael Marrinan’s new book, The Culture of Diagram: its implications for eighteenth-century studies, art history, literary studies, and cultural history. Scholars from all disciplines invited to participate.

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Transfers and Transformations: The Visual Arts in the Iberian Peninsula and the New World

Anne-Louise. G. Fonseca, 1954, rue Masson, Montréal, Qc, H2H 1A4, Canada; Tel: (514) 523-2589; E-mail: annelouise.g.fonsesca@gmail.com

The visual arts were a very effective means for the circulation of ideas between one continent and another. Transfers of ideas and knowledge from Europe to the New World were often made through the arts, and at the same time, transformations occurred as the artists of the New World reinterpreted and adapted European models. This seminar invites papers focusing on the artistic relationships between the Old and New Worlds during the eighteenth century.

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Climates of the Eighteenth Century

Tobias Menely, Willamette U., Salem OR 97301; Tel: (503) 562 9893; E-mail: tmenely@gmail.com

Papers are invited on the epistemic and symbolic meanings of “climate” in the long eighteenth century, particularly insofar as such meanings developed in relation to the unsettled weather of the Little Ice Age and/or the growing awareness of the human influence on climate through industrialization and urban pollution, deforestation, and global commerce. Topics may include Hippocratic theory, climatic determinism, and national character; climate change and empire; meteors and the development of Enlightenment meteorology; the time of weather and the time of history; climate, crisis, and eschatology. I am particularly interested in papers that attend to the conceptual and methodological implications of eighteenth-century ways of understanding, and not understanding, climate for our current climate crisis.

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Prints: Past and Present in the Eighteenth Century

Craig Ashley Hanson, Calvin College, Art & Art History Dept., 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546; Tel: (616) 526-7544; E-mail: CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com

Eighteenth-century prints provided unprecedented amounts of visual information, ranging in subject matter from ancient works of art to contemporary fashions. This panel invites papers on any aspects of print culture that explore issues of temporal orientation as expressed visually. In what ways did prints establish historical or period orientations? To what extent did prints forge strategies for making the past visible or for establishing an appropriate ‘look’ for the present? Papers might explore the production, marketing, circulation, or collecting of prints. Interchanges between multiple moments in time, between prints and other media, and between multiple audiences may be especially fruitful for the panel. In addition to papers dealing with single-sheet prints, proposals addressing illustrated books, frontispieces, and popular forms of imagery are also most welcome.

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Focus and the Eighteenth-Century Mind

Natalie Phillips, English Dept., Stanford U., Margaret Jacks Hall, Bldg. 460, Stanford, CA 94305-2087; Tel: (650) 722-1264; Fax: (650) 725-0755, E-mail: nmp@stanford.edu

Both Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopedia (1728) and Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (1755) still define “focus” in terms of mathematics, not attention. In optics, Chambers tells us, focus describes “a point where several Rays concur and are collected,” associated with convex lenses. “Focus,” for Johnson, is a term applied to graphs and parabolas. In the 1760s, however, writers began to draw on the scientific language of focus to make witty references to visual and literary attention. Oliver Goldsmith is the first to use the term, focus, to address the period’s interest in attention. In The Citizen of the World (1762), he satirizes a middle-class couple at a pleasure garden who, hoping to be the center of attention, search for a place “where they might see and be seen; one in the very focus of public view.” In his poem “Conversation” (1781), William Cowper employs this new vocabulary to offer advice on how to create narrative focus:

Tell not as new, what ev’ry body knows,

And new or old, still hasten to a close,

There cent’ring in a focus, round and neat,

Let all your rays of information meet.

What is the relationship between scientific and literary focus in the eighteenth century? Where does the language of focus fit within the Enlightenment’s larger science of mind?

This panel at ASECS 2011 will bring scholars from multiple disciplines together to explore the connections between literary, cognitive, and scientific forms of focus in the long eighteenth century. Papers might address any of the following questions: How do philosophical and scientific works in the Enlightenment describe the mind’s ability (or inability) to focus? What formal strategies did artists and musicians use to describe, or to solicit, attention? How did scientific conversations about focus in mathematics, or concentrated substances in chemistry, influence the period’s discussions of attention and distraction? Topics could range from discussions of attention in Richardson’s Clarissa to portrayals of distraction in Diderot’s Jacques le Fataliste, from investigations of focus in Locke and Hume to the scientific literature surrounding the microscope. Panelists could consider debates over focus in music, mathematics, drama, art, literature, theology, science, philosophy, children’s literature, medicine, or rhetoric.

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Games People Play: Manifestations of Enlightenment Entertainments

Kathleen Fueger, Dept. of Modern & Classical Languages, Saint Louis U., 1063 Shallowbrook Drive, St Peters MO 63376; Tel: (314) 977-3662; E-mail:  kfueger@slu.edu

The eighteenth century saw an astonishing variety of pastimes, from theatre-going, card and board games and conversations in coffee houses to gambling, horseracing, and even blood sports like cock-fighting and bull-baiting. “Electrical parties” focusing on experiments with sparks and shocks became increasingly popular social gatherings. Residents of rural areas flocked to fairs and “freak shows”.

This panel seeks to explore the manifestations of “entertainment” in the eighteenth century and to consider the following questions: How are these games and pastimes interwoven in the century’s literary and artistic expressions? Was their purpose solely recreational? How do these pastimes intersect with social and economic class and gender? How do such activities advance or undermine the Enlightenment’s notions of utility, tolerance, and rationality? The panel welcomes and encourages proposals from all disciplines such as literature, art history, history, and musicology.

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Aesthetics of Fitting: Measurement in the Theory and Social Practices of the Enlightenment

Anne Maurseth, Dept. of French and Italian, 5317 Phelps Hall, U. of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4140; Tel: (805) 893-3111; Fax: (805) 893-8826; Email: amaurseth@french-ital.ucsb.edu AND Jocelyn Holland, Dept. of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies, U. of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4130; Tel: (805) 893-2131; Fax: (805) 893-2374; Email: Holland@gss.ucsb.edu

Theories of eighteenth-century aesthetics have often relied on a few key features with which to navigate an era that began with a heavy reliance on Aristotelian schemes of classification and ended with radical claims to originality. These features include, among others, an insistence on the singularity of the aesthetic object, a growing fascination for the artistic genius who transcends rule-governed modes of production, and, especially with the advent of German Romanticism, a call for the complete autonomy of the artist and the aesthetic sphere with regard to other cultural practices.

Yet the eighteenth century also bears witness to other developments throughout Europe which, though less emphasized, have left their own mark on the history of aesthetic theory. One such development reaches from the construction of individual artifacts to the algorithms informing social aesthetic practices (such as game-playing), through the social practice of parlor games as a source of literary creativity, to the emergence of a discourse on technology and theories of the mechanical arts. With a focus on the French and German contexts, our panel proposes to explore this tendency under the name of a “quantifiable aesthetics” or “aesthetics of fitting” which reflects the understanding of the world as measurable, functional, and calculable.

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Everyday Objects

Paula Radisich, Dept of Art and Art History, Whittier College, Whittier, California 90608; Fax: (562) 464-4551; E-mail: pradisich@whittier.edu

In her essay “Marketing the Counter-Reformation, Religious Objects and Consumerism in Early Modern France (1997),” Cissie Fairchilds standardized the category “new household goods” by defining it as the presence of four or more of the following items—window curtains, mirrors, new types of furniture such as tea tables and bookcases, earthenware, porcelain, crystal, clocks, and accessories for tea, coffee, or cocoa.  According to her research, over seventy-eight percent of all inventories taken in Paris dating from 1771-1789 possessed “new household goods” thus defined.  This session invites papers reflecting upon how these new everyday objects of eighteenth-century modern life appeared in texts and images and the meanings attached to their representation.  Papers focusing upon the agency of the material objects themselves to produce meaning are also welcomed.

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William W. Clark, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City U. of New York AND Vivian Cameron, Independent Scholar, 19 Edgehill Road, New Haven, Ct. 06511; Tel: (203) 773-1354; E-mail:  wwclark@comcast.net OR vpcameron@snet.net

Following Aileen Ribera’s Dress in Eighteenth Century Europe 1715-1789, Daniel Roche’s La Culture des Apparences (1989) broadened the theoretical questions about clothing and costume.  Many of the issues raised in these books on the culture of clothes and fashion are still current in studies of clothing in eighteenth-century social history, witness Jennifer Jone’s Sexing la Mode.  This session proposes to deal with the long eighteenth century in European cultures with papers exploring problems revolving around the social signification of clothes, both real and imaginary, in literature; in visual images such as fashion plates, portraits, history paintings; in theatrical performances; in royal ceremonies; and the like.  Other topics might focus on aspects of the production of clothing and the economics of dress.

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Daily Rituals

Heather MacDonald, 1717 N Harwood Street, Dallas TX 75201; Tel: (214) 922-1852; Fax: (214) 720-0862; E-mail: hmacdonald@dm-art.org

This panel investigates the practice and representation of the daily rituals that organized time, space, and subjectivity during the long eighteenth century. The rituals addressed in this session could include both private and public activities, as well as those, such as the toilette, that straddle the border between these two spheres. Papers are invited from any discipline, treating either the specific practice of a given daily ritual or the representation of such rituals in the literary, visual, or dramatic arts.

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Naples Reconsidered

Heidi Strobel AND Amber Ludwig, Strobel: (home: 5901 S. Posey County Line Rd., Evansville, IN 47712); (work: Dept. of Archaeology and Art History, the U. of Evansville, Olmsted Hall, Evansville, IN, 47722); Tel: (812) 746-9711; Fax: (812) 488-2430; E-mail: hs40@evansville.edu AND Ludwig:  59 East Main Street, First Floor, Mystic, CT  06355; E-mail: amludwig@bu.edu

One of the oldest cities in the Western world, Naples has been the subject of contemporary scholarly attention as the focal point of recent exhibitions such as Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples (2009). From its conception as a Greek colony in the 8th century BCE to the Italian unification in 1861, Naples experienced dramatic cultural renaissances and tragic political transformations.  In the eighteenth century, Naples became an important stop on the Grand Tour, offering visitors the chance to view ancient history in the form of the newly discovered ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii.  The city also witnessed important cultural developments during the eighteenth century, such as six eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius, the opening of Europe’s grandest opera house, antiquarianism, and Napoleonic invasions. This session seeks papers from a variety of fields that consider the history and culture of Naples and the ways in which this vibrant city contributed to the extraordinary events of the eighteenth century.

The geographic framework of the session encourages inter-disciplinary participation.  Ideally, the session would attract papers on music, history, literature, art, and architecture and present the audience with an impression of the breadth of activities occurring in Naples throughout the eighteenth century.

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Paris diurne, Paris nocturne (Paris by Day, Paris by Night)

Michael J Mulryan, 12656 Nettles Dr Unit D Newport News, VA 23606; Tel: (217) 722-4700; Fax: (757) 594-7577; E-mail: Michael.Mulryan@cnu.edu

Les représentations  de la ville de Paris chez les écrivains et les artistes du siècle des lumières sont  diverses et presque innombrables, mais celles qui dévoilent un côté caché de la ville, soit pour intriguer le lecteur ou le spectateur, soit pour le réveiller et ainsi l’éclairer porteront un intérêt particulier pour cette session.   Qu’il soit réaliste, dystopique, utopique, futuriste, ou bien nostalgique, le Paris  que représentent les génies des lumières était toujours un objet de fascination pour leurs contemporains. Cette session sera donc une enquête pluridisciplinaire des deux Paris du dix-huitième siècle, la ville qui est visible, et celle que l’on fait voir.  Des communications en français et en anglais sont les bienvenues.

Artistic and literary representations of Paris in the eighteenth century are diverse and practically limitless, but the ones that are of particular interest for this session reveal a hidden side to the city of lights, either to intrigue or to enlighten the spectator or reader.  Whether it be realistic, utopian, futuristic, or nostalgic the Paris that the geniuses of the Enlightenment represented was always a source of fascination for their contemporaries.  This session will thus be an interdisciplinary investigation of the two Paris’s of the eighteenth-century, the visible city, and the one that has to be unveiled.  Papers in French and English are welcome.

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Dogs and Cats, Monkeys and Birds: Pets and Pet Keeping in the Eighteenth Century

Julie-Anne Plax, School of Art, P.O. Box  210002, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ  85721-0002; Tel: (520) 626-4864; Fax: (520) 621-1202; E-mail: jplax@email.arizona.edu

This session will explore the representation and implications of pets and pet keeping in the eighteenth century. Topics to be explored could include but is not limited to: the varieties of representation of pets in the visual arts; pets as characters in literature; celebrated pets in the eighteenth century; the “nature” of animals kept as pets and the human-animal relationship; the affective and emblematic function of pets; pets as luxury items and the breeding of pets; pets and the exotic; the care of pets in the eighteenth century; and pets and pedagogy.

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To be Found and to be Had: Provoking Spaces of Pleasure

Enid Valle, 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI 49006; Tel: (269)  337-7121; Fax: (269)  337-5740; E-mail: valle@kzoo.edu

Whether it is natural or “unnatural,” legal or illegal, moral or immoral, punishable or rewarded, most human beings gravitate toward pleasure, enjoyment, amusement, and diversion. Pictorial and literary representations of spaces of pleasure abound, be they houses, palaces, churches, jails, bordellos, places which in turn contain other subunits devoted to pleasures of one kind or another.  “Reserved”, “available”, “contained” are some markers for those spaces.  How was space conceived/created/designed as it related to pleasure in the eighteenth century?  Which ones defied gender and class divisions, and why or why not? Which modes of pleasures depended on space? on what kind of space? spaces  such as the separation of words on the printed page? spaces such as the images on the canvas?  spaces  such as intervals in music? Space such as the homosexual, lesbian or bisexual body?   Could any space be a space of pleasure in the eighteenth century?   This panel seeks submissions in fields as  varied as architecture, history, art history, religion,  literature, visual arts, music, history of ideas, medicine, law, performance arts, sciences and any other field of inquiry interested in the topic of “spaces of pleasure.”

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The Art of Distribution in Eighteenth-Century Architecture

Diana Cheng, McGill U., School of Architecture, #104 – 5638 Parc Ave, Montreal, QC, Canada, H2V 4H1; Tel: (514)279-1652; Fax: (514) 398-7372; E-mail: diana.cheng@mail.mcgill.ca

The art of the distribution of rooms, according to eighteenth-century architect J.F. Blondel, developed to its maturity in French architecture. Having their own character and function, rooms were experienced not as autonomous spaces but rather as a sequence of experiences, creating narratives for the inhabitants. This panel seeks papers which examine the experience of the interior organization and decoration of the spaces. Papers may address the inhabitant’s experience or the effect of the interior promenade in a range of various kinds of abodes such as the hôtel, maison de plaisance, bourgeois house, convent or hospital. Papers from an art, architectural, decorative, literary or social history perspective are welcomed.

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The Dutch Connection in European Visual Arts

JoLynn Edwards, P. O. Box 286, Medina, WA 98039; Tel: (425) 352-5358/(425) 455-1364; E-mail: JEdwards@uwb.edu, jolynn@u.washington.edu

European visual arts benefited from a wealth of images produced in Holland or objects produced and exported from Holland. One only has to think of Chardin, Fragonard, Hogarth, or Constable, prints after Dutch masters, or “old masters” exported from Holland flooding the European art market to recognize the Dutch Connection. This seminar would provide a place to assess and re-assess the ever-present reservoir of Dutch influences throughout the eighteenth century. Interdisciplinary papers linking the Dutch art to literature, music, or other performance traditions would be welcome.

Watteau at the Met

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 8, 2009

Press release from the Met:

Watteau, Music, and Theater
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 22 September – 29 November 2009

Catalogue edited by Katharine Baetjer (Yale University Press)

Catalogue ed. Katharine Baetjer (Yale University Press)

Watteau, Music, and Theater, the first exhibition of Jean-Antoine Watteau’s paintings in the United States in 25 years, will demonstrate the place of music and theater in Watteau’s art, exploring the tension between an imagery of power, associated with the court of Louis XIV, and a more optimistic and mildly subversive imagery of pleasure that was developed in opera-ballet and theater early in the 18th century. It will demonstrate that the painter’s vision was influenced directly by musical works devoted to the island of Cythera, the home of Venus, and to the Venetian carnival, and will shed new light on a number of Watteau’s pictures.

Made possible by The Florence Gould Foundation, the exhibition will feature more than 60 works of art, consisting of major loans of paintings and drawings by Watteau and his contemporaries from collections in the United States and Europe. The balance of the paintings will be drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s collections, together with most of the works on paper, and all of the musical instruments, gold boxes, and ceramics. Watteau, Music, and Theater will honor Philippe de Montebello, Director Emeritus of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Watteau, “The French Comedians,” 1720–21, oil on canvas, 22 x 29” (NY: Metropolitan Museum)

Watteau, “The French Comedians,” 1720–21, (New York: Metropolitan Museum)

Born in 1684 in Valenciennes in the Hainault (French, but formerly part of the Spanish Netherlands), Jean-Antoine Watteau is widely considered the most important artist in early eighteenth-century France. A solitary, ill-educated, self-taught, largely itinerant figure, he was a supremely gifted painter and draftsman whose surviving works of art are his testament. Most of them are so-called fêtes galantes, idyllic scenes that have no specifically identifiable subject. Only one of Watteau’s paintings, The Embarkation for Cythera (1717), was publicly exhibited in his lifetime. Watteau died in 1720 at the age of 36 after a long illness. While relatively little is known about Watteau, an expanding body of literature relating to Paris opera-ballet, plays, and the less formal and more traditional seasonal théâtres de la foire relates to specific works in the exhibition, and these can now be mined more deeply to examine the artist’s life and work.

Among the many highlights of Watteau, Music, and Theater will be the Metropolitan Museum’s Watteau paintings Mezzetin and French Comedians; the Städel Museum’sThe Island of Cythera; Pleasures of the Dance from the Dulwich Picture Gallery; Love in the French Theater and Love in the Italian Theater, both from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin; and The Alliance of Music and Comedy (private collection), which has not been on view in any museum in decades.

The exhibition will mark the first time the painting La Surprise (private collection) will be seen in a museum. Lost for almost 200 years and presumed to have been destroyed, La Surprise was rediscovered last year in a British country house and later sold at auction. (more…)

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