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About us

The Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group was founded in 2009. It is an interdisciplinary group, looking across Europe in the eighteenth century, and across a wide variety of media. It brings together researchers from various departments within Birkbeck to consolidate forms of collaboration and foster dialogue across disciplinary specialisations. It is co-ordinated by members of the School of Arts: Luisa Calè and Emily Senior from the Department of English and Humanities; Kate Retford from the Department of History of Art and Screen Media; Ann Lewis from the Department of European Cultures and Languages.

The Research Group combines a forum for informal discussion and exchange of ideas with widely publicized public lectures and conferences.

Once a term we meet as a reading group to discuss a text chosen by a specialist, who talks about it in terms of his/her current research project. The reading group is an informal session in which colleagues and graduate students get an opportunity to share readings and work in progress.

We also host a public lecture once a term, widely advertised across London. Speakers to date have included Professor Markman Ellis, ‘On Being an Author: Elizabeth Montagu and George Lyttleton’ and Professor Marian Hobson, ‘Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Diderot in the late 1740s: Satire, Friendship and Freedom’.

For more details, please contact one of the co-ordinators, Kate Retford, Ann LewisLuisa Calè or Emily Senior.