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BSECS 51st Annual Conference “Indifference and Engagement”

51st Annual Conference British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

2022 Call for Papers: This call will open  08:00 BST on 1st July 2021 and will close at 23:59 (GMT) 1st November 2021.

Theme: Indifference and Engagement

Event dates: 5th-7th January 2022

Conference updated (30th June 2021)

As you will no doubt be aware, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to force a re-evaluation of in-person events around the world. As a conference team we have also had to weigh up our options and decide upon an appropriate course of action for the organisation, balancing the value of an in-person conference with its risks. Ultimately, we have decided that it would not be right to commit to organising an in-person conference in January 2022, and we have therefore decided that BSECS 2022 will be a virtual event. This was no easy decision to make, but we felt that conditions were still too uncertain at the present time to make any other option feasible with our present resources.

Further details about the event will be made in the autumn, but the format will be similar to the 2021 conference: 2 synchronous days and 1 asynchronous to catch up on talks and workshops.

Call for Papers

The vitriolic sign-off that Voltaire increasingly used in his letters from 1759 onwards as part of
his attack on abuses of power, “écrasez l’infâme”, or crush the infamous muck, grind it
underfoot, seems as indelibly associated with the century we now call the Enlightenment as
Rousseau’s counsel to withdraw from society altogether. In this century of campaign, reform,
and revolution, how do we understand the rejection of the “esprit de parti” or partisanship?
What happens to notions of civility and concord in an emerging public sphere? How do the
notions of indifference or engagement connect to questions of morality? Do they at all? Do
these terms even exist in these forms? Do campaigning and reform particularly characterise
eighteenth-century society, and if so, in which countries or connected to what activities? How
are campaigns mounted, in aid of what, by whom, and who do they seek to persuade? Who
refuses to take a position, and how do they justify their refusal? How could and why would a
writer like Sade have his most truly sadistic libertines develop a theory of non-feeling or
apathy? What is the role of sensibility in all this?

While proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome, this year our
plenary speakers at the conference will accordingly be addressing the topic of ‘Indifference and
Engagement’, and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.
The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest
and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and
literature of the long eighteenth century.

We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth
century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world.
Proposals are invited for fully comprised panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions of up
to five speakers, for individual papers of twenty minutes duration, and for ‘alternative format’
sessions of your devising.

Please note, to attend the online conference, you must be a member of BSECS or another national Eighteenth-Century Studies Association. For more information on how to join please visit our ‘Join’ page.

Enquiries: All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be
addressed to Dr Brianna Robertson-Kirkland via the BSECS email address
conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk.

BSECS 50th Annual Conference “Anniversaries, Jubilees, Commemorations”

50th Annual Conference British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

6-8 January 2021, hosted online via Zoom: ‘Anniversaries, Jubilees, Commemorations’

Free to all registered BSECS or ISECS affiliated members

In recognition of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be holding our conference online, with the first and final days synchronous, and the middle day asynchronous. Our panels will run 12-7pm GMT in the hope that those times will best suit all our BSECS speakers from around the world. Concurrent live panels will still feature in the conference, albeit hosted on Zoom, but we also hope to record these sessions and post them on our YouTube channel for a limited period to allow everyone the chance to maximise their conference experience. For the asynchronous day, we are planning a virtual exhibition which can focus on an object, an archival resource or a particular area of research best presented in a short-video format. This will also be hosted on our YouTube channel for a limited time.

In 2021 BSECS will be 50 years old. We are therefore taking the opportunity to address the question of anniversaries beyond our own, expanding the theme to look at jubilees and commemorations more generally. What are they? What are their functions, both during the Eighteenth Century and now? What does it mean that in 1721 novelist Tobias Smollett, poet and physician Mark Akenside, and influential royal mistress Mme de Pompadour were born? That in this year Montesquieu’s Lettres persanes were published? That pirate Mary Read died, as did the painter Watteau, the carver Grinling Gibbons, the botanist and physician Camerarius? Is an anniversary simply a way of giving attention or visibility to a topic, thing, or person we find important, or is there something else at stake? Does celebration always outweigh depreciation? If so, why?

While proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome, this year our plenary speakers at the conference will accordingly be addressing the topic of ‘Anniversaries, Jubilees, Commemorations’, and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme. The theme of our 18th-in-the-21st Century Round Table will be Home.
We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for fully comprised panels of three or four papers, for roundtable sessions of up to five speakers, for individual papers of twenty minutes duration, and for ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising.

We also invite proposals for the asynchronous virtual exhibition. Please indicate the object, archival resource or area of research the video will focus on and also make sure appropriate permissions have been sought for the objects, images, music appearing on the video. Videos should be no longer than 10-minutes in length.

Our call for papers is now closed.

Programme

BSECS 50th Annual Conference Programme [long]

Zoom links

We want to ensure the conference is a smooth-running event, with no unexpected disturbances. We will be sending a programme with all the Zoom links and passwords each morning by 10am (at the latest).

Guidance materials

Top tips for presenting at the BSECS online conference

BSECS Guide for committee hosts, chairs and co-chairs

Enquiries

All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk

BSECS 49th Annual Conference “Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural”

49th Annual Conference British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

8-10 January 2020 at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom : “Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural”

Plenary speakers:

Donna Landry (University of Kent at Canterbury): ‘In one red burial blent’: The Natural, the Unnatural, and the Animal at Waterloo

Hannah Williams (QMUL): ‘The Religion Problem’

The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and literature of the long eighteenth century.

18 July 2020 marks the tercentenary of the birth of Gilbert White, author of The Natural History of Selborne (1789), the bestselling account of the flora and fauna of his Hampshire parish. White encouraged a new way of looking at the environment, inspiring his readers to record the timings and interactions of plants and animals on their local patch. For that reason, he is sometimes called ‘the first ecologist’. But White was also a clergyman who administered the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, and who also took an interest in the folklore and beliefs current in his parish. For White, like many ‘natural-‘ or ‘physico-theologians’ of the period, the natural and the supernatural were inextricably entwined. While proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome, this year our plenary speakers at the conference will accordingly be addressing the topic of ‘Natural, Unnatural, and Supernatural’, and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.

We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for fully comprised panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions of up to five speakers, for individual papers of twenty minutes duration, and for ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising.

Registration is now open, but we are no longer taking reservations for evening meals or accommodation.

View the programme here: BSECS 49th Annual Conference short programme

Enquiries

All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk

BSECS 48th Annual Conference: “Islands and Isolation”

4th, 5th, and 6th January 2019
St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom
The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and literature of the long eighteenth century.
We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for fully comprised panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions of up to five speakers, for individual papers of twenty minutes duration, and for ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising.
Proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome. Our plenary speakers at the conference will be addressing the topic of ‘Islands and Isolation’ and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.
Enquiries
All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk

BSECS 47th Annual Conference 2018 : ‘Truths and Lies’

47th Annual Conference British Society of Eighteenth Century Studies

3-5 January 2018 at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom

The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and literature of the long eighteenth century.

We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for

  • fully comprised panels of three papers (3 x 20 minutes)
  • roundtable sessions of up to five speakers
  • individual papers of twenty minutes duration, or
  • ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising.

Proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome. Our plenary speakers at the conference will be addressing the topic of ‘Truths and Lies’ and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.

The deadline for submission of papers and panel proposals is Friday 20th October 2017 and you will be notified by email within 48 hours as to whether your proposal has been accepted. If you are travelling from outside the UK and need an earlier decision, please mention this in your proposal. Drafts of the conference programme will be published on the BSECS website on 1st November and 1st December 2017.

Enquiries All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk.

2017: ‘The Liminal Enlightenment’

Swansea University, 7-8th September 2017

Whilst proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are welcome, we particularly welcome proposals for papers that address any aspect of the theme ‘The Liminal Enlightenment’ throughout the long eighteenth century and in any part of the world. We invite proposals for individual papers, for full panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions, and we welcome workshops and other innovative formats. Topics of interest may include (but are not limited to):

  • Regional Enlightenments

  • Marginal Identities

  • Social Networks

  • Intellectual and Artistic Outliers

  • Rational Dissent & Non-Conformity

  • Queer Discourses

  • Colonial Discourses

  • Philosophical & Religious Dissidence

Conference Organisers:

Jessica Clement, University of York

Jack Orchard, University of Swansea

Conference Languages:

English & Welsh

Please submit abstracts of 200 words to postgrad@bsecs.org,uk. CFP Closes, 10th July 2017

 

BSECS 46th Annual Conference 2017

46th Annual Conference British Society of Eighteenth Century Studies

4-6 January 2017 St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom

The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and literature of the long eighteenth century.

We invite proposals for papers and sessions dealing with any aspect of the long eighteenth century, not only in Britain, but also throughout Europe, North America, and the wider world. Proposals are invited for

  • fully comprised panels of three papers (3 x 20 minutes)
  • roundtable sessions of up to five speakers
  • individual papers of twenty minutes duration, or
  • ‘alternative format’ sessions of your devising.

Proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome. Our plenary speakers at the conference will be addressing the topic of ‘Friends, Allies and Enemies’ and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.

The deadline for submission of papers and panel proposals is Friday 7th October 2016. You will be notified by Friday 21st October as to whether your proposal has been accepted. If you are travelling from outside the UK and need an earlier decision, please mention this in your proposal.

Enquiries All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk.

2016 : “LifeCycles”

Download the poster here

Whilst proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are welcome, we particularly welcome proposals for papers that address any aspect of the theme ‘Lifecycles’ throughout the long eighteenth century and in any part of the world. We invite proposals for individual papers, for full panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions, and we welcome workshops and other innovative formats. Topics of interest may include (but are not limited to):

  • Scientific Discovery
  • The Passage of Time
  • Education and Career
  • Birth and Death
  • Childhood literature
  • Graveyard Poetry
  • Religion and the Afterlife

Conference Organisers:
Jessica Clement, University of York
Jack Orchard, Swansea University
Alexandra Prunean, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Conference Languages: English and Spanish