SEASECS 2022: Oceans Rise, Empires Fall - Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth-Century

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Southeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

SEASECS will hold its 48th annual meeting, February 17-19, 2022, at the Luminary & Co Hotel and Caloosa Sound Convention Center in Ft. Myers, Florida. The theme for this year's meeting is "Oceans Rise, Empires Fall: Tidal Shifts in the Eighteenth Century.”

We invite individual paper proposals and fully-formed session proposals on this theme or any aspect of the long eighteenth century:

  • To participate in one of the sessions listed below, please send your paper proposal directly to the session organizer by October 31, 2021.
  • To propose an individual paper on a topic not addressed by these sessions, please send your proposal to, by October 31, 2021.
  • To propose a fully-formed panel, please send the title of your session with the names of participants and titles of presentations to, by November 12, 2021.


Open Sessions:

Animal Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century

Jamie Kramer, University of Tennessee,

As the Enlightenment and humanism focused on Man as central, eighteenth-century writers and thinkers were prompted to reflect on our relationships with the nonhuman animal. The sensibilities evoked by animal suffering and the animal voice, arguments for animal rights, the increasing trend in pet-keeping, and our symbiotic relationships with animals in everyday life are among the many subjects addressed in eighteenth-century animal studies. This panel welcomes papers exploring any topics relating to the nonhuman animal in the long eighteenth century.


Binge Watching the Eighteenth Century: New Research on the Eighteenth-Century in Film and Television (Roundtable)

Nathan D. Brown, Furman University,

Cinematographic period pieces set in the eighteenth century have found particular relevance in the past few years. Indeed, television shows and films like Harlots, The Great, Lady J (Madame de Jonquières), Frontier, La Révolution, Hamilton, etc. proved to be popular forms of escapism during coronavirus lockdown. As scholars, what can we make of this popular binging of the eighteenth century on the small screen? This roundtable invites proposals from across disciplines that investigate issues raised by these or other recent television shows and films set in the eighteenth century. Topics might range from questions of gender, race, and class to historical anachronisms, comparative analyses, audience-reception theories, costume designs, pedagogy, etc. Ultimately, what does the popularity of these shows tell us about perceptions of the eighteenth century and the possible consequences on the trajectories of the field?


Mutatis mutandis: Adaptations for the Eighteenth-Century Stage

A Session in Memory of Annibel Jenkins

Joe Johnson, Clayton State University,

While there were many original works written in the era, the eighteenth-century stage was often a venue for adaptations. This panel seeks essays on plays and operas that were adaptations of prose works, reworkings of staged pieces of yore, and translations/transformations of plays from other languages. Please send proposals to


“Representing Sexual Desire in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Art”

Mary McAlpin, University of Tennessee,

Scenes of sexual activity in eighteenth-century fiction and art range from the very chaste to the all-too-graphic—from young lovers whose hands barely touch, to the illustrations that accompanied the most outrageous works of libertine fiction. The papers in this panel will seek to read how the experience of sexual desire was codified in the literature and art of this period by means of subtle or not-so-subtle representations of facial expressions, bodily postures, and other aspects of the the coming-together of bodies. What medical theories of desire and sexual response were postulated in these scenes? How was desire gendered? What theory of consent was communicated by the details depicted by these authors or artists?


“Seeing Race in Eighteenth-Century Studies”

Marta Kvande, Texas Tech University,

This panel seeks papers addressing any aspect of race and racial issues in eighteenth-century studies, ranging from the history and literature of people of color during the period to twenty-first century issues surrounding the study of race and of people of color.



Mary Crone-Romanovski, Florida Gulf Coast University,

This panel invites explorations from across the disciplines of the significance of water in the eighteenth-century.  For example, presentations might investigate as varied topics as the use of water in technologies of manufacturing or landscaping, the relationships among trade routes, colonial settlements and access to waterways, or the health trends of visiting hot-springs and sea-bathing.  In addition, presentations can examine representations of water, its uses, and its significances in a variety of cultural texts, from novels and poetry to travel writing to painting and portraiture to landscapes, both real and imagined. 


Teaching Symposium 2022

Martha F. Bowden, Kennesaw State University,

The teaching symposium invites teachers of the eighteenth century at all levels and in all disciplines to contribute their particular strategies for introducing their twenty-first-century students to the world of the long eighteenth century. The eighteenth century offers challenges to our students: it is so near and yet so far, its developing consciousness of race, ethnicity, and gender like ours in its struggles but often so foreign in its approaches and conclusions. The period contains multiple instances of deadly and little-understood diseases and attempts to cope with them, including social distancing, inoculation, and vaccines. The microscope revealed the hidden worlds existing on the surfaces of our everyday lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced instructors at every level to adjust, rethink, and repurpose their course offerings. No doubt it has also given rise to new ways of looking at old texts and new texts to set beside the tried and true. What new strategies have you developed? How has remote learning changed your teaching, for better and for worse? Please let us know. Because this symposium is not intended to be solely concerned with pandemic teaching, I also encourage you to offer assignments that predate the disruption in our lives including your adaptations of strategies and assignments that you first heard about at a SEASECS symposium.

The symposium takes the form of short, focused presentations about specific strategies, ideally accompanied by handouts that the audience can take home. Historically, the sessions have been very well attended, and the audiences not only ask really significant questions but also contribute wisdom of their own. Teachers at all levels, from AP and honors high school courses through graduate courses, are invited to submit.

Participants are also encouraged to check out the guidelines for the pedagogy section in New Perspectives on the Eighteenth Century, the SEASECS journal, here and information about the teaching prize here.

Please send your proposal as a Word attachment containing the description of your teaching strategy along with the following information: your full, dress-up-and-go-to-conferences name, your affiliation, and your email address to Martha F. Bowden