Dr Ruggero Sciuto

Dr Ruggero Sciuto (BA, Pisa – MPhil, DPhil, Oxford) is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages in association with St Edmund Hall. His research focuses on eighteenth-century French literature and philosophy, especially the works of Denis Diderot and Paul Thiry d’Holbach, and on diplomatic relations between European countries in the Early Modern Period. He is the author of a monograph on the theory of determinism jointly advanced by Diderot and d’Holbach, and is currently working on a new book project examining how d’Holbach’s elusive practices of authorship and the consequent absence of a well-defined textual corpus influenced the reception of his ideas during the French Revolution. Ruggero has published in premier journals, including the Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France and Archivio Storico Italiano, and he is a collaborator on both the Oxford edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire and the Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori. He is the director of Digital d’Holbach, a born-digital scholarly edition of d’Holbach’s complete works, and as part of this project he is currently working on editions of two key Enlightenment texts: the Lettres à Eugénie and Le Bon Sens.


(1) Books

(2) Volumes edited

  • Sciuto (ed), New Approaches to d’Holbach’s Système de la nature (under contract with Brill – full manuscript to be submitted by the end of 2024);
  • Sciuto (ed.), Volume 17 dell’Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori (Carteggi con Fabiani…Filicaja), Firenze: Olschki (in progress);
  • Sciuto and F. Kühnel (eds.), Gender and Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period, special issue of the International History Review, 44:5 (2022), p.940-1075.

(3) Book-length editions

  • Paul Thiry d’Holbach, Le Bon Sens, ou Idées naturelles opposées aux idées surnaturelles, ed. by R. Sciuto (in progress);
  • Paul Thiry d’Holbach, Lettres à Eugénie, ou Préservatif contre les préjugés, ed. by R. Sciuto (in progress).

(4) Articles and book chapters

(5) Texts edited (either digitally or in print)

(6) Databases

(7) Book reviews

(8) Encyclopaedia articles

  • Sciuto, ‘Baron d’Holbach’, The Literary Encyclopedia, vol. Eighteenth-Century French Writing and Culture: The Enlightenment, 1700-1800, 12 April 2021.

(9) Other publications

  • contributed four unpublished letters to the Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich, Milan: 2008-;
  • contributed one unpublished letter to the Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori;
  • translated the articles ‘Gibel’, ‘Palerme’, and ‘Suffisante Raison. Principe de la Raison Suffisante’, for The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project;
  • contributed four blog entries (‘Voltaire and the La Barre Affair’, ‘The Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire: a New Addition to the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire’, ‘A born-digital edition of Voltaire’s Dialogue entre un brahmane et un jésuite’, and ‘Digital d’Holbach’) to the Voltaire Foundation Blog.

Conference and seminar presentations

(1) Invited lectures

  • ‘« Fi! l[a] vilain[e] hypocrite »: picturing women atheists in eighteenth-century Paris’ – Enlightenment Workshop, Magdalen College, Oxford, United Kingdom, 25 January 2023;
  • ‘Digital d’Holbach: Understanding the Radical Enlightenment in an Age of Obscurantism’ – St Edmund Hall Lunchtime Lectures, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, United Kingdom, 11 March 2022;
  • ‘Hiding between the lines: God, causation, and laws of nature in the works of the baron d’Holbach’ – All Souls Seminars on Early Modern Intellectual History, All Souls, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4 May 2021;
  • ‘A la base de toute édition de correspondance : l’établissement du corpus épistolaire (Réflexions préalables à l’édition numérique de la correspondance de Paul Thiry d’Holbach)’ – Séminaire du Labex OBVIL, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France, 5 February 2020;
  • ‘The Christian Roots of d’Holbach’s Atheism’ – USC Francophone Research & Resource Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, U.S.A., 16 January 2019;
  • ‘Emilie Du Châtelet and the Three Leibnizian Versions of the Principle of Sufficient Reason’ – Forschungskolloquien “History of Women Philosophers and Scientists”, Paderborn, Germany, 27 June 2017;
  • ‘Diderot and d’Holbach on Causal Necessitation’ – Besterman Enlightenment Workshop, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, United Kingdom, 16 January 2017.

(2) Invited presentations

  • ‘From Utopia to Reality and Back: Le Tombeau du despotisme ministériel and d’Holbach’s Morale universelle’ – Legacies of Enlightenment: Postdoc Symposium, New College, Oxford, 21-22 June 2023;
  • ‘Ideas in Action: The Venturi Antidote’ – Inventions of Enlightenment: The Emergence and use of the concepts of Lumières, Enlightenment, and Aufklärung between 1800 and 1980, Online conference organised by Nicholas Cronk (University of Oxford) and Elisabeth Décultot (University of Halle-Wittenberg), 18 and 25 October and 15 November 2021;
  • ‘Diplomazia, mercato librario, e libera circolazione: Luigi Lorenzi e la creazione dell’identità europea’ – La diplomatie des mobilités culturelles : Normes, pratiques et protagonistes (XVe – XIXe siècle), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 21-22 November 2019.

(3) Other presentations

  • ‘D’Holbach’s Correspondence and the Future of (Radical) Enlightenment Studies’ – 2024 Conference of the Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, San Francisco, 16-17 February 2024;
  • ‘Roman Haruspicy and Holistic Weltanschauung: A Threat to Diderot’s Determinism?’ – 16th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Rome, 3-7 July 2023;
  • ‘La Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire de Voltaire et François de Bussy, ou l’Emergence de la diplomatie des Lumières’ – 16th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Rome, 3-7 July 2023;
  • ‘Digital d’Holbach’ – Digitising Enlightenment V – Vers l’interopérabilité des bases de textes, Montpellier, 6-8 July 2022;
  • ‘Ame des bêtes, immortalité, matière pensante/matière pensante, âme des bêtes, immortalité : Voltaire jongleur philosophe’ – Journées Voltaire, Paris, 9-10 June 2022;
  • ‘Fighting or Reflecting the Light? Jacob Vernes’s Confidence philosophique’ – New Approaches to d’Holbach’s Système de la nature. Online conference organised by R. Sciuto, 14-15 March 2022;
  • ‘Voltaire’s and François de Bussy’s Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire: The Emergence of Enlightenment Diplomacy’ – Errors in Early Modern Diplomacy. Online conference organised by R. Sciuto and T. Sowerby (University of Oxford), 10-11 November 2021;
  • ‘Intimacy and Frequency of Contact in Concentric Multimedia Ego Networks: The Epistolary and Social Networks of Paul Thiry d’Holbach’ – Networking Archives Colloquium, Oxford, 14-15 September 2020;
  • ‘Diplomatic Correspondences at the Crossroads of Local and Supranational Enlightenment’ – 15th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Edinburgh, 14-19 July 2019;
  • ‘Towards a born-digital edition of d’Holbach’s complete works: Challenges and opportunities’ – 15th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Edinburgh, 14-19 July 2019;
  • ‘L’académicien Trublet témoin de la vie intellectuelle de son temps: sa correspondance avec Luigi Lorenzi’ – Pensées secrètes des académiciens: Fontenelle et ses confrères, Paris (France), 27-29 June 2019;
  • ‘The Absent Guest: D’Holbach’s Strategic Usage of Voltaire’s Texts’ – The great protector of wits. D’Holbach 1789-2019, Göttingen (Germany), 9-11 May 2019;
  • ‘Diplomatic Network and the Progress of Scientific Knowledge: Luigi Lorenzi and the diffusion of the practice of smallpox inoculation in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany’ – TORCH Network on Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period (1400-1800), Oxford, 6 November 2018;
  • ‘Mr and Mrs Lorenzi: One or Two Correspondences?’ – Diplomacy and Gender in the Early Modern World (1400-1800), Oxford, 11-12 June 2018;
  • ‘Luigi Lorenzi e Charles Marie de La Condamine: analisi di un carteggio (1755-1765)’ – La Diplomatie des lettres au XVIIIe siècle – Joint Conference of the Société Française d’Etude du Dix-Huitième Siècle and the Società Italiana di Studi sul Secolo XVIII, Paris, 7-9 December 2017;
  • ‘Ambasciatori e ministri residenti nella Repubblica delle Lettere: il caso Lorenzi (1705-1766)’ – Interim Conference of the Society for Italian Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, 29-30 April 2016;
  • ‘Does Madness Represent a Threat in a Deterministic Universe? Diderot and d’Holbach Answer’ – Oxford French Graduate Seminar, All Souls College, Oxford, 26 April 2016;
  • ‘A New Work by Voltaire: the Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire’ – 45th Annual Conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, 7 January 2016;
  • ‘The Principle of Sufficient Reason, Emilie du Châtelet and… an anonymous Encyclopédiste’ – Emilie du Châtelet Study Day, Ertegun House, Oxford, 14 May 2015;
  • ‘Causation in Eighteenth-Century France (How-to)’ – Early Modern French Seminar: Graduate Research Showcase, Maison Française d’Oxford, Oxford, 19 February 2015;
  • ‘The La Condamine-Lorenzi Correspondence and other Unpublished Letters found in the National Archives in Florence’ – Enlightenment Correspondences Network, Ertegun House, Oxford, 29 January 2015;
  • ‘Universalism and Particularism in d’Holbach’s Système de la Nature’ – 44th Annual Conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, 8 January 2015;
  • ‘Voltaire e Lazzaro Spallanzani: nuove direttive di ricerca’ – Book launch of Nel nome di Lazzaro. Saggi di storia della scienza e delle istituzioni scientifiche tra il XVII e il XVIII secolo, Bologna: Pendragon, 2014, Scandiano (Reggio Emilia), 28 November 2014;
  • ‘On the permeability of both the categories of Antiquity and Modernity in Leopardi’s thought’ – Post-Graduate Training Programme in Italian Studies, School of Advanced Studies, London, 29 November 2013.

Events organised

(1) Conference

(2) Seminar

(3) Panels

  • Eighteenth-Century Radical Thinkers and Greco-Roman Religion and Mythology – 16th ISECS Congress, Rome, 3-7 July 2023;
  • Celebrating the Completion of the Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire (1968-2021) and the Beginning of New Digital Scholarly Edition of Voltaire and d’Holbach – 50th BSECS Annual Conference, Online conference, 6-8 January 2021.
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