Call for Papers “Radical Voices, Radical Ways: Articulating and Spreading Radical Ideas in the British Isles (17th-18th centuries)”

Université de Haute Alsace, FLSH, 10 rue des Frères Lumière, Mulhouse 68093: 11th April 2013 – 13th April 2013

Proposals deadline: 30th June 2012.

An International Interdisciplinary Conference, Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse (France) – 11-13 April 2013, with the support of ILLE (Institut de Recherche en Langues et Littératures Européennes, EA 4363). This conference is premised on the rejection of the “nominalist” approach to “radicalism” – radicalism did not exist until it was named – and makes a case for embracing a wider view of the issue. Although we are aware that the latter approach also has its inherent limitations we hope to offer general perspectives based on an exploration of varied sources produced in a variety of contexts. What is meant by “radicalism” here is any political doctrine or theory that challenges existing political, religious, economic and social norms and offers alternatives to them. This is the first of two conferences on radicalism, the second of which will concentrate on more recent times. Papers considering the modes of writing and transmission of radical ideas will be welcome. Diverse sources can be used such as written texts (whether manuscripts or printed documents), oral sources or visual documents: pamphlets, sermons, newspapers, petitions, correspondence, fiction, music, songs, toasts raised in company, conversations, images and illustrations, cartoons, visual arts, etc.

These can be discussed in a variety of ways, including but by no means limited to:
– Relation of these modes of writing and transmission of ideas to the political, religious, economic and social context of the British Isles in the period under study;

– Presentation of the media used to promote radical ideas in terms of their users, whether they were networks (political parties, societies, lobbies, etc.) or individuals; profile of their users, i.e. their authors and those at the receiving end (gender, social background, geography);

– What made these media relevant to the cause they were used for; how they interacted and intersected; how their users interacted; what impact they had;

– Nature of radical discourse: is it context-based or can transhistorical continuities be traced? Peculiarities and recurrent motifs? Is there any such thing as a “radical style”?

– Recycling of radical ideas and/or material from one generation to another or from one place, region, or country to another (through translations, for example).
This conference should contribute to a reappraisal of the concept of “radicalism” with reference to its modes of writing and transmission, thus making it possible for place or time continuities to emerge between various sources or, conversely, distinguishing features or specific identities to be isolated. Papers discussing the issue from a European perspective will be welcome.

We will favour papers in English. A selection of these will be considered for publication.

Please submit proposals for papers (250 words max.), with a short bio-bibliographical note, to Laurent CURELLY ( ) by 30th June 2012.

Notification of acceptance: 15th September 2012.

Scientific Committee:
Anne BANDRY (Université de Strasbourg) / Jean-Jacques CHARDIN (Université de Strasbourg) / Nathalie COLLÉ-BAK (Université de Lorraine) / Laurent CURELLY (Université de Haute Alsace) / H.T. DICKINSON (University of Edinburgh) / Rémy DUTHILLE (Université Michel de Montaigne – Bordeaux 3) / Balz ENGLER (Universität Basel) / Michel FAURE (Université de Haute Alsace) / Jason PEACEY (University College London) / Joad RAYMOND (University of East Anglia) / Will SLAUTER (Université Paris 8) / Nigel SMITH (Princeton University)

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