East Central/American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

EC/ASECS 2015 Conference: Networks
West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania. 12–14 November


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The 2015 EC/ASECS conference takes as its theme “Networks.” In selecting this theme, the committee seeks to cast a wide call for papers across disciplines, languages, geographies, methodologies, and institutions. In our ever-expanding digital culture, the term “network” has assumed widespread currency, but the concept also has pervasive relevance for the long eighteenth century. Digital projects such as Stanford’s Mapping the Republic of Letters, the multi-institutional UK Connected Histories, and the University of York’s Networks of Improvement: Literary Clubs and Societies c.1760- c.1840 have assisted in discovering and promoting the study of links and connections. Similarly, many recent works speak not only to the topicality of “networks” within the present eighteenth-century scholarly imagination but also to the diverse spheres in which the term operates. Diane Wenger’s A Country Storekeeper in Pennsylvania: Creating Economic Networks in Early America, 1790-1807 (2013), Robert Darnton’s Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (2010), Tilj Vanneste’s Global Trade and Commercial Networks: Eighteenth-Century Diamond Merchants (2011), and the forthcoming collection of essays edited by Ileana Baird, Social Networks in the Long Eighteenth Century: Clubs, Literary Salons, Textual Coteries offer just a few examples. We invite papers and panels that consider “networks” from any one or more of a variety of perspectives: social, cultural, intellectual, economic, artistic, ecological, philosophical, political, religious, commercial, scientific, criminal, gendered, provincial, literary, legal, transnational, transatlantic, or global—to a name a few possibilities. Participants might consider:

differences between formal and informal networks,
similar terms, such as “ecosystems” or “connectivity,”
ways in which particular networks exercise or confer agency,
the representation of networks and networked relations in media,
human vs. non-human networks,
the significance of networked relationships and/or tools,
contributions of networks to broader eighteenth-century trends or movements,
ways in which networks shaped the production and spread of knowledge, ideas, cultural practices, geographic identities, scientific advancements, and political change,
the roles of urban, trade, communication, transportation, entertainment, manufacturing, distribution, or information (i.e., oral, manuscript, print) networks in local, regional, national or international contexts.


Panel proposals are due March 15, 2015.

Proposals for individual papers and completed panels are due June 15, 2015.


  Registration Form for the 2015 Conference



Questions? Email the conference organizers at ECASECS2015@gmail.com.