Caribbean-themed sessions at 2018 ASECS Meeting


A post by Peter Jordens.

The 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) will take place from March 22-25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida.

Here are three sessions that will have a Caribbean theme:

Session 1. “Contesting the Caribbean: Caught between Empires” (Roundtable)

Chair: Renee Gutiérrez, Longwood University;

A confusion of influences from many empires roiled the Caribbean early on, even among competing

indigenous tribes prior to the arrival of the Europeans, and those influences left their mark on the area throughout the 18th century. What happens when imperial powers collide on land and at sea? How can our disciplinary narratives be challenged by tracking different imperial agents and examining different protonational voices? This roundtable will be constructed so as to foster an interdisciplinary dialog across multiple academic fields, discussing the impact of imperial projects in the Caribbean. All disciplines are welcome: literature, history, art history, linguistics, etc. To start (but by no means limit) your thinking, consider these questions: Who were the winners and losers in the Caribbean? Who controlled Caribbean economies and how? How did power shift, and how were those shifts explained? Who ruled Caribbean ports and their cities? Who resisted the imperial reach of Spain, France, and England? How were contesting narratives constructed and how did they circulate?

Session 128. “Race and Revolution in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World”

Chair: Jamie Rosenthal, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

The eighteenth-century Atlantic world saw numerous slave revolts, culminating with the Haitian Revolution and the establishment of the first independent black republic. As scholars such as Michel-Rolph Trouillot and Sibylle Fischer have argued, the Haitian Revolution was unthinkable and unspeakable within the framework of Western thought; yet literary and archival sources reveal that the Haitian Revolution and other slave revolts had a profound impact on the transatlantic cultural imaginary. This panel seeks papers that examine representations of slave resistance and rebellion in the Caribbean or elsewhere in the Atlantic world. Papers may address a variety of questions, including the following: How are real or imagined slave revolts represented in fictional texts, newspapers, archival sources, or visual images? Where and how did these representations circulate? What rhetorical strategies did writers employ to invoke fears or hopes of black liberation? What do literary, historical, and archival sources reveal about the relationship between gender, sexuality, race, and revolution? What do these sources suggest about the relationship between forms of everyday resistance and organized rebellion?

Session 170. “Slavery in the Caribbean: Archives and Representations” (Early Caribbean Society)

Chair: Kelly Wisecup, Northwestern University;

The past decade or so has seen the creation of new digital repositories and platforms for representing the literatures of the Caribbean, slavery, and slave rebellions, such as the Early Caribbean Digital Archive; The Digital Library of the Caribbean, and the maps associated with the “Slave Revolt in Jamaica” web page. These new media and digital archives offer a useful context in which to reconsider representations of slavery in the Caribbean and their archives. Paper proposals are invited about the forms of representation for depicting enslavement in the Caribbean; about the archives in which these representations reside; and about the ways that these archives shape scholarly work on slavery and its representations. Papers on all forms of archives and representations– digital, print, scholarly, community, in the US and in the West Indies—are welcome. The Early Caribbean Society encourages proposals representing various disciplines, including history, literature, and the visual arts; it also welcomes proposals from both established and early career scholars.

Also of interest to Caribbeanists may be the following three sessions:

Session 81. “Coffeehouses and Print Production”

Chair: Leah M. Thomas, Virginia State University;

Session 152. “Life and Death, in and across Race and Empire” (Roundtable) (Race and Empire Studies Caucus)

Chair: Tony Brown, University of Minnesota;

Session 155. “Theatre, Performance, and Slavery” (Theater and Performance Studies Caucus)

Chair: Jeffrey Leichman, Louisiana State University;

Paper proposals should be sent directly to the respective session chairs no later than September 15, 2017.

Obtain the full Call of Papers at


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