Fear Before the Gothic (ASECS; March 18-21, 2010) (Proposal Deadline 9/15/2009)
Studies of fear in the long eighteenth century have tended to concentrate on the Gothic novel, while critical work on eighteenth-century emotion has typically emphasized melancholy, sensibility, and tearfulness. This panel will investigate the cultural work done by fear and its representations outside the confines of the
Gothic. How was fear thought to shape the political and social subject? How was fear of a monarch's, a state's, a society's, or a deity's power related to the problems of governmentality, discipline, and obedience? Were women and men thought to respond to fearful situations and stimuli in the same way—and, if not,
why not? Was fear something to be suppressed, cultivated, or shaped? Papers might consider representations of and discussions of fear in novels, plays, poetry, sermons, or philosophical treatments of cognition or physiology; topics might include religious terror, theories of tragedy, the aesthetics of the sublime,
or stagings of social anxiety. Interdisciplinary approaches are very much welcome.
One-page proposals for fifteen-minute papers are solicited; proposals should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than September 15.