The French Enlightenment is famous for its intellectual innovations, but it is remembered largely as a male endeavor. This conference delves deeper into the works of women showcased in the groundbreaking Houghton Library exhibition "Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth-Century France" (on view through April 28), who participated in the Enlightenment’s intellectual and political transformations but were excluded from histories of the period until recently. Join us for presentations from six scholars who are challenging the male-dominated narrative as they offer detailed analyses of the historical sources and historiography of these women and chart future directions for the field. The conference will include a viewing of the exhibition and related collection items, and will be followed by a reception.
WelcomeThomas Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian, Houghton Library
Introduction:Christie McDonald, Smith Research Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Research Professor of Comparative LiteratureCaleb Shelburne, Class of 2018 and curator of Houghton Library’s exhibition "Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth-Century France"
Program:Friday, March 23 27, 2-5pmHoughton Library
2.00 pm: Presentations and WorkshopMartine Reid, Université de Lille“Published and Forgotten: Anne-Marie du Bocage”
Matthew Barfield, Harvard University“‘Arriver dans le monde avec des principes’: Madame de Lambert’s Worldly Education”
Henry Shreffler, Harvard University“Feminism and the Censors: The Journal des Dames and Ancien Regime Censorship”
Caleb Shelburne, Harvard University“Henriette de Marans: Writing from the Margins”
Vicki E. Mistacco, Wellesley College“Louise de Keralio: Gender and Women’s Literary History”
Christie McDonald, Harvard University“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Writing”
Workshop with Houghton Library collection items
4.30 pm: Reception and viewing of the exhibition "Rethinking Enlightenment: Forgotten Women Writers of Eighteenth-Century France"