Monthly Archives: September 2017

Defoe, Truth, and Lies: CFP for BSECS 2018

Call For Papers:  Defoe Society panel at the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual conference, Oxford, January 2018.

‘Defoe, Truth, and Lies’

But these Men care not what Injurious Things they Write, not what they Say, whether Truth or Not, if it may but raise a Reproach on me. … Conscia Mens Recti fuma Mendacia Ridet [‘the mind conscious of its own rectitude laughs at the lies of rumour’].

Defoe, An Appeal to Honour and Justice (1715)

It is tempting to mobilise the language of ‘fake news’ or the recent debates about historical fiction to get at Daniel Defoe’s experience of the written world. There is, of course no need. As the subject of truth and lies from his own time to the present day, and as the manipulator of truth and lies in his writings, Defoe is exactly the right author of the conference theme for BSECS 2018. This panel invites proposals on the topic of Defoe, truth and lies, and which might address issues such as:

  • The novel – genre and epistemology
  • Credit and creditability
  • Biographical and autobiographical narration
  • Journalism and politics
  • Necessity and realpolitick
  • Masquerade, hypocrisy, deception, and displacement
  • Spying and spies
  • The truth of ‘Defoe’: biographical representations

Proposals of no more than 250 words should be for papers of 20mins length. Please email proposals, by October 1st, to Stephen Gregg,

Note. If your paper is accepted and you will be presenting at the panel (and if you are not already a member), you will need to join the Defoe Society. Details of how to join can be found here:

BSECS conference webpage.