Posted on 15 August 2023
On Saturday 10th June, the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies celebrated 25 years since its foundation. More than 50 students and staff, past and present, gathered to mark the occasion in the King's Manor, where CECS has been located since its establishment.
The celebration started with a buffet lunch, where attendees could peruse a colourful display of books published by members of CECS over the years, and posters produced to promote our trademark Research Seminars.
We then enjoyed a lively plenary conversation, where previous Directors of CECS Alan Forrest, Joanne de Groot, Catriona Kennedy, Jon Mee and Jane Rendall offered personal memories and speculated about the opportunities and challenges that CECS faces today.
Many contributions from the floor were also offered, reminiscing about early research seminars in smoky pubs, creative community endeavours such as Ho Ho Hogarth (pictured below), and the flagship interdisciplinary anthology that underpinned Masters study at CECS since the earliest days of its establishment. A key theme was the crucial and unique role played by our postgraduate students in pushing forward our research agenda in creative and collaborative ways. Indeed, many of the attendees had come to the party directly from a successful conference co-organised by Emerita Professor Jane Rendall and PhD student Rachel Feldberg, on which they were warmly congratulated.
Following this, research-in-progress presentations were offered by Mary Fairclough, Mark Jenner and Emma Major. These often reflected on the ways in which the environment of CECS has shaped research in a way that could not be done elsewhere.
Finally, attendees gathered outside King's Manor in the sunshine to toast the founders of the centre, its present members, and its future. Here's to another 25 years!