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CFP: Crusoe at 300: Adaptations, Afterlives & Futures

The sixth biennial meeting of the Defoe Society, July 10-12, 2019

Conference organizers: Chloe Wigston Smith, University of York and Gabriel Cervantes, University of North Texas

The year 2019 marks the tercentenary of the publication of The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. The Defoe Society will mark this milestone by holding its sixth biennial conference in York, England, Crusoe’s birthplace. The conference invites proposals for panels on any topic related to the study of Defoe and his contemporaries, broadly defined as stretching from the Restoration period to the mid-eighteenth century. Proposals are invited for fully comprised panels of three papers, for roundtable sessions of up to five speakers, and for alternative format sessions of your devising. In light of the anniversary of Robinson Crusoe (and its sequel The Farther Adventures), we welcome especially papers that examine the literary world of 1719; the afterlives of Crusoe’s narratives in various media; Defoe’s own continuations to the novel; and adaptations of these narratives by other authors and artists in the eighteenth century and beyond. Papers could also examine Robinsonades of all stripes: precursors, contemporaries, and adaptations into the 21st century. We invite contributions that focus on key themes of race and gender in Defoe and in the eighteenth century more generally, as well as on Robinson Crusoe’s changing status and role in scholarly debates about literary history and literary form, about histories of colonialism and empire, and about geography and politics. We are keen to discuss the futures of the novel and its place in current methodologies and approaches within eighteenth-century studies and beyond.

Plenary Speakers: Barbara M. Benedict, Charles A. Dana Professor of English at Trinity College; Nicholas Seager, Senior Lecturer, Keele University

Panel abstracts should be submitted to the conference address, by July 15. These will be circulated prior to the deadline for complete panels on September 1. Please limit abstracts to 200 words and include a brief biography of the organizer.

Proposals for individual papers or complete panels should be submitted to the following address: by September 1, 2018. Please limit abstracts to 500 words and include a very brief biography.

The 2019 meeting will be held July 10-12 at the University of York and the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the historic King’s Manor. York is 2 hours, by train, from London King’s Cross and 2.5 hours from Edinburgh. It’s about a 50-minute drive from Leeds Bradford airport and just under 1.5 hours, by train, from Manchester International Airport.

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