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Centres of Enlightenment Workshop

Centres of Enlightenment in Global Context, 20-21st June, 2008


As part of the Global Cities of Enlightenment project, organised by Stephane Van-Damme, Karen O'Brien and John Christie, we are holding the following workshop.

At the Maison Francaise, 2-10 Norham Road, Oxford

Registration £20 (free to postgraduate students and to unwaged, but please pre-register for lunches)

To register: fill in the registration form

Any questions, contact



Provisional Programme

Friday 20th June

11.45-1.00 Preliminaries: Stéphane Van Damme, Karen O’Brien and Rebecca Earle

Opening address: Charles Withers. `Geographies of Enlightenment'

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2.00-3.30 Session 1: Is there an Enlightenment Franco-Centrisme?

Antoine Lilti, `How Polycentric is the “Radical Enlightenment”?’

Céline Spector, `Is there a European Civil Society? Montesquieu’s Case’

Stéphane Van Damme, `Was the Parisian Enlightenment a Partisan Enlightenment?

3.30-3.45 Tea

3.45-6.00 Session 2: Decentering Enlightenment I - Atlantic circuits

Trevor Burnard, `The Crucible of Modernity: Kingston Jamaica and its White Inhabitants as a Centre of Enlightenment Values and Practices, 1745-80’

Sarah Knott, `The Patient’s Case in American Enlightenment’

James Delbourgo, “The Printer and the Virtuoso: Geographies of Skill and Atlantic Enlightenment”



Saturday 21st June

9.30-10.30 Session 3: Provincialising the European Enlightenment - Borders and Frontiers

Antonella Romano `Rome, A Provincial Capital within an Enlightened World?’

Borbála Zsuzsanna Török, `“Prophet in One’s Own Land”: Scientific Careers and Communication in End-of-Eighteenth-Century Transylvania’

10.30-11.30 Session 4: Decentering Enlightenment II: Indian and African Worlds

Kapil Raj, `Mapping Mankind from Calcutta in the late Eighteenth Century’

Catarina Madeira-Santos, `Enlightening Portugal, Enlightening Angola: Philosopher-Administrators and the Dynamics of Imperialism in the Eighteenth Century’

11.30-12.00 Coffee

12.00-1.00 Session 5: Disputed Centres and Networks

John Christie, `Metropolitan Knowledge: London, Enlightenment and Dissent’

Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, `The Disputed Centres and Networks of the “Républiquie universelle des francs-maçons”’

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2.00-3.15 Session 6: Cultures of Mobility

Carla Hesse, `Rousseau on the Move: French Itineraries, 1789-1800’

Daniel Carey, `The Mobility of Culture’

3.15-3.30 Tea

3.30 – 5.00 at the latest: Roundtable panel discussion

John Robertson and Carla Hesse (chair John Christie)


Speakers and Chairs

Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire, Ecole De Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales and Université de Nice

Trevor Burnard, Department of History, University of Warwick

Daniel Carey, Department of English, Galway, National University of Ireland

John Christie, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds

James Delbourgo, Department of History, McGill University

Rebecca Earle, Comparative American Studies, Warwick University

Carla Hesse, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley

Catarina Madeira-Santos, Centre d’études africaines, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Sarah Knott, Department of History, University of Indiana

Antoine Lilti, Department of History, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris

Karen O’Brien, Department of English, University of Warwick

Kapil Raj, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Antonella Romano, Department of History and Civilisation, European University Institute

Céline Spector, Department of Philosophy, University of Bordeaux

Borbála Zsuzsanna Török, Centre for Historical Studies, Central European University, Budapest

Stéphane Van Damme, Department of History, University of Warwick

Charles Withers, Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh