Wordsworth’s assertion that ‘the child is father of the man’ is one of the most familiar statements of the Romantic interest in the relationship between childhood experience and adult identity. Indeed, it has become something of a commonplace now to assert that the Romantics invented childhood as we understand it. This volume will investigate the extent to which the wider concept of ‘infancy’ became a key trope of European thought across a range of different areas of enquiry, genres of cultural productivity, and national contexts, during the ‘long eighteenth century’ (1700-1830), from speculation about the age of the cosmos to discussions of the history of civil society.
Potential topics for chapters include:
- Depictions of infancy in literature and the visual arts
- Speculation about the relationship between childhood experience and adult identity
- Descriptions of childhood in medical writing
- Romantic nationalisms and the infancy of nations
- The use of ‘infancy’ as a trope in natural philosophy (geology, chemistry, botany, etc.)
- Infancy as a concept in writing about the history of poetry, painting, sculpture, etc.
- ‘Infancy’ as a trope in histories of civil society, economics, etc.
- Eighteenth-century and Romantic-period writing for children (fiction, conduct, etc.)
- ‘Infancy’ and/in education
Proposals of 300-500 words for chapters of 8000 words should be sent to the editors by 15 January 2017. Successful proposers will be notified by 15 February 2017, with finished chapters to be delivered by 15 July 2017. Publication is projected for late summer 2018.
Cian Duffy is professor of English literature at Lund University, Sweden. He has published widely on various aspects of the intellectual life and cultural history of the late eighteenth century and romantic period. (email@example.com)
Martina Domines Veliki is assistant professor of English Literature at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. She has mostly published on Wordsworth and Rousseau and is the current president of HDAS - the Croatian Association for Anglophone Studies. (firstname.lastname@example.org)