Thursday, January 27, 2011

CFP: "Enduring Grub Street" - Special Session of the Defoe Society Conference (1/31, 7/14-16/2011)

The Culture of Grub Street:
The Second Biennial Meeting of the Defoe Society

University of Worcester, UK

14-16 July 2011

CFP: Special Session "Enduring Grub Street"

I would like to call list members' attention to a panel, "Enduring Grub Street," which I will chair at this year's conference of the Defoe Society, to be held at the University of Worcester, July 14-16, 2011. You can find all the relevant conference information at

The panel seeks submissions that engage with the following topics: 1) the privations and obstacles that writers, readers, and others who were employed in the printing and bookselling business faced when dealing with Grub Street; and 2) the legacy of Grub Street as a metaphor for those privations. It is the purpose of this panel to bring together studies of eighteenth-century Grub Street as a challenging environment for aspiring authors and seasoned entrepreneurs with inquiries into the conceptual uses that later periods made of Grub Street. What were the market and working conditions associated with eighteenth-century Grub Street? How did readers approach the products of Grub Street, and how did they negotiate or contribute to the conceptualization of "Grub Street" as a synonym for hack writing and cheap print? And what was at stake when later generations recycled the "Grub Street" label to describe contemporary writers or sections of the print industry? How and why did Grub Street endure as a concept beyond the specific economic conditions of an eighteenth-century business location? Papers that consider both strands of our enquiry are particularly welcome, as are papers that take a broadly intermedial view of Grub Street's print productions.

Please email a paper proposal of no more than 200 words to Dr Andreas Mueller at, stating the title of this panel; deadline for submissions is January 31, 2011. I would be particularly interested in submissions by Victorianists, Edwardianists, or just plain Long-Nineteenth-Centuryists (not that they are plain, mind you) - ideally I would have a good balance of papers across the C18 and C19 for the conference.

All best,
Sören Hammerschmidt
Dr. Sören C. Hammerschmidt
Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Postdoctoraal onderzoeker
Research on Authorship as Performance (
English Studies, Literature Department/Vakgroep Letteren
Ghent University/Universiteit Gent