CFP: [18th] Truth and Consequences in 18th Century Media Culture (ASECS, 3/26-29; deadline 9/15)

full name / name of organization: 
Lee Kahan
contact email: 

American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Annual Meeting
Richmond, Virginia
March 26-29, 2009
Call for Papers: Truth and Consequences in Eighteenth-Century Media Culture
(Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishingâ€"SHARP)

With developments like the rise of the public sphere and the global
expansion of trade networks, readers in eighteenth-century Britain found
themselves increasingly invested in media representations of their world,
which became an operative force in their daily lives. At the same time,
they knew how unreliable the intelligence they consumed could be and that
acting upon such false information could have dire political, economic and
social consequences. This panel will examine how eighteenth-century writers
and readers navigated this catch-22 of media culture. In what ways did
writers exploit the power of mediation? What strategies did they use to
convince readers that they were not doing so? What criteria did readers use
to determine which information to trust and which to discard as
self-interested or otherwise unreliable? What was at stake in making this
decision? How did these problems of truth and trust in a mediated culture
help to shape various print genres? We welcome proposals that address these
or other questions related to the power of mediation in the first
information age. Special consideration will be given to those proposals
that place the eighteenth century within a broader history of media culture
or that address the place of our period (or lack thereof) in the field of
media studies. Please email one-page proposals to Lee Kahan at by 15 September; include the proposal as both part of the
email and as an attachment.

One need not be a member of SHARP to submit a proposal, but one must be a
member of both ASECS (by December 1) and SHARP (by January 15th; the SHARP
membership cycle runs from July 1st to June 30th) in order to present on
the panel. Please direct inquiries about SHARP, including membership, to
Eleanor F. Shevlin, Affiliate Liaison, at

Lee Kahan
Dept. of English
Indiana Universityâ€"South Bend
1700 Mishawaka Ave.
South Bend, IN 46634
Tel: (574) 520-4305

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Received on Mon Jul 21 2008 - 11:18:26 EDT