Adapting in the Eighteenth Century
Encounters, whether first or subsequent or whether cultural, economic, or ideological, mark the beginning of an acquaintance and measure both similarities and differences. What happens after an opening encounter is the topic of Citizens of the World: Adapting in the Eighteenth Century. Taking as its point of embarkation awareness of the mutuality of foreignness-of the unfamiliarity that characterizes all parties to a meeting out of the minds, ways, or traditions-this exploratory volume considers the many approaches and strategies to adaptation in the Enlightenment and the long and complex process of reciprocal adjustment that created this enthusiastically outgoing era international. The high essays of this volume examine four varieties of adaptationL the interdisciplinary, in which expanding realms of knowledge collide but cooperate; the transnational, in which longstanding traditions merge and hybridize; the gendered, in which personal identity and public pursuits negotiate; and the genera, in which the adapting mentality energizes unprecedented efforts at ingenious recombination. Whether in cast-and-fired pottery or aboard imagined airships, adaptation, the authors in this volume demonstrate, all but defines a century in which the "all but" implies perpetual adjustment to everything else.
"In the contributed essays one reads of early balloonists who lost their lives because they could not steer their craft or keep them aloft; punch bowls and punch drinking in 18th century novels, signs of a newly globalized economy; Jamaican poet Olive Senior's 2007 poems about William Beckford of Fonthill; and the development of a canon of Vietnamese literature. "
"A number of brilliant essays here."
-Jenny Davidson, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Volume 56, Number 3, Summer 2016
"This is a collection in search of a cosmology, to put it in the terms one of its editors, Kevin Cope, adopts in his "Conclusion." There he claims that adaptability has been elevated to the level of the cosmological in the twenty-first century. In much the same way, this edited collection ranges widely, seeking for the constellation of subjects and issues that might help to explain how the notion of adaptation transformed from a sense of mere "fit-ness" (xxv) in the seventeenth century to universal approval and importance in the twenty-first."
- James Mulholland, Digital Defoe, issue 8.1, fall 2016
About the authors:
Kevin L. Cope is a professor of English and comparative literature at Louisiana State University. The author of Criteria of Certainty: Truth and Judgment in the English Enlightenment, of John Locke Revisited, and of In and After the Beginning: Inaugural Moments and Literary Institutions in the Long Eighteenth Century, Cope is also the editor of the journal 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era and of the annual bibliographical journal ECCB: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography. Over the course of his three decades as a specialist in eighteenth-century culture, Cope has published over six dozen journal essays on topics ranging from the theory of satire to the role of allegory in the eighteenth century and on to witty poetry in the Queen Anne ear. His investigations have also stretched into American pop culture, the literature of religious fundamentalism, architecture, and the conceptions of the American city. He is presently at work on a large study of the subterranean Enlightenment: of volcanos, earthquakes, caves, mines, and earth-abiding hermits. In recent years, Cope has emerged as a contributor to the governance of higher education. He is the principal author of the statewide block transfer program for Louisiana higher education and appears regularly on radio and television outlets by way of commenting on policy in public education institutions.
Samara Anne Cahill is assistant professor of eighteenth-century English literature in the Division of English at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her articles on topics ranging from feminist orientalism to trade networks to Enlightenment environmentalism have appeared in the journals The AnaChronisT, Assuming Gender, Green Humanities, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. She has received several grants, including one from the Singapore Ministry of Education for her project on sustainability and the Enlightenment. She is a founding board member of both the Southeast Asian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the Samuel Richardson Society. She is currently the book review editor for Religion in the Age of Enlightenment.
Contributions by Shirley Chew, Bärbel Czennia, Kathryn Duncan, David Fairer, Gilles Massot, Nhu Nguyen, Susan Spencer and Jessika Wichner
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