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School of Classics > Events > Conferences > 2006-2007 > Encyclopaedism before the Enlightenment

Encyclopaedism before the Enlightenment

13th - 15th June 2007

Upper College Hall, University of St Andrews

Organised by Professor Greg Woolf and Dr Jason König, School of Classics, University of St Andrews

Programme (PDF, 72 KB) 

The conference is generously funded by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Classical Association and the Hellenic Society.

Keynote External Speakers

  • Dr Mary Beagon (University of Manchester) A Herculean Task: "molem illam Historiae Naturalis"
  • Dr Aude Doody (University College, Dublin) Diderot's Pliny and the Politics of Encyclopedism
  • Dr Rebecca Flemming (University of Cambridge) Celsus and medical encyclopedism
  • Dr Harriet Zurndorfer (University of Leiden) The passion to Collect, Select, Protect, and Expurgate: Two Thousand Years of the Chines Encyclopedia
  • Dr Claire Preston (University of Cambridge) Dugdale's history of drainage and the dregs of England
  • Dr William West (Northwestern University) Irony and Early Modern Encyclopedic Writing
  • Dr Teresa Morgan (University of Oxford) Encyclopedism and miscellanism in Imperial culture

Over recent years there has been increasing interest in pre-modern intellectual practices and in the scientific texts they generated. Particular attention has been paid to treatises, handbooks and other shorter work. At the same time there has been renewed interest in the grand project of Pliny’s Natural History and in particular in its role as a proto-encyclopaedia. The aim of this conference is to build on both traditions to explore the nature and variety of encyclopaedic projects in the age before the work of Diderot and his contemporaries created the modern vision of an encyclopaedia. We start with no preconceived definition of an encyclopaedia but hope connections, and differences, will emerge from discussion of a range of texts that broadly share the visions and claims to comprehensive and or varied knowledge associated with the modern genre.

Pliny's Natural History, published 1539 in Basle. St Andrews University Library  

Pliny's Natural History, published 1539 in Basle.
St Andrews University Library

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