full name / name of organization:
South Central Society for Eighteenth Century Studies
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
Participants might consider one or more of the following questions:
• 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
• 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
• How do conceptions of style differ in English social institutions
versus those of other nations, particularly the French salon?
Please send one-page proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 31, 2009.
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