Voltaire Foundation Annual Report 2011-2012


In another successful year for the Foundation, a total of 21 new titles were published (see Annexe). Seven volumes of the Complete works of Voltaire were published during the academic year, so that the Foundation remains broadly on course to complete this project by the announced target date of 2018. 
Twelve volumes were published in the SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century) collection, which continues to publish the best modern research in both English and French, on all aspects of the Enlightenment. The series has consolidated its position as the foremost collection dedicated to research on the eighteenth century and continues to be a preferred place of publication for both younger and established scholars.  We also published new volumes in two of our correspondence collections (Bayle & La Beaumelle), and in addition to these print publications, we published in Electronic Enlightenment (housed at the Bodleian Library) two groups of letters in born-digital critical editions: a group of Voltaire letters, published as a Festschrift for Dr Paul O. LeClerc, and launched at the Bodleian Library; and a group of letters forming the first supplement to our print edition of the correspondence of André Morellet, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy Medlin. Our collaboration with Chicago (see Research activities below) now includes preparation of the database of eighteenth-century French fiction, created by Richard Fraut



The Foundation continued to serve as secretariat of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ISECS), the principal interdisciplinary forum for eighteenth-century research. The English portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau which is on loan to the VF was restored with a grant from the Réunion des musées nationaux and exhibited for the first time at an exhibition, ‘Rousseau et les arts’, held during the summer months of 2012 at the Panthéon in Paris. An article on the Voltaire Foundation, written by A. Julia (former stagiaire at the VF), was published in the Revue des deux mondes. The ‘new’ Voltaire letters contained in the LeClerc Festschrift achieved considerable publicity thanks to the work of the University press office, and two articles about Voltaire and the current debt crisis (by N. Cronk & P. Neiertz) published in Le Monde and the Financial Times also helped to raise the VF’s public profile.



The need to find sponsorship for the Complete works of Voltaire remains pressing, and we are, as always, immensely grateful to our sponsors, who have enabled us to maintain momentum on our core publishing project. The British Academy continued their annual support, and for the first time, we also received a grant from the Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique. The Fondation Wiener-Ansbach also sponsored one volume, as did one individual.

  1.  See http://www.e-enlightenment.com/coffeehouse/event/leclerc2011/
  2. See http://www.e-enlightenment.com/coffeehouse/project/morellet2011/
  3. Voltaire à Oxford: the Voltaire Foundation’, Revue des Deux Mondes, octobre 2011.


Research programme (Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment)

Inaugurated in 2008, the Besterman Centre is an interdisciplinary research centre of the Humanities Division housed at the Voltaire Foundation. The Centre organised two conferences this year. In collaboration with the Charles Singleton Center for Pre-Modern Study at Johns Hopkins University, a graduate conference was held in Oxford, on the subject ‘Naming, Re-naming, Un-naming’ (23-25 November 2011, organisers N. Cronk & K. Tunstall). Also in Oxford, and in association with the ANR ‘Agon’ project, there was a conference held in celebration of Rousseau’s tercentenary, ‘Rousseau et les querelles de son temps’ (8 June 2012, organised by N. Cronk & N. Ferrand). The BCE was also associated with three other conferences, two of them held in Oxford: ‘Thinking Matter – Representations of the Mind-Body Problem in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800’ (24-25 May 2012, organisers I. Moreau, K. Tunstall & C. Warman); and ‘Frederick the Great and the Republic of Letters’ (13-14 July 2012, organisers T. Biskup & K. Kohl). In association with the Société des études voltairiennes, a conference was held in Paris at the Sorbonne, on the theme ‘Voltaire et la musique’ (June, 2012, organisers N. Cronk & G. Métayer).

There were two Besterman Lectures this year. Katie Scott (Courtauld Institute) gave a lecture ‘Emulation: anxieties of influence and the progress of plagiarism in eighteenth-century French art’ (24 November 2011); and as part of the Rousseau tercentenary celebrations, Ourida Mostefai (Boston College) gave a lecture ‘Jean-Jacques Rousseau et les conflits des Lumières’ (7 June 2012). The VF continued to host the Enlightenment Workshop, in collaboration with the History Faculty (organisers L. Brockliss & K. Tunstall). As part of our ongoing collaboration with the University of Chicago, Professor Robert Morrissey was invited to Oxford as an Astor Visiting Lecturer, and during his stay he gave a lecture (‘The Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène: From the Politics to the Poetics of Fusion: A Presentation of Napoléon et l’héritage de la gloire’, 31 May 2012) and led a ‘Workshop on the digital Encyclopédie’ at the OeRC (1 June 2012).



The staffing remains stable, but there were some changes in the editorial team working on the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire: Alison Oliver returned from maternity leave, and Gillian Pink continued working part-time while she completes her D.Phil. Gerhardt Stenger (University of Nantes) joined the Editorial Board of the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire. We note with regret the deaths of two highly esteemed colleagues who were both loyal friends of the Voltaire Foundation: José-Michel Moureaux, a valued member of the Editorial Board; and Giles Barber, who played a seminal role in the establishment of the Voltaire Foundation in Oxford.

Further information about the activities and publications of the Foundation can be found on our websites: www.voltaire.ox.ac.uk & www.voltaire.ox.ac.uk/bestermancentre





Lauriol, C., Mortier, R., and others, eds., 2011. ‘Œuvres de 1767-1768’, Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.65a, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Bernard, B., Renwick, J., and others, eds., 2011. ‘Essai sur les mœurs et l’esprit des nations’ (IV), Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.24, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Cronk, N., Mervaud, C., and others, eds., 2011. ‘Questions sur l’Encyclopédie, par des amateurs’ (VI), Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.42a, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Mallinson, J., Lauriol, C., and others, eds., 2012. ‘Histoire du docteur Akakia, Supplément au Siècle de Louis XIV’, Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.32c, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Fletcher, D., Wynn, T., and others, eds., 2012. ‘Theatre and associated texts 1766-1767’, Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.61b, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Schwarzbach, B. E., ed., 2012. ‘La Bible enfin expliquée’, Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.79a (I) and (II), Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.

Elaguina, N., and others, eds., 2012. ‘Corpus des notes marginales’ (V), Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol.140, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation.



Au Prisme de Rousseau: usages politiques contemporains, Céline Spector

SVEC 2011:08, ISBN 978-0-7294-1015-1, xii.298 pp.

Sex education in eighteenth-century France, Ed. Shane Agin

SVEC 2011:09, ISBN 978-0-7294-1016-8, vi.302 pp.

L’Orient anglais: connaissances et fictions au XVIIIe siècle, Claire Gallien

SVEC 2011:10, ISBN 978-0-7294-1023-6, xiv.246 pp., 2 ills.

Women, work and clothing in eighteenth-century Spain, Rebecca Haidt

SVEC 2011:11, ISBN 978-0-7294-1022-9, xvi.346 pp., 35 ills.

Germain de Staël: forging a politics of médiation, Ed. Karyna Szmurlo

SVEC 2011:12, ISBN 978-0-7294-1024-3, xx.312 pp.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau en 2012: Puisqu’enfin mon nom doit vivre, Ed. Michael O’Dea

SVEC 2012:01, ISBN 978-0-7294-1039-7, x.288 pp., 3 ills.

Voltaire et l’écriture de l’histoire: un enjeu politique, Myrtille Méricam-Bourdet

SVEC 2012:02, ISBN 978-0-7294-1040-3, viii.294 pp.

Reading newspapers: press and public in 18th-century Britain and America,Uriel Heyd

SVEC 2012:03, ISBN 978-0-7294-1042-7, xii.302 pp., 11 ills.

Roman et théâtre au XVIIIe siècle: le dialogue des genres, Catherine Ramond

SVEC 2012:04, ISBN 978-0-7294-1043-4, vi.268 pp.

Le Roman libertin au XVIIIe siècle: une esthétique de la seduction, Dominique Hölzle 

SVEC 2012:05, ISBN 978-0-7294-1045-8, viii.286 pp.

The Saint-Aubin Livre de caricatures: drawing satire in eighteenth-century Paris

Ed. Colin Jones, Juliet Carey and Emily Richardson 

SVEC 2012:06, ISBN 978-0-7294-1044-1, viii.482 pp., 193 ills.

Dramatic battles in eighteenth-century France: philosophes, anti-philosophes and polemical theatre

Logan J. Connors

SVEC 2012:07, ISBN 978-0-7294-1047-2, xii.272 pp., 3 ills.

Correspondence series

Correspondance générale de La Beaumelle (1754) vol.VII

Ed. Hubert Bost, Claude Lauriol et Hubert Angliviel de La Beaumelle

ISBN 978-0-7294-1029-8

Correspondance de Pierre Bayle tome 9

Ed. Antony McKenna et al

ISBN 978-0-7294-0984-1

Voltaire Foundation

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