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Subject: CFP: New Worlds Reflected, 1500-1800 (5/20/05; 12/10/05)

New worlds reflected: representations of utopia, the New World and other
worlds, 1500-1800

Call for Papers

"I saw new Worlds beneath the Water ly,
New Peeple; yea, another Sky,
And Sun."
Thomas Traherne (1637-1674), "On Leaping over the Moon".
Papers are invited for this interdisciplinary conference to be held at
Birkbeck, University of London, on Saturday 10 December 2005.

The early modern period produced a wealth of travel writing, whether the
travel in question was to the New World beyond the seas, a planet across the
skies, or another imagined or idealised location. This conference will address
the inter-related nature of utopia and travel-writing, and explore
representations of other worlds from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.
How did the discovery of the New World, renewed belief in the plurality of
worlds, and the utopian impulse to create a new world influence early modern
literature? How did these influences interact and develop?

Prospective speakers include:

> Dr William Poole, New College, Oxford;
> Jenny Downes, National Maritime Museum;
> Pete Langman, QMUL.

Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:

> Representations of other planets or countries and their relationship to the
Earth or England
> The origins of science fiction in utopian and travel writing
> The influence of natural philosophy on utopianism or travel writing
> Writings on the plurality of worlds and their literary significance
> The imaginary voyage or utopian narrative in early modern writing
> Representations of newly discovered countries and their inhabitants
> The theological influences on perceptions of other worlds
> Conceptions of borders and boundaries in other world and travel writing
> Dystopian travel writing
> Utopianism in travel writing; "the utopian moment of travel" (Greenblatt,
Marvelous Possessions)
> The influence of the "New World" metaphor on the literary imagination

Abstracts of no more than 300 words in length, for papers of approximately 20
minutes, should reach Chlok Houston: [log in to unmask] by 20th May 2005.
Please email for further information.
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