Novel Experiments (ASECS Cleveland, 4-7 April 2013) Deadline 9/15/12
Samuel Johnson may have been wrong about the staying power of Tristram Shandy, but it is nevertheless clear that some of the eighteenth century's oddest works didn't "do long."
Prompted by renewed attention to these oddities, this panel seeks 20-minute papers that theorize the experimental novel of eighteenth century Britain. Must the experimental novel be defined against the emergent realist novel? What texts might comprise the experimental canon? What contemporary discourses (scientific? philosophical? commercial? political?) might help us to understand these forms? (Papers that reject the term "experimental novel" with disgust also welcome.) The panel will 33 feature papers that represent a variety of approaches, rather than papers that cohere by virtue of a similar methodology or archive. Papers will be pre-circulated among speakers in advance in order to facilitate discussion across approach.