The Eighteenth-Century Common.

I’m not all that fond of doing massive copy and paste exercises for my blog, but I felt that this was a great opportunity for advertising this admirable project.

I have been following the Enfilade blog for some time, not because of its obvious acknowledgement towards an architectural feature found in many country houses, but more because its aim is to share activities, publications and exhibitions with all those who hold an interest in eighteenth-century art and architecture. As a serial newsletter in the form of a blog, I get to find out what events are taking place almost all over the world. Most recently, their newsletter informed me of a massive project still under construction; The 18th Century Common. This is the sort of thing I really like, and it deserves a mention.


(Source: Enfilade)

One aim of Enfilade has been to help bridge the divide between academics and a much larger world also interested in the eighteenth century. While the site is intended to serve scholars, I’ve always hoped to make others welcome here, too. With that spirit of inclusiveness in mind, I’m especially excited to hear about The 18th-Century Common. The following announcement from Jessica Richard appeared on the C18-L listserv. -Craig Hanson at Enfilade


The following is a brief statement about the project by Jessica Richard (Wake Forest University) and Andrew Burkett (Union College).

I want to announce and solicit contributions to a new public humanities website called The 18th-Century Common which will debut at American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. The 18th-Century Common is a joint project of scholars and students of the long eighteenth century at Union College and Wake Forest University and is funded by the Wake Forest University Humanities Institute.

The aim of the website is to present the published work of eighteenth-century scholars to a general audience. Our initial focus is Richard Holmes’ popular book The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (2009). This book captured the imagination of the general reader, but it omits the more complex contexts that scholarly accounts offer. We hope to provide general readers an accessible view of those contexts, and to move beyond Holmes’ book to the wide range of eighteenth-century studies. The site will feature short versions of published scholarship written for a general audience, as well as links to related resources, texts, and images around the web for readers who want to explore further.

We think this is the beginning of an exciting opportunity to reach the interested nonacademic, nonstudent readers who made Holmes’ book a bestseller, to “translate” what we do and to reach out beyond the academy as digital platforms in the humanities make particularly possible.


So if you have an ounce of interest in the eighteenth century, I suggest you register for information when the project goes live and then wait and see what else you can learn.

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