South Atlantic Modern Language Association Convention (SAMLA): November 5 - 7, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia
Proposed Special Session: "Servants and the Text"
While we have many accounts of reading and the emerging middle class in eighteenth-century England, our understanding of literacy for domestic servants is less clear. There is evidence that a range of men and women servants read for pleasure and self-improvement. Ironically, as the number of domestic servants who were able to read grew steadily, writers became aware of how the text can affect moral character. As Judith Frank points out, "along with women and apprentices, servants stood at the boundary of the literacy/non-literacy divide, and as such were a particular source of anxiety to the eighteenth-century ruling class, which was acutely aware of the ideology-forming powers of the printed word." This panel invites proposals for papers that consider the influence of print (i.e. novels, periodicals, pamphlets, conduct literature) on eighteenth-century servants or other groups of laboring class individuals. Papers from other historical periods are also welcome.
Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words in the body of an email, with your CV as an attachment to Kathleen Alves at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 15th, 2010. Information for the convention can be found at http://samla.gsu.edu/convention/convention.htm.