The Art of Sociability in the Eighteenth Century
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
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Call for papers
South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, Utah
The Art of
Sociability in the Eighteenth Century
When examining changing patterns of sociability in the 18th
century, scholars have taken particular care to clarify how new institutions
such as clubs and coffeehouses altered the distribution of wealth, political
power, and social standing in the communities they affected. As with feminine
social spaces such as masquerades, balls, and salons, however, these new social
venues were also important because they offered fresh opportunities for
creative self-expression. Indeed, many of those who patronized these
institutions would have insisted that they did so not out of self-interest, but
rather because they enjoyed sociability for its own sake; that is to say, as an
art. This panel invites papers that examine the aesthetic dimension of
sociability as it is portrayed in 18th-century literature, art,
philosophy, and/or culture.
Participants might consider one or more of the following
How did individuals, clubs and societies style
their social interactions as works of art?
How are concepts such as taste and
connoisseurship redefined in these new environments?
Does this focus on aesthetic response compromise
the masculine identity of public social spaces such as clubs and coffeehouses?
What about the gendering of other semi-public spaces such as masquerades and balls?
How does aesthetic experience relate to
affective response and/or sensibility in the work of 18th-century social
theorists such as Shaftesbury, Smith, or Hume?
How does this emphasis on aesthetic response (as
opposed to moral judgment) complicate the 18th century's reputation
as an Age of Reason?
How do conceptions of style differ in English
social institutions versus those of other nations, particularly the French
Please send one-page abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31,
For more information on the conference please visit: http://www.scsecs.net/scsecs/2010/cfp.html