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Colloquium June 2011: "Bluestockings: The Social Network"

The colloquium will be held on 3-4 June 2011 at Swansea University and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, featuring keynote lectures by Professor Felicity Nussbaum and Professor Betty Schellenberg.

This colloquium is the first in a series initiated by an AHRC-funded network whose purpose is to set in motion a project to edit Elizabeth Montagu’s letters. The c. 8,000 letters of the ‘Queen of the Bluestockings’ (1718-1800) have been described by Barbara Schnorrenberg as ‘among the most important surviving collections from the eighteenth century’. The Steering Committee comprises Caroline Franklin (Swansea), Elizabeth Eger (King’s, London), Nicole Pohl (Oxford Brookes), and Michael Franklin (Swansea) and our ultimate aim is a complete critical edition in electronic format, providing unparalleled access to these documents.


In attempting to diversify and extend our own network, we invite contributions by editors and scholars working on aspects of bluestocking culture from a variety of disciplinary approaches, including history, literature, classics, politics, economics, linguistics, art, architecture and women’s studies. Possible themes and topics might include: the chief salonnières and their correspondents and how this interchange effected, in the words of David Hume, ‘the increase of arts, pleasures, and social commerce’; the distinctions between friendship, patronage and love; the role of letters in bridging distances. Consideration of the mixture of informality, intimacy and rivalry which characterized these overlapping networks of conversation, correspondence, criticism, and patronage will undoubtedly further the social and intellectual progress of our own twenty-first-century network. We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers. Please send abstracts of approximately 200 words to Caroline Franklin c.franklin@swansea.ac.uk and Elizabeth Eger elizabeth.eger@kcl.ac.uk by 14th March 2011.

There are also 10 places available for research students at the colloquium; all secured places will include free access to the conference at Swansea University on June 3rd and an invitation to the public lecture on June 4th at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. All research students who wish to be considered are required to send an abstract of approximately 200 words, accompanied by a letter of application of approximately 500 words, to Kate Spiller k.spiller@swansea.ac.uk by March 14th 2011.

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