Attrib. to George Townshend, The Viscount Townshend (1724–1807), The blessings of peace. Etching and engraving with stipple. Published by M. Smith, April 16, 1783. The Lewis Walpole Library.


Office of the Provost, Yale University
The Lewis Walpole Library
The Yale Center for British Art
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Department of English, Yale University
The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments
The Whitney Humanities Center

Program Committee
Gordon Turnbull (Chair)
Cassandra Albinson
Jill Campbell
Wendy Lee
Kathryn James
Todd Gilman
Margaret K. Powell
Cynthia Roman


We talked of war. JOHNSON. 'Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.' BOSWELL. 'Lord Mansfield does not.' JOHNSON. 'Sir, if Lord Mansfield were in a company of General Officers and Admirals who have been in service, he would shrink; he'd wish to creep under the table…. No, Sir; were Socrates and Charles the Twelfth of Sweden both present in any company, and Socrates to say, "Follow me, and hear a lecture on philosophy;" and Charles, laying his hand on his sword, to say, "Follow me, and dethrone the Czar;" a man would be ashamed to follow Socrates….'

James Boswell
Life of Samuel Johnson, 10 April 1778


2013 marks the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in April 1713, formally ending the War of the Spanish Succession, and the 250th anniversary of the Treaty of Paris, ending the Seven Years War, known in its colonial North American theater as the French and Indian War. What are The Ends of War? The phrase here reflects the elusive Johnsonian sense in the quotation on the home page, above, implying both cessation, but also paradoxically what lives on after formal cessation, as well as the deeper, more troubling sense of “ends” as aims, purposes, intentions, and perhaps unintended consequences. Do wars end, or end anything? Beyond the massive geo-cultural realignments that followed especially from the global conflicts of 1757–1763, what are the social, literary, aesthetic, and artistic consequences of war and its ends? And what did and do these ends look like at the other ends of the earth, non European, non North American? We welcome papers on any aspect of these and other related questions. In keeping with NEASECS traditions, panels and papers addressing elements of the long eighteenth century not directly related to the conference theme are also welcome.

Suggested topics might include:
Secularism, the Sacred, and War • Is there a Postwar? • War and "The Enlightenment" • Peace and "The Enlightenment" • War and Sensibility • Conversation about/as War • Eighteenth-Century War in Film • Political Peace and Inner (Spiritual) Peace; or, tropes of Tranquility • The Music of War • Peace and War in Drama and Performance • The Naval and the Military in Celebrity and Fashion • The Heroic and the Mock-Heroic • Waste, Squalor, Filth and War • War, Peace, News, and the Circulation of Information • War and the Technologies of Communication • The Language and Rhetoric of Peace Treaties • Coins, Medallions, and other Objects of Commemoration • Nationalism, Ethnicity, Race and War • Post-War Travel ('Mobility Studies') • Science, Astronomy, Meteorology, and War • Defeat