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>1759: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONFERENCE
>15-17 April 2009
>QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY BELFAST, UK
>
>
>Keynote Speakers
>
>Professor Thomas Keymer (University of Toronto)
>Professor Nicholas Rogers (York University, Toronto)
>
>Call for Papers
>
>2009 sees the 250th anniversary of the events and publications of 1759,
>a crucial moment in British and global history, culture and ideas. To
>mark the occasion, the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Queen's
>University Belfast will be hosting an interdisciplinary conference on
>the theme of '1759'. The conference will present an opportunity for
>discussion and critical assessment of a year that, according to Frank
>McLynn, should be 'as well known in British history as 1066'.
>
>In the international realm, 1759 represented the turning point in the
>Seven Years' War and a watershed moment in Britain's drive for colonial
>dominance over France, with British military and naval victories making
>national heroes of men such as Pitt the Elder, General Wolfe and (to a
>lesser extent) Admiral Hawke. In literature, 1759 also saw the
>publication of 3 canonical novels of ideas: Voltaire's 'Candide', Samuel
>Johnson's 'The Prince of Abissinia' (later 'Rasselas'), and the first
>two volumes of Laurence Sterne's 'Tristram Shandy'. In the arenas of
>moral philosophy and aesthetic theory, Adam Smith outlined a rational
>model of sympathy in the first edition of 'The Theory of Moral
>Sentiments', while Edward Young published his 'Conjectures on Original
>Composition', Alexander Gerard an 'Essay on Taste', and Edmund Burke the
>second edition of 'A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of our Ideas
>of the Sublime and Beautiful', with its important new introduction on
>'taste'. Elsewhere in culture and commerce, 1759 also saw the opening to
>the public of the British Museum; John Harrison's completion of
>chronometer Number 4 (the eventual Board of Longitude prize-winner); the
>formal suppression of the 'Encyclopédie'; the deaths of Handel and
>William Collins; and the founding in Dublin of the St James' brewery, by
>Arthur Guinness.
>
>The '1759' conference will enable discussion of all of these topics and
>anniversaries, and of the possible relationships between them. As we
>shall ask: if 1759 was a key year not just in political and military
>terms but also in literature, culture and thought, what are the links
>between these events and achievements, and how can we account -
>historically, culturally and theoretically - for their concurrence at
>this specific moment? More broadly, we shall hope to explore the 1750s
>as an understudied decade in the field of culture (as for instance in
>the history of the novel), and the national and political repercussions
>of the events of 1759, both within the Seven Years' War and beyond (for
>instance in Ireland and in relation to Jacobitism). In the spirit of the
>period itself, the conference will also encourage more general enquiry
>into the relationships between history, literature, philosophy and
>culture, along with self-reflexive debate about the academic
>'anniversary' industry and the merits, and limitations, of focusing on a
>single year in history.
>
>300-word proposals are invited, for 20-minute papers. The deadline for
>submission is 31 July 2008. Proposals should be emailed to the
>conference organiser: Dr Shaun Regan, School of English, QUB
>([log in to unmask]). For further information and a conference flyer,
>please see the Centre's website:
>www.qub.ac.uk/schools/CentreforEighteenthCenturyStudies
>
>__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
>
>
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