· Prof. Céline Spector (Paris IV – Sorbonne)
· Prof. John Robertson (Cambridge)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is widely recognised as one of the first critics of modern civilisation and its discontents: the pursuit of self-interest, the division of labour, lack of authenticity, and political structures founded on greed and exploitation. However, recent research has opened up a variety of new perspectives on Rousseau that do not necessarily fit the traditional picture. This event is aimed at a reassessment of such recent views of Rousseau and their relationship with wider trends in Enlightenment studies. It will be based on a discussion of two new publications: the volume Engaging with Rousseau (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/hpt/2016/00000037/i0010si1) Reaction and Interpretation from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2016); and ‘Rousseau’s Imagined Antiquity’, a special issue of the journal History of Political Thought (2016), both edited by Avi Lifschitz (UCL History).
All welcome; the discussion will be followed by a reception.