Welcome Fall 2012

It’s nearly fall! This message is a welcome to anyone in Pittsburgh interested in eighteenth-century studies. Please send email if you’d like to join our group. We meet several times a year to plan panels, discuss academic work, and mentor.  If you know about local events relevant to eighteenth-century studies, please remember the PECC website! You can post yourself or send them to



Many events at Pitt are listed here. Events this academic year will include talks by Dena Goodman, Lynn Festa, Dror Wharman and Paul Youngquist.

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Armstrong Talk at Pitt December 1

December 1, 2011,  4.30 p.m., CL 602 (Humanities Center)

“Drawn into History: Origins, Progress, and Hybridity in French Architectural Thought”

Drew Armstrong, Assistant Professor and Director of Architectural Studies

This is the last of the term’s events hosted by Eighteenth-Century Studies at Pitt. The talk addresses theorists such as Leroy, Laugier, and Winckelmann and will discuss issues growing out of Armstrong’s new book  Julien-David Leroy and the Making of Architectural History (Routledge, 2011).

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David Bell Talk

“Farewell 1789: The Idea of France and the Idea of Revolution”
David Bell, Princeton University

Saturday November 12 5pm – 6:30pm, Keynote Lecture, University Club Ballroom A (123 University Place)

Full conference program available here:


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Thora Brylowe: Works In Progress Lunchtime Talk

Thora Brylowe

“John Landseer in The Examiner: Engraving, Close Reading, and the Law”

Wednesday November 9th, 2011
12 noon
501 Cathedral of Learning

Thora Brylowe is interested in connections between editing, collecting, print
technology, copyright law, and the history of authorship. She is currently at work
on a book-length study entitled Print, Paint, Poem: The Sister Arts as Cultural
Practice, which looks at crosscurrents in the fields of visual art and literary
production, from the establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts in England through
the “crisis in the arts” just after the turn of the nineteenth century. This talk is
taken from part of the last chapter.

The Literature Program Works-in-Progress Colloquium is a joint venture of the
Literature Committee and the GSO. It provides a forum for literature faculty and
advanced graduate students to present their recent work to the departmental
community. Please join us, and feel free to bring your lunch. (Really! We will be
eating! And there will be cookies. So please come.)

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David Brewer Lecture

November 30, 2011
4:30 Adamson Wing (Baker Hall 136A)

David Brewer’s Wednesday, November 30th lecture is titled “The Tactility of Authorial Names.” A reception will follow.  David’s abstract is below.

My title might seem an oxymoron.  After all, authorial names are proper nouns, and so whatever sensory appeal they might have would seem like it would have to be aural (if the names are spoken) and/or visual (if they’re read).  But tactile?  We don’t ordinarily think of names as something which we can stroke or jab or otherwise have literally at our fingertips.  Nonetheless, I’d like to suggest that there are important ways in which authorial names were tactile in the eighteenth century, and that grasping this tactility, as it were, can help us better understand both the centrality and the peculiarity of those beings who were constitutive of what Samuel Johnson famously termed “The Age of Authors.”  And in the process of reconstructing this phenomenon, I’d like to suggest, we can also gain a new perspective on the limitations, as well as the advantages, of the recent shift of many kinds of literary historical research toward digital archives.

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EC/ASECS Program Is Now Online

Many of our members are contributing papers to the 2011 conference at Penn State. The full schedule is now available here.

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Two Talks at Pitt Humanities Center

Monday, September 26, Francesa SAVOIA, Associate Professor of Italian

“Eighteenth-Century … ‘Blogging’? Notes on Common-Placing and Giuseppe Baretti’s zibaldone.” 

 4.00 pm, at Pitt’s Humanities Center, CL 602. Following the paper and discussion, we will also use the opportunity to share ideas and aspirations for this new initiative.   Thanks to the generous hospitality of the Humanities Center, refreshments will be provided.

Abstract: “Over a period of more than twenty years, while residing mostly in England, the Italian writer, literary critic, and lexicographer Giuseppe Baretti (1719-1789) kept a personal reading and writing log. Surveying this 270-page zibaldone has helped me to map out the cultural itinerary followed by this eighteenth-century intellectual immigrant, and has led me into the exploration of such topics as the psychology of authorship, the role of memory in literature and in second language learning, the practice of translation and its uses and purposes. Baretti’s notebook offers itself as an interesting case study in the prevalent practice of assembling, recording and storing acquired bits of knowledge, a practice that—in the eighteenth century—was also stimulated by advancements in printing and consequent wide circulation of printed materials.”

Tuesday, October 25, Marcus REDIKER, Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History

“History from the Inside Out: The Amistad Africans and their Struggle against Slavery while in Jail, 1839-1841.”

Humanities Center, CL602,  4.00 pm.

These two talks are part of Pitt’s new cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental eighteenth-century initiative and would therefore be of interest to members of PECC.
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