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Did Censorship Make the French Enlightenment?

Censor's Scissors

On exhibit: February 2 - June 13, 2009

The censorship of books, and of the ideas they contain, was as complex and contentious a subject during the French Enlightenment as it remains today. This exhibition, marking the 250th anniversary of the publication of Voltaire's satirical masterpiece Candide, draws on the collections of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library to examine the aims and methods of censorship in Enlightenment France. It focuses on the publication of major texts by Molière, Voltaire, Diderot, Graffigny, and Rousseau and highlights in particular the many cases where the censors themselves help broker compromises that allowed the most controversial Enlightenment publication projects to go forward

Related Events:

Thursday, February 19, 5:30 PM: Exhibition Opening with Two Short Lectures 

Diderot and the Encyclopédie
Roger Chartier, Directeur d'Études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Professeur in the Collège de France, and Annenberg Visiting Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania
Graffigny and the Lettres d'une Péruvienne
Joan DeJean, Trustee Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Friday, February 20, 4:00-5:30 PM: Censorship and the French Enlightenment: A Graduate Student Colloquium 

Talks by Penn graduate students, with comments by Professors Joan DeJean and Roger Chartier

Tuesday, February 24, 5:30 PM: An Evening Lecture

Voltaire and the Lettres Philosophiques
Alan Charles Kors, George H. Walker Term Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania.

Rosenwald Gallery:
The Rosenwald Gallery was located on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.