The Eighteenth-Century Seminar is designed to foster research and inquiry across the scholarly disciplines in eighteenth-century studies. It aims to provide a methodologically diverse forum for work that engages ongoing discussions and debates along this historical and critical terrain. Each year the seminar sponsors one public lecture followed by questions and discussion, and two works-in-progress sessions, featuring precirculated papers.
The seminar is organized by Timothy Campbell, University of Chicago; Lisa A. Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago; John Shanahan, DePaul University; and Helen Thompson, Northwestern University.
All sessions are free and open to the public; registration in advance is required.
By the early eighteenth century, decades before the discovery of its constituent gases, air was recognized as mundane matter: heterogeneous and changeable, subject to human manipulation, the “subtle” substance of history rather than spirit.
The eighteenth-century vogue for pictures of women perusing love letters not only marked the age’s affection for epistolarity, it also emblematized the “papered century,” named for the period’s unprecedented proliferation of monetary notes and credit instruments.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Eighteenth-Century Seminar, this symposium convenes scholars from a range of fields, disciplines, and institutions both to interrogate the activity of reading as a leisure or a hermeneutic practice that unfolds in time, and to reflect upon the variegated apprehensions of time-physical, metaphorical,...