ASECS 2013: “A Georgic Moment” (April 4-7, Cleveland, OH)

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Courtney Weiss Smith (Department of English, Wesleyan University)
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"A Georgic Moment"

The eighteenth century was an important moment for georgic: Virgilian translations and imitations flourished, and there were original georgic (or mock-georgic) poems on fishing, animal breeding, cider-making, walking, and drinking. Also, our current moment has been an especially productive one for work on eighteenth-century georgic. Exciting scholarship has helped us see the genre anew, as a rich archive for some of the most pressing questions in our field at the moment—about form, nature, science, history, commerce and empire, for example. Taking impetus from recent interest in the genre, this panel will explore the motivations and meanings of the eighteenth century‘s georgic moment. What was the genre‘s appeal for, say, Pope, Finch, Thomson, Dyer, Cowper, or Wordsworth? What formal or thematic aspects of the Virgilian model helped contemporaries make sense of issues in their world? And what kinds of refocusing, poaching, or neglecting were involved in eighteenth-century instantiations of the form? Above all, what can the eighteenth-century georgic moment illuminate for our scholarly moment? Formal, historical and theoretical approaches to the genre are all welcomed.

Please submit paper proposals to by September 15.

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