Performing the Enlightenment in the Twenty First Century Collaborative, 2011-2012
This collaborative seeks to organize a conference in December or 2012 that would re-open a discussion on the Enlightenment in times of today’s economic crisis when the basic driver of the academe is the distribution of resources.
The propensity to avoid moral considerations and to restrict ourselves to issues of profit and loss—economic questions in the narrowest sense—however, is not instinctive. It is an acquired taste as Adam Smith and Marquis de Condorcet noted already in the eighteenth century. This being the case, the conference intends to historicize this propensity by investigating the Enlightenment anew (and, by extension, our situation today). Thus, how did we today come to think in exclusively economic terms? The fascination with an etiolated economic vocabulary did not come out of nowhere. On the contrary, as I contend, we live in the long shadowthe debates which were initiated in the eighteenth century.
Conveners: Michal Kobialka (Theatre Arts and Dance, College of Liberal Arts)