The Globe, the World, and Worldliness: Planetary Formations of the Long Eighteenth Century

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NEASECS Amherst, MA (October 20-22, 2016)
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We often think of the terms "globe" and "world" as synonymous because they seem to similarly name the totality of the thing on which or in which we all find ourselves living. This panel asks contributors to consider different formations of planetary or worldly experience in the long eighteenth century, if only to highlight the particular implications of considering the world as species of globe.
So if, in the eighteenth century, the concept of the globe helped Britons to imagine their planetary place cartographically, what function did the concepts of "world" and/or "worldliness" serve? To what extent did the moralistic connotations of worldliness, so central to Calvinist theology, remain or remain viable? Did the myriad connotations of worldliness factor into global imperial projects or ideologies? Further, if the project of empire was global domination in a politico-cartographical sense, did the "world" figure similarly, or did it name, reference, or designate a different kind of space? Perhaps a space beyond occupation or territorialization? To put a finer point on it, could the "world" be subject to the rule of a nation or people in the same way that the "globe" could be?
This panel is not intended to be an inquiry into the etymology or signification of these variant terms, though speculations regarding these matters are welcome. More importantly, this panel seeks papers that explore renderings of earth – "the world considered as the dwelling of humans," according to one of many definitions provided by the OED – and seeks investigations of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century efforts to capture or represent or figure human totality (geographical or otherwise).
All essays pertinent to this question are invited to submit abstracts of 300-500 words to Dwight Codr, Associate Professor of English, University of Connecticut. Email: