Monday, June 14, 2010

Call for Papers: The Private Library

Call for Papers: The Private Library

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 42nd Annual Meeting Vancouver, BC March 17 – 20, 2011

Proposals for papers should be sent directly to the seminar chairs no later than 15 September 2010. Please include your telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address. You should also let the session chair know of any audio-visual needs and special scheduling requests. We actively encourage presentations by younger and untenured scholars.

“The Private Library” Stephen H. Gregg, Dept. of English and Cultural Studies, Bath Spa U., Bath, BA2 9BN

This session aims to examine the meaning and function of the private library in the long eighteenth century. Themes will revolve around the two poles of the private library: its significance in the wider cultural history of learning and books, and its inward-facing function as a private space of the individual; indeed, we may also find how it functions across the public and private spheres. Possible topics of discussion on the private library therefore might include: its relationship to what Stefan Collini has identified as the long gestation of the intellectual; the transformation of attitudes towards history and its preservation; the cultural, political or ideological functions of collecting books or the display of learning; the material reading and study practices of the readers in the private library (see James Raven; and in early modern studies, William Sherman and Nicolas Keissling); design and layout – how people moved within, or identified with, these spaces; the representation of the private library in literature or in letters of the period; what drove the study and hoarding of books (see Carolyn Steedman’s Dust). Finally, the session might also reveal how the private library forces us move between a whole host of disciplines.