Studia Universitatis Babeș-Bolyai Philologia. Special issue 3/2023: Rethinking the Sentimental Eighteenth Century.
Proposal submission deadline: 10 February 2023.
- Dr. Andrew Rudd, University of Exeter, UK, A.Rudd@exeter.ac.uk
- Dr. Dragoş Ivana, University of Bucharest, Romania, email@example.com
The eighteenth-century popularity of the term “sentiment” is indisputable. Along with its cognate terms “feeling” and “affect”, it was expressive of what early modern philosophers called “calm emotions”, which they radically opposed to “passions”, considered to be the violent, unrestrained and unreasonable version of the former. Apart from its in-depth exploration in philosophical treatises which theorised “sentiment” in tight relation with epistemology, ethics and aesthetics, the term was crucial to advancing medical theories about physical sensations and the human mind and, by extension, to understanding the profile and cultural background of eighteenth century Western European societies. Various disciplines thus articulated the language of feeling which was inevitably borrowed by literature and the arts in the latter half of the century.
Deemed as a passage from the collapse of reason to the advent of Romanticism heralded by the French Revolution, the literature of sensibility extolled emotions as a staple diet which encompassed somatic responses (tears and faints), sympathy, moral feeling, melancholy and virtue in distress. At the same time, Henry Mackenzie portrayed sensibility as “a science of manners” in 1780, which was engaged in bringing individuals together in the public sphere through a language of the heart that pushed them to perform benevolent acts of generosity. Sensibility thus cultivated sociability as fundamental to what David Hume has called “the Science of Man”, according to which our passions overrule reason and are held accountable for our actions. Although criticized for excessive sentimentality and exquisite emotions, sensibility has been understood as an arena of critical debates about moral consciousness and the ability to act properly in accordance with sentimental ethics.
Recent advances in the history of emotions, however, allow us to reconsider sensibility as a “biocultural” (Boddice, 2020) phenomenon that is simultaneously embodied, but also situated, mediated and constructed. We must weigh the period’s conception of sensibility as an innate feature of human physiology that only requires cultivation against the particular historical moment in which it arose. Indeed, now is a time when the entire edifice of eighteenth-century culture, sensibility included, is being reappraised and reconfigured. How does recent scholarly work bear on existing accounts of eighteenth-century sensibility? How do the period’s frequent claims of the universal nature of sentiment, feeling and affect measure up against new and emerging critical contexts and the multiplicity of perspectives available to us today?
In this light, the present issue aims to reevaluate the eighteenth-century culture of feeling founded on the conflation of moral philosophical, literary, medical, political, economic and legal theories. Contributions which draw upon new and emerging scholarly methods and build upon academic writing from past decades are encouraged. Papers in English and French should focus on cross currents between literature and other disciplines in order to refresh our understanding of both theories and representations of sensibility across eighteenth-century Europe. Topics include, but are not limited, to the following:
- rethinking eighteenth-century affective theory
- the relationship between sentiment and ethics/epistemology/aesthetics – the novel of sentiment
- the new cult of sensibility epitomised by the Man of Feeling
- the pre-Romantic poetry of sensibility
- the sentimental drama
- sentiment and economics/gender relations
- generosity and benevolence as suggestive of the language of the heart
- public and private emotions
- philanthropy and sensibility
- global sentiments and sensibilities
- sensibility and sentiment today
- sentiment and national identity/ies
- 10 February 2023 – proposal submission deadline (200-word abstract, 7 keywords, 5 theoretical references, 150-word author’s bio-note)
- 15 February 2023 – notification about acceptance
- 31 May 2023 – submission of full papers (Instructions for authors regarding formatting rules and style sheets can be found on the journal’s webpage: http://studia.ubbcluj.ro/serii/philologia/pdf/Instructions_En.pdf
- 30 September 2023 – publication of the special-themed issue
Please send your abstracts and papers to the following email addresses:
Confluențe: Texts & Contexts Reloaded T.C.R. Annals of the University of Oradea, Modern Literature Fascicle. Issue 2023: Post-Otherness in Literature, Culture, and Language. New Strategies for the Validation of Identity.
Deadline for submissions: 20 June 2023.
Editor-in chief: Ioana Cistelecan
Issue theme description
Starting from the assumption that identity (seen as a relationship with one’s self) and individuality (seen as a relationship of the self with the group) are both discursive constructs, we presume that it is the uniqueness of these constructs that confers authenticity and validation to a particular person/community/society. This issue is a subject already widely researched and problematized in theories of otherness from the perspective of dealing with diversity or even with social distancing and alienation. Although many of these approaches and theories declare authenticity to be somewhat utopian, the scientific discoveries of recent years: the discovery of the human genome, mirror neurons, the so-called fingerprint, and of the potential of artificial intelligence, etc., have demonstrated that the validation of identity and individuality is one of the core needs of humanity.
In recent decades, new voices and orientations in identity research have changed the perspective of how the discourse of identity and individuality validation is being constructed.
With the present call for papers, we would like to draw attention to current sociological theories, which corroborate to a large extent the discursive character of identity. We propose an approach to literary texts, cultural texts, and linguistic registers based on the concepts of resonance (Rosa 2019) and validation/recognition (Honneth 1995). Both Rosa and Honneth present the process of identity construction and legitimation as a search for the familiar, for the fellow man. When defining the sociological concept of resonance, H. Rosa proceeds from the concept of resonance in the field of physics/acoustics and, by analogy with sound waves, establishes that to resonate means to vibrate at frequencies similar to those of the people around us or of their actions, without losing our own vibration/voice. The merging of the sources of these waves is not a resonance phenomenon in physics. Therefore the German sociologist does not consider it in his proposed definition of resonance. In his writings, Hartmut Rosa differentiates between synchronous resonance and response/reaction resonance and even establishes horizontal and vertical axes, i.e., modes of manifestation of these social phenomena. Thus, resonance is that phenomenon by which an individual comes into contact with the frequency of another person and takes up/rejects it according to what he considers valid/validating for his own identity and individuality.
By adopting the concept of resonance from acoustics, H. Rosa aims to investigate new modalities of validating identity (individual or group identity), modalities that are not based solely on differentiation, distancing, and otherness. His studies and the writings of his forerunner Axel Honneth provide a scientifically well-grounded toolkit. The concepts of resonance and validation/recognition used in the research of narratives/discourses of identity and individuality in literary, cultural, and linguistic contexts open up new directions of investigation in humanities.
Looking at it this way, the notion of post-otherness refers to a new angle from which to view otherness, an angle that does not accentuate difference but neither does it annihilate or ignore it. Post-otherness does not refer to cases of depersonalization or cultural annihilation but to a human attitude towards one’s fellow human beings, leading to a validation of identity through belonging to a group with which we resonate or through a deep understanding and acceptance of otherness. Forms of social expression and practices stem from our need to communicate with others and our need to develop new forms of mutual listening and shared participation.
The following are a few questions that the theory of post-otherness poses for literary, cultural, and linguistic research at the beginning of the 21st century:
- Is it possible for us to identify in literary texts stylistic, narrative, and discursive strategies that highlight the mechanisms of resonance and validation? Do these strategies differ from one historical period / cultural space to another?
- To what extent have the specific devices of philological research been used to highlight and analyze such discursive strategies of identity validation? What limits can be set to the devices of philological research in these approaches?
- Are there literary works or aspects of language/linguistic registers that raise the issue of post-otherness, namely, the relationship between otherness seen as difference and/or resonance?
- How are the frequencies of resonance negotiated? That is, what do the constructions of discourses that validate/invalidate credible identities and individualities imply?
We invite theoretical and applied studies that start from these premises and build on these concepts. The articles may be written in English, French, and German. Instructions for authors can be found on the journal’s webpage:
All submissions will be evaluated by way of a double-blind peer-review process and the authors will receive the evaluation reports.
Please email your articles (5,000-7,000 words), abstracts (200-300 words, in the language of the article and in English), and 5-6 keywords to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Appiah, Kwame Anthony: The Lies That Bind. Rethinking Identity. Creed, Country, Colour, Class, Culture. London: Profile books Ltd. 2019.
- Honneth, Axel: The Struggle for Recognition. The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts. Cambridge/Massachusetts: MIT Press 1995.
- Levinas, Emmanuel: Entre nous. Essais sur la penser -à-l’autre. Grasset 1991.
- Patapievici, Horia-Roman: Omul recent. București: Humanitas 2008/2020.
- Rosa, Hartmut: Resonance: A Sociology of Our Relationship to the World. Wiley 2019.
Volume / Journal website