After Exoticism: Graduate Student Caucus Seminar Panel (Abstracts due by September 15)

full name / name of organization: 
ASECS (Sponsored by the Graduate Student Caucus)
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The last twenty years have seen considerable interest in European global ambitions, as expressed in literature, art, history, etc. Scholars have become acutely aware of the ways in which representations of the "other" have helped advance the acceptance of imperial violence through orientalist, exoticism, and racialist expressions. Is there, however, an even richer story yet to be told? Some very recent work, for example, has suggested that Britain's own self-representations need to be reconsidered in light of the well-document power of China and the Ottoman Empire. Others have proposed ways in which literature and other forms of artistic production raise questions about, rather than reinforce imperialist impulses. For this panel, proposals should address some aspect of this conflict and engage new ways of thinking about the exotic and exoticism in this period. We welcome proposals from graduate students in any of the multiple disciplines that ASECS encompasses.


This innovative and interdisciplinary panel hosts a rigorous but friendly conversation between senior faculty and graduate students on an exciting topic in eighteenth-century studies. The chair crafts and submits a call for papers, requesting essays of no less than ten pages and no more than twenty for inclusion. Essays can be variations on conference papers presented at ASECS or its affiliate societies. The chair selects no more than four of these essays for inclusion. In late January, the essays are made available on the GSC website as PDFs for members to download at their convenience. A description of the seminar and the individual essay topics will go out in both the ASECS Circular and the ASECS e-mail digest (as well as through the GSC). Members are encouraged to read and consider the papers in advance. The chair solicits faculty respondents, each responsible for reading and responding to one graduate student paper. The respondents come to the seminar with a brief five-minute response and one specific question for the graduate student to address. This question will help to situate the graduate student's essay within the broader context of the seminar. The seminar will comprise opening remarks by the chair, a few words from each graduate student, faculty responses and questions, and a graduate student response. The seminar will then open to the audience for a broader discussion of the topic, facilitated by the chair and negotiated, in large part, by the graduate student participants. This seminar panel introduces graduate students to the rigors of professional intellectual inquiry while also introducing faculty to new scholarship in the field.

Please send abstracts/proposals to Laura Rosenthal ( no later than September 15.