Appel à communication : « Eros and Enlightenment » (Washington, DC, février 2016)

L’instant désiré des amants heureux, 1767-1771What would it mean to consider the eighteenth century through the lens of its evolving discourse on love? The explosion of a novel-reading public; the Enlightenment’s often nervous inquiry into love’s place among the ‘moral sentiments’ and its status in relation to the equally unstable category of friendship; the expansion of epistolary culture and the attendant vogue for love letter pictures; the libertine conceptualization of love as a ‘commerce’; homoeroticism as a cultural leitmotif; the ubiquitous presence of Cupid, even in such unexpected contexts as financial literature; the fixation on ancient notions of eros, from Ovid’s persistently popular Ars Amatoria to the unearthed remains of erotic frescoes: these and other phenomena suggest that love played a central yet complicated role in period self-imaginings, in ways that iconographic accounts of the era’s visual arts have perhaps not fully registered.

This ASECS-sponsored panel seeks papers on all aspects of visual and material culture that expand, challenge, and enliven our understanding of eros in the eighteenth century.

Please email a title, abstract (1–2 pages, double-spaced) and brief CV (1–2 pages) to the panel chairs by May 31 :

Nina Dubin, University of Illinois at Chicago (
Hérica Valladares, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (

All participants must become members of CAA. For format, guidelines, eligibility, etc., consult the CAA website:

Session du 104e congrès du College Art Association (CAA),  Washington, DC, 3-6 février 2016.



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