Rethinking Enlightenment: Conference on Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth Century France

Rethinking Enlightenment posterHoughton Library, Edison & Newman Room
Friday, March 23, 2018

The French Enlightenment is famous for its intellectual innovations, but it is remembered largely as a male endeavor. This conference delves deeper into the works of women showcased in the groundbreaking Houghton Library exhibition Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth Century France (on view through April 28), who participated in the Enlightenment’s intellectual and political transformations but were excluded from histories of the period until recently. Join us for presentations from six scholars who are challenging the male-dominated narrative as they offer detailed analyses of the historical sources and historiography of these women and chart future directions for the field. The conference will include a viewing of the exhibition and related collection items, and will be followed by a reception.

2:00 pm: Presentations and Workshop
Martine Reid, Université de Lille
“Published and Forgotten: Anne-Marie du Bocage”

Matthew Barfield, Harvard University
“‘Arriver dans le monde avec des principes’: Madame de Lambert’s Worldly Education”

Henry Shreffler, Harvard University
“Feminism and the Censors: The Journal des Dames and Ancien Regime Censorship”

Caleb Shelburne, Harvard University
“Henriette de Marans: Writing from the Margins”

Vicki E. Mistacco, Wellesley College
“Louise de Keralio: Gender and Women’s Literary History”

Christie McDonald, Harvard University
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Writing”

Workshop with Houghton Library collection items

4:30 pm: Reception and viewing of the exhibition “Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth-Century France”

Co-sponsored by Houghton Library and the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, Harvard University

Edison & Newman Room

The room, its programs, and its exhibitions are supported by the generosity of the Edison and Newman families (Bernard A. Edison AB 1949, MBA 1951; Julian I. Edison AB 1951, MBA 1953; Andrew E. Newman AB 1966, MBA 1968). Located on the first floor of Houghton Library, this room serves as a location for a variety of public programs.

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