The Quixotic Eighteenth Century (SCSECS 2023)

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
contact email: 

SCSECS 2023 CFP: The Quixotic Eighteenth Century

In the questing and whimsical spirit of Don Quixote, SCSECS welcomes paper proposals including (but certainly not limited to!): literature and literary genre; interdisciplinary connections; sports history; food ways and culinary history; questions of borderland theory and identity; women in the eighteenth century; Enlightenment philosophy; children's literature; eighteenth-century pedagogies; textual and archival methodologies; and global networks of circulation (including trade, material culture, art, and intellectual thought). Graduate students are welcome! SCSECS 2023 will be held in Bryan-College Station, Texas, at the beautiful and serene Stella Hotel on February 24-25, 2023. 

Please email your paper proposal with your name, affiliation, and contact information directly to a panel chair by December 1, 2022.

If you would like to submit a paper proposal, but don't think it's a fit for any of the panels listed, please contact conference organizer Sam Cahill at We look forward to seeing you in 2023!


Long 18th-Century Drama
Chair: Dr. Ashley Bender, Texas Woman's University

Anti-Racist Pedagogy in an Anti-CRT Era
Chair: Dr. Sam Cahill

A Plenary for Parnassus: Remembering Howard Weinbrot, Friend of SCSECS
Chair: Dr. Kevin Cope, Louisiana State University

Approaches to Overlooked Texts
Chair: Dr. Mimi Gladstein, University of Texas, El Paso

Female Quixotes: Romancing Difference in the Eighteenth Century
Chair: Dr. Sam Cahill

French Potpourri: Any Topic As Long As It's French
Chair: Dr. David Eick, Grand Valley State University

Getting Started with Digital Editions: A Workshop
Chairs: Dr. Emily C. Friedman, Auburn University, and Dr. Lauren Liebe, Texas A&M University
Emails: and

Taster of questions & resources when starting to create a digital scholarly edition, including the path through peer review with

This is a sample of the Programming4Humanists course regularly offered by the Center of Digital Humanities Research (CoDHR):

Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Long Eighteenth Century
Chair: Dr. Kathryn Duncan, Saint Leo University

Is it Only the Impossible Dream? Complete Makeovers, from Identity Changes to Landscape Transformations to Genre Repurposings--and More!
Chair: Dr. Kevin Cope, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

The long eighteenth century is full of near-complete metamorphoses: imposters who seemed to become someone else; terrain that switched from miserable bog to awe-inspiring landscape; genres that the ancients or early English and European authors used for one straightforward purpose that the moderns applied to other goals; kings, like Louis XIV, who occasionally tried to turn into ballet dancers. Whether with respect to social history or in consideration of technological capacity, most of these switcheroo acts seemed impossible during earlier times (or even in our own, seemingly open-minded era). For long eighteenth-century experimenters, even the world itself--even the hard, objective facts about our environment--were open to seemingly unachievable change. Who would have imagined that a drop of water could, with the help of a microscope, turn into a swimming pool for microorganisms? Who would have anticipated that scrawny little England could grow enough trees to build enough ships to convert the diverse globe into a unified empire? In an ovation to the famous top tune from Man of La Mancha, this panel will be open to those who want to explore the long eighteenth-century realization of seemingly impossible dreams. Papers can look either at those dreams themselves or at the items affected by radical makeovers or at the process of transformation or at anything that, so to speak, could help to turn squat little Sancho Panza into the mighty jolly green giant.

Plague Years: Pandemic and Pestilence in the Long Eighteenth Century
Chair: Dr. Susan Spencer, University of Central Oklahoma (Emerita)

For the past year and a half, Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year has been flying off bookstore shelves so fast they've had difficulty keeping it in stock, possibly for the first time since the book was first published in 1722. Last March, Isobel Grundy remarked in a six-minute interview on NPR's "All Things Considered" upon the similarities between the COVID-19 global shutdown and the smallpox pandemic that swept through London and Boston exactly 300 years ago, in the Spring of 1721: "There were people dying all over the place.... social life came to a standstill and all the things we've suddenly become familiar with again" played out on the transatlantic stage. Are there lessons to be learned from our eighteenth-century predecessors? Or can we simply see some interesting parallels?

Samuel Johnson and His Circle
Chair: Dr. J. T. Scanlan

Papers on any subject relating to Samuel Johnson, his reading, his social-intellectual context, those he knew, or his influence on others.

Signs of the Times: 'Sub Rosa' Social and Political Commentary in Popular Literature and Traditional Music
Chair: Professor Gloria Eive, St. Mary's College (Emerita)

To monarchs and political leaders of the 17th 18th, and 19th centuries, social criticism, political opposition and protests, and expressions of discontent were very alarming and with varying degrees of success they often resorted to harsh repression and censorship to silence potential threats to their rule. Popular literature, the press, and traditional music often became expressive outlets for political and social criticism and discontent, often with very surprising results. This panel explores expressions of popular sentiment in the 17th 18th, and 19th centuries, their reception and consequences.

Strategies for Improvement: Quixotic, Utopian, Practical, or Personal
Chair: Dr. Susan Spencer, University of Central Oklahoma (Emerita)

Studies in Religion and the Enlightenment
Chair: Dr. Brett McInelly, Brigham Young University

Women Authors of the Long Eighteenth Century
Chair: Dr. Alice Cushman, Tarleton State University (Emerita)