Enlightenment Workshop

The Enlightenment Workshop is Oxford’s leading seminar in 18th-century intellectual history and literary culture. Convened by the Voltaire Foundation by Nicholas Cronk (St Edmund Hall) and Avi Lifschitz (Magdalen College), it usually takes place in the spring and summer terms (Hilary and Trinity).

The seminars in 2023 are taking place in-person in the Summer Common Room, Magdalen College in Hilary Term, and in the Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College, in Trinity Term.


Enlightenment Workshop 2023 – REVISED, please update your diaries

We are delighted to present our programme for Hilary and Trinity Term 2023. You can find a pdf version of the UPDATED programme by following this link.

An interdisciplinary research seminar supported by the Faculty of History, the Faculty of Modern Languages, and the Voltaire Foundation

Wednesdays at 5:00pm unless stated otherwise


Summer Common Room, Magdalen College


18 Jan.              Jürgen Overhoff (Münster)

Lecturing on pedagogy: Kant’s creative use of Basedow’s educational philosophy


25 Jan.             Ruggero Sciuto (St Edmund Hall, Oxford)

« Fi! l[a] vilain[e] hypocrite »: picturing women atheists in eighteenth-century Paris


No seminar on 1 February

8 Feb.              Sanja Perovic (King’s College London)

Radical translations: the transfer of revolutionary culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815)


20 Feb.            Luisa Simonutti (ISPF/CNR, Milan)

MONDAY       Islamic influences on European thought in the seventeenth century


8 Mar.             Jeffrey Ravel (MIT)

The Old Regime deck of playing cards



Sophia Sheppard Room, Magdalen College


26 Apr.            David Armitage (Harvard)

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and the law of nations


3 May              Friedrich Vollhardt (LMU, Munich)

Lessing, Voltaire and theodicy


17 May             Michelle Pfeffer (Magdalen College, Oxford)

                        William Warburton’s Divine Legation of Moses (1738-1741) and theological learning in the public sphere


24 May            Eva Piirimäe (Tartu)

Herder and the French Revolution


31 May            Nicolas Fréry (Université de Strasbourg)

Seven years of literary and artistic life (1737-1744): what Voltaire’s new letters to Marie-Louise Denis bring to light
Marking recent publication of Voltaire, Lettres inédites à Marie-Louise Denis (1737-1744): Voltaire et sa chère nièce, ed. N. Cronk, F. Deloffre, N. Fréry and J. Hellegouarc’h (Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2023).

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