Upcoming events

    • 25 Apr 2019
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    • UM Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Dr., Coral Gables, FL 33146
    • 2
    Registration is closed

    Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely

    A spirited biography of the prophetic and sympathetic philosopher who helped build the foundations of the modern world.

    Denis Diderot is often associated with the decades-long battle to bring the world’s first comprehensive Encyclopédie into existence. But his most daring writing took place in the shadows. Thrown into prison for his atheism in 1749, Diderot decided to reserve his best books for posterity—for us, in fact. In the astonishing cache of unpublished writings left behind after his death, Diderot challenged virtually all of his century’s accepted truths, from the sanctity of monarchy, to the racial justification of the slave trade, to the norms of human sexuality. One of Diderot’s most attentive readers during his lifetime was Catherine the Great, who not only supported him financially, but invited him to St. Petersburg to talk about the possibility of democratizing the Russian empire.

    In this thematically organized biography, Andrew S. Curran vividly describes Diderot’s tormented relationship with Rousseau, his curious correspondence with Voltaire, his passionate affairs, and his often iconoclastic stands on art, theater, morality, politics, and religion. But what this book brings out most brilliantly is how the writer’s personal turmoil was an essential part of his genius and his ability to flout taboos, dogma, and convention.


    Andrew S. Curran is the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities at Wesleyan University. The author of two previous books, Sublime Disorder: Physical Monstrosity in Diderot’s Universe and The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment, Curran is a Fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

     

    Photo credit: Olivia Drake  

    Publisher: Other Press  

    DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: Monday, April 22, 2019.

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Past events

27 Mar 2019 Lunch with William Middleton, "Double Vision"
12 Feb 2019 Lunch with Doug Bradburn, and "Washington: A Life" by Ron Chernow
31 Jan 2019 Lunch with Andrew Roberts, "Churchill: Walking with Destiny"
05 Dec 2018 Lunch with Antony Beevor, "The Battle of Arnhem"
16 Nov 2018 Lunch with Doris Kearns Goodwin, "Leadership"
04 Oct 2018 Lunch with Jack E. Davis, "The Gulf"
01 Sep 2018 2018-2019 Season Preview
24 Aug 2018 An Evening with David Lawrence, Jr. (A Dedicated Life)
11 May 2018 An evening with Les Standiford (Center of Dreams) in conversation with Stuart Blumberg
18 Apr 2018 Lunch with David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon)
08 Mar 2018 Lunch with Giles Milton (Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare)
22 Feb 2018 Lunch with Bijan Omrani (Caesar's Footprints)
17 Jan 2018 Lunch with Simon Sebag Montefiore (Red Sky at Noon)
05 Dec 2017 Lunch with Arlo Haskell (The Jews of Key West)
17 Nov 2017 An evening with Walter Isaacson and Leonard Da Vinci (cocktails and hors d'oeuvres)
10 Oct 2017 Lunch with James Holland (The Allies Strike Back)
06 Apr 2017 Lunch with Annie Jacobsen (Phenomena)
15 Mar 2017 Lunch with Caitlin Fitz (Our Sister Republics)
15 Feb 2017 Lunch with Gregory W. Bush (White Sand Black Beach)
26 Jan 2017 Lunch with David Oshinsky (Bellevue)
08 Dec 2016 Lunch with David France (How to Survive a Plague)
17 Nov 2016 Lunch with Ross King (Mad Enchantment)
21 Oct 2016 Lunch with Jon Meacham (Destiny and Power)
22 Sep 2016 Lunch with Catherine Fletcher (The Black Prince of Florence)
31 Aug 2016 2016-2017 Fall Season Preview (September through December)
13 May 2016 Lunch with Simon Sebag Montefiore (The Romanovs)
14 Apr 2016 Lunch with Janice Nimura (Daughters of the Samurai)
17 Mar 2016 Lunch with Les Standiford (Water to the Angels)
24 Feb 2016 Lunch with Fergus Bordewich (The First Congress)
20 Jan 2016 Lunch with Arva Moore Parks (George Merrick, Son of the South Wind)
10 Dec 2015 Lunch with Sean McMeekin (The Ottoman Endgame)
30 Nov 2015 Lunch with Karl Rove (The Triumph of William McKinley)
20 Nov 2015 Lunch with Stacy Schiff (The Witches)
27 Oct 2015 Lunch with Tim Weiner (One Man Against the World)
07 Oct 2015 Arva Moore Parks | Special Event

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