• Research Centre in the Humanities

Search form

Main menu

Main site sections

  • Home
  • About
  • Research
  • Opportunities
  • What's On
  • People
  • Multimedia
  • Contact


  • about
  • people
  • news
  • upcoming events
  • past events
  • media
  • blog

Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment

The TORCH Enlightenment Programme/Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment aims to co-ordinate and foster research that builds on the University of Oxford’s extraordinarily rich resources for the study of the Enlightenment.  Our interdisciplinary events bring together scholars from across the Humanities, the Social Sciences, and beyond. Our research programme has close ties to the Voltaire Foundation, which publishes, alongside the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire and the correspondence of key figures of the French Enlightenment, the newly-renamed Oxford University Studies on the Enlightenment (formerly Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century - SVEC).  Under its new title, the series aims to further expand its interdisciplinary and international reach in publishing innovative studies on the Enlightenment from the widest possible range of perspectives.  The Programme also has close ties with Electronic Enlightenment, a key resource for eighteenth-century scholars providing access to an ever-increasing corpus of Enlightenment letters.  At present, our principal activities as a Programme comprise an annual Besterman Lecture by an invited scholar; an annual conference; and the Enlightenment Workshop, a series of eight seminars held in Hilary Term each year.


Enlightenment Programme Steering Group:

Nicholas Cronk (Modern Languages)

Ritchie Robertson (Modern Languages)

Laurence Brockliss (History)

Michael Burden (Music)

Andrew Kahn (Modern Languages)

Fiona Macintosh (Classics)

Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (Modern Languages)

Kate Tunstall (Modern Languages)

Carly Watson (English)

Related Networks

Enlightenment Correspondences (www.torch.ox.ac.uk/enlightenmentcorr)

Celebrity Research (www.torch.ox.ac.uk/celebrity)

Talking about Voltaire and the Enlightenment Blog (voltairefoundation.wordpress.com/)

Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford (www.torch.ox.ac.uk/recso)

Professor Nicholas Cronk
Professor Ritchie Robertson
Kelsey Rubin-Detlev

Nicholas Cronk


Ritchie Robertson


Kelsey Rubin-Detlev


Seminar: “The German Enlightenment in Philosophy and Literature. Ideas, Aporias, Legacy”

Announcing a regular seminar at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study (SAS)/University of London.


Call for Papers: Lines of Connection: An International Conference on Eighteenth-Century Poetry

We are delighted to announce an international conference on eighteenth-century poetry.


Conceptions of the Enlightenment

Registration open


Airpump Debate

1 May, Museum of Natural History


Jargon of Men and Things: Production and Consumption in the long Eighteenth Century

Call for papers


The Arab Nahda in its Regional and Global Contexts

Call for Papers


'What is a letter?' blog seeks guest writers

The blog is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on letters, letter-writing, and letter cultures


A Talk by Professor Keith M. Baker

Further details to follow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 (All day)

On the Pursuit of Utility at the Académie Royale des Sciences: A Reconsideration of its Origins

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with J.B. Shank (University of Minnesota) and Robin Briggs (Oxford)

Monday, March 7, 2016 - 5:00pm

Modern and Contemporary History in Voltaire’s 'Précis du siècle de Louis XV'

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with James Hanrahan (Trinity College Dublin).

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 5:00pm

Launch Event: 'King of all Balloons'

The launch of Mark Davies' biography of James Sadler (1753–1828), Oxford pastry cook and first English aeronaut.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 5:30pm

Friendly Enlightenment: Creativity and Textual Production among the Young

Please note that this event has been cancelled

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 5:00pm

(Re)Building the Image of the East India Company

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with Rosemarie Dias (University of Warwick).

Monday, February 15, 2016 - 5:00pm

Botanical Collecting in the Late Eighteenth Century

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with Sarah Easterby-Smith (University of St Andrews).

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 5:00pm

Social Media in the Eighteenth Century

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop with Tobias Heinrich (University of Oxford).

Monday, February 1, 2016 - 5:00pm
gipoco.com is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its contents. This is a safe-cache copy of the original web site.