Browse Items (123 total)

  • Collection: Curated Research

"Aesthetics and Civil Society: Theories of Art and Society, 1640–1790"

Shows how Kant wrote his Critique of Judgment as a synthesis of English theories of “taste” and civil society and German theories of “aesthetic.” Writers since Hobbes have used theories of art to advance theories of society. Kant sought a…

"Art and Democracy"

Interprets an “increasingly visible weariness and distrust towards democracy” and proposes the construction of contemporary “Academies of Art” to aid in the education of “mature” citizens. Lachenmann interpolates his remarks into two…

"No Whale, No Music" Iñupiat drumming and global warming

Sakakibara describes her work with Iñupiat peoples in the arctic who are facing climate change issues related to their food harvesting and cultural practices. The communities have a strong connection to whaling, expressed linguistically,…

"The Climate of History: Four Theses."

This article argues that the thesis of the Anthropocene offers grounds for a reconciliation between human history and natural history, abolishing the Enlightenment ideology of history as the progressive conquest of nature by Man. Drawing on research…

"The Evolution of Climate Ideas and Knowledge"

Begins by examining the "new science of the seveneteenth century" in enlightenment Europe. Heymann shows that the new science of observation, especially scientific weather observation, led to the evolution of climate ideas and knowledge in nineteenth…

“De la percepción popular a la reflexión erudite: La transmisión de la ‘cultura de la catástrofe’ en la España del siglo XVIII”

In this article, Alberola argues that while the first formal reflections on the physical nature of disasters appeared in the philosophical and scientific works of the Classical era, it was in the eighteenth century that these environmental ideas took…

“Liberté, Égalité, Sororité: The Regime of the Sister in Graffigny's Lettres
d'une Péruvienne.”

Discusses 18th-century author Françoise de Graffigny's important novel (Lettres d'une Péruvienne), focusing on the form of the letters in the novel, which are constructed first in quipos (a peruvian form of communication involving knotted cords),…

“The Morality of Plagiarism: Voltaire, Diderot and the Legacy of Graffigny’s Cénie.”

Explains how Graffigny’s play, which was a great success from its first performance until the end of the author’s life, later falls into oblivion due to evolving attitudes toward plagiarism. Kelley argues that accusations of plagiarism in reviews…

“The Past is Evil/Evil is Past: On Retrospective Politics, Philosophy of History, and Temporal Manichaeism,”

Bevernage turns to the Enlightenment in order to explain why so much of contemporary politics is focused on rectifying past wrongs. He argues that the 18th century saw the emergence of a modern philosophy of history, which identified the past with…

A Natural History of Revolution: Violence and Nature in the French Revolutionary Imagination

Miller links the French Revolution and the violence of the Terror to eighteenth-century understandings of the natural world (for example, earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains) by examining the rhetoric and writings of the revolutionaries themselves.…

A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America

European encountered climates in northern North America that were harsher and more variable than their notions about weather and geography led them to expect. In A Temperate Empire, Anya Zilberstein reveals how colonial conditions generated…

Air Apparent

Air Apparent shows how the weather map has taken on a variety of forms throughout the last four centuries––moving from a hand-eye executed graphic object to a computer-printed and later digitally displayed graphic––by tracing “graphical…

Alimut Elohit: Shnei Hiburim al Elohim ve Asson[Divine Violence: Two Essays on God and Disaster]

Ophir, an Israeli philosopher, examines the connection between God and disasters. From the bible and through much of western history, disasters were seen as caused in some manner by God's will. Ophir examines this tendency and argues that in the…

Amadeus

Shaffer’s play, originally published in 1981, presents a conflict between composers Mozart and Salieri that centers on questions of genius and religious faith. Set in Vienna during the 1780s, the play explores connections between music and…

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

The Essay marks an important moment in the prehistory of empirical psychology. Locke seeks to explain how we come to have certain mental states (“ideas”) while doggedly avoiding metaphysical speculation of the sort found in Descartes’s work. As…

An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump

Captures the complicated attitude towards science during the Enlightenment. A man is suffocating a bird in an air pump, while (most of) his audience looks on in wonder and fear. Shows that scientific demonstrations could attract a considerable…

An Experiment with an Air Pump

Inspired by Joseph Wright's 1768 painting, Stephenson's play juxtaposes scientific exploration in 1799 with scientific exploration in 1999. The play raises questions about scientific ethics with regard to dissection of human bodies and to genetic…

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) and His Wife (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758-1836)

Reveals the gendered division of labor in many scientific households. Antoine, seated, is at work on a chemistry treatise; his wife, Marie-Anne, takes a break from her drawing board to look over his shoulder. Whereas Antoine is famous for his…

Ariel's Ecology: Plantations, Personhood, and Colonialism in the American Tropics

Allewaert uncovers the enmeshment of persons in places-- and the imbrication of the nonhuman and the human-- in eighteenth-century American plantations (and the literature, culture, and thought circulating around and through them). Her book imagines…