Filling the Vacuum of Space and Time in Eighteenth Century - Due September 15

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ASECS Panel - Brian Tatum
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Scientific discoveries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries led to a revolution in the epistemology of space and time as intellectuals such as Anna Barbauld and Thomas Wright expanded the scope of these concepts to infinite or nearly infinite regions. Proposals about the infinite size of the universe and the discovery of deep time created a vacuum that philosophers and writers quickly tried to fill. This led to expansion both in content and form of literary texts. This panel seeks to explore the connection between eighteenth-century scientific advancements and literature.

This panel welcomes papers interested in exploring these or related topics:

The intersection of science and literature in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

The exploration of time and space in seventeenth and eighteenth century literature

The use of analogy in science and literary discourse

The effect of seventeenth and eighteenth-century scientific discoveries on the ordering of ideas within contemporaneous writing

Connections between attempts to read geological strata and literature

The influence of scientific ideas on literary visions of astronomical spaces and imaginary worlds

Attempts to control space and time through eulogies, epitaphs, and memoirs

Essays that focus on the role of fancy in investigations of space and time are also welcome. Please send an approximately 250-word abstract.