Studium Generale lecture series ‘Origin Obsession’


The poster announcing the lectures

In collaboration with Studium Generale, a platform that brings the research and teaching that is done at Leiden University to a broader audience, we have organized a series of six lectures on the 18th century obsession with origins, held this autumn.

Under the series title OorsprongsObsessie: 18de-eeuwse opvattingen over het begin van taal, kunst, cultuur en moraal (Origin Obsession: 18th century ideas on the origin of language, art, culture and morality) a variety of scholars will shine their light on  this interesting phenomenon, and especially the interconnections with art that were discovered when other disciplines started looking for the roots of nature, language, civilization and humankind. Historians, for instance, increasingly examined (art)objects instead of texts to write history; natural philosophers were inspired by art historical methods of classification; and philosophers turned to the origin of art to contemplate religion and idolatry. This lecture series aims to highlight a few remarkable manifestations of this development.


Thursday 12 September 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
How noble are savages? Diderot, Rousseau, the origins of civilization, and the idea of natural morality
Dr Philipp Blom (DPhil, Oxford), writer, journalist, lecturer and broadcaster, author of A Wicked Company. The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment (2010)

Thursday 26 September 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
Van wolfskind tot Sanskriet: taaloorsprongsvragen in de 18de eeuw
Prof. dr. Marijke van der Wal, bijzonder hoogleraar Geschiedenis van het Nederlands aan de Universiteit Leiden, leider van het onderzoeksprogramma Brieven als Buit

Thursday 10 October 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
The “Expressive Image”: Human Origins and the Historiography of Art, from the 18th century to now
Dr Assimina Kaniari (DPhil, Oxford), lecturer, Department of Art Theory and History, Athens School of Fine Arts

Thursday 17 October 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
Paradoxen van de oorspronkelijkheid: Rousseau tussen Charles Perrault en Jeff Koons
Prof.dr. Maarten Doorman, schrijver en filosoof, bijzonder hoogleraar kunstkritiek aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, auteur van o.a. Rousseau en ik. Over de erfzonde van de authenticiteit (2012)

Thursday 24 October 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
De blauwdruk en de stamboom: kunst(geschiedenis) als inspiratiebron voor natuurhistorici op zoek naar de beginselen van de natuur
Prof.dr. Paul van den Akker, hoogleraar Kunstgeschiedenis tot 1800 aan de Open Universiteit en docent Kunstgeschiedenis aan de Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Thursday 31 October 2013, 19:30 – 21:00
“De trouwste dienares van de religie”: 18e-eeuwse debatten over de oorsprong van kunst, religie en samenleving
Prof.dr. Caroline van Eck, hoogleraar Geschiedenis en Theorie van de Bouwkunst, Universiteit Leiden

Students, university staff and anybody with an interest in science and scholarship is welcome to attend the lectures! Entrance is free and no prior registration is necessary. Check for dates, times and locations the website of Studium Generale. In addition, we plan to report on the lectures via this blog, so if you are curious: stay tuned!


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