Sports and Sociability in the Long Eighteenth Century

Sports and Sociability in the Long Eighteenth Century

Sorbonne Université, 13-14 October 2022

Conference organized by Caroline Bertonèche (Université Grenoble Alpes) and Alexis Tadié (Sorbonne University) in the framework of the H2020 DIGITENS project.

Supported by the Université Grenoble Alpes, Sorbonne Université, the GIS Sociabilités and the SERA (Société d'Études du Romantisme Anglais).

This conference will investigate the intricate relationships between sports and literature and the arts in the long eighteenth century. Sports are a particular good place to reflect on sociability, while the cultural approach enables an understanding of sports which goes beyond their history. We understand the place of sports in our societies if we look at their cultural representations and at the work they do.


Thursday 13 October

9:45: Welcome and opening remarks


Simon BAINBRIDGE (Lancaster University): A group… of apparently aerial beings’: Sociability on the British Summit in the Long Eighteenth Century

11:30: First session: Outdoors, Sociability and Individuality

CHAIR: Kimberley PAGE-JONES (Université de Bretagne Occidentale)


Meiko O’HALLORAN (Newcastle University): Scaling Ben Nevis: Keats Among the Clouds


Claire WROBEL (Université Paris-Panthéon-Assas): Between Solitude and Sociability : Mountaineering in Ann Radcliffe's The Romance of the Forest (1791)

12.30-13.00: Discussion


14:00: Second session: Building Sociability through Sports

CHAIR: Marc PORÉE (École normale supérieure-PSL)


Benjamin JACKSON (University of Birmingham): ‘The Gentleman Sportsman’: Blood Sports, Sociability, and Materiality in Eighteenth-Century England


Valérie CAPDEVILLE (Université Sorbonne-Paris-Nord): Sports and Outdoor Recreation in Early American Clubs: Horse-Racing, Angling and Fox-Hunting Practices in Colonial Maryland and Pennsylvania


Alexis TADIÉ (Sorbonne Université): Of Rivers and Swimming in the Long Eighteenth Century

15:30-16:30: Discussion


19.30: Conference Dinner at La Ferrandaise (8, rue de Vaugirard, Paris 6e)


Friday 14 October

10:00: Third session: Animality, Violence, and the Social Worlds of Sports

CHAIR: Marion AMBLARD (Université Grenoble Alpes)


Mike HUGGINS (University of Cumbria): Changing Attitudes to the Non-Human Animal World : the Case of Cock-Fighting


Kimberley PAGE-JONES (Université de Bretagne Occidentale) & Pierre LABRUNE (VALE): Boxing and the Fancy: Violence Tamed and Aestheticized (1780-1815)


John C. WHALE (University of Leeds): Pugilism in the Regency: Popularity and Cultural Appropriation

12:00-12:30: Discussion


12:30: Lunch at Le Paradis des amis (72 rue Gay-Lussac, Paris 5e)


14:00: Fourth session: Sports and Romanticism

CHAIR: Meiko O’HALLORAN (Newcastle University)


Andreas KRAMER (Goldsmiths, University of London): Luminous Streams, Precipitous Rocks: Perspectives on Sport in German Romanticism


Marc PORÉE (École normale supérieure-PSL): Wordsworth, Keats, Byron: Sport or No Sport?

15:00-15:30: Discussion


16:00: Caroline BERTONÈCHE (Université Grenoble Alpes): Introducing the Virtual Museum RÊVE. Special collection: On Romantic Sports. Fencing Familiarized

16:30: Alexis TADIÉ (Sorbonne Université)

Introducing the Database AGON: On Quarrels and Controversies

17:00 Kimberley PAGE-JONES (UBO) & Valérie CAPDEVILLE (Sorbonne-Paris-Nord)

Introducing the Digital Encyclopedia DIGITENS: On British Sociability in the Long 18th Century


18:00: Closing drinks

19:00: End of the conference

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