Credulity in the Age of Reason / La crédulité à l’Âge de la Raison

I am delighted to announce the publication of Credulity in the Age of Reason / La crédulité à l’Âge de la Raison : Rhetoric, Epistemologies, Education / Rhétorique, épistémologies, éducation

Sous la direction de Giulia Iannuzzi, Claudia Lora Márquez, Sylvie Moret Petrini et Brianna E. Robertson-Kirkland

402 pp.

EAN 9782745361738. 58 €

Credulity in the Age of Reason interrogates the tension between credulity and reason throughout the 18th century as ultimately a problem of power and knowledge. The authors consider texts intended for the instruction of young people as well as the education of the wider public to explore the negotiation of what constituted authority in the construction of philosophical, political, economic, and trans-cultural knowledge.

Stemming from the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Early Career Researchers seminar hosted by the University of Michigan in June 2021, Credulity in the Age of Reason shows how the problem of credulity, and the closely related issues of authority and credibility, permeated European society and culture in the Age of Enlightenment.

La crédulité à l’Âge de la Raison questionne les tensions entre crédulité et raison au XVIIIe siècle et réfléchit aux enjeux de pouvoir et de connaissance qu’elles sous-tendent. Les auteurs analysent des textes destinés à l’instruction des jeunes personnes ainsi qu’à l’éducation du grand public afin d’explorer la négociation de ce qui constituait l’autorité dans la construction des savoirs philosophique, politique, économique et transculturel.

Issu du Séminaire pour les Jeunes Chercheurs et Chercheuses organisé par la Société Internationale d’Étude du XVIIIesiècle à l’Université du Michigan en juin 2021, La crédulité à l’Âge de la Raison montre comment le problème de la crédulité, et les questions étroitement liées de l’autorité et de la crédibilité s’inscrivaient dans la société et la culture européennes à l’époque des Lumières.

L’ouvrage rassemble les contributions de Matilda Amundsen Bergström, Mrinmoyee Bhattacharya, Ciaran Harty, Giulia Iannuzzi, Noelia López-Souto, Claudia Lora Márquez, Sylvie Moret Petrini, Chanelle Reinhardt, Brianna E. Robertson-Kirkland, Shun Sugino, Thiago Vargas et Devin Vartija.

On Champion’s website: LINK



English intro:

French intro:

Phrasebooks for European Travellers in Eighteenth-Century North America

at Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars – 2021 Programme

The interpreters are eloquently placed at the centre of an illustration depicting Fort Frontenac, where the governor of Nouvelle France, La Barre, negotiated a peace with the Iroquois following a military expedition by the French in 1684.
From Lahontan, Nouveaux voyages, I, “Lettre VII” (1703).
Copy at Bibliothèque nationale de France via Gallica. Non known restriction for scholarly use.

This paper explores the vocabularies of Native American languages published as part of the travel accounts written by explorers, traders, and colonial policy-makers in North America, in the course of the eighteenth century.

Starting with the renowned Voyages by the Baron de Lahontan, the aim of this paper is to foreground what these lexicographic compilations reveal about European encounters with societies categorised as radically different from – and less civilised than – the traveller’s own: an ‘otherness’ sometimes exploited as a mirror and term of comparison that challenges the observer’s ethnocentrism.

Drawing on existing scholarship about the cultural history of Euro-American encounters in the modern age, this study puts forward an original analysis of the temporal conceptualisations underpinning vocabularies of ‘savage languages’, both in terms of historical diachronicity and of time as a culturally constructed frame of human experience.

The focus on the lists of words and phrases included in travel accounts, journals and relations makes it possible to question the relationship between the recording of linguistic evidence and travel narratives, and explore the complex negotiations between empirical observation and pre-existing cultural categories and stereotypes.

A close reading of these often understudied primary sources contributes to identify recurrent conceptual tropes and assign a central role to the historicisation of Native Americans within wider processes of cultural construction of a global Europeanness.

This presentation is part of

Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars
2021 Programme

The Eighteenth-Century Research Seminars take place throughout semester 2 and are open to all.

All meetings will be held online, using Collaborate, from 4:30–5:30pm UK time. (Follow the link to the programme above to sign up via Eventbrite)

10 February
Regis Coursin (Montreal) ‘Against Despotism: Approaching the Republican Atlantic, c.1769–1791’

Giulia Iannuzzi (Trieste) ‘Phrasebooks for European Travellers in Eighteenth-Century North America’

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