1771: Genre Boundaries and Dispersion
This project is organized around a single year as it was experienced by a variety of British and colonial authors. The year 1771, when viewed from the perspective of four major cities of the British Atlantic world, contains multitudes as well as an encyclopedic assortment of writing. As a literary and cultural history of a single year, this study will show how a full cohort of writers experienced the year’s unfolding in London, Edinburgh, Philadelphia, and Kingston, Jamaica.
A team of graduate and undergraduate students are assisting to compile an inventory of the English-language texts published in these cities for this year. The team is grouping these writings by genres or kinds to see how these genres of writing helped the inhabitants of this time and place organize their experiences of past, present, and future.