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CFP: Pop Enlightenments: The Eighteenth-Century Now

CFP: Pop Enlightenments: The Eighteenth Century Now

Edited by Emrys Jones and Madeleine Pelling

Contemporary depictions of the long eighteenth century – whether drawn from historic sources or responding imaginatively to the era’s multifarious legacies – regularly captivate TV, film and theatre audiences and gamers alike. Increasingly, scholarly biographies provide the basis for big budget biopics, eighteenth-century narratives are adapted in new and experimental ways, objects from museum collections are replicated in cultures of fandom, and academics are invited onto sets as consultants. During a global moment in which the representation and deployment of history in the public sphere are subject to new and urgent scrutiny, we ask what function film, television, gaming, theatre and more can perform when depicting the eighteenth century in our modern world? Can such works speak to perceived eighteenth-century ideas and values and, simultaneously, the shifting paradigms of our own time? How, and why, should we engage?

Pop Enlightenments will bring together scholarly essays and interviews with creative industry professionals. Building on conversations begun in Emrys Jones’s Pop Enlightenments podcast, it takes a broad approach to explore how eighteenth-century forms and narratives are variously taken up, recycled and re-visioned in contemporary media. It asks which histories are being told and by whom.

We seek proposals for chapters from scholars, including early career researchers. Particular areas for analysis and discussion might include, but are not limited to:

  • The eighteenth century’s imaginative currency in contemporary popular culture
  • The representation (or misrepresentation) of historical crimes and traumas
  • Intersections between eighteenth-century models of culture and our own
  • Considerations of genre and audience expectation
  • Contrasting international contexts for adaptation and re-creation
  • Recent shifts in historiographical discourse, and industry responses to these

We welcome contributions discussing any cultural sources from the last twenty years. The list below, while not exhaustive, provides some examples of possible focus points.

Potential contributors are requested to send 300-word abstracts to emrys.jones@kcl.ac.ukand mp656@york.ac.uk by 18th June 2021.

Works of Interest

Television

Bridgerton

Outlander

Poldark

Harlots

The Great

Taboo

The Scandalous Lady W

Versailles

Turn: Washington’s Spies

Black Sails

Roots

Frontier

Catherine the Great

Banished

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

 

Film 

Belle

Amazing Grace

The Favourite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Emma.

The Duchess

A Little Chaos

Marie Antoinette

Mary Shelley

Bright Star

Beauty and the Beast

Last of the Mohicans

The Patriot

Pirates of the Caribbean

Interview with a Vampire

Sleepy Hollow

John Adams

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

The Royal Affair

Love and Friendship

Rob Roy

Lady J

Casanova

 

Theatre

The Madness of King George

Hamilton

 

Games

Assassin’s Creed III, IV, Rogue and Unity

The Council

Return of the Obra Dinn

We. The Revolution

Banner of the Maid

 


Please note that all dates and location information are provisional, initially taken from the library and archive catalogues. As our section editors continue to work through the material we will update our database and the changes will be reflected across the edition.