Call for Papers

"The Instructive Enlightenment"

South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 42nd Annual Meeting
Salt Lake City, February 16-18, 2017

SCSECS returns to Salt Lake City in 2017. Situated at the base of the Wasatch mountain range, Salt Lake City offers panoramic views and is within 30 minutes of some of the finest ski resorts in the world.

The conference will be held at the Radisson hotel in the heart of downtown, close to a variety of restaurants, from casual to fine dining, and to City Creek, Gateway, and other shopping venues. Salt Lake is also home to the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Pioneer Memorial Theater, the Utah Jazz, and a host of other cultural events and activities. Salt Lake promises to provide a stimulating environment for the always stimulating papers and conversations that have become a staple of SCSECS annual meetings.

Paper Proposal Deadlines: Paper proposals will be accepted until December 5, 2016 and should be submitted directly to panel organizers. Please see our list of proposed panels, which includes contact information. If you do not see a good fit for your paper, you can submit a brief paper proposal to Brett McInelly ( Proposals for complete panels of 3-4 papers will also still be considered and should be submitted to Brett McInelly by December 5, 2016.

If you do not see a suitable panel for your paper, or if you would like to propose a full panel of 3-4 presenters, please submit an electronic copy to the SCSECS President and conference organizer, Brett McInelly:

About our 2017 plenary speakers:

Michael Brown of the University of Aberdeen, UK, is an historian who has recently published The Irish Enlightenment with Harvard University Press. His presentation will be entitled “Teaching the Nation: Political Identity and Social Education in the Work of Maria Edgeworth.” We’re delighted that Dr. Brown is willing to travel from Scotland to share his work with us.

Nick Mason of Brigham Young University is Professor of English and Coordinator of the European Studies program at BYU. His research focuses on the literature and culture of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Britain, particularly the rise of literary periodicals and advertising and reviewing practices within the book trade. His publications include Literary Advertising and the Shaping of British Romanticism (Johns Hopkins, 2013), a Romantic Circles edition of William Wordsworth's Guide to the Lakes (2015), the six-volume scholarly edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1817-1825, and the Broadview edition of Edward Kimber’s 1754 transatlantic novel The History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Anderson. Dr. Mason will give a presentation entitled “Instructive or Destructive?: 18th-Century Forestry Theory, Invasive Species, and Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes.”

Both Drs. Mason and Brown are extremely engaging presenters, and we look forward to having them with us this year.

Hotel and Travel Arrangements: The Salt Lake International Airport is only 10-minute drive from downtown, and the city’s light rail system (TRAX) runs directly from the airport to the downtown Radisson for a fare of $2.50 each way. Travel time on TRAX is 20-30 minutes but is by far the most affordable way to travel to and from the airport. Rental car as well as taxi and shuttle services are also available.

Salt Lake City's airport is served by 15 different airlines, with nonstop service to and from over 100 cities. So air travel should be simple!

The downtown Radisson was recently refurbished and will offer conference attendees the low rate of $155 per night (plus tax). Reservations can be made online or by calling 800-333-3333. Be sure to request the SCSECS Annual Conference Rate. The deadline to receive the conference rate is January 17, 2017. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi.

Conference Theme: From the founding of the Royal Society to the Sunday School movement, from the aesthetic maxim “to delight and instruct” to the proliferation of conduct literature, the eighteenth century promoted instruction in a variety of modes and settings, some formal and others informal, for young and old, male and female, rich and poor. Instruction came from pulpit and press, in novels and satiric verse, in school rooms and coffee houses, through experience and philosophical enquiry. Panels and papers addressing any and all aspects of “The Instructive Enlightenment” from a range of disciplinary perspectives are particularly encouraged, in addition to panels and papers on topics related to the Long Eighteenth Century.

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