Pauses, Stops, and Fitful Starts: Eighteenth-Century Punctuations [ASECS 2011 conference, March 17-20]

full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Schneider and Kevin Bourque

Within the last decade, the burgeoning discipline of textual studies has begun to re-consider the place of punctuation in the study of literary and rhetorical texts; and scholars working in our own period have noted, as does Janine Barchas, that "punctuation in eighteenth-century print reflected the habits of individual printers, compositors and authors, serving as a visual guide for readers rather than as an exact map to syntax." In tandem, recent works such as Jennifer deVere Brody's 2008 Punctuation: Art, Politics, Play are extending textual marking beyond "the stage of the page," freeing the study of punctuation from its longtime confinement to linguistics, grammar and bibliography, and resituating punctuation within visual and performance studies and identity-inflected modes of critique.

This panel calls for new considerations of the punctuation of the long eighteenth century – an era which saw the slow development of rules of grammar – as well as novel ways of viewing eighteenth-century texts and textuality through a punctuated lens. We welcome broad-based interventions in the history or philosophy of marking, considerations of eighteenth-century editorial theory or practice, and reconsiderations of discrete texts, authors, and/or printers through a study of punctuation.

Please submit 200-word proposals by 15 September 2010 to OR

Following ASECS rules, please do let me know if you are submitting to more than one panel; participants at ASECS can present only one paper per annual meeting.