Encyclopédie Nouvelle Seminar

‘A work which, by means of a general doctrine, embraces the entire spectrum of human knowledge’: this was what the Prospectus of Pierre Leroux and Jean Reynaud’s Nouvelle Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire philosophique, scientifique, littéraire et industriel, announced in 1834. Having assembled an impressive team of leading scientists, economists, philosophers, historians, and men of letters, Leroux and Reynaud undertook one of the most ambitious intellectual enterprises of the nineteenth-century: not only to update but to replace the Enlightenment’s crowning achievement, Diderot and Alembert’s famous Encyclopédie. Between 1834 and 1847 the Encyclopédie Nouvelle appeared in a series of impressive and much sought after instalments. The eight volumes – each over a thousand pages of dense text – published by Alexis de Tocqueville’s publisher, Charles Gosselin, was a sensation, but represented only a fraction of the entire corpus Leroux and Reynaud planned for their Encyclopédie Nouvelle.

The aim of this project is to stimulate a broad and general reflection on this much understudied but major work. Our workshops will be devoted to reflecting on the intellectual and ideological impulse of the Enclyclopédie, how it reflected the state of scientific, technological, philosophical, economic, social, political and other knowledge in the nineteenth-century. Over the next three years (2018-2021) we will bring together specialists from different disciplines (history, politics, economics, geography, economy, town planning, anthropology, education, etc.) who, in drawing from an entry of their choice, will spur discussion, reflection, and debate on this work and by extension on knowledge, and the conditions of its creation and dissemination.

Workshops will take place alternately in Oxford and Lyon.

Organising Committee

Michel Bellet (Université de St-Etienne)
Thomas Bouchet (Université de Lausanne)
Pietro Corsi (Linacre College, Oxford)
Michael Drolet (Worcester College, Oxford)
Ludovic Frobert (CNRS/Triangle)
Marie Thebaud-Sorger (CNRS/MFO)
Quentin Schwanck (ENS-Lyon)

Friday 7 June 2019 (6th Week, Trinity Term)

This series features in the following public collections: