ASECS 2013/Culture and Violence Before the Revolution, Deadline: September 15, 2012
The period of the French Revolution has long been recognized as a privileged moment in which sovereign violence and cultural production come together and erupt into new visions of civilization and history. Yet how is the relation between sovereignty, culture and violence understood in the decades leading up to the Revolution? Where are the contradictions and tensions that inhabit visions of Ancien Régime literature, the arts and Enlightenment thought that make the encounter between culture and violence unavoidable or necessary? What cultural image does violence give rise to and how does violence come to be understood as being a fundamental aspect of culture? How is violence—whether the sovereign violence of the state or private, individual violence—recuperated and understood in aesthetic or "spiritual" terms? Papers exploring these themes and issues across the broad field of eighteenth-century literature, thought and the arts are welcome.