Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Such Total and Prodigious Alteration / The Wounds May Be Again Bound: Readings and Representations of the Seventeenth Century

Chetham's Library, Manchester, 28th-29th January, 2011

During the restoration and eighteenth century, the civil war period was
consistently represented as a traumatic break in the history of England
and the British Isles, separating the institutionally and culturally
modern Augustans from either the primitiveness or idealised simplicity of
the earlier epoch. Today, much academic practice silently repeats the
period’s self-representation as a century divided between pre and
post civil war cultures, whether in research, job descriptions or in
undergraduate survey courses. Among the effects of this division of labour
is a tendency for the earlier Renaissance; decades to be
privileged over the restoration, which is frequently treated as a poor
relation to the eighteenth century.

This conference provides a forum for researchers in all disciplines whose
work spans all or any part of the long seventeenth century. As our titular
quotations from Clarendon's *History of the Rebellion* and
Swift's sermon On the Martyrdom of King Charles I suggest, we also encourage papers on subsequent imaginings of the period that have contributed to or contested the ways in which it is read today.

Concerns include but are not limited to:
· The comparative study of seventeenth-century writing, sciences, visual
arts and music before, during and after the civil war period; their
material and intellectual dissemination; their relationship to ideas of
what constitutes the early modern and the restoration.
· Constructions of the seventeenth century from the restoration to the
present; representations in literature, art, history and film; the
cultural influence of the seventeenth century on subsequent periods.
· The role critical theory can play in our reading of the period and/or
narratives of the long seventeenth century from within literary criticism
and critical theory; e.g. Leavis and Eliot on the Metaphysical poets,
Walter Benjamin on the baroque, Foucault on madness, Habermas on the
public sphere.
· The study of non-canonical and marginalized texts and materials, and
nationally comparative readings of the period.
· The representation and reception of pre-seventeenth-century culture
during the seventeenth century; the place of the past in the
period’s self-representations.

Confirmed speakers include: Rosanna Cox (Kent), Jeremy Gregory
(Manchester), Helen Pierce (York), George Southcombe (Oxford), Jeremy
Tambling (Manchester), Edward Vallance (Roehampton), Jerome de Groot

Please send abstracts of 300-500 words to James Smith (Manchester) and
Joel Swann (Keele) by 15th October 2010: c17.conference@manchester.ac.uk.
We particularly encourage the participation of postgraduate students,
whose attendance will be generously supported by the Society for
Renaissance Studies.

Go to http://www.chethams.org.uk/c17conference.html for more information.


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