The Enlightenment Group

The Enlightenment Group stemmed from a panel discussion organised at Mount Royal University for the 300th anniversary of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's birth in 2012.

The E-Group (for short) is an interdisciplinary group of Mount Royal University scholars involved in the study of the Eighteenth Century.

We organize a yearly symposium involving scholars from other institutions and students currently taking classes related to the Enlightenment period.

Enlightenment in the Shadows: Subversion and Clandestine Literature during the Eighteenth Century

February 28, 2020

Mount Royal University

For the seventh edition of the Enlightenment Group Symposium Series, we will be looking at the theme of literary subversion and/or clandestinity. In a time of debates around the notions of free speech and academic freedom, it seems apt to take another look at a subject that received a lot of attention especially in the 1990’s and early 2000’s (notably the works of Robert Darnton). We would like to broaden the now well-established view on this topic by asking ourselves how subversion and clandestinity were represented or experienced during the Eighteenth Century. From the printed word or image to clandestine and subversive practices, we are seeking to capture a panoramic view of these enlightened communicative strategies.


9:15 am - 10:15 am : Subversive Portraits

Jeff Suderman (MRU): Subversion in Plain Sight: David Hume's Enlightened Assessment of Queen Elizabeth

Miao Li & Devika Vijayan (UofC): The subversive view of the Other: vision of religion in the Jesuits’ writings around the 18th century

10:15 am - 10:30 am: Break

10:30 am - 11:30 am : Genres and Subversion

Diana Patterson (MRU): “Opinions, Transactions, and Truths Which Still Lie Mystically Hid Under the Dark Veil of the Black One”

Guy Obrecht (MRU): “[A] matter which is better felt than described”; Heinrich Christoph Koch’s Inner Nature of Musical Works and the Unwritten Harmonic Series

11:30 am -11 :45 am: Break

11:45 am - 12:45 pm : Travel and Subversion

Michele Holmgren (MRU): “The Equality of Every Body and Their Manner of Life I Like Very Much”: Did Edward Fitzgerald get into the Canoe as a Lord and get out as a Citizen during his journey through Canada?

Antoine Eche (MRU): Translation as Subversion: The Case of Clandestine Travel Fictions

12-45 pm - 1:30 pm: Break

1:30 pm- 3 pm : Roundtable

“Placing the Enlightenment in the University: The Case for Alberta”

Note: due to budgetary decisions, no coffee/tea/food will be available at the conference.