The Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University announces the thirteenth annual Bloomington Eighteenth-Century Workshop (May 14-16, 2014).
An enduring controversy in eighteenth-century studies—how to interpret the death of Captain Cook—turns on questions of stranger and self, hostility and hospitality. Canonical eighteenth-century European texts defined hospitality as something individuals, states, and institutions extended to strangers. (“Hospitality,” wrote Kant, “means the right of a stranger not to be treated as an enemy when he arrives in the land of another.”) Other cultures understood the workings of hospitality, hostility, and the stranger in different fashions, however. Natives of North America, for instance, organized their worlds in terms of kinship, fictive and otherwise, which structured lines of peace and conflict. If for Kant, hospitality was a technique for managing hostility (for preventing strangers from becoming enemies), this was not always the case. When incommensurable hospitalities clashed, hostility could easily arise.
We invite scholars to reflect on the ways that hospitality and self-stranger relations were thought, negotiated, represented, imagined, and lived across the eighteenth century. Questions to be addressed might include everything from how and why different categorizations of stranger-ness arose to daily practices of hospitable interaction. What conceptual, social, legal, etc. arrangements regulated the ways that those seen as socially distinct (the strangers) inhabited one's own or an alien space?
We welcome papers on topics ranging from forced confinement (e.g., captivity, quarantine, servitude, ghettoization) and the eighteenth-century hospitality industry (coffee shops, restaurants, hospitals, etc.) to ideas and models of refuge, asylum, sanctuary, and contact. Evidence might be found in ethnographies and travelogues (fictional or factual, pictorial or textual) but also in novels, private correspondence, international treaties, etiquette manuals, or works of architecture. Cross- or interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.
During the Workshop, we will discuss 4-6 pre-circulated papers each day and have an occasional lecture. Expanded abstracts of papers will be published in the Center’s The Workshop, along with discussion transcripts.
The application deadline is January 13, 2014. Please send a paper proposal (1-2 pages) and current brief CV (3 pages, max) to Dr. Barbara Truesdell, Weatherly Hall North, room 122, Bloomington, IN 47405; 812-855-2856, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will acknowledge all submissions within a fortnight: if you do not receive an acknowledgment by Jan. 27, 2014, please contact Barbara Truesdell or the Center’s Director, Professor Rebecca L. Spang (email@example.com).
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