Welcome

Thomas Gainsborough, “Wooded Landscape with a Cottage and Shepherd” (1748-1750). Oil on Canvas. Yale Center for British Art.

The 18th-Century Common offers a public space for sharing the research of scholars who study eighteenth-century cultures with nonacademic readers.

We present short digests of our research in accessible, non-specialized language, along with links to original texts, objects, and images, as well as resources for further reading.

New posts appear below.  You can explore topics in “Collections,” informal posts on our “Blog,” and descriptions of 18th-century material around the web at the “Gazette.” Click “Editors and Advisors” to browse by post author.

Learn more about The 18th-Century Common


The 18th-Century Common is currently seeking contributions in the following areas:

  • (For & Against) Cognitive Science and 18th-Century Studies
  • New Directions in 18th-Century Feminist Studies: Developments of the Field in the Twenty-First Century
  • The Age of Wonder: Science and the Arts in the 18th Century
  • Rethinking the Intersections of Romantic-Age Literature & Science: New Approaches to Mary Shelley’s Representation of Science & Technology in Frankenstein
  • Travel, Exploration, and Empire in the 18th-Century

See this post for more information.


Latest Posts

Interiority and Jane Porter’s Pocket Diary

Interiority and Jane Porter’s Pocket Diary

Julie Park, Assistant Professor of English at Vassar College, describes her fascinating recent research into the “written documents of daily life from real eighteenth-century lives” at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Sex and the Founding Fathers

Sex and the Founding Fathers

By tracing how intimacy has figured in popular memory of the Founders from their own lifetimes to the recent past, Sex and the Founding Fathers shows that sex has long been used to define their masculine character and political authority and has always figured in civic and national identity.

Digital Archives and Pacific Cultures

Digital Archives and Pacific Cultures

Faculty and students at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg are working on a long-range digital project — Digital Archives and Pacific Cultures — to code and analyze the voyage narratives of eighteenth-century European expeditions to the Pacific, together with the English poetry and print media that responded to the published accounts of Pacific voyages. We are attempting to study the cross-cultural significance of European voyages in the Pacific and cultural contact experiences in Oceania and Australia, using digital coding and “text-mining” to collect information from very long voyage records in systematic ways through computational methods.