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Human rights, story-ballet and insects: The Oxford Enlightenment programme for 2018-2019
Friday, 9 November, 2018
Our 2018-2019 programme is spearheaded by events on human rights and the Enlightenment, a much-debated topic with contemporary implications.
Would Voltaire have made a good PhD supervisor? Voltaire mentors Vauvenargues
Tuesday, 6 November, 2018
A current work in progress at the Voltaire Foundation relates to one of Voltaire’s less-discussed friendships, with Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues.
Zola in the eighteenth century: ‘The Dream’ and the embroiderer’s art
Tuesday, 30 October, 2018
When I began work on my translation of Emile Zola’s ‘Le Rêve’ of 1888 for Oxford World’s Classics, I did not appreciate just how distinctive an eighteenth-century flavour the novel takes on in places.
Lighting the Enlightenment
Tuesday, 23 October, 2018
Try googling ‘light and enlightenment’ and see what you find. Buddhism, new age religion, mindfulness, and spirituality top the list. But if you are hoping to find discussions of the Enlightenment in the context of lanterns, illumination, and light, you’ll need to search a little harder, or be prepared to be left in the dark.
Language, science and human control of nature: the case of Buffon’s ‘Histoire naturelle’
Tuesday, 16 October, 2018
Science and written language in the French eighteenth century.
‘Une encyclopédie de ma façon’: le chef-d’œuvre méconnu de Voltaire
Friday, 5 October, 2018
Voltaire a toujours soutenu la grande entreprise collective de l’‘Encyclopédie’ dirigée par D’Alembert et Diderot.
Digitizing Enlightenment III
Tuesday, 25 September, 2018
The Voltaire Foundation, in collaboration with Cultures of Knowledge, the Maison Française d’Oxford, the Oxford Centre for European History and the Centre for Early Modern Studies, hosted the third Digitizing Enlightenment conference on 19-20 July.
The ‘Beccaria moment’: revisiting the origins of the modern penal system
Tuesday, 18 September, 2018
Published anonymously in Livorno in July 1764, Cesare Beccaria’s ‘On Crimes and Punishments’ is at the origin of a remarkable moment in European culture.
Voltaire: a life in letters
Tuesday, 11 September, 2018
In the late summer of 1776 there appeared an anonymous ‘Commentaire historique sur les œuvres de l’auteur de La Henriade’. On the face of it, this biography of the 82-year-old Voltaire was written by a ‘man of letters’, not in his first youth either, with access to the great man and to the ‘chaos of his papers’.
‘Vous êtes la première chose que je vois en m’éveillant’: portraits in Voltaire’s bedroom
Tuesday, 4 September, 2018
Voltaire had many bedrooms during his long life, but the best documented is the one at the Château de Ferney, where he spent a considerable time sleeping, working, or entertaining guests.

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