[UPDATE] [April 4-5, 2014] CFP Deadline Extended to Feb 1 / Columbia University: "The Study of Eighteenth-Century European Cu

full name / name of organization: 
Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture

CFP: Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture
50th Anniversary Conference
Columbia University
April 4-5, 2014

"The Study of Eighteenth-Century European Culture: Past, Present and Future"

Conference Chairs:
Al Coppola, Department of English, John Jay College, CUNY
Nicole Horejsi, Department of English, Columbia University

The 2013-2014 academic year marks the 51st year that the Columbia University Seminar in Eighteenth-Century European Culture has been in existence. To mark this achievement, our seminar will host a one-and a-half day conference at Columbia to assess the scholarship that has been produced by the seminar in the past, and to explore new directions in the study of eighteenth-century culture.

This seminar was founded in 1962 by a group of scholars from a range of fields that produced a number of seminal works in the history of ideas, notably Peter Gay's The Enlightenment. To a significant degree, the interdisciplinary study of culture was an innovation of this seminar. While new methodologies have risen to prominence in recent years—and tend to shape the kind of scholarship our group how hosts—the institutional memory of our seminar recalls a form of interdisciplinarity before it became a buzzword, and a style of studying culture that predates cultural studies. Thus, our group's semicentenial provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock of where we, as students of the long eighteenth century, have come from, and where the field is going.

This conference, then, will have one foot in the past and one in the future, representing the work and insight of all our constituents, from graduate students, to long-time emeritus participants, to senior scholars who are leaders in their field, to the active cohort of junior scholars that increasingly makes up the ranks of our seminar. As customary, we will seek participation from scholars hailing from a diverse range of disciplines and institutions in the service of three goals:

1) To foster a meaningful dialogue about the state of eighteenth-century studies past, present and future;

2) To showcase innovative scholarship in the field from emergent scholars; and

3) To strengthen the bonds of community and intellectual collaboration that our seminar seeks to forge across disciplines, institutions and generations.

It is our very great honor to announce that the Keynote Address will be presented by John Richetti, A.M. Rosenthal Professor of English (Emeritus), University of Pennsylvania, among whose many distinctions is the fact that he began attending this seminar in 1968. Professor Richetti will deliver an address that reflects on the history of the seminar, and on the value of the intellectual exchange that it has, and continues, to foster.


At this time, we would like invite proposals for conference-length papers to be delivered on a set of panels that approach the study of European culture within four distinct rubrics:

"People," "Places," "Things" and "Ideas"

Specifically, we are calling for papers that offer innovative approaches to and/or fresh scholarly insights into the culture of the long eighteenth-century as approached from one of these vantage points. We seek to showcase original scholarship that also offers a methodological or theoretical intervention in the way in which we think about the people, places, things and ideas of the long eighteenth century.

We welcome proposals from any and all scholars who are interested in these questions. Current and former seminar members, invited lecturers, and past and present attendees, are all particularly invited to propose papers.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be sent to both the conference chairs, Al Coppola, acoppola@jjay.cuny.edu, and Nicole Horejsi, njh2115@columbia.edu, by January 15, 2014.


The conference will also feature a forum for graduate student research (tentatively scheduled for Friday afternoon, April 4.) We seek proposals from advanced graduate students at local and regional institutions, who are asked to present a snapshot of their dissertation projects and to reflect on how they construe and/or engage with the "study of eighteenth-century European culture" in their own work. Senior scholars affiliated with the seminar will serve as formal respondents to each paper. The model for this session is the ASECS Graduate Student Caucus panel format.

Proposals for 15-minute papers should be sent to both the conference chairs, Al Coppola, acoppola@jjay.cuny.edu, and Nicole Horejsi, njh2115@columbia.edu, by January 15, 2014.