CFP: Recycling luxury and waste in the long eighteenth century: the after life of used things in Britain and France

Recycling luxury and waste in the long 18th century – the afterlife of used things in Britain and France.

International conference June 22nd – 23rd 2010
Université Paris Diderot / LARCA
UFR Charles V – 10, rue Charles V 75004 Paris

The 2010 conference on the afterlife of used things in the long 18th century will expand on the 2009 ‘cycles of novelty’ symposium, which had explored some of the many aspects of recycling in particular in relation to art and literature. This year’s conference will focus on recycling in relation to social, economic and material practices in the long 18th century and will broaden its geographical boundaries to include France.

We invite participants to study the versatile practices of recycling and refashioning that shaped the eighteenth-century world of goods with particular emphasis on the double question of waste and luxury. Thus the refashioning of old objects into new desirable ones, the thriving second-hand market often fuelled by the luxury trades and the problem of “waste management” in societies characterized by increased opulence are among the questions that the conference will seek to explore. The management of resources (both natural and man-made), their scarcity and their uses will also be central to the conference and we welcome papers exploring the topography or geographical circulation of goods and resources involved by practices of recycling. We also hope to somewhat chart the processes of valuation/devaluation and re-evaluation through which both fashionable luxury objects and discarded material went through and invite contributors to submit papers focusing on the cultural uses and values of objects/materials along the various stages of this process. Finally, papers on the circulation of models, knowledge and know-how which the various practices of recycling fostered will help us to understand some of the wider implications of recycling in the age of the enlightenment.
Conference papers can be in English or in French.
We are in contact with several publishers to get a selection of papers from this year and last year’s conference published. This publication will be in English

Please send your proposals (max 300 words) to the organisers by 12th April 2010 at the following addresses:


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