CFP: The Commercial Gaze in the Long Eighteenth Century (11/30/05; SCSECS, 2/23/06-2/26/06)

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CFP: The Commercial Gaze in the Long Eighteenth Century (SCSECS

Cocoa Beach, Florida, 23-26 February 2006
George Lillo's The London Merchant (1731) opens by extolling the virtues
of honest merchants for contributing "to the safety of their country as
they do at all times to its happiness." Such praise appearing in the
popular forum of the playhouse reflects the emergence of a cultural
hegemony that supported the exponential growth of commerce in the
eighteenth century. Yet, even as writers propounded new social value
systems that helped to legitimate the commercial gaze and the class of
individuals coming to political power through commerce,
proto-economists--Adam Smith most notably--were critiquing the
interest-laden practice of merchant capitalism and reshaping economic
theory around the ideal of free labor and trade markets.
This panel seeks to refocus our own vision of the commercial gaze in the
eighteenth century. We invite papers that investigate how the lens of
mercantilism helped writers to see the colonial world, national identity,
and selfhood; and how perceptions of the commercial gaze and consumption
evolved over the course of the century, particularly in relation to
growing social concerns. We welcome proposals for this panel.
Please send electronic proposals (250 words) by November 30, 2005 to:

Mariah Adin
History Dept
Fordham University
6th Floor Dealy Hall
441 E. Fordham Rd
Bronx, NY 10458
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Received on Mon Oct 17 2005 - 23:52:49 EDT