Tobias Heinrich, ‘Social Media in the Eighteenth Century’

We’d like to draw your attention to another eighteenth-century letters-related event coming up soon in Oxford!

The next session of the Besterman Enlightenment Workshop will be held on Monday, 1 February 2016 (Third Week), at 5 p.m., at the Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road).  Tobias Heinrich (University of Oxford) will be speaking on ‘Social Media in the Eighteenth Century: Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719-1803) and the Temple of Friendship’.  The abstract for the paper is as follows:

‘This talk presents an ongoing research project on Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, a key figure in German intellectual life in the Age of Enlightenment. While widely known for his poetry in anacreontic verse and the literary praise of King Frederick II during the Seven Years’ War, Gleim primarily gained his reputation through his role as patron and networking figure.

“Social Media in the Eighteenth Century” explores the media apparatus Gleim employs in his epistolary practices. Combining letter writing, portraiture and mundane objects, he develops innovative forms of self-expression that in many ways resemble the digital social networks of the twenty-first century. Within Gleim’s correspondence, the subject is constituted through collective authorship and the interplay of the textual and the pictorial. In his letters, which draw on extended notions of friendship to shape social relations, identities are negotiated and the boundaries of public and private become porous. Following approaches in new German media theory (Kittler, Koschorke) and concepts of the dialogical self (Zima), this project links historical configurations of epistolary correspondence to current communication practices in the digital sphere. It aims to increase our understanding of past means of communication while at the same time contributing to the analysis of more recent changes in the use of media and the formation of social networks.’

Tea, coffee, and biscuits will be served.

All welcome!

For the full programme of this term’s seminars and for more information about the TORCH Enlightenment Programme/Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment, please visit our website.

Pierre Musitelli (ENS), ‘Enlightenment and conservatism in the correspondence of the Verri brothers’

On Tuesday, 16 February 2016 (Fifth Week), from 12.30-2 p.m., Pierre Musitelli (ENS, Paris) will be speaking at a session of the TORCH Enlightenment Correspondences Network on the topic of ‘Enlightenment and conservatism in the correspondence of the Verri brothers’.  The seminar will take place at Ertegun House (37A St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LD) over a free sandwich lunch.

Please RSVP to by 9 February if you plan to attend, and please include any special dietary requirements you may have for the lunch.

All welcome!

Upcoming Events, Hilary Term 2016

We have several eighteenth-century letters-related events coming up this term in Oxford:

The TORCH Enlightenment Correspondence Network will be hosting Pierre Musitelli (Italian, ENS, Paris) from 12.30-14.00 on Tuesday, 16 February (Fifth Week), and Fiona Stafford (English, Oxford) from 12.30-14.00 on Tuesday, 1 March (Seventh Week). Both events will be held at Ertegun House, 37A St Giles’, Oxford. More details and more events to follow!

The Besterman Enlightenment Workshop will also host some letters-related seminars this term.  The Workshop meets on Mondays at 5 p.m. at the Voltaire Foundation (99 Banbury Road, Oxford).  All welcome!

Monday, 25 January (Second Week), Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (Oxford), ‘The Play of Publicity in the Letters of Catherine the Great’

Monday, 22 February (Sixth Week), Tessa Whitehouse (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Friendly Enlightenment: Creativity and Textual Production among the Young’

For a full programme of Besterman Enlightenment Workshop seminars for this term, please see the TORCH Enlightenment Programme/Besterman Centre for the Enlightenment website.