The Oxford-Berlin Enlightenment Hub
The Enlightenment Hub
Constituted in 2018, the Enlightenment Hub is one of the 29 collaborative projects to have been awarded funding as part of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership in 2018. The Enlightenment Hub brings together Oxford and the Berlin universities and allows them to pool their significant strengths in this area spanning the disciplines of English, History, Philosophy, Theology, Modern Languages, History of Science, Social and Political Sciences.
Erica Charters researches the history of war, medicine, and science during the eighteenth century. She is particularly interested in reconciling Enlightenment histories of a cosmopolitan Europe with military histories that portray the eighteenth century as a period of near-constant military conflict, in part by tracing how war was a crucial part of Enlightenment intellectual developments. One of her current projects is a history of eighteenth-century Franco-British warfare and its relationship to Enlightenment scientific knowledge.
Director of the Voltaire Foundation, Professor of French Literature, and Lecturer in the History of the Book; Fellow of Wolfson College. As General Editor of the Complete Works of Voltaire, my main research interests are related to Voltaire, in particular his historical writings, his correspondence, his poetry, the Lettres philosophiques, and the Questions sur l’Encyclopédie. I am also interested in the French Enlightenment more generally, in the history of the book (in particular the illustrated book) and in questions of critical editing.
Contact details are listed on our Staff page.
One of my main research interests are the interrelations between literature and the humanities, especially modern and classical philology and historiography. I am currently working on a monograph on the transformations of the epic from 1800 to modernism. Focal points of my work on the 18th century have been (and are) 18th century print culture, cultural transfer (especially Germany – Britain), the history of nationalism, the reception of antiquity, the history of pre-modern humanities. I am Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Humboldt University, Berlin.
Professor in German Literature and Culture at the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway. Currently (2018-2021), she is Henrik-Steffens-professor at Humboldt university, Berlin. Her main reserach areas are the literature and culture of the 18th and 19th century. In the field of Enlightenment Studies, she is especially interested in dilettante culture, Medical Humanities (patient-doctor-relations, patient stories) and factual narratives.
Freethinking in the (radical) Enlightenment.
Jakob Mauvillon (1743-1794) (as part of the above).
Polemic/querelle in the 18th century
Anacreontic poetry and forms of literary sociability (especially in the circle of Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim)
Roman Kuhn is post-doctoral research assistant at the research unit “Dicursivisations of the new” (Freie Universität Berlin). In his project (supervised by Prof. Klaus W. Hempfer) he investigates the relationship between Classicism and Enlightenment in French 18th-century literature with a special focus on Voltaire’s poetry. The aim of the project is to describe this relationship as a complex entanglement rather than as a simple opposition of “old” and “new”.
Research interests: law & literature studies (current research project on German revenge literature from the late enlightenment to 1936), lyric poetry (current book project, together with Steffen Martus: Aestheticizing lyric poetry in the early enlightenment), transformations of antiquity in German literature, literature & visual arts, book design.
The intellectual and cultural history of Europe in the long eighteenth century (c. 1680-1815) is my main area of research; I am particularly interested in the links between Enlightenment anthropology, theology, and political theory. Other significant aspects of my work include translation and cross-cultural transfer as well as the history of royal academies and exiled intellectuals in the eighteenth century. Having edited the first modern English edition of a wide range of writings by Frederick the Great (Princeton University Press, 2020), I am now working on a monograph exploring the Prussian monarch’s activities as philosopher and public author. Another project concerns the ‘science of man and animal’ in the European Enlightenment.
Research Interests: social and cultural aspects of the enlightenment; history of the book (in particular the illustrated book); literary history of the 18th century (in particular the development of lyrical communication and the theory of aesthetics); evolution of critical communication.
My main areas of research are the literature and culture of the ‘threshold period’ between 1780 and 1830, modernism, and contemporary drama. I have published widely on Kafka, Gothic literature, and more recently in the field of Medical Humanities. I am currently working on a monograph exploring the relationship between literature and pharmacy and in 2016 I am TORCH Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow at the Science Museum London.
Claudia Olk is professor of English and Comparative Literature. Her main fields of research are Medieval and Renaissance Literature as well as Modernism. She is the President of the German Shakespeare Society and works on Shakespeare’s reception in 18th century Europe. Her publications include monographs on the development of Fiction in Late Medieval and Renaissance travel narratives, and on Virginia Woolf’s Aesthetics of Vision. She has edited volumes on Interiority in Literature and Art, on The idea of perfection in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and on Neoplatonism and Aesthetics and published articles on Medieval Drama, Shakespeare, Joyce and Beckett. Her edition of one of Virginia Woolf’s hitherto unpublished manuscripts was published in 2013 by the British Library. She holds a visiting research fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford.
I am interested in the Enlightenment in a number of ways: as a part of Europe’s long, complex and contradictory history from the Middle Ages to modernity. My more specific research interests have to do with two subjects: diplomacy and religion. First, I am interested in the process of „formalization“ of European diplomacy in the eighteenth century and the role the Enlightenment might have played. Secondly, I am interested in the transformation of apocalyptic thought and changing perceptions of a possible end of the world in the Enlightenment.
Ritchie Robertson is currently completing a general study of the Enlightenment for Penguin Books. His next major project concerns ‘reason of state’ in German political drama from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
Jessica Stacey is a Career Development Fellow in French at The Queen’s College, Oxford, and will join Freie Universität Berlin as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the autumn. Her first book treated narratives of catastrophe and experiences of historical time in eighteenth-century France (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2022). Her Marie Curie project moves into the domains of metaphorology, history of science and ecocriticism. It starts from a modest entity at a restricted moment: rust, in its real, represented and metaphorical forms, in 18th-century European writing. The project asks what, if we follow this entity through scientific endeavour, literature, history-writing and politics, we might learn about some big concepts. These include: a culture’s understanding of its place in time; civilisation and barbarism; progress and decline; what the ‘social’ consists in and its relationship to nature.
Prof. Dr. Stefanie Stockhorst (Potsdam) was President of the German Society for 18th-Century Studies (2014-18) and is an Elected Member of the Executive Committee of the ISECS since 2019. Her research in Enlightenment studies focuses on poetology, literary criticism and aesthetics, German enlightenment (esp. F. Nicolai, G. E. Lessing), interrelations between medicine and literature, cultural transfer, and praxeology. Her recent publications include edited books on literary criticism in the 18th century (with Barry Murnane, Ritchie Robertson, and Christoph Schmitt-Maaß) (2019), German-Danish Cultural Relations in the 18th Century (with Søren Peter Hansen) (2019), Lessing and the senses (with Alexander Košenina) (2016), and war and peace in the 18th century as well as various articles, e. g. “Doing Enlightenment. Forschungsprogrammatische Überlegungen zur ‚Aufklärung‘ als kultureller Praxis“. In: Das achtzehnte Jahrhundert 42/1 (2018), p. 11–29.
My research interests are: theatre, the relationship between literary and visual cultures, satire and parody, oratory, and the cultural history of Shakespeare.
Research interests: the continuities between the early modern period and the Enlightenment, in particular with a view to rhetoric and dialectics; institutions of learning (universities, academies) and their practices; the history of impartiality; (global) media of the Enlightenment, in particular periodicals; Spanish and Catholic Enlightenment
Martin Urmann is a postdoc researcher at the Collaborative Research Center „Episteme in Motion. Transfer of Knowledge from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period“ at Freie Universität Berlin. He holds a PhD degree (cotutelle de thèse) in comparative literature and history from Freie Universität Berlin and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris). His research interests include the cultural and intellectual history of the early modern republic of letters, the history of early modern rhetoric, and participatory formats in the French Enlightenment. His current book project is on the prize contests as media of knowledge at the French academies (1670–1789). It sets out to analyse the epistemic status of the genre amidst the changing institutional and medial contexts of the république des lettres focusing on the early decades of the prize questions at the Académie française since 1670 as well as the “prix d’éloquence” and the “prix de morale” at the provincial academies between 1720 and 1760.
Research interests: I am particularly interested in interrelations between literature and knowledge about the future (two co-edited volumes: “Futurologien: Ordnungen des Zukunftswissens”, 2016, and “Zukunftssicherung. Kulturwissenschaftliche Perspektiven”, 2019). Over many years I have worked on concepts of generation, heritage and inheritance (two monographs: “Das Konzept der Generation”, 2008, co-authored with Ohad Parnes and Ulrike Vedder, and “Erbfälle: Theorie und Praxis kultureller Übertragung”, 2014). Other research interests: theories of language and translation (my dissertation, “Poetik der Etymologie”, 2003); music and intermediality (“Oper und Film: Geschichten einer Beziehung”, co-ed., 2019).