Salt Lake City, Utah - February 25-27, 2010
"Solitude and Sociability"

2010 Conference Program

(Registration form is a Microsoft Word document)

Graduate students! Apply for the SCSECS Graduate Student Travel Fund!

The South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies will return to the Crossroads of the West for its 2010 meeting. This year's theme is Solitude and Sociability.

As people of the long eighteenth century joined together in clubs, coffeehouses, circles, and societies, many became acutely aware of their complementary need to withdraw, whether literally or figuratively. As they experienced both states, they became aware that solitude and sociability were defined in terms of each other and that the benefits of each could become dangers if pursued without balance. Anne Finch found the peaceful nocturnal world like her own, but she savored its relief because she lived mostly in the harsh daylight. Fleeing his family, Robinson Crusoe got stranded on an island and immediately began creating a virtual, then a real, society. Samuel Johnson relished conversation with friends but alerted his readers to the hazards of busy idleness and the terrifying hours when they must be alone with themselves. Samuel Richardson penned letters to and from fictional adults with the intention that thousands would know of their secrets. William Cowper saw his own story in that of the lone castaway of Anson’s ship, swept overboard and left behind to drown. Writing and reading, two solitary acts, led to imaginary communities that felt bonds as strong as those of club members and seasonal visitors at Bath.

Our conference aims to explore how people conceived and experienced solitude and sociability and the many strands linking them, whether conceptual or experiential.

For further information, contact

Brett Mcinelly
English Department, 4110C JFSB
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602
The deadline for submission of papers to panel leaders will be December 1.

Our conference will be highlighted by two distinguished plenary speakers: Felicity Nussbaum of UCLA and our own Kevin Cope of Louisiana State University.

Those who attended the twentieth annual meeting in 1995 remember the city and all it has to offer scenically and culturally. Three mountain ranges—the Wasatch to the east, the Traverse to the south, and the Oquirrh to the west--rise up to 11,400 feet above sea-level (the valley floor is 4,300) to create a beautiful setting at any time of year but especially in the winter when the mountains are majestically crowned with snow. The population of metropolitan Salt Lake is now over 1.1 million.

The hotel for the meeting will again be the University Park Marriott Hotel on the University of Utah campus (as it was in 1995). Every room has a view of the mountains, and the hotel is located between historic Fort Douglas (a few hundred feet to the north) and the This is the Place State Park with its Old Deseret Village (less than a mile to the southeast). The hotel is on the university shuttle bus system (free) and several UTA bus lines, all of which connect on the university campus with the UTA Trax high-speed light rail line to downtown Salt Lake City.

Our more adventurous visitors might want to attend performances of the Utah Symphony, the Utah Opera, Ballet West, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Sunday morning); go to a Utah Jazz basketball game or a University of Utah women’s gymnastics event; dine in one of our many fine ethnic restaurants; or shop at the Gateway Center or Trolley Square. Skiers might want to try their skills at seven resorts within thirty minutes of the hotel.