Date: November 5 – 6, 2010
Venue: Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France

“The most common form of eccentricity of all was one that could be seen as another exaggeration of Englishness, its innate conservatism” (Paul Langford, Englishness Identified, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 305). Any critical assessment of Englishness rests on a number of seemingly contradictory notions: amongst these, eccentricity has its special place.
This conference will focus on the evolving definitions of eccentricity in English culture from the XVIth century to the present day. The aim is twofold: provide an overview of the critical history of eccentricity and conceptualise a notion that seems to be taken for granted and that crops up consistently whenever the English “character” is evoked.
This event is a follow-up to the conference on Englishness held at the University of Burgundy in March 2007. Contributions are invited from specialists in literature, civilisation, Art history, the history of ideas, epistemology, and word & image studies.
Deadline: please send abstracts of about 300 words (along with a short bibliography and a short biography) to Sophie Aymes ( and Laurent Mellet ( before 30 April 2010.
Notification of acceptance: May 2010.
Papers can be submitted either in French or in English, but those selected for publication will have to be written in English.