CfP: „Falsehood, Forgeries and Fraud: The Fake Eighteenth Century“, Bloomington (02.01.2019)

Call for Papers für den Workshop „Falsehood, Forgeries and Fraud: The Fake Eighteenth Century“ | Bloomington (Indiana)

Deadline Abstract: 02. Januar 2019 | Datum der Veranstaltung: 09.-11. Mai 2019

The Indiana University Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies announces its eighteenth annual Bloomington Workshop (May 9-11, 2019).

Falsehood, Forgeries and Fraud:
The Fake Eighteenth Century
Among eighteenth-century concerns, a desire to protect against fraud ranked very high.  Indeed—and perhaps inevitably–a greater emphasis on originality, authenticity, and truth gave rise to an increasing wariness of inauthenticity, falsehood, and forgery. New forms of mass communication, especially a burgeoning print culture, and the concomitant emergence of a public sphere, created a receptive media environment for fake news, conspiracy theories, propaganda, and gossip mongering. With scientific results widely reported and discussed, issues of proof, evidence, and their fabrication became topics of general concern both for the scientific community and for the wider public. Imposters, false prophets, mountebanks, and charlatans of various stripes thrived in the royal courts, the boudoirs of the grand monde, and the streets of the new democracies. They also materialized on stage and between book covers, tantalizing the audiences of plays and operas as much as the increasing number of avid novel readers. Naturally, they also provided much grist for the gossip of the day.

We invite scholars from all disciplines to address all facets of the “fake eighteenth century” from 1688 to 1832. Potential questions guiding the examination include: When and how did the distinction of authentic and inauthentic start to govern different discourses? How does the concept of falsehood facilitate the understanding of truth and the Enlightenment? Do “falsehood” and the “inauthentic” matter in a different way than in previous centuries; and if so, why? Which new practices of forgery and creations of falsehoods emerge and to which effect?

Topics of discussion might include, but are not limited to:

  • Emergence of discourses of authenticity, falsehood, fakery
  • False evidence, deception
  • The art of illusion, trompe l’oeil
  • Counterfeiting, economic manipulations
  • Conspiracies, hoaxes
  • Circulation of fake news
  • Legal practices, including copyright and literary or musical piracy
  • Tricksters, imposters, false prophets
  • Authenticity of expression in actors or musical virtuosi
  • Cross-dressing
  • Selfhood and masquerade in public and private spaces

The Indiana University Eighteenth-Century Studies Workshop has been an annual event since 2002. Our usual format consists of intense discussion of pre-circulated papers and an occasional lecture, interspersed with ample opportunities for socializing and refreshment. Participants are selected by an interdisciplinary committee. The Workshop covers most travel costs for those who are chosen to present papers and the local accommodations.

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