“Dreaming of Lubberland: Idleness and Industry in the British Atlantic World,” A Talk by Professor Daniel Johnson

The American Studies Association of Turkey Presents:

“Dreaming of Lubberland: Idleness and Industry in the British Atlantic World”

A Talk by
Assist. Prof. Dr. Daniel Johnson
Department of American Culture and Literature
Bilkent University

Date & Time: Friday, December 17, 2021, 6:30 P.M.

Meeting ID: 977 6168 0459
Passcode: 503902
URL: shorturl.at/osyAW

Abstract: In the 1760s and 1770s, writers like Jared Eliot and Benjamin Franklin argued that North America was not “Lubberland,” a lazy person’s paradise in which food and other sensual pleasures were always available. Enlightenment authors’ evocation of the fictional Lubberland (also known as the Land of Cockaigne) in America testifies to the continuity of a popular tradition that originated in medieval European peasant visions of the perfect world. Different manifestations of Lubberland and utopian imagery also provide illuminating windows on changing attitudes to work, profit, and human nature in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British Atlantic world. This presentation will examine how references to Lubberland and other utopias reflected broader social and cultural transformations in early modern England and America, with special emphasis placed on representations of labor and human nature.


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