49th Annual Conference British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
8-10 January 2020 at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom : “Natural, Unnatural and Supernatural”
Donna Landry (University of Kent at Canterbury): ‘In one red burial blent’: The Natural, the Unnatural, and the Animal at Waterloo
Hannah Williams (QMUL): ‘The Religion Problem’
The annual meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is Europe’s largest and most prestigious annual conference dealing with all aspects of the history, culture and literature of the long eighteenth century.
18 July 2020 marks the tercentenary of the birth of Gilbert White, author of The Natural History of Selborne (1789), the bestselling account of the flora and fauna of his Hampshire parish. White encouraged a new way of looking at the environment, inspiring his readers to record the timings and interactions of plants and animals on their local patch. For that reason, he is sometimes called ‘the first ecologist’. But White was also a clergyman who administered the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, and who also took an interest in the folklore and beliefs current in his parish. For White, like many ‘natural-‘ or ‘physico-theologians’ of the period, the natural and the supernatural were inextricably entwined. While proposals on all and any eighteenth-century topics are very welcome, this year our plenary speakers at the conference will accordingly be addressing the topic of ‘Natural, Unnatural, and Supernatural’, and proposals are also invited which address any aspect of this theme.