CFP: [18th] Walking London: Reassessing John Gay's *Trivia* (9/15/07; ASECS 3/27/08-3/30/08)

full name / name of organization: 
James Mulholland
contact email: 
mulholland_james@wheatoncollege.edu

This panel solicits multidisciplinary approaches in an attempt to
understand the many contexts of John Gay’s *Trivia*. It aims to examine
*Trivia* from numerous angles as a way to reveal the socio-historical
assumptions and formal innovations of the poem. The panel, therefore, will
look at the poem as literary representation, as sociological knowledge, and
historical reality (among the many possible approaches). These different
angels and perspectives will triangulate this topic while also testing new
ways of combining literary criticism with historical studies of the city,
representations of London in the visual arts and in music, or sociological
studies of the early eighteenth-century city and its populace. The goal of
this panel is twofold: first, to offer a forum to reconsider Gay’s poem at
a moment when it is receiving renewed attention; second, to combine this
examination with a self-conscious methodological assessment of the numerous
directions from which a single literary topic, and the object that it
claims to represent (in this case, the city), could be considered. Papers
for the panel might answer some of the following questions: What does it
mean to read a poem as a literary critic, or a historian, or an art
historian? Can we use poems as evidence of early modern ways of life? Does
it still make sense to analyze poems as indicators of these ways of life?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so, particularly in a
poem with a highly satirical perspective like *Trivia*?

Proposal of 250 words for 15 or 20 minute papers by September 15th to James
Mulholland at mulholland_james_at_wheatoncollege.edu or by mail to 26 East
Main St. Norton, MA 02766. For more information, see
http://asecs.press.jhu.edu/2008annualmtg.htm

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Received on Thu Aug 16 2007 - 21:43:18 EDT

cfp categories: 
eighteenth_century