ASECS 2012 panel on "Eighteenth-Century Poetry and Print/Visual/Material Culture" (09/01/2011)

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Professor Sandro Jung, Ghent University
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ASECS 2012, San Antonio, 22-25 March 2012
Panel on "Eighteenth-Century Poetry and Print/Visual/Material Culture"

This panel seeks to embed eighteenth-century poetry within the contexts of print, visual, and material culture. Papers dealing with the ways in which print cultural mechanisms and technologies help to shape an emerging canon of poetry in the period are as welcome as those that focus on the interpretation, translation, adaptation, rewriting, or revaluation of poetic texts via media such as book illustrations, paintings, statuary, and (luxury) consumer items (including, among others, fans, silver and glassware, as well as porcelain). Among the numerous ways in which poetry was appropriated and absorbed into the general commodification processes of material culture, eighteenth-century printers deployed the novel technological possibilities of the intaglio medium to produce, among many other forms of interpretation and ornament, a diverse archive of author portraits (disseminated in numerous bound and unbound formats) and replicate on the page cultural symbols (such as tomb stones, thereby creating fitting paratextual frameworks for funeral elegies). By contrast, painters repeatedly translated scenes or figures from popular poetry into their heroic or patriot canvases. Booksellers producing editions of poetry, especially after the lapse of perpetual copyright, sought to construct a coherent canon and in these editions' paratexts promoted uniformity rather than a focus on uniqueness and difference. Equally, ephemera, ranging from illustrated pocket almanacs and medals to broadsides, furniture prints, tickets, advertising material, and posters in various ways featured complex appropriations of eighteenth-century poetry. The panel aims to bring together scholars who engage with the complex issues of this field of study and whose work can contribute not only to the better mapping of eighteenth-century poetry but also shed new light on the reception and uses of this poetry by its readers and booksellers.

Please submit 300-word proposals (preferably by email) to Professor Sandro Jung, Department of Literary Studies (English Studies), Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2; B – 9000 Ghent, Belgium.