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Proposed Panels
 East Meets West in the Long Eighteenth Century

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

A number of exciting panel topics have been proposed for the upcoming SCSECS meeting. If you find one that interests you, please send a proposed title and a brief abstract to the appropriate chair.

If you see a notation for [description] following the panel title, the panel chair has included a brief description to guide potential panelists. To view it, either click on the link or scroll down the page.

Panel sessions are 90 minutes in length. Most consist of 3-4 papers of 15-20 minutes each, followed by Q&A. Roundtable sessions contain more and shorter individual presentations.

If none of these topics quite fits your idea, no problem. Send your suggestion directly to the conference organizer:

Susan Spencer
Professor of English
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N. University Dr., Box 184
Edmond, OK 73034

The deadline for paper proposals is November 30, 2015 (please send the title of the paper and a brief abstract).

Full panels--a panel of three or four papers that is completely assembled in advance--are also welcome.

America (open panel - any topics). Pamela Washington,

France (open panel - any topics). Karen Manna,

Britain (any topics). David Macey,

The three regions above are the most popularly represented at SCSECS, which is why we've divided them up this way, but papers places outside of this narrow geographical range are always welcome. Before submitting to one of these three, please check to see if one of the more focused panel topics below fit in with your paper idea.

"Approaches to Overlooked Texts." Colby Kullman,

"Austen: Beyond Pride & Prejudice." Cami Agan, [description]

"Austen's Men." Kit Kincade,

"Early Caribbean Literature." Richard Frohock,

"East Meets West, Old and New Customs and Ideas--Cultural Resistance and Change in the 18th Century." Gloria Eive, [description]

"Eating Sociability in the 18th century." Julia Abramson and Christine Jones, and [description]

"The Eighteenth Century on Film." John Parris Springer,

"Ethnicity in Early American Literature." Keith Byerman,

"France and the World." Richard Serrano,

“It Happens in the East and it Happens in the West: Sunrise, Sunset, Dawn, Dusk, Twilight.” Kevin L. Cope, [description]

The Gothic. John Burke, [description] Two panels are proposed: "The Rise of the Gothic in the Long Eighteenth Century" (western emphasis) and "East Meets West in the Rise of the Gothic" (east meets west emphasis).

"The Interdisciplinary Eighteenth Century." Kathryn Duncan,

"Hume and the Usual Suspects." James Mock,

"Moving Pictures: Eighteenth-Century Landscapes in Narrative Visual Media." Mary Brodnax, [description]

"Religion in the Age of Enlightenment." Brett McInelly,

"Rome in the Eighteenth Century." Jessica Sheetz-Nguyen,

"Staging the East: Drama and Opera." Ashley Bender,

"Swift, Pope, and Their World." Paul W. Child,

"Teaching the 18th Century: An Interdisciplinary Roundtable." Victoria Warren,

"Unexpected Encounters: Eighteenth-Century Settings When We Least Expect Them." Rudi Nollert, [description]

"'When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life': Representations of Eighteenth-Century London." J.T. Scanlan,

"Women Traverse the Globe: climbers, trekkers, and other lady travelers." Phyllis Thompson,


Panel descriptions:

"Austen: Beyond Pride & Prejudice."
This panel will explore teaching Austen (successes and failures), but with special emphasis on the ways in which her lesser known texts (Mansfield Park, anyone?) can at times be more effective pedagogically than her best known novel, Pride and Prejudice. Methods for connecting Austen's pop culture identity to a more traditional classroom are welcome.

"East Meets West, Old and New Customs and Ideas--Cultural Resistance and Change in the 18th Century."
The philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment, the 'East', and new ideas generally were not always welcomed everywhere. Culturally isolated and very provincial regions were often fiercely resistant to new 'progressive' ideas that promised social change and threatened the status quo. Papers are invited from all disciplines. Graduate students are invited to submit papers.

"Eating Sociability in the 18th Century." This roundtable addresses the conference theme by conceptualizing the table as a site of intersection for personhood and state power, and/or East and West, in the 18th century. We seek papers that address how the act and art of eating and other food practices constructed identity and the viability of the individual. What foods made you popular? What food practices made you powerful? Which could ruin a reputation, and how did limits of alimentary propriety correspond to any others? What rituals attended the ingestion of status-changing comestibles, and what determined access to them, especially when they were "exotic"? What happened to you socially if you could not digest foods seen as desirable, or if you were unable to participate in prandial rituals that enhanced prestige? What relationships to food and which food practices were considered disorderly or indeed disorders, in period terms? These are just some of the questions we could address in this roundtable of approximately five 10-minute presentations followed by general discussion with the audience. We encourage submissions from any disciplinary approach to understanding 18th-century food and food practices within a cultural system and at the intersection of identity, economy, and power.

“It Happens in the East and it Happens in the West: Sunrise, Sunset, Dawn, Dusk, Twilight.”
From a purely numerical point of view, the east-west event that occurred more often than anything else during the Enlightenment—roughly 73,050 times during the eighteenth century, let alone the Restoration—was the passing of the sun across the horizon. Accordingly, sunrises, sunsets, and low solar elevation angles play an important role in eighteenth-century culture. Painters, especially in the later century, loaded the galleries with early morning and late afternoon scenes. Novelists such as William Beckford specialized in the description of twilight scenes. Ode writers such as Gray and Collins specialized in the barely illuminated moments that start and stop the day. Mariners lived or perished by accurate measurement of solar angles. Opticians drew rainbows from low angles of incidence. And so much more! This interdisciplinary panel will welcome paper that take any angle of vision on solar angular minima, whether as pertains to art, music, literature, philosophy, religion, or science.

The Gothic
Western Emphasis: "The Rise of the Gothic in the Long Eighteenth Century." This would be a panel that could include any and all manifestations of the Gothic, e.g., the visual or musical arts as well as its obvious appearance in literature and, somewhat more notably, its attraction for women writers such as Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley.
East Meets West Emphasis: "East meets West in the Rise of the Gothic." To be sure, "the East" may refer to what we call the Middle East in the case of The Castle of Otranto or William Beckford's Vathek; or Eastern Europe, as is the case with Dracula's Transylvania. Those are some first thoughts. It's possible we could come up with much more.

"Moving Pictures: Eighteenth-Century Landscapes in Narrative Visual Media." This panel invites papers on longer narrative forms (films and graphic novels, for instance) that make use of eighteenth-century landscapes: gardens, wilderness scenes, alpine settings, etc.

"Unexpected Encounters: Eighteenth-Century Settings When We Least Expect Them." This panel invites papers on literature, film and other forms that make use of eighteenth-century setting or topics in an unusual manner (for instance, imagine a Star Trek episode set in the eighteenth century).