Please contact the panel organizers directly if you are interested in submitting to the panels below. Individual paper proposals are also welcome and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 June. Questions can be directed to the same email address.
Bibliography, Book History, and Textual Studies
This panel seeks papers that explore any aspect of bibliography, book history, or textual studies. The term ‘book history’ is broadly conceived and includes issues of authorship, reading, publishing, literacy, censorship, illustrations, the book as a material artifact, libraries, and other forms of print such as periodicals, newspapers, tracts, ephemera, and the like. In keeping with this year’s conference theme, papers that focus on these topics and themes within the context of “Crossroads and Divergences” are especially welcomed.
Please send 250-word abstracts/proposals to Eleanor Shevlin (email@example.com) by June 1st.
While electronic submissions are preferred, submitters may also send hard copies by snail mail to Eleanor at 2006 Columbia Road, NW, Apt. 42, Washington, DC 20009.
Crossroads in Historical Fiction
The evolution of historical fiction as a capacious creative genre in the last half-century is astounding (especially when you consider how far it had sunk as a genre in the early part of the 20th). Prestigious prize-winning, breaking with all sorts of conventions of verisimilitude (time-traveling anyone?), its politicization encompasses post-colonialism, identity politics, overturning previous historical consensus from seemingly crucial central events and agents to analyses of peripheries; life-writing, gothic and spirituality trajectories, fictionalized biographies; post-texts (sequels, prequels, rewrites), while carrying on delivering the usual traditional art, fictional & learning history pleasures. Authors themselves nowadays stand at cross-roads so it’s no possible to call a book say Afro-Carribean if the author grew up in Leeds, and now lives in the US and writes for an international market (Caryl Phillips); or even pronounce its text as securely in one or another language different, say from English if it’s mostly known in English translation or originally written in English by someone from a non-English speaking culture. I invite papers on authors who stand at such crossroads in an 18th century imaginary in books or films.
Please send abstracts/proposals to Ellen Moody (firstname.lastname@example.org) or hard copies to me at 308 Cloverway Drive, Alexandria, Va 22314.
Folds and Formats: fitting knowledge to the page.
In the eighteenth-century circulation of knowledge, the octavo was the crossroads towards which all formats converged. This at least would be the conclusion of a quantitative analysis. But the innovative and competitive book trade also thrived on divergence, and a vast variety of print was in circulation. While some researchers assert that the century was that of the luxury folio book, the format under which knowledge travelled with most authority, others underline that smaller, cheaper, and portable formats ensured that knowledge travelled farther and faster – literally flying off the library shelves. Increasingly, book historians are including in the bookscape a larger variety of folds and genres than the bibliographic list of formats makes room for, recognizing that printed knowledge carried by paper came in many shapes and guise.
How did authors, printers, engravers or booksellers experiment with new forms and folds of publication and with what results? How and why were editions replicated under different formats? Was content and format so closely intertwined? How did changes in printing formats and increasingly crammed fold-outs alter the experiences of readers and reveal the modifications of the book trade?
Papers may examine a specific text or image as it appeared across different formats, or consider a particular category (the monthly magazine, the advertisement, the abridged novel, etc.) in relation to its material forms. Whether focusing on the evolution of techniques and materials or the changing habits of readers, papers are especially encouraged to look at non-European book trades, reading habits and circulation routes.
Please send queries or 250-word abstracts/proposals to email@example.com
The Child and the Adult in the Eighteenth Century
This panel seeks papers that explore the intersections and divergences between adulthood and childhood in the eighteenth century. The period has often been identified as a crucial phase in the development of modern notions of the child—innocent, teachable, requiring protection as well as affection, and most importantly, inherently different from adults. The growth of children’s literature and Lockean or Rousseauistic discourses of childhood certainly seems to support such theories. However, as recent work has shown, children in the period continued to participate in the adult worlds of work, sex, politics and crime. For instance, young link boys, apprentices, servants, pickpockets, prostitutes, and actors were a common sight in London. Tragedies in the period routinely kill off young heirs who appear as mere pawns in affairs of state. Novels frequently show protagonists as precocious youngsters.
How were the crossroads between adulthood and childhood represented in literary and cultural texts? What normative or problematic relationships between the adult and the child are represented in the texts from this period? How were these two identities conceptualized as distinct from or in conversation with each other? What physical, emotional, psychological, or intellectual differences separate children from adults? How does gender factor into these issues?
Please send 250-word abstracts/proposals to Aparna Gollapudi (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 1st.
Domesticity in Odd Places
The extent to which the culture of domesticity, so legible in the 19th century, pervaded that of the 18th, and whether or not the domestic occupied a discrete “sphere” has been much discussed. Central to emerging ideas of gender difference and the two-sex model, middle class values, cultures of early capitalism, and the paradigm of public vs. private spheres, the domestic names various relations, all of which are apparently tied to a physical space. If, as Marilyn Francus has demonstrated, central figures of domesticity were unnarratable because to give them narrative agency would negate their qualifications as “good” domestic agents (“good mothers”)—how might we understand domestic scenes that take place outside of the “home”? Taking up the term “divergence” from this year’s theme, this panel asks that we find the domestic in odd places. When do we find domestic tropes, or familiar domestic scenes, in decidedly extra-domestic (or anti-domestic) surroundings? When does the logic and affect of domesticity appear out of place? When does it appear in surroundings which seem to exist because of domesticity’s absence?
Please send brief proposals to Emilee Durand (email@example.com) by June 1, 2019.
Recent Research and Criticism in Swift Studies
This panel will deal with research and criticism involving any aspect of Swift’s life and writings, and may include new interests and approaches to his works, especially those reflected in recent biographical treatments, in current interest in the notion of “fake news” as it relates to the complexities and unresolved contradictions of Swift the moralist and truth-teller and Swift the ambivalent satirist in works such as “The Art of Political Lying” (1710), or in reassessments of previous critical interpretations that continue to have an impact on our understanding of Swift.
Panelists will have fifteen or so minutes (depending on the number of participants), and may read a paper or speak informally. After the presentations, panelists and members of the audience will have the opportunity to discuss issues raised during the session.
Please send titles of topics to Donald Mell. Department of English, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716—E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theatre History: Crossroads and Divergences
Hewing closely to the conference theme, the goal of this panel is to consider crossroads and divergences in 18th-century theatre history. I welcome papers addressing this theme in terms of genre, acting styles, performance venues and technology, theatrical business practices, publicity, publication, celebrity culture, and on and on. What are the missed, underappreciated, surprising, or even erroneous connections in the history of the 18th-century theatre world that deserve our attention?
Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Matt Kinservik (email@example.com) by June 1st.
Crossroads and Divergences in Samuel Johnson
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above “have mercy, now save poor Sam, if you please” Robert Johnson. “Crossroads.”
This panel invites papers on Samuel Johnson that address the theme of “Crossroads and Divergences.” Papers will consider Johnson and his works in light of connections and convergences, or missed connections and divergences, operative in culture, aesthetics, history, or other pertinent domains.
Please email a 300-500-word abstract plus a brief (1-2 pp.) current vita to Anthony W. Lee by 15 June 2019 at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Things French
I am looking for three papers on matters relating to France, including its colonies. Literature, history, music, science,art, political science, personalities–a compendium of French topics.
Please send proposals by 1 June to Theodore Braun, University of Delaware emeritus, at email@example.com.
Eighteenth-Century Studies at the Crossroads (Roundtable)
This roundtable invites short (~5 minute) talks on what contributors consider as some of the important crossroads that eighteenth-century studies has navigated in the last fifty years. How has the field shifted, realigned, and remained the same? As well as turning points in the field, what developments have shaped its institutional forms in ASECS and EC/ASECS? Some historical breadth is desirable, as are contributions from members who are just setting out as eighteenth-century scholars; those navigating job uncertainty during the current shifts in higher education; and those working as independent scholars.
Please send proposals by 1 June to Joanne Myers, Gettysburg College Department of English, at firstname.lastname@example.org.