Empire and Intercultural Encounter in Eighteenth-Century British America, (ASECS, 3/18-21 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Kelly Wisecup/University of North Texas
contact email: 

During the eighteenth-century, British Americans celebrated commodities from tobacco to sugar cane in georgic poems, displayed their cosmopolitan sensibility in narratives of inter-colonial travel, and defended colonial culture against metropolitan accusations of degeneration in natural histories. While these literatures facilitated transatlantic exchanges with Europeans in the metropolis, they also included accounts of intercultural encounters among colonists, Native Americans, and Africans. Recent scholarship has examined how colonists' transatlantic literary and commercial exchanges allowed them contribute to various metropolitan literary and philosophical discourses, from the literatures of empire to natural historical philosophies. This panel will investigate how intercultural encounters influenced, facilitated, and complicated such transatlantic exchanges and the literary strategies with which colonists participated in and contested the British Empire. In what ways were contexts of slavery, rebellion, and epidemic inflected and effaced in British American literatures? How did intercultural encounters contribute to the formation of racialist discourse as well as to conceptions of creole identity? How might considering British American literatures in the context of intercultural encounters throughout the Americas challenge us to rethink transatlantic literary histories for eighteenth-century American literatures? We welcome proposals from across the disciplines or that employ interdisciplinary methodologies to consider these issues or other questions related to British American literatures in the context of intercultural encounter.

Please send one page proposals and a c.v. by September 15 to Kelly Wisecup at kelly.wisecup@unt.edu