CFP: [American] Law and Legality in Eighteenth-Century Culture (9/15/08; ASECS, 3/26-3/29/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Melissa Ganz

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Fortieth Annual Meeting
Richmond, Virginia
March 26-29, 2009

CFP: Law and Legality in Eighteenth-Century Culture

"Turn where you will," the historian E.P. Thompson once observed, "the
rhetoric of eighteenth-century England is saturated with the notion of
law." Law structured the polity, shaped everyday social relations,
permeated individual consciousnesses, and entered the literary and cultural
imagination. But the idea and practice of law were not without their
critics. This panel seeks to examine the nature, role, and limits of law
in the long eighteenth century. It invites papers that examine works by
imaginative writers and artists as well as by clerics, philosophers,
jurists, and essayists. Papers might examine specific legal debates or
changing legal doctrines or the ways in which literary texts engage with
these debates and doctrines; or they might consider the tension between
natural and positive law or between secular and divine conceptions of
justice. Alternatively, panelists might examine topics such as the place
of law in social reform or the role of sympathy and sentiment in the
development of legal rights. Papers that address the role of law in
eighteenth-century American culture are also very welcome, as are those
that undertake comparative analyses.

Please send 500 word abstracts via email to Melissa Ganz
( by September 15, 2008. Inquiries welcome.

For more information about ASECS 2009, please visit the conference website:

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Received on Sun Aug 03 2008 - 19:29:50 EDT