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Eighteenth-Century Chaos and the Borders of the Comprehensible
Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 2001

Call for Papers
Eighteenth-Century Speculations (NEASECS\AtSECS 2001 Conference)

Session Title:  "Chaos and the Borders of the Comprehensible"

This session will be part of the joint meeting of the Northeast American Society
for 18thC Studies and the Atlantic Society for 18thC Studies, to take place on
1-4 November 2001 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The theme of the conference is
"Eighteenth-Century Speculations."

Possible discussion topics for the session:

*  What notions of "comprehensibility" and "incomprehensibility" were held by
   writers, composers, readers, listeners, critics, etc. in the "long" eighteenth
*  How did "Ideology" (in the sense of the study/knowledge of ideas) interplay
   with such ideas in the Enlightenment?
*  What was the place of "the chaotic" in the eighteenth century?
*  Were/how were "incomprehensible" margins/borders of art theorized?  (For 
   example, through aesthetic categories such as the sublime, beautiful, and
   perhaps most especially the picturesque; via the ironic mode; through the
   metaphor of science in the inquiry into arts, and through linguistic 
*  In the arts in particular, what did it mean for a "work" to be coherent?
   (And indeed, is it helpful/relevant to speak of a "work" concept or concepts
   at this time?)  How do we understand eighteenth century notions of "unity" in
   art works?  How and why were such ideas valorized and theorized?
*  Did/how did new areas of scientific inquiry and discovery help shape a
   discursive/speculative space for new developments in the arts at this time?

The session is intended to be interdisciplinary.

Further information about the conference, including a listing of the other
sessions, can be found at the following site:

Proposals should include a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words.  In
addition, please include your name, institution of affiliation, a street mailing
address, e-mail address, phone number, and a list of any audiovisual
requirements.  Note that you do not have to be a member of NEASECS or AtSECS to
submit a proposal.  You can become a member at the time of the conference, if you

Please send e-mail proposals for this session BY MAY 21st to:

Nancy November

Alternatively (and less preferably), please send a hard copy to:
Nancy November
Department of Music
Lincoln Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853-4101
Fax (care of): +1-607-254-2877
Phone (home):  +1-607-277-2033