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Defoe Society Conference 2011

The Culture of Grub Street

The Second Biennial Meeting of the Defoe Society - 14-16 July 2011

Provisional Conference Programme [PDF]
Instructions for delegates [PDF]

The University of Worcester, UK, will host the second biennial meeting of the Defoe Society on 14-16 July 2011. The society’s continued ambition is to attract contributions that range across the extraordinary variety of activities and writings of Daniel Defoe and his contemporaries. The conference’s aim is to encourage fresh examination of the socio-cultural and literary milieu of Grub Street and its “duncical” authors and “Scriblerian” enemies.

The Worcester meeting, which is scheduled to commence at 4:00 pm on 14 July, will be punctuated by three focal events: keynote lectures by Pat Rogers (University of South Florida) and Paula McDowell (New York University) and a President’s Roundtable on the topic of ‘Defoe bibliography’. Participants in the roundtable, chaired by Maximillian E. Novak (UCLA), include David A. Brewer (Ohio State University), J. Alan Downie (Goldsmiths College, University of London), Kit Kincade (Indiana State University) and Ashley Marshall (Johns Hopkins University).

Worcester is situated in the West Midlands and is one of England’s historic cathedral cities. It played a key role in the English Civil War, with the conflict’s initial skirmish and its final battle taking place in and around the city. Worcester’s loyalty to the king during the Civil War earned it the epithet ‘The Faithful City’. Places of interest include the eleventh-century Cathedral, from whose tower Charles II surveyed the Battle of Worcester in 1651; the Commandery, which functioned as the Royalists’ headquarters during the battle; the fifteenth-century Greyfriars; and the eighteenth-century Guildhall.

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers that address one of the panel topics listed below (abstracts for the panels may be found here), and for papers that engage with the field of Defoe Studies more generally. Paper topics do not have to adhere strictly to the conference theme or to focus on Defoe; it is anticipated that additional panels will be formed to accommodate paper proposals that do not address any of the proposed topics. The deadline for proposals is 31 January 2011.

  • ‘Gender in the Fiction of Manley, Haywood, and Defoe’ (Laura Stevens)
  • ‘The State of Wit in 1700.’ (John Richetti)
  • ‘Defoe and Narrative.’ (Nicholas Seager)
  • ‘Representations of the Civil Wars and the Restoration in the early eighteenth century.’ (Andreas Mueller)
  • ‘Conduct, Discipline, and Punishment in the Work of Defoe and His Contemporaries.’ (Robert Mayer)
  • ‘The Demonic and the Divine: Religion and the Politics of Grub Street.’ (Sharon Alker)
  • ‘Natures as Nurturer and Nemesis: Ecocritical Readings of Defoe and His Contemporaries.’ (Lora Geriguis)
  • 'Enduring Grub Street.’ (Sören Hammerschmidt)
  • ‘Defoe’s London in the Atlantic World.’ (Gabriel Cervantes)
  • ‘Un-Locke-ing Defoe and His Contemporaries.’ (Geoffrey Sill)
  • ‘Thriving on Crises’ (Stephen Gregg)

Please email a paper proposal of no more than 200 words to Dr Andreas Mueller at, stating, if appropriate, the panel for which the proposal is being submitted. Mail submissions should be sent to the following address: Division of English & Cultural Studies, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK.

Attending the Conference

The conference registration form can be downloaded by clicking here.

Information for delegates

All major conference activities and accommodation are located on the University’s City Campus.  The conference is scheduled to commence at 4 pm on Thursday, 14 July 2011, with the first plenary lecture, followed by the official conference reception. It is anticipated that delegates will be able to register from 11 am on that day.

The University of Worcester- City Campus,
Castle Street,

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Conference Accommodation

There are two accommodation options

A number of bedrooms have been provisionally reserved at the Whitehouse Hotel which is situated opposite Foregate Street Station and a five minute walk from the City Campus. Rooms cost £75 per night including breakfast (discounted conference rate). Rooms at the Whitehouse Hotel should be booked directly by calling +44 (0) 1905 24308, using the booking reference 55262.

Accommodation is available on the City Campus in the new City Halls. Rooms, including a continental breakfast, are available at a nightly rate of £36. These rooms can be booked using the official Conference Registration Form (available from January 2011)