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The Pursuit of Happiness


Call for papers

Bard College and Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY
April 24-26, 2009

Following on INCS’s 2008 theme, “The Emergence of Human Rights,” this conference will focus on “the pursuit of happiness,” that elusive corollary to life and liberty. What form did happiness and the comprehension of happiness take in the nineteenth century? How, for example, did the legacy of the American and French Revolutions shape nineteenth-century understandings of happiness? What were the effects of burgeoning industrialism? In keeping with the recent turn to studies of emotion, feeling, and affect within literary studies as well as psychology, economics, history, and philosophy, we invite papers on the nineteenth-century contexts and genealogies for such work.  In acknowledgment of our 2009 conference location. Saratoga Springs, NY, we particularly encourage papers exploring Victorian pleasure-seeking as having provided popular, if contested, routes to happiness.

The deadline for abstract submission is 15 October 2008.

Please refer to the conference's official web site for full details on suggested topics.

Keynote speakers

Robert Frank, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management at Cornell University 

Darrin McMahon, Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University

Adam Potkay, Margaret L. Hamilton Professor of English at The College of William and Mary


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