UPDATE: [18th] "I remain, &tc.": Addressing the Eighteenth Century Letter - PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITY

full name / name of organization: 
John McTague


“I remain, &c”: Addressing the Eighteenth-Century Letter

St Edmund Hall, Oxford
11th-12th September 2008


30th June 2008: We are pleased to announce an opportunity for some
participants at our conference to be published in an established academic
journal. We have extended the deadline for our call for papers as a
result of this development. The new deadline is FRIDAY 18TH JULY.

There will be a guest-edited edition of Eighteenth-Century Life,
publishing the most select of the contributions to our conference. There
are a number of points we should like to make concerning this guest-
issue. We will have 'right of first refusal' to papers from all
participants, who must be ready to prepare scholarly, written, as well as
orally-delivered papers.

The submission deadline for written articles will be Friday, December
19th, 2008; that is, three months after the conference. The guest-editors
retain the right to refuse publication to any possible contribution.

The original CFP follows.


We invite proposals for an upcoming conference on eighteenth-century

Whether viewed as the dominant carrier of polite discourse, an expression
of the self, or simply a markedly accessible literary form, the letter in
the long eighteenth century has been the recent focus of critical study.
Recent work by scholars such as Clare Brant and Lisa Jardine, and
institutions such as the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, attests to
the potential of this written body of evidence for truly representative
study of the period.

This conference interrogates eighteenth-century letters as material
artefacts, their means of circulation, and pursues the theoretical
ramifications of that interrogation. In addition, it will provide
graduate students with guidance on how they may incorporate letters into
their own research, through practical advice (where and how to find them)
and practice-based seminar papers (scholars discussing their
methodologies). The conference will consist of four distinct (but not
sealed) sections:

“That word interlined is morning”: Writing letters

Are letters immediate or for posterity? Handwritten or printed? Intimate
or declamatory? The letter eludes generic sorting; how do we address the
issues surrounding the epistolary voice? Possible paper topics may include

- The consonance (or dissonance) of epistolary style with
recipient, or purpose.
- Lives and letters; lives in letters; biography and editing.
- Letter writers calling attention to the material process of
letter writing
- Letters as anthologies, commonplace books, or literary criticism
- The institutions governing (or failing to govern) the writing of
- Anonymity/pseudonymity; amanuenses and scribes; forgeries
- Letters and the state.

Through the Lion’s Mouth: Circulating/Sending letters

Letters are a circulatory form. The means of distribution of letters can
have a huge effect upon their meaning. Possible paper topics may include:

- The post office; the coffee house; coteries
- State correspondence; espionage; censorship
- Overseas and domestic letters
- Words and things: letters accompanying goods; letters
accompanying people; letters accompanying books.
- The lives of letters: sending, receiving, stealing, collecting,
selling, archiving, publishing.

“Such bold and lively Strokes”: Reading letters

How/where/when did recipients read letters? How do we read letters, or
read the readings of letters? Possible paper topics may include:

- Letters in the litter: the billet-doux.
- Letters and the body: the swung-dash; the construction of
- Shared/stolen readership of letters: reading aloud; letter’s and
literacy; forwarding; copying out
- Letters and the law; letters and faith
- Imagined, desired, or figured readers
- Translating letters

“Podefar was misken”: Sorting Letters

The conference will conclude with a round-table discussion led by
specialists in the field addressing the different uses of letters in
research (finding letters in the archive, different forms of publication,
theories of letters). Researchers will reflect upon their own practice
and provide professional guidance, with discussion to follow.

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, particularly from graduate
students. Closing date for submissions is FRIDAY 18TH JULY. Please send
proposals of no more than 250 words to:


Stephen Bernard (Brasenose)
Claudine van Hensbergen (St Edmund Hall)
John McTague (St Catherine’s College)


 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Tue Jul 01 2008 - 15:25:53 EDT