Future Issues

Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries is now accepting submissions for:

Issue 7.1 Fall 2015:
Speed and Sensation in the Early Eighteenth Century

Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries is accepting submissions for Issue 7.1, which will be published in October 2015. Submissions are due by June 1, 2015. The overarching theme of this issue is speed and sensation in the Early Eighteenth Century. As Paula Backscheider has noted, eighteenth-century readers had a “craving for sensation” that manifested in their fascination for literature dealing with new worlds, foreign adventures, cultural artifacts, travel narratives, calamities, murders, and general criminal acts. Defoe’s own body of work certainly attests to this interest in castaways, prostitutes, diseases, and other similar events, as does that of many of his contemporaries. Eliza Haywood, Delarivière Manley, Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, and William Congreve to name a few, also made notable contributions to this popular genre, both in literature and on the stage. This “craving” also reveals a public demand on writers and publishers for quick production of popular reading material. Although recent scholarship has given more attention to some of these less than canonical works, there still remains a need for research into the sensational fiction and drama of this period for a fuller depiction of eighteenth-century pop culture. Topics may include, but need not be limited to, the following:

  • (Re-)assessments of Defoe's work as sensational; 

  • Defoe in relation to other popular writers;
  • Critically neglected bestselling fiction of the early eighteenth century; 

  • Eighteenth-century writers who were well-known, even acclaimed, in their own time, but neglected in later centuries; 

  • Medical and/or scientific experiments in or theories of sensation;

  • Constructing a history of sensation fiction/drama; 

  • The marketplace of cultural reputation; 

  • The material culture of popular literature; 

  • The material culture of speed, including technologies, innovations, experiments, etc.;

  • Speed competitions (physical but also mental or in conversation and learning);

  • Conceptions of popular literature and the writer; 

  • The cultural and ideological hegemony of the Major Authors in criticism; 

  • Literary and critical elitism then and now; 

  • The relationship between major authors and marginalized writers; 

  • Non-canonical works and teaching eighteenth-century sensation fiction and drama;

  • The history of representational differences between male and female writers;

  • Crime and travel narratives as sensation fiction;

  • Representations of the body in sensation literature and on the stage;

  • Comparing the sensation conventions of fiction and drama;

  • Sensibility versus sentimentalism in early eighteenth-century literature;

  • Practices and behaviors of early eighteenth-century readers;

  • The production and printing of sensation literature;

Inquiries and submissions for this issue should be sent to Dr. Katherine Ellison (keellis@ilstu.edu) and Dr. Holly Faith Nelson (hollyfaithnelson@gmail.com).


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