[UPDATE] MWASECS 2014, deadline extended to July 1, 2014

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October 17–19, 2014 • Kansas City, MO

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. George Justice,
Professor of English and Dean of Humanities, Arizona State University
"The Urban Sociability of Books"

The eighteenth century saw the rise of capitalism, the development of the modern nation-state, the decline of some empires and the growth of another, the invention of the steam engine and the measurement of longitude, the effectiveness of revolution, the foundations of popular culture. In this transformative age, the city is reconstituted as the center of global shipping and trade, publishing and news, genteel entertainments, court and politics, the arts and the sciences. The city was a foil to the country, a site of self-(re)invention, a place where rich and poor rubbed elbows, an often fantastic juxtaposition of the very old and the newest of the new, a place to buy and to sell, to see and be seen, to learn and to teach. The eighteenth-century city also saw its share of disaster: the Great Plague and Great Fire of London, the Lisbon earthquake, yellow fever in Philadelphia, violent political upheaval in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston… then Paris… then Le Cap Français and Port-au-Prince.
This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore, critique, celebrate, and understand the city in the eighteenth century, in all its shining glory and stinking squalor. From history and politics, to science and technology, to demography and urban planning, to literature and the visual and performing arts, we invite academic papers from all disciplines and fields of study, as well as innovative panel formats and presentations.

Send 250-word abstracts for individual papers or panel proposals by JULY 1, 2014 to mwasecs2014@gmail.com

Paper or panel topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

• The rise of the modern city
• Trade and commerce, markets and shopping
• Public spaces, private houses
• Roads, monuments, public works
• Hospitals, workhouses, prisons, madhouses
• Beggars, rogues, prostitutes, thieves
• Cartography, city planning, demography
• Street culture, street literature
• The city in literature, the literary city
• Literary and artistic communities in the city
• Booksellers, printers, printmakers, print culture
• Entertainment: theatre, pleasure gardens, assemblies, museums
• Salons, coffeehouses, taverns, clubs
• Sex in the city
• Traveling, travelers, tourism
• Intercultural contact in the city