CFP: Narrating the Eighteenth Century (UK) (10/20/06; 4/16/07-4/17/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Margaret Yoon
contact email: 

"Narrating the Eighteenth Century"
16 - 17 April 2007, University of Exeter, UK

Call for Papers:
The C18 Narrative Research Consortium based in the
Dept. of English at the University of Exeter invites
you to participate in our conference. The emphasis of
the conference is on interdisciplinary approaches to
studying the eighteenth century with the aim of
encouraging and assessing different methods of reading

We invite papers that critically explore
inter-disciplinary approaches to explaining,
theorizing, and revising the eighteenth century. How
do different approaches to narrative help to broaden
our understanding of the eighteenth century? What do
the variety of narrative forms available reveal about
the period? Where did they originate and why were
they created? In our discussions of the papers and
topics addressed, we will bridge the gap between the
historical narratives and the tools (or "narratives")
researchers use in eighteenth-century studies today.

Suggested panels:
*Historicising methodologies:
How do we assess changing trends in methods to
approaching the century from contemporary accounts to
present day? How did historians over the centuries
regard the eighteenth century (especially think about
19th century revisions/visions of the 18th century)
and what comes to the forefront and what becomes
background? What do historical records

*Personalities as narratives:
How did the figures who gained renown in the period
read their century, and how do we read them? What do
their lives (correspondence, newspaper articles,
biographies, autobiographies) tell us or attempt to
hide? How did the eighteenth century promote
individualism and construct ideas of the self?

*Non-verbal narratives:
Visual culture, physical structures, landscape, and
architecture. What do these narratives tell us about
living in the eighteenth century? What were the
purposes behind aesthetic movements? What were the
aesthetic ideals? How did physical space and
structures reflect (or invent) the intellectual ideas
of the century?

*"Histories of...":
Oliver Goldsmith wrote A History of the Earth and
Animated Nature (1774). Catherine Macauley wrote The
History of England (1778). These are just two of the
many "histories" - historical, scientific, and
fictional - that abounded in the eighteenth century.
What do these narratives tell us about the purpose of
the authors and the character of the audience?

*Nature and science:
How did science and nature affect the writers of this
period? What were some of the key influential works?
How did discoveries and ideas of science oppose or
align with ideas of nature, and where did humans
position themselves in relation to both? Can you
trace ways in which science and nature infiltrated and
affected other narratives?

*Nationhood and self-image:
How did narratives of the period reflect or engage
with the political unions that created Great Britain?
How were narrative forms (verbal or visual) used to
forge a national image? What were some of the
predominant metaphors and images used to express a
sense of "British" identity?

Please submit proposals (300 words maximum) via email
to: The deadline for
proposals is 20 October 2006.

This conference is partially funded by an AHRC grant
providing a number of postgraduate bursaries to cover
travel, lodging, and the registration fee.
Postgraduates are strongly encouraged to participate.

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Received on Mon Jul 31 2006 - 22:02:05 EDT