The Passions and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics_ASECS 2016_Abstracts Due 9/15

full name / name of organization: 
Joel Sodano, University at Albany
contact email: 

Scholars working at the intersection of literary aesthetics and emotional experience are encouraged to submit to this Cultural Studies Caucus panel for ASECS 2016 in Pittsburgh, March 31 - April 3.

"The passions" was a catch-phrase that eighteenth-century writers used in numerous contexts (philosophical treatises, sermons, periodicals, plays, poetry, novels, etc.) as a means of expressing and explaining emotional experience. Scholars such as Margaret Doody, Thomas Dixon, Alan McKenzie, Adela Pinch, and Rebecca Tierney-Hynes have argued convincingly that a central concern of eighteenth-century discourse is played out in the relationship between aesthetic expressions and the emotionally charged interiorities they attempted to describe. This panel seeks to push that work further by exploring the significance of "the passions" as a culturally and historically specific concept, distinct from terms like "emotions," "sentiments," "affections," or "feelings" and, at the same time, integrally related to the development of all of them.

The panel chairs invite submissions that bring new light to the subject of the passions as it was explored throughout discourses of the long eighteenth century. How do eighteenth-century conceptualizations of passion differ from their classical and early-modern counterparts? In what ways do they evoke or challenge earlier historical models for understanding emotional experience? How did eighteenth-century writers imagine the relationship between the passions and the body? How might we consider the passions as bodily, affective responses to aesthetic forms? How are the passions depicted and/or theorized across aesthetic genres? How might these depictions be affected by their geographic, national, and global contexts?
Please send abstracts of approximately 500 words that address the scope of the topic, primary sources, and methodological intervention to the panel chairs: Aleksondra Hultquist and Joel
Sodano Visual aids are encouraged.