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Eighteenth century to modern day

National conference examines aspects of life in the 1700s and how they relate to the 21st century.

Public events

Thursday, October 27 - Roundtable discussion From Small Data to Big Data, Looking Forward to Look Back, featuring David Lyon from the Queen’s Surveillance Studies Centre. Watson Hall, Room 517 starting at 7:30 pm.

Friday, October 28 - Public lecture on Elizabeth Vigee LeBrun: 'Happiness only in painting' by Paul Lang, Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Canada. Agnes Etherington Art Centre starting at 7 pm.

Saturday, October 29 - Roundtable discussion Looking Back to Look Forward: Considering Contemporary Alliances among Indigenous Nations through Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Histories of this Territory with Queen’s English professor Sam McKegney. Four Points Sheraton starting at 10 am.

Queen’s University, together with Royal Military College of Canada, is hosting the annual Canadian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (CSECS-SCEDHS) conference. Secret/s & Surveillance is a four day conference exploring multiple approaches to 18th century culture.

The focus of CSECS-SCEDHS is the study of all aspects of 18th century culture including art, music, politics, sociology, literature and history. The public is welcome to participate in three unique events as part of the conference.

“What we’re doing this year is, I think, a bit unique,” says co-organizer and Queen’s English professor Shelley King. “It’s a partnership between an interdisciplinary, period-based national scholarly organization and local scholars working in fields that are somehow touched by 18th century ideas or themes.”

On Thursday, October 27, David Lyon (Queen’s Surveillance Studies Centre) is hosting a round table discussion on surveillance, privacy and data collection in the 1700s.

“The event with David Lyon is going to be very interesting,” says Dr. King. “Political scrutiny and public surveillance played a key role during the 18th century. They collected data differently but for the same purposes as today. Dr. Lyon will discuss issues in contemporary surveillance and Dr. Brian Cowan, CRC in Early Modern History at McGill, will bring a historical perspective to the topic. That is why these public events are so unique - we are pulling from the experience from many areas across the Queen’s campus.”

The next public event is being held at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Friday, October 28. Paul Lang, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada presents a public lecture on  Èlisabeth Vigée Le Brun. As Marie-Antoinette’s official portraitist, she was one of the most important female painters of the 18th century and the subject of a major exhibit at the National Galley this summer.

“This event brings another perspective to an important part of life in the 18th century and will encourage the public to discuss a key artistic figure from the 1700s,” says Dr. King.

The final highlighted event is a public roundtable discussion on treaties and alliances between various indigenous nations with a focus on Kingston. The discussion is being led by Queen’s English professor Sam McKegney and participants will focus on Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee histories from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries in the territory surrounding what is now Kingston. The roundtable is being held Saturday, October 29.

The conference is sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). All “CSECS and the Public Sphere” events are free and registration is not required. For more information visit the website or the conference Facebook page.