The Epistolary Construction of Christian Friendships

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Tessa Whitehouse (Queen Mary University of London) will be giving a talk entitled ‘“from benevolent hearts & polish’d able pens what may not be hop’d for?”: the Epistolary Construction of Christian Friendships’, on Tuesday, 13 June 2017 (Eighth Week), from 12.30-2 p.m. Part of the TORCH Enlightenment Correspondences Network seminar series, the session will take place at Ertegun House (37A St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LD) over a free sandwich lunch. A brief abstract of the talk is as follows:

Anglophone women letter-writers who were excluded from the mainstream socio-political British establishment due to their gender, religious affiliation or nationality showed themselves to be adept at deploying the linguistic and material practices of epistolary literacy to secure their place as social brokers. This paper will examine the ‘structure of feeling’ that found expression within, and helped to constitute, what Konstantin Dierks has called the ‘emerging new standard for social interaction’ of conducting friendly relationships by letters. It will consider how women used their epistolary literacy and the bonds of friendship to shape inclusive imagined worlds of faith and feeling.

Please RSVP to by 11 June if you plan to attend, and please include any special dietary requirements you may have for the lunch.

All welcome!


Enlightenment Correspondences

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Audience: Open to all