"Rambling" Women in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

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Jonathan Nash
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I welcome paper proposals for the panel, "'Rambling' Women in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World," which has been accepted for the Annual Meeting of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (October 21-23, 2010, Buffalo, NY) .

"'Rambling' Women in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World"

During the eighteenth century, many adventure stories featuring women protagonists were published. These narratives often set on the fringes of Atlantic empires allowed members of eighteenth-century reading publics to participate vicariously in the intellectual construction of empire. Through the process of reading, Europeans learned about the cultures of colonized people and the environments of colonial holdings. The narratives employed the language of an emerging culture of sensibility, to on the one hand, imagine European expansion, and on the other, to criticize the violence of empire. In addition, the narratives often transgressed accepted gender norms within imagined, imperial spaces. This panel invites papers that use adventure narratives to reconsider the relationships between eighteenth century metropoles and peripheries.

Papers included in this panel may analyze how these narratives influenced emerging definitions of gender, environment, history, the body, temporality, sensibility, empire, and race. Panelists might consider how these narratives invited alternative possibilities and contexts to narrate contacts between Amerindians, Africans, and Europeans, conquest, the establishment of European colonial footholds, and the role literary archives play in shaping scholarly reconstructions. All relevant methodologies are encouraged, including approaches focused through history, literary studies, trans/circumatlantic studies, eco-criticism, print and material culture, as well as postcolonial studies.

If you are interested in presenting a paper on this panel, please email a 250-word paper proposal and short cv to Jonathan Nash by May 15.