Enlightenment and Emancipation

Susan Manning and Peter France (Eds.)

233 pages
ISBN 9781611482324
LC 2006005879
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture

With the publication of Enlightenment and Emancipation, we at last have a true and attentive taxonomy of emancipation, a disciplined overview that examines this process in all its aspects, whether as a literary theme, a state of political affairs, a philosophical ideal, or even a musical motif. Fresh and daring...indispensable to eighteenth-century studies. - Kevin L. Cope, Louisiana State University.

"Enlightenment" and "Emancipation" as separate issues have received much critical attention, but the complicated interaction of these two great shaping forces of modernity has never been scrutinized in-depth. The Enlightenment has been represented in radically opposing ways: on the one hand, as the throwing off of the chains of superstition, custom, and usurped authority; on the other hand, in the Romantic period, but also more recently, as what Michel Foucault termed "the great confinement," in which "mind-forged manacles" imprison the free and irrational spirit. The debate about the "Enlightenment project" remains a topical one, which can still arouse fierce passions. This collection of essays by distinguished scholars from various disciplines addresses the central question: "Was Enlightenment a force for emancipation?" Their responses, working from within, and frequently across the disciplinary lines of history, political science, economics, music, literature, aesthetics, art history, and film, reveal unsuspected connections and divergences even between well-known figures and texts. In their turn, the essays suggest the need for further inquiry in areas that turn out to be very far from closed. The volume considers major writings in unusual juxtaposition; highlights new figures of importance; and demonstrates familiar texts to embody strange implications.

Contributors: Paddy Bullard, Peter France, Angelica Goodden, Catherine Jones, Anthony McFarlane, Susan Manning, Murray Pittock, Jane Rendall, John Renwick, Sian Reynolds, Glynis Ridley, Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly, and David Williams.

About the editors:

Susan Manning is Grierson Professor of English literature and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. She has published two books on Scottish and American Literature of the Enlightenment and Romantic periods: The Puritanical-Provincial Vision and Fragments of Union. Dr. Manning is a past President of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, and with Nicholas Phillipson she convenes the Leverhulme Science of Man in Scotland project.

Peter France is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Rhetoric and Truth in France: Descartes to Diderot and Politeness and Its Discontents. He is the editor of The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French and The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation.


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