Keeping the Fools in Play: Money, Finance, and Credit in the Eighteenth Century (SCSECS, Asheville, Feb 23-25)
Ventriloquizing the sentiments of Lord Bathurst, Alexander Pope remarks in his epistle to the same that in order to amuse themselves, the gods sent gold into the world to activate humanity's fundamentally silly sordidness. To be sure, the subject of gold and its myriad modern forms kept a great many writers in play throughout the century, and this panel seeks papers interested in just this kind of play. Although always having been central to our understanding the long eighteenth century, the study of finance, commerce, money, and economics in our period has been reinvigorated by the increasing prominence of such issues in our daily news and meditations. The impact of such new institutions as the Bank of England and National Lottery, the system and culture of credit, modern theories of property, the figure of the financier, the gambling trope, and stock bubbles might even be read as phenomena which, collectively, helped to define the discursive field that enables us to articulate the economic crises of the present moment. This panel seeks papers that investigate these or other dimensions of the culture of money, broadly defined, in the long eighteenth century. Possible topics might include:
The Invisible Hand
South Sea Bubble
Please send abstracts of 250-500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of English
University of Connecticut