East Central/American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

EC/ASECS 2018 Conference

Performing the Eighteenth Century 

Staunton, Virginia

October 25th-27th, 2018


Conference website: https://ecasecs2018wordpress.wordpress.com/


CALL FOR PAPERS

The EC/ASECS 2018 organizers seek papers  and panels on any aspect of the eighteenth century, especially  ones that address the conference theme of “Performing the Eighteenth Century.”  The  theme should be taken broadly; we aim to attract papers from all disciplines and welcome proposals that examine the ways in which textual and visual works, leisure, politics, religion, print, landscapes, and a host of other concepts and topics “performed” in the long eighteenth century. Papers that  explore  actual theatrical, operatic, and musical performances are encouraged. 


 Deadline for panel proposals seeking presenters: March 30, 2018.

Deadlines for individual proposals: June 1, 2018.  


Panel Proposals 


​Improvisation as a method of performance crosses disciplines, appearing in narratives describing the creation and presentation of both music and literature.  In the late eighteenth century, it also appears as a trope in music, literature, modes of social interaction including casual conversation. For example, Hester Thrale Piozzi wrote of Samuel Johnson that he “did indeed possess an almost Tuscan power of improvisation” (Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson, 165). She demonstrated this by reproducing a rhymed, trochaic pentameter quatrain that Johnson, overhearing her daughter worrying over which gown to wear, allegedly created on the spot to offer his recommendation.  This anecdote, and Piozzi method of relating it, illustrate several cultural associations with improvisational expression in the eighteenth century.  When properly performed, its unexpectedness could create a sense of wonder or admiration that prompted reiteration.  This urge to replay, retell, and otherwise reiterate was potentially a prompt for composition, by the improviser or by others.  Conversely, its ad hoc quality carried associations of frivolousness. For some reporters, improvisation was suspiciously Continental. Throughout the century, it was associated with German and Austrian Baroque, Classical, and Romantic musical performer-composers, with Italian opera and poetry, and ultimately with the German, British, and American musicians, poets, diarists, and salonistes who reported on the improvised performances they experienced, or sought to replicate the excitement of improvised performance after returning home. This panel welcomes papers on aspects of musical, literary, discursive, and cultural improvisation and improvised performance in the eighteenth century.
      Paper abstracts of 300 words or fewer on the topic are welcome!  Please send them to Gerard Holmes at gholmes@umd.edu. See .doc here. 

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Performative Johnson

Anthony W. Lee, Moderator

University of the District of Columbia

 ECASECS Annual Conference
Staunton, VA
Fall 2018

 During their 1773 trip through the Hebrides, Johnson startled Boswell by mimicking a person that they had recently met:

Mr. Johnson called me to his bed-side this morning, and to my astonishment he took off Lady Macdonald leaning forward with a hand on each cheek and her mouth open—quite insipidity on a monument grinning at sense and spirit.  To see a beauty represented by Mr. Johnson was excessively high.  I told him it was a masterpiece and that he must have studied it much.  “Ay,” said he.  (Tuesday 7 September 1773; Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, 121)

Perhaps we might be startled as well, given Johnson’s traditional image as a staid moralist. However, lively performance was endemic to him, whether in a social setting, such as that of the Literary Club, in intimate moments with a friend, or textually. This panel invites papers that examine Johnson the performer in any of these settings: as a “performer”: “one that makes a publick exhibition of his skill” (Dictionary of the English Language), or was one who creates a “performance”: “composition; work” (ibid.).

 Please email a 300-500-word abstract plus a brief (1-2 pp.) current vita to Anthony W. Lee by 15 June 2018 at: lee.tony181@gmail.com.

See .doc here. 


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Performative Shakespeare

Richard Schumaker, Moderator

City University of New York City

 ECASECS Annual Conference

Staunton, VA
Fall 2018 

Nearly 250 years ago David Garrick convened a Shakespeare Jubilee at Stratford on Avon, the first such major public celebration of Shakespeare’s birth (however missing the actual bicentenary by five years). This event at once symbolized and gave impetus to the bardolatry that launched the dramatist to his stature as the pre-eminent English writer. This panel invites papers that examine Shakespeare’s place in the literary and social culture of eighteenth-century Britain. While papers focusing upon Shakespeare in dramatic performance are especially welcome, all proposals will be considered.

Please email a 300-500-word abstract plus a brief (1-2 pp.) current vita to Richard Schumaker by 15 June 2018 at: rschumaker3@gmail.com.

See .doc here. 


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Radner’s Boswell

Anthony W. Lee, Moderator

University of the District of Columbia

 

ECASECS Annual Conference

Staunton, VA
Fall 2018

 Thomas F. Bonnell, editor of volumes 3 and 4 of the Yale Research Edition of Boswell’s manuscript of the Life of Johnson, wrote this of John B. Radner’s prize-winning 2012 Johnson and Boswell: A Biography of Friendship:

At every turn, Radner’s richly textured argument offers fresh angles of interpretation, yielding insights into the various interests of Johnson and Boswell, their circle of friends, their proposed travels, and their writings, including parts of the Lives of the Poets written by Johnson primarily with his biographer in mind. This book is a must read for anyone interested in Johnson, Boswell, eighteenth-century friendship, of the theory and practice of biography.[1]

As Bonnell notes, John’s life-long labor of love, distilled from some 1400 ms pages, dismantles old misconceptions and unfolds multiple lines for future inquiry. The present panel is designed to rise to this challenge by examining how John’s book urges us to reassess our apprehension of Johnson and Boswell as writers and as human beings. Possible areas of focus might include sexual rivalry, authorial identity, Johnson’s reading of Boswell, Boswell’s reading of Johnson, travel, and the art of biography.

 Please email a 300-500-word abstract plus a brief (1-2 pp.) current vita to Anthony W. Lee by 15 June 2018 at: lee.tony181@gmail.com.


[1] Review, The Historian 76.3 (2013), 640-41.


See .doc here. 


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Sandro Jung (Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel)

Panel “Book Illustration and Its Role in Literary Studies and Literary History”

2018 EC/ASECS, “Performing the Eighteenth Century,” Staunton, VA, October 25-27, 2018
 

Scholars of literary book illustrations routinely offer focused case studies of the ways in which the illustrations accompanying a text makes present, embody, and interpret the work visualised. More recently, more ambitious studies of frequently illustrated texts have offered more larger scale assessments of book illustrations by studying larger numbers of illustrated editions in an effort to gain an understanding of how, over a longer period of time, both the modes of representation used to visualise a text and the interpretations illustrations put forward change. Illustrations have thus served as useful indicators of external shifts that impact the interpretation of literary texts and have, therefore, been used in studies of the reception of literary texts. While these efforts in the field of book illustration studies are valuable, the role of literary book illustrations for the discipline of literary studies and their significance for literary history (which is still largely focused on the verbal text only) have only rarely been probed, and this panel therefore invites contributions on literary book illustrations and their importance for literary studies and literary historiography. Case studies of illustrated works relating these to concerns of the discipline and its methods of study, including literary historiography, are as welcome as papers reflecting on the methodological problems that an introduction of literary book illustrations as a meaningful phenomenon of literary studies entails.
 

Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be sent to the panel organiser, Sandro Jung, at sandro.jung@btinrernet.com 


See .doc here


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SWIFT PANEL PROPOSAL—RECENT RESEARCH AND CRITICISM IN SWIFT STUDIES

 Donald Mell, University of Delaware

 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, as well as reassessments of previous viewpoints that continue to have an impact on understandings of Swift.  

 Panelists will have twelve or so minutes for their presentations (depending on the number of participants) , and may read a paper or speak informally. After the presentations, panelists and the audience will have the opportunity to discuss the issues raised during the session.

 Please send titles of topics to Donald Mell, Department of English, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716—E-mail: dmell@udel.edu


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Performing Frankenstein at 200: Mary Shelley’s “Monsterpiece” Pre-formed, Re-formed, De-formed, and . . .

            This panel invites papers that explore the ways artists have reimagined Shelley’s Gothic novel and how these re-imaginings have affected and continue to affect readers’, viewers’, and critics’ reception/enjoyment/understanding/interpretation.

[Send proposals to Professor Peter Staffel, Humanities, 208 University Dr., CUB #130, West Liberty University, West Liberty WV 26074; staffelp@westliberty.edu. ]


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Religion, Politics, and Censorship

Organizer and Chair: Theodore Braun, University of Delaware Emeritus


This panel will examine the causes and effects of both state-imposed censorship and religion-imposed censorship. Protestants and Catholics alike, and various (mostly royal) governments practiced censorship at times in tandem, at times independently of each other. The effect on writers, graphic artists, composers and musicians, dancers, actors and actresses, politicians, and clerics was widespread throughout Europe and the colonies in several continents. Punishments for violations of the law were often harsh, including monetary fines, imprisonment, and in some cases even death. We would like to see some case studies of censorship of any sort in a variety of nations supra-nationalist organizations such as churches.


Contact: 

Theodore E. D. Braun, Professor Emeritus
French and Comparative Literature
University of Delaware
Membre correspondant, Académie de Montauban
Citoyen honoraire de la Ville de Montauban
Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques
http://udel.edu/fllt/faculty/braun/braun.html


and 

Peter Staffel, staffelp@westliberty.edu


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CFP:  Historical Fiction and Film 

This panel invites papers on the nature of historical fiction, which post-modern and post-colonial points of view has changed in recent years to include much fantasy, time-travel, romancing, and fictionalized biographies.  Equally of interest are the enormously popular historical films, whether as adaptations of books or presented as straight history.  What are some of the problems in this genre.  Papers on any and all kinds of performances in and of these texts, on the stage, and in the cinema, from the angle of fan audiences for celebrity actors and 18th century authors (who may appear as marquee characters) are welcome.  How do these works seek to re-create the  long 18th century for the edification and entertainment of audiences. 

Send 300 to 500 words abstracts to ellen.moody@gmail.com.


See .doc here

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Performing 18th-Century Poetry—REALLY! I invite lovers of the poetry of our period to read or recite a favorite poem and speak—briefly—on why you selected this particular work.

[Send proposals to Professor Peter Staffel, Humanities, 208 University Dr., CUB #130, West Liberty University, West Liberty WV 26074; staffelp@westliberty.edu. ]


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Attention singers and instrumentalists: Anyone interested in performing a piece of period music during the Business Lunch on Saturday, contact Professor Peter Staffel, Humanities, 208 University Dr., CUB #130, West Liberty University, West Liberty WV 26074; staffelp@westliberty.edu. You need/must supply your own accompaniment.