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

Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural

Date: 8th Jan 2020 to 10th Jan 2020

Venue: St Hugh's College, University of Oxford

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”

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.

The Call for Papers will open in Summer 2019, after the International Congress.

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’

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. 

All enquiries regarding the academic programme of the conference should be addressed to Dr Helen Williams via the BSECS email address: conference.academic@bsecs.org.uk