Skirvin Hotel roofline







Petroleum Club Oklahoma City National Memorial Chihuly Tower at the Museum of Art Crystal Bridge Conservatory Bricktown

Call for Papers
 East Meets West in the Long Eighteenth Century

South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
41st Annual Meeting, February 25-27, 2016

Here in the exact center of the United States, where the west meets the east at the "Crossroads of America," we are in the process of planning this year's SCSECS meeting in Oklahoma City. We invite you to join us.

Skirvin Hilton Lobby As an interdisciplinary organization, always interested in the cross-pollination of ideas, we mean for our conference theme to be taken at its broadest: one might think of westward expansion, multicultural competition and collaboration as fostered by Britain's Royal Society and France's Académie des sciences, politics and the East India Companies, the rise of Orientalism and chinoiserie in art, or the rise of the Grub Street authors of East London to overtake their aristocratic counterparts on the West side of town.

The theme is meant to be evocative rather than exclusionary, so if you've got an idea for a paper or panel that doesn't quite fit with the east/west theme... Send it in anyway!

Our conference hotel will be the elegant and historic Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City, whose lobby is pictured to the right. Centrally located amidst art deco style buildings with restaurants, shopping, and the city's major tourist attractions within walking distance (there is also an underground tunnel to parts of the city in case the February weather is exceptionally inclement, and a trolley system for those who prefer not to walk), the hotel is over 100 years old. It was built originally for oil and cattle barons, and the lush decor, beautifully restored in 2007, reflects its heritage. As an added bonus, it's haunted, too! According to legend, a lascivious ghost named Effie occasionally makes assaults on male guests in the middle of the night--so if you catch a glimpse of Effie heading eastward, you'd better go west, young man.

Proposals for presentations may be sent to

Susan Spencer
Professor of English
University of Central Oklahoma

100 N. University Dr., Box 184
Edmond, OK 73034

The deadline for panel proposals was August 30, 2015. Before submitting a paper proposal, check the list of proposed panels. If your idea fits one of the topics on the list, submit a title and brief abstract to the panel organizer. If it doesn't quite fit, or if you prefer not to e-mail your proposal, send your title and abstract directly to Susan Spencer at the address above.

For individual paper proposals, the deadline is November 30, 2015. For full panels--a panel of three or four papers that is completely assembled in advance--the deadline is November 30, 2015. If you have a partially full panel--not quite three or four people--contact the organizer, who may have received a related single paper proposal, but please do so before November 30.

Proposals in advance of the deadline will be warmly welcomed!

Conference Bonus!

The University of Central Oklahoma will host an Asian Studies Development Program workshop, to be held at the Skirvin Hilton all day on Thursday, February 25, and a follow-up series of panel discussions on various aspects of Asian culture, politics, and history on the following day. The sponsors have invited SCSECS members to attend any one of these talks on either day, so if you want to come a bit early or do some "corridor crossing" during our concurrent panels on Thursday or Friday, this might be a chance to increase your knowledge of Confucian philosophy, traditional music, or Chinese sitcoms.

Both the ASDP group and SCSECS will enjoy a plenary luncheon at the Oklahoma City Petroleum Club, located directly across the plaza from the Skirvin Hilton. The luncheon will feature a presentation by Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak of the University of Hawai'i. Professor Wichmann-Walczak is a leading expert in the United States on Jingjů, or "Beijing opera," which got its start in the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799), sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.

As part of the presentation we are planning a live east/west face-off between Beijing-style and western-style opera singers, which is bound to be an unforgettable event. The Petroleum Club itself--a private club for Oklahoma City's oil and gas executives, located at the penthouse of the second-highest building in the city with sweeping views of the capital building and other local landmarks--would be well worth the trip in itself.

 We look forward to seeing you in Oklahoma City this February!
A few practical notes about the meeting:

We have been able to secure an amazingly low rate of $119/night (plus local and bed taxes for a total of 13.875% as mandated by law) at the Skirvin Hilton, but the block of rooms we have been able to contract at that price is somewhat small and a guarantee of this price is, at present, limited to the first 50 registrants. Subject to availability and sufficient previous notice we may be able to increase the size of the $119 block, but just in case we would recommend that you reserve your room at the hotel as soon as possible, preferably as soon as your paper is accepted (this, of course, would also maximize our opportunity to increase the size of the room block as demonstrably necessary). You will need to provide a credit card number to secure the room, but your card will not be charged until after your stay.

Membership in SCSECS, a reception, the plenary luncheon, and a farewell dinner on Saturday evening will be included in the price of your registration, which we estimate will be in the region of $200.

Because we are expecting a very full program, we regret that we will have to limit presenters to one paper per registration. You may submit multiple paper proposals, but if more than one is accepted you will be asked to choose which one you want to present before we finalize the program. Registrants may, however, chair multiple panels; in fact, if you're willing to chair one or more panels please get in touch with the conference organizer at When we receive a large number of single papers we often find ourselves in search of panel chairs.

Publication Opportunity

Papers presented at this conference are eligible for submission to Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, an interdisciplinary journal published annually for the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) by the Johns Hopkins University Press. SECC publishes revised versions of papers read at national and regional conferences of ASECS and its affiliate societies. Now digitized as part of Project Muse, SECC is included in the membership fees of Sponsors and Patrons of ASECS.

For the 2016-17 volume (47) the editors encourage theoretically informed, academically rigorous essays that reflect new directions for research in the field of eighteenth-century culture, including literature, history, art history, theater and performance studies, music, ethnic studies, transnational studies, women's and gender studies, etc. Essays from previously under-represented disciplines are particularly welcome.

The deadline for submission is August 18, 2016.

In addition to individual papers, we invite panel chairs and/or participants to submit panels of 3-4 papers (in the case of double or triple sessions on the same topic, these can be selected from different sessions). The papers should be revised into 5000-word essays, and prefaced by a short introduction, situating the topic in the profession. Those interested are encouraged to send a proposal to Professor Eve Tavor Bannet at the University of Oklahoma: Include short abstracts of the suggested papers in advance of revised papers--but please ensure that participants are willing to revise them first.

Click here for further information and additional submission guidelines.