Center for Humanities: Monday Night Lecture Series

Monday, April 16, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM (ET)
Usdan University Center Usdan 300 (Daniel Family Commons & Lounge)
Event Type
Savage, Erinn

Andrew Curran, Wesleyan

“Diderot’s Hairshirt: The Story of the Great Encyclopédie

Diderot’s Encyclopédie is now seen as the supreme achievement of the Enlightenment era. Designed to pass on the temptation and method of intellectual freedom to a huge audience in Europe and, to a lesser extent, in faraway lands like Stockholm and Philadelphia, this seventeen-volume dictionary became the most controversial (and profitable) book of the eighteenth century. In addition to dragging sacrilege and freethinking out into the open, the Encyclopédie triggered a decades-long scandal that involved the Sorbonne, the Paris Parliament, the Jesuits, the Jansenists, the King, and the Pope. In this talk, Curran will examine how this book became a symbol of secularism, freethinking, and a testament to the power of eighteenth-century commerce. 



Get Directions
Event Date
Event Time