Conference: Encounters, Affinities, Legacies – the 18th Century in the Present Day

Yinka Shonibare, 'The Swing (after Fragonard)' 2001, at Brooklyn Museum © Diana Quick
Yinka Shonibare, ‘The Swing (after Fragonard)’ 2001, at Brooklyn Museum © Diana Quick

The University of York, 28-29th June 2013

As the field of eighteenth century studies continues to boom within the academy, the eighteenth century – invoked around names like Rousseau, Voltaire, and Adam Smith – is becoming an increasingly frequent interlocutor in contemporary debates in the international media about society, democracy, human rights, and the economy. Whilst social and political commentators are reading our present in dialogue with our eighteenth-century past, cultural appetites for the eighteenth century on page, stage, and screen continue to grow: powerful suggestions that intertwined discourses like (E)nlightenment and modernity, central to so much eighteenth- and twentieth-century thought, remain vital to the social, political and cultural construction of our contemporary moment. This interdisciplinary academic conference and arts festival seeks to explore the complex webs of interconnection between the long eighteenth century and the ‘long’ twentieth century, from 1900 to the present.

Over the course of two days, the historic King’s Manor in the centre of York will play host to leading academics, early-career scholars, and postgraduate students from around the world, as well as showcasing the work of exciting young artists, photographers, designers, and performers from across the UK. Encounters is funded by the University of York’s Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, Humanities Research Centre, and Centre for Modern Studies. Visit the conference website:

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