9.396 the Bubble Project

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Mon, 18 Dec 1995 22:03:49 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 396.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: "DAVID MCNEIL (DALHOUSIE)" <WARMCN@ac.dal.ca> (43)
Subject: Corrected Announcement - The Bubble Project (BP)


The Bubble Project (BP) is a collaborative and interdisciplinary research
initiative on the subject of the South Sea Bubble (SSB), or first great stock-
market crash of 1720. It involves a team of scholars who will analyze various
aspects of the "Bubble," under the broad areas of economic history, popular
art and social psychology. There are two main objectives of the project. The
first is to disseminate the results of the research to a scholarly audience in
the form of an essay-collection; the second is to produce a World-Wide-Web
(WWW) hypermedia package for broader educational purposes. A prototype of the
BP WWW site has been established at


The BP will conduct research in cultural and economic history, the visual
arts, musicology, and literature (English, French and Dutch), social
psychology, and humanities methodology. The influence of events on the
continent (namely John Law's scheme in Paris and the financial speculation in
Holland) on the boom/crash of South Sea stock will be assessed, as will the
cultural myths associated with periods of frantic speculation. A close
examination will be made of the popular art (literature, songs, prints)
dealing with the boom/crash. In particular, the intertexuality of this
material (e.g., excerpts from the poems appearing in the prints) is
emphasized. The intention of the BP is to reverse the position held by many
that the SSB did not attract much direct attention from the arts, and to
document the cultural history that accompanies what might be called one of the
most important events in modern Western civilization.

The BP consists of David McNeil (Coordinator), Frans de Bruyn, Dianne Dugaw,
Catherine Ingrassia, Thomas Kavanagh, Larry Neal, and Sandra Sherman. This
team of researchers will produce essays on the following topics:
- "'The Bubble Project (BP)': A Model for Interdisciplinary and Collaborative
- "'Bubbles' as Public Spectacles: Tulipomania to Nick Leeson";
- "An Analysis of the Influence in England of the Dutch Compilation _Het
Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid_";
- "Popular Ballads and the Bubble";
- "Screening Sexuality through Finance: Gender and the South Sea Bubble";
- "The French Response to the Financial Crisis of 1719-20";
- "John Law's Speculations in Art Collecting";
- "The Advertising and Promotion of Bubble Stock"
- "Crowd Behavior and the South Sea Bubble Prints"*
- "A Secondary Bibliography"*

* working-drafts now available at http://ac.dal.ca/~warmcn/bubble.html

For more information on the Bubble Project, contact the Coordinator.

David McNeil, Coordinator - The Bubble Project (BP), c/o Department of
English, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA B3H 3J5.