CFP: [Victorian] "The Pursuit of Happiness" 2009 Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Deirdre d'Albertis
contact email: 



Sponsored by Bard College and Skidmore College
at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
April 24-26, 2009

Keynote Speakers:

Robert Frank, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and Professor
of Economics,Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University and
author of *Falling Behind:How Rising Inequality Harms the Middle Class* (U
of California, 2007), *The Economic Naturalist:
In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas* (Basic Books, 2007) and
*Luxury Fever: Money and Happiness in an Era of Success* (Princeton UP, 2000).

Darrin McMahon, Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University
and author of *Happiness: A History* (Atlantic Monthly Books, 2006) and
*Enemies of the Enlightenment:The French Counter-Enlightenment and the
Making of Modernity* (Oxford University Press,2001).


Adam Potkay, Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English at The College of
William and Mary and author of *The Story of Joy from the Bible to Late
Romanticism* (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and *The Passion for
Happiness: Samuel Johnson and David Hume*(Cornell University Press, 2000).

Happiness our being's end and aim is at bottom, if we will count well, not
yet two centuries old in the world.
        Thomas Carlyle.

Following on the 2008 INCS theme, The Emergence of Human Rights, this
conference will focus on the pursuit of happiness, that elusive corollary
to life and liberty. What form did happiness and the comprehension of
happiness take in the nineteenth century?
How, for example, did the legacy of the American and French Revolutions
shape nineteenth-century understandings of happiness? What were the effects
of burgeoning industrialism? In keeping with the recent turn to studies of
emotion, feeling, and affect within literary studies as well as psychology,
economics, history, and philosophy, we invite papers on the
nineteenth-century contexts and genealogies for such work. And, in
acknowledgment of our 2009 conference location. Saratoga Springs, NY, we
particularly encourage papers exploring Victorian pleasure-seeking as
having provided popular, if contested, routes to happiness.

Topics may include:

Luxury and pleasure in a democratic republic
Beauty, art
Speculation (gambling, chance)
Family, friendship, love
Rights, liberties
Race, class, gender and ethnic perspectives on happiness
Virtue, working for the good of others
Health, spas, hygiene
The cultivation of emotions
Shopping / consumer desire
Vacations / travel
Misery, the absence of happiness;
    and pain, the opposite of pleasure
Architecture of happiness

INCS encourages interdisciplinary perspectives integrating: Literature,
Law, Political Science, Philosophy, Theology, History, Art History, History
of Science, Sociology,Anthropology, Psychology, Economics, Health Sciences.

200 word abstracts by October 15, 2008 to Deirdre d'Albertis, Bard College
via e-mail at:

For more information on INCS see:
Selected conference papers published in *Nineteenth-Century Contexts*

Deirdre d'Albertis
Bard College

Barbara Black
Skidmore College

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Received on Mon Sep 08 2008 - 13:29:04 EDT