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The Annual Conference of the
South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

23-25 February 2012
The Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina

Hosted by SCSECS President Phyllis Thompson and East Tennessee State University

“Panoramas and Prospects”

Dear SCSECS 2012 Conference Participants:

Welcome to Asheville, North Carolina.  If you have not been to Asheville before, you are in for a treat.  Asheville sits at about 2500 feet in altitude in the western corner of North Carolina and boasts the PANORAMIC beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a progressive mountain-urban culture, and a fun and funky arts community.  While I cannot predict if next February we will be enjoying big blue-sky days or snow-capped mountains, what I can certainly promise is a highlands experience you won’t soon forget.  Again, welcome to the Appalachian mountain south from this year’s SCSECS conference committee and East Tennessee State University!

Phyllis Thompson
President, SCSECS


The SCSECS 2012 Conference Committee and East Tennessee State University welcomes participants to the annual conference of the South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.  Here in the highlands of the oldest mountain range in North America, we offer a variety of vantage points, vistas, and views from which to explore the “panoramas and prospects” of the long eighteenth century.  We invite topics that investigate these matters within specific literary genres, historical events, geographic boundaries, or modes of entertainment.  Of course, our theme is merely a suggestion, and we welcome papers and panels that address other subject areas, including art, drama, printing, music, history, religion, race, and gender. 

Our plenary address for the SCSECS 2012 conference will be given by Judith Bailey Slagle, who has published widely in Eighteenth-Century studies, whose Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie and Joanna Baillie: A Literary Life have brought to Baillie's work the critical reception she merits, and whose Romantic Appropriations of History: The Legends of Joanna Baillie and Margaret Holford Hodson is forthcoming this winter.  Other special events include a musical presentation on the evolution of Eighteenth-Century Scottish fiddle music by Jane MacMorran and a performance of Rameau's opéra ballet extravaganza Les Indes Galantes.  Conference attendees will also enjoy an afternoon excursion to America's largest private residence, the Biltmore Estate; a wine tasting on the grounds will follow the tour of house and gardens.  The official conference festivities will close on Saturday evening with a Gathering of our SCSECS Clan to the aires of the ETSU Celtic Band in the Skyline View Ballroom and Mountain Terrace of The Grove Park Inn to raise a glass to celebrate yet another conference and to make plans to meet again.

Conference accommodations and meetings will be at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.  A four diamond resort, the Grove Park Inn was constructed between 1912-1913 from granite stones that were mined from Sunset Mountain and is known today for its distinctive red clay tile roof, massive fireplaces, and original Roycroft furnishings.  With panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains that will inspire and easy access to Asheville's many galleries, cafés, bookshops, and music venues, the Grove Park offers an unparalleled venue for this year's SCSECS conference.  You can learn more about our accommodations (including Grove Park’s Spa) and the vibrant downtown scene in Asheville on our “ Hotel Information”  and " Travel Information" pages.

SCSECS attendees may also consider arriving early and staying late.  For instance, on Wednesday, attendees can enjoy a Brews Cruise in downtown Asheville of three local micro-breweries.  See the registration form to select this option.  SCSECS attendees may also enjoy taking a walking tour of the Asheville art scene; touring Thomas Wolfe’s home; eating at one of the seventy locally owned cafés and restaurants; getting lost in the stacks at Malaprop’s or any one of Asheville’s many used and rare book shops; enjoying walking tours and trails that explore urban landscapes and mountain vistas; or driving along America’s most scenic highway, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from there climbing to the highest point east of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell.  For the bold among us the region offers some of the southeast’s finest whitewater.  Like I said, plan to arrive early and stay late! 

We look forward to seeing you!

Questions regarding any information about the conference may be directed to Dr. Phyllis Thompson at .

Portions of this website have been appropriated, updated, and amalgamated from other ASECS sites hosted by other institutions.

SCSECS wishes to thank the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh, for their kind permission to use Robert Barker’s Panorama of Edinburgh from the Crown of St. Giles, 1792 on our conference website and materials.  Portions of this website include details and manipulations of images from Bernardo Bellotto's Vienna, Panorama for Palais Kaunitz, 1759-1760; George Lambert’s Pastoral Landscape with Shepherds and their Flocks, 1744; Francesco Guardi’s Ladies Concert at the Philharmonic Hall, 1782; Thomas Gainsborough’s Landscape River, 1768-1770; and Conversation in a Park, 1740; and William Hogarth's Fishing Party, 1730; and Marriage à-la-mode: The Marriage Settlement, 1743.  We also wish to thank The Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Biltmore Estate, and The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa for use of images throughout this website.