C-19: Re-Inventing the First Great Awakening, April 12-15, 2012

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Zach Hutchins/Brigham Young University
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The 2012 C19 conference theme, "Prospects: A New Century," suggests a forward glance, but many writers of the nineteenth century sought to frame nineteenth-century social movements, such as the revivals we now know as the Second Great Awakening, in terms of past events. In this sense, the new century was a prospect or vantage point from which authors like Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and Catherine Maria Sedgwick looked backward at earlier periods of colonial and national history. This panel seeks papers investigating nineteenth-century texts and contexts related to the eighteenth-century revivals that Joseph Tracy first described as a "Great Awakening" in 1842. Frank Lambert has described the process by which eighteenth-century promoters of the revivals "invented" the Great Awakening, but nineteenth-century writers named and re-invented the Awakening for themselves. Among other possibilities, essays might examine attempts to shape or appropriate the legacies of prominent preachers such as Jonathan Edwards or George Whitefield; fictional portrayals of affective religion in the eighteenth century; or the continuing popularity of steady sellers such as The Life of David Brainerd.

Submit abstracts by 9/28 to Zach Hutchins at hutchinz@byu.edu.