Year in Review
The Long Eighteenth Century Seminar hosted four events in 2012-2013. Collectively, these lectures confirmed our seminar’s commitment to an interdisciplinary exploration of the literature, art, history, and culture of the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. Drawing on the expertise of scholars from many disciplines, our lectures allowed us to consider interactions among the period’s historical events and its literary and artistic artifacts.
Chi-Ming Yang (University of Pennsylvania) inaugurated our series by discussing the influence of material culture—specifically the Asian-imported “black lacquerwork” popularized at the end of the seventeenth century in Britain—on early modern theories of race. Lynn Hunt (UCLA) next explored how prints inspired by the French Revolution reshaped “society” as an early modern cultural category. Margaret Russett (USC) offered an incisive analysis of visual and textual interactions in William Blake’s long poem Milton, to illuminate the poet’s theories of authorship and embodiment. Misty Anderson (University of Tennessee-Knoxville) culminated our series by examining how the 1707 Act of Union impacted Susannah Centilivre’s play The Wonder and its attitudes toward British identity.
We look forward to a similarly interdisciplinary slate of speakers next year that will feature: Helen Thompson (Northwestern University), Stuart Sherman (Fordham University), David Cressy (Ohio State University), a special two-part event with the British playwright Elizabeth Kuti (University of Essex), and Harriet Guest (University of York).