Closure in the Eighteenth Century
Princeton, May 2001
"Closure in the 18th Century" Saturday, May 5, 2001 Princeton University A conference presented by the Princeton Eighteenth Century Society For many philosophers, political theorists, literary critics, and historians, the French Revolution of 1789 marks the end of the Ancien Régime, or the classical episteme and the beginning of modernity. Others understand this moment as a divide between the end of the classical age and the birth of the romantic age. Much of the writing about the 18th century is concerned with closure. However, this necessity for seeing and demarcating closure -- philosophically, historically, and otherwise -- which distinguishes many of the writings on the 18th century also inhabits and is problematized in the very texts, buildings, works of art, etc., that were written, constructed, and created in the 18th century. Marivaux's, Diderot's, and Sterne's novels all provoke questions or problems of closure in the narrative form with their abandoned conclusions and "unfinished" endings. Various forms of enclosures (from previously public land, to the building, to the codex), also play a dramatic role in transforming identity, subjectivity, art forms, science, etc. New prisons, new theaters, Sadian torture rooms, and even the human body create enclosed spaces that dictate and articulate new forms of knowledge, new economies, and new forms of communication. The Princeton Eighteenth Century Society (P.E.C.S.) invites papers that explore closure in any of its manifestations in the 18th century. We welcome contributors from all disciplines. General categories for investigation are listed but not limited to the following: Conclusion(s) Enclosure (public space, architectural, codex, textual) Death Framing (art, tables, text) Narrative closure Historical and philosophical closure Periodization Repetition Revolution If you would like to present a 20-minute paper, please send a 250- to 300-word abstract by March 20 to Andrew Clark (email@example.com) or Princeton Eighteenth Society 201 East Pyne Hall Princeton University Princeton, NJ 08544 USA A full schedule and details will be forthcoming at www.princeton.edu/~ahclark/pecs.html. No registration for the conference will be necessary for audience members. Please write Andrew Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any other inquiries.