Wild times ahead.
We want to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending the 2005 annual conference in Las Vegas later this and early next month. The meeting marks the thirty-sixth gathering of the dix-huitiËmiste tribes, and takes place during the centennial celebration year of the city. The programme lists nearly two hundred learned panels promising fascinating discussions of all aspects of Enlightenment culture, ranging from connections between the early novel and the visual arts, to a comparison of Bath and Las Vegas as fashionable venues during certain moments in cultural history, to the place of coffee and alcohol in the public sphere. Nobel laureate and UNLV professor Wole Soyinka will deliver the keynote address. Among the plenary lectures and sessions planned are Margaret Doodyís presidential address, ìPlay, Time, Chance, Games: The Eighteenth Century Revealed,î and a presentation by the twentieth Clifford Lecturer, musicologist Robert Levin, ìRedeeming Mozartís Vow: The Unfinished Mass in C Minor, K. 427, and a New Completion.î Other anticipated plenary lectures are John Barrellís ìHair Powder,î Robert Folkenflikís ìMemoirs of a Woman of Pleasure and the Literary Culture of Eighteenth-Century Britain,î and Colin Jonesís ìFrench Dentists and English Teeth in the Long Eighteenth Century.î
Two delightful entertainments have also been scheduled for the weekend, Peter Kairoffís lecture-concert ìRediscovering a Venetian
Master: Keyboard Works of Baldassare Galuppi,î and a Friday evening
concert by the UNLV symphony orchestra. In addition, Margaret Edsonís
off-Broadway homage to the literary life, Wit, is being staged at UNLV
by the Nevada Conservatory Theater on Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm (please call 702/ 895-2787 for tickets and information). Nor is the larger community without its own diversions, as you may have heard.
For aficionados of fine dining, Le Cirque (702/ 693-8100) and Picasso (702/ 693-8105) at the Bellagio and Renoir (702/ 791-7111) at the Mirage merit mention, as do Aureole (702/ 632-7401) at Mandalay Bay and Bouchon (702/ 414-6200) at the Venetian. A list of restaurants convenient to the Alexis Park Resort not usually requiring reservations will be included in the conference folder to be picked up at registration, along with a map. There are two smaller museums located in the Bellagio and the Venetian. For information on current exhibits treating of impressionism (ìMonet: Masterworks from the Boston Museum of Fine Artsî) and of ancient Egypt (ìQuest for Immortalityî) please consult the websites www.bgfa.biz and www.guggenheimlasvegas.org. For those with the time and inclination to explore the desert, now displaying a rare wildflower bloom, several companies provide day tours (see, for example, www.pinkjeeplasvegas.com). Information regarding the airport shuttle and other activities may be had by contacting the hotel concierge at 702/ 796-3340. The resort is located at 375 E. Harmon, just west of the UNLV campus, and is reachable in minutes from the I-15 via the I-215 airport connector.