Eighteenth-Century European Culture

  • Founded
  • Seminar Number

This interdisciplinary seminar hosts leading national and regional scholars who present works-in-progress that explore aspects of eighteenth-century European culture of vital interest and concern to the wider field of eighteenth-century studies.  Like our guest speakers, our membership is drawn from a wide variety of institutions and disciplines: history, literature, philosophy, political science, music, history of science, and art, as well as national traditions. The Seminar’s offerings are eclectic, but from time to time our Seminar has hosted special events such as symposia on the 18th-century reception of Classical, Hellenistic, and Late Antique texts (2003) and the intellectual origins of freedom of speech (2007, ­2008).  Proceedings from the latter recently appeared as a collection of essays edited by former Chair Elizabeth Powers, Freedom of Speech: The History of an Idea (Bucknell University Press, 2011). Most recently, our Seminar has co-sponsored, with the Seminar on Early Modern France, a series of roundtables on new directions in eighteenth-century studies under the rubric of “Literature and History in Dialogue.” Past roundtables have been devoted to concepts of authorship (Fall 2010), eighteenth-century science studies (Spring 2011), and comparative colonialisms and orientalisms (Fall 2011). Our 2012-2013 program marked the Seminar’s 50th year in operation.

Past Meetings

Professor Stephanie Hershinow

Professor Kathleen Lubey

Katherine Bergevin

Meeting dates and locations are subject to change. Please confirm details with the seminar rapporteur.



09/20/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
“The Island of Barbados is Very Much Worn Out”: Racial Geographies of Caribbean Slavery, 1627-1765
Ramesh Mallipeddi, University of Colorado Boulder

10/25/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
On the Art of Dramatic Probability: Elizabeth Inchbald's Remarks
Lisa Freeman, University of Illinois at Chicago

11/15/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
The Look and Sound of Eighteenth-Century Money
Rebecca Spang, Indiana University

12/13/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
[A]s effectually as if I had been Christen'd Roxana": The Persistence of Typical Character in Daniel Defoe's The Fortunate Mistress
Kathleen Urda, Bronx Community College, CUNY

01/31/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:00 PM
How Does Enlightenment End?
Joanna Stalnaker, Columbia University

02/21/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Blackface Empire; or the Slavery Meridian
Kathleen Wilson, Stony Brook, SUNY

03/14/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Learning to Read: Adam Smith and Jane Austen on the Difficulties of Spectatorship
Lauren Kopajtic, Fordham University

04/25/2019 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Panel on Human Rights and the Eighteenth Century
Ala Alryyes, Queens College, CUNY

Kristina Huang, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael Ralph, New York University