Friday, April 12, 2002–Saturday, April 13, 2002
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
—a conference organized by Peter Reill, University of California, Los Angeles; Frédéric Ogée, Université de Paris 7—Denis Diderot; and Anthony Strugnell, University of Hull
Diderot’s central role in European intellectual and artistic life has long been recognized, both as an imbiber of innovative ideas and practices and, in turn, as a promoter of radically new perceptions. The colloquium takes this dialectic forward by engaging with previously little explored areas of Diderot’s work and examining his encounters, within a European as well as a more specifically English context, with epistemology, the interface between philosophy and fiction, artistic practice, scientific discourse, the emerging discourse on race, translation, historiography, and orientalism. The aim is to identify new links between these diverse aspects of his work by setting them critically within a European context, and to recognize in his writings, less the manifestation of a discrete and originally literary and intellectual figure, than a highly signifying nexus within the evolving cultural forces of his time and beyond.