Call for Essays and Proposals: Teaching the Eighteenth Century Now

Bucknell University’s series Transits: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850 invites expressions of interest for essays or collections of essays that highlight the scholarship of teaching the long eighteenth century including the Romantic era. Proposals for edited volumes need not have firm commitments from authors at this stage, but should detail possible contributors and topics.

The long eighteenth century was a period of complex interest in the processes of learning and education, exploration of the natural and human-made world, and questions about who should be educated, in what manner, and for what purposes. Many of our ideas about pedagogical projects and processes have their roots in the period—for good or ill—and these same pedagogical questions drive our scholarship and vice versa. Ernest Boyer argued in 1990 for the value of the scholarship of teaching and learning: “The work of the professor becomes consequential only as it is understood by others. … knowing and learning are communal acts. … great teachers create a common ground of intellectual commitment. They stimulate active, not passive learning and encourage students to be critical, creative thinkers, with the capacity to go on learning … (Scholarship Reconsidered, 23-24).

Thirty years later, in this moment of pandemic pedagogy and cultural reckoning, our methods of delivery, curriculum, and even parameters of expertise are all under pressure. It thus seems both timely and essential to ask how we teach the long eighteenth century now. The Transits series invite expressions of interest that recognize and represent teaching as a serious scholarly activity—one that bridges the sometimes solitary and reflective work of conventional scholarship with the more communal and communicative work of teaching and learning.

Essays might consider the connections rather than the disjunctions between the work of scholarship and the work of teaching; theories of pedagogy from the long eighteenth century and their implications or revisions for our own contexts; how we teach the eighteenth century—as the period in which academic institutions were born, the period of Enlightenment and the developing idea of human rights, but also the period that institutionalized settler colonialism and slavery. Work that engages critical pedagogical practices and pragmatic approaches as a way to think about the significance of the pedagogical act (rather than say how to teach a specific work or figure), are particularly welcomed. Interdisciplinary work or work that could be adapted into multiple fields would be of particular interest. We particularly welcome essays and collection proposals from junior faculty and contingent faculty, who often find themselves on the “frontlines” of teaching. Additionally, Transits and Bucknell University Press are deeply committed to the work of equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in solidarity with the Association of University Presses and instructors and scholars of color. We warmly welcome work that explores or exemplifies inclusive teaching practices.

We welcome expressions of interest or submissions as you are able; by October 30, 2020 for fullest consideration.

Kate Parker, University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse ( and Miriam L. Wallace, New College of Florida (