asecs, boston 2004

Well, it looks like my session proposal was accepted for next year’s meeting of ASECS (American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies). Now I just need to toss out the hook of the CFP and hope that I get some bites.

Print Culture and Religion

How did the expansion of print culture in the eighteenth century affect religious beliefs, practices, and institutions? Conversely, how did religion affect the expansion of print culture? This session seeks 20-minute papers on the production, distribution, and reception of print in the eighteenth-century with an emphasis on religious materials, or responses to print framed in religious terms. Possible materials of interest might include but are not limited to sacred writings, hymnbooks, sermons, spiritual autobiographies, prayer books, moral tracts, or religious periodicals. I welcome papers from those working in a variety of languages and in a variety of national or religious traditions.

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5 thoughts on “asecs, boston 2004

  1. Congrats indeed! I am not studying the eighteenth century specifically, but as my corpus spans 11th century through the present, there’re bound to be some 18th-century texts in there somewhere. Mostly music scores, from what I remember, operas and ariettes and things.
    Having just finished transcribing a very obscure Victorian novel, I notice that the hint of ardent nationalism (okay, it was written by an M.P.) seems to go hand in hand with religious affirmation. Is that something that began earlier and is traceable?
    I mean, it’s a silly question. Of course patriotism and the national religious identity are related. But I wonder if it somehow gave credibility to works by unknown writers, or if they thought it did? Motivations and lives of lesser-known authors of the past, what compelled them to write, is interesting and obscure enough that I wouldn’t know where to go looking for information.
    Also-also: at the end of the summer I go back to Providence, where I live and study and work. Perhaps we can meet up when you come for the conference, if you’ve got time?

  2. Thanks, Jason, Chuck, and Vika.
    Vika, you ask an interesting question about the relationship between patriotism and national religious identity. The eighteenth century, it has been argued, is the period in which both of these things first came into existence with any significant strength in Britain, but I don’t know of any authors who tried to tap into these elements in order to lend credibility to their works. Well, there was a lot of fuss over Dryden’s flip flopping between Anglicanism and Catholicism in the late seventeenth century, but he was already pretty accomplished by that point. Uncovering motivations is, of course, a very tricky game.
    ASECS 2004 is almost a year away, so let’s stay in touch and determine schedules once the conference draws near.

  3. Congratulations George,
    Surely, the USA is a prime example of the relationship between religion and patriotism. Just look at the escalation of both since that fatal day of Sept 11, 2001. I am just embarking on a PhD which investigates the relationship of American religious identity, its reinvention since 9/11, and its impact on national foreign policy. Whilst one only has to examine history to realise this is not a new phenomenon. Cheers and good luck.

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