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60th Annual Gathering of the Johnson Society of the Central Region

April 12, 2019 to April 13, 2019

Two-day program features talks from Celia Barnes (Lawrence University), Anne Vila (University of Wisconsin – Madison), David Alff (University of Buffalo), Robert Markley (University of Illinois), Bradford Boyd (Arizona State University), Lucinda Cole (University of Illinois), Tili Boon Cuillé (Washington University in St. Louis), Janet Sorensen (University of California – Berkeley), Joshua Swidzinski (University of Portland), and Mark Vareschi, (University of Wisconsin–Madison).

Topics range from convulsive aesthetics to public works, from China and political economy to the problem of readerly criticism, from pastoral landscapes and georgic countryside to witches and cows, from embodied speech to national language, from comparative poetics to media metaphors. A truly promising array of talks presented in the Gerber Lounge on Friday, April 12 and downtown at MERGE on Saturday, April 13. There will be food, beverages, and stimulating reflection on all things eighteenth century! 

Friday, April 12

Gerber Lounge, 304 English-Philosophy Building, University of Iowa

12.00 – 1.30   Registration and Lunch, courtesy of the Department of English

1.30 – 3.00     Panel I


Celia Barnes, Lawrence University

“‘Tell me my faults’: Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, and the Problem of Readerly Criticism”


Anne Vila, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“Convulsive Aesthetics in Eighteenth-Century France: From Spasms to the Sublime”


3.00 – 3.30     Coffee, Tea, and Conversation

3.30 – 5.00     Panel II


David Alff, University of Buffalo

“Savage, Johnson, and All the Public Works”


Robert Markley, University of Illinois

“‘That full complement of riches’: China and the Problem of Political Economy in Adam

Smith’s The Wealth of Nations


Saturday, 13 April

MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

9.00 – 10.30   Panel III


Bradford Boyd, Arizona State University

“‘Disposed to the mild serene enjoyment of nature’: Pastoral Landscape versus Georgic

Countryside in Boswell’s Hypochondriack


Lucinda Cole, University of Illinois

“Witches, Cows, and Johnson’s Cosmopolitanism”


10.30 – 11.00 Coffee, Tea, and Conversation

11.00 – 12.30 Panel IV


Tili Boon Cuillé, Washington University in St. Louis

“Embodied Speech and Historical Faith: The Ossian Controversy in Britain and France”


Janet Sorensen, University of California–Berkeley

“‘As the Vulgar Call It’: Figuring a National Language in Eighteenth-Century British Writing”


12.30 – 1.59   Lunch for all attendees, courtesy of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

1.59 – 2.00     Business Meeting

2.00 – 3.30     Panel V


Joshua Swidzinski, University of Portland

“Johnson, Sir William Jones, and Comparative Poetics”


Mark Vareschi, University of Wisconsin–Madison

“The Force of (Media) Metaphors”


3:30 – 5.00     Concluding Reception

                        The Dandy Lion, 111 S. Dubuque Street