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.
BSECS 50th Annual Conference Programme [long]
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).
Top tips for presenting at the BSECS online conference
BSECS Guide for committee hosts, chairs and co-chairs
All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org