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 marks the Seminar’s 50th year in operation.

Past Meetings

Professor Kathleen Lubey

Katherine Bergevin

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



09/14/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
The Pineal Gland: A Comedy in Three Acts
Jess Keiser, Tufts University

10/18/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Abortive Maternity and the Inkle and Yarico Legend
Regulus Allen, California Polytechnic State University

11/09/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Typography and Conversational Threat in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa
Katie Gemmill, Vassar College

12/07/2017 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Hand, Eye, Image, Self: Enlightenment Microscopy and Modernity
Al Coppola, John Jay College, CUNY

01/25/2018 IAB 707 (Lindsay Rogers Room), Columbia University
7:30 PM
Paper Mosaics and Paper Sentiments: Mary Delany's Loves of the Plants
Deidre Lynch, Harvard University

03/29/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
Educating the Vulgar Eye: Classed Vision and Criminal Punishment in Hogarth's Art
Meredith Gamer, Columbia University

04/24/2018 Faculty House, Columbia University
7:30 PM
When do we read? The timing of books in the eighteenth century
Tina Lupton, University of Warwick