What Must We Know About Revolutionary Literature?

Call for papers for annual meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies in Vancouver, British Columbia (March 17-20, 2011) and projected volume of essays.

Over 1,200 novels were published between 1789, when the Bastille fell, and 1804, when Napoleon triumphantly declared the Revolution’s end. And yet literary study of the Revolution and its aftermath remains a work-in-progress. Nineteenth-century scholars, like Eugène Maron in his Histoire littéraire de la Révolution (1856), dealt primarily with oratory and journalism, and dismissed fiction as unworthy of serious study. Inspired by the linguistic turn in cultural history and supported by new reference tools and databases, researchers since the 1980s have begun excavating this material, yet no single compendium exists to date where the “musts” are presented to the world.
This round table builds on the excitement generated by a sister panel at 2010 ASECS (which filled a large conference room at 8:00am), and will advance progress toward a projected volume of essays on the same topic. Publishers have already expressed interest; the proposed book fills a noticeable gap in revolutionary studies.
We invite scholars to present short position papers that explain 1) what one literary work they consider a “must” for scholars and students of the French Revolution, and 2) why it is important for us to read this text today (literary, political, or aesthetic/critical rationale).
Position papers will be 5-7 minutes in length, in French or English. Up to seven contributions may be accepted for the 75-minute round table. Longer versions of the papers will be posted in advance on the website : http://whatyoumustknowaboutthefrenhrevolutionli.wordpress.com/
Interested? contact jdouthwa@nd.edu with a one-page proposal and CV by September 10, 2010.

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