Varieties of the Enlightenment Experience
Featuring English Program students Andrew Dicus, “Modes of Social Legitimacy in Fiction and in Theory”; Heather Zuber, “Occupational Mobility and the British Empire”; Kristina Huang, “Afro-British Writers and the Enlightenment”; Shang-yu Sheng, “Published Letters in Eighteenth-Century England”. Respondents Professors David Richter and Nancy Yousef
With the emergence of postmodern theory and revisionist historiography, the unitary and progressivist understanding of the Enlightenment has become an object of critical inquiry. “The Enlightenment” is no longer a monolithic thing, but a short-hand label for a complex of experiences that change and are interrelated in historically specific ways. This panel features four PhD students whose current projects complicate our understanding of the Enlightenment by exploring it in the context of some of its different experiential dimensions: legitimation (Dicus), professionalization (Zuber), blackness and slavery (Huang), and communication in print (Sheng).