“The Ecstasy of Influence: Adaptation, Appropriation and Interpretation in the Long Eighteenth Century“
In a recent article in Harper's Magazine (Feb. 2007), the writer Jonathan Lethem pleads for a free exchange of ideas between artists. He has set his theory into practice by starting the "promiscuous materials project" on his website, where he invites other writers to freely use his material for their own artistic creations. Lethem also emphasizes that he himself has greatly profited from the works of other artists. Looking at the long 18th century, this panel asks whether Lethem's concept is as radical as it appears to a 21st century audience. How did 18th century writers and artists view the exchange of ideas? How did they adapt, appropriate, interpret and influence each other? And how did they theorize and write about this exchange of ideas? Could they be seen as advocating the 'free' exchange Lethem envisions for the 21st century, or are they protective of their material and reluctant to admit where their ideas come from?
Papers on these and related questions are sought for a panel at the annual conference of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) (March 27-30 2008 in Portland, Oregon). We invite speakers from various disciplines, including literature from different languages as well as the visual arts.
Please send an abstract of 300 words by September 15th to William Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Catherine Sprecher (email@example.com).
William H. Carter, Ph.D.
Lecturer in German Studies
Iowa State University
Department of World Languages and Cultures
3102 Pearson Hall
Ames, IA 50011 USA
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