Teaching Secrets: Secret Histories, Romans-a-Clef, The Old Bailey and London Spies (Oct 27-30, Kingston ON)

Canadian Society for 18th Century Studies

A conference session on teaching gossip, scandal, history, secrets and lies in the 18th century. Proposal deadline March 13

The secret history and the roman-a-clef were popular and influential genres in eighteenth-century Britain, telling true/mostly true/fully fabricated stories of intrigue and misadventure among the privileged. Stories from the Old Bailey often conveyed the same salaciousness among the less advantaged. Both research and teaching on these texts can be demanding, given the level of cultural knowledge required to make sense of their content and contexts. This session invites both scholarship on these genres, and papers on ways to use these texts in the classroom. Particularly given the availability of resources like the Old Bailey Database online, there are exciting opportunities for both scholars and students to pursue original research that combines eighteenth-century texts and twenty-first century digital resources.

The conference takes place in beautiful and historic Kingston, Ontario, home to Queen’s University, The Royal Military College, and historical Fort Henry.