Enlightenment Workshop 2022-23

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 Sophia Sheppard Room and the Terry Newport Room, Magdalen College (please refer to the programme for the respective venue).


Enlightenment Workshop 2023 – Trinity Term

We are delighted to present our programme for Trinity Term 2023. You can find a pdf version of the 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


26 Apr.            David Armitage (Harvard)

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and the law of nations

                                    (Sophia Sheppard Room)


3 May              Friedrich Vollhardt (LMU, Munich)

Lessing, Voltaire and theodicy

                                    (Sophia Sheppard Room)


11 May             CANCELLED – Unfortunately, we had to cancel this event.

Colin Kidd (St Andrews)

(Thursday,      Discussion of the 2023 Ford Lectures, ‘Peculiarities of the

5pm)              English Enlightenment’

(Terry Newport Room)


17 May             Michelle Pfeffer (Magdalen College, Oxford)

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

                                    (Sophia Sheppard Room)


24 May            Eva Piirimäe (Tartu)

Herder and the French Revolution

(Terry Newport Room)


31 May             Nicolas Fréry (Strasbourg)

Seven years of literary and artistic life (1737-1744):

what Voltaire’s new letters to Marie-Louise Denis bring to light

                                    (Sophia Sheppard Room)





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

Voltaire Foundation

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