The Eighteenth Century: Who Cares?

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Date / time: 13 May - 15 May, All day

Center for 18th-Century Studies

The Eighteenth Century: Who Cares?

Center for 18th-Century Studies Workshop (Indiana University) – “Who Cares?”

The Bloomington (Indiana) Eighteenth-Century Studies Workshop has been an annual event since 2002. During the Workshop, we discuss pre-circulated papers and have an occasional lecture, all in a schedule that allows ample time for socializing and informal conversation.

Our theme for 2015: “The Eighteenth Century: Who Cares?” In selecting this topic, we invite a conversation that moves between practices and concepts, between little theorized daily activities (nursing the ill or newborn, watering a garden, feeding a pet) and abstracted formalized debates. As the French Revolution’s nationalization of poor relief shows, being willing to accept responsibility and capable of providing were often two very different things. How did experiences of caring (or, of attempting to do so) feed into shifting literary engagements, political commitments, and/or notions of love? We know that eighteenth-century readers cared deeply about Emile, Pamela, Clarissa, etc.—but could they care for them?

For further information please see or contact the Center’s Director, Professor Rebecca L. Spang (