Stadt: Bamberg

Frist: 2019-03-01

Beginn: 2019-09-27

Ende: 2019-09-29

“Final Frontiers: Exploring, Discovering, Conquering in the Age of Enlightenment”
Call for papers LAPASEC 2019

The University of Bamberg is delighted to announce the Call for Papers for LAPASEC 2019. The conference will be held at Bamberg from 27 to 29 September 2019. Continuing the tradition of the Landau-Paris Symposia on the Eighteenth Century, Bamberg is looking forward to hosting a conference of internationally known scholars of eighteenth-century studies alongside young scholars of the field. Besides the regular panels, the conference will thus include a panel for junior researchers who are working on their PhD projects or are planning to begin a PhD project in the near future.

Regular papers are expected to last between 20 and 30 minutes with a discussion time of 10 to 20 minutes per paper; papers for the junior panel are expected to last 10 minutes with a discussion time of 10 minutes per paper.

With the eighteenth century, the so-called Age of Discovery, or Age of Exploration, in European history reached its fulminant peak. Apart from professional geographic exploration, such as the travels around the world of James Cook and Louis Antoine de Bougainville, travelling to Continental Europe (e.g. the Grand Tour) and further abroad had become fashionable for many people of independent means. The literature of the time is thus replete with travel writing, ranging from scientific reports following exploration tours, via observations of countries and their people, such as Lady Mary Wortley Montague’s letters, to satiric “travel reports” such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. (British) people had taken to roaming the earth and sharing their adventures and opinions by publishing their experiences.

As Book III of Gulliver’s Travels and Robert Paltock’s Peter Wilkins suggest, the eighteenth century saw a lot of speculation (in scientific, pseudo-scientific and fictional writing) on technical innovation, travels into outer space, and trans-human development. While Swift drew on previous and contemporary speculation that was to culminate in Science Fiction, Paltock exploited (among other sources) the serious discussion in Mathematical Magick of John Wilkins, Bishop of Chester, of the question whether man could acquire the art of flying. 

Yet, the eighteenth century was also an Age of Discovery within. Doctors and scientists rendered the fields of surgery, obstetrics and pathology socially acceptable and the development within medicine gained much momentum. Exploring what lies underneath or within through medicine or early psychology widened the scope of human understanding and changed the perception of the human being within the world.

Exploring and discovering is thus a core motivation of professional and non-professional persons in the long eighteenth century. The conference aims at bringing together a variety of approaches and results addressing the following questions: How was exploration motivated? How did scientific, medical or other discoveries change human understanding? Which effects did spatial or medical discoveries have on politics and society? Or quite basically, how was exploration made possible? Who ordered explorative voyages or anatomical studies? Who wrote about discoveries and to what purpose? These questions are certainly only a fraction of the plethora of questions scholars could ask about this Age of Discoveries. Proposals are very much welcome to add further research questions.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to, …

  • Geographic explorations and discoveries
  • Discoveries within: discovering psychological abysses and journeys to the abject (in the) Self (personal, social, and national)
  • Discovering spatial, temporal and emotional remoteness as the centre of various genres (e.g. Gothic, satire)
  • Technical innovation, trans-human development and travels to outer space
  • Discovering the female other: constructions of female bodies and identities as the Other in English society or the abject female as social threat
  • Journeying of/to the Other (gender, race, religion, social classes)

Conference language: English, French

Deadline: Please e-mail your proposal+ (250 words) and a brief biographical note (100 words) to the conference organisers – – by 1 March 2019.

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in the next peer-reviewed anthology of conference proceedings.

+ With the submission of your proposal you consent that any data you submit will be saved by the organisers until the end of 2019 or the publication of the anthology if you submit a paper to be published. Your data will be shared with the Universitée Franco-Allemande/Deutsch-Französische Hochschule. Your e-mail will be used for the limited purpose of informing you about updates and news relating to the conference and will not be passed on to any third parties, including UFA/DFH.

Beitrag von: Kai Nonnenmacher

Redaktion: Christoph Behrens