Conference: Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century (April 2012)

Life Forms in the Thinking of the Long Eighteenth Century
A conference honoring the work of Peter H. Reill
—organized by Professors Jenna Gibbs, Florida International University and Keith Baker, Stanford University
Friday, April 27th & Saturday, April 28th
This two day conference to honor Professor Peter Reill and his distinguished scholarship in the field of Enlightenment studies will comprise four panels thematically organized around the enduring concerns that shape his interpretive vision: life forms in Enlightenment historical, vitalist, and esoteric thinking in the long eighteenth century. The first panel will entail a re-examination of the nature and structures of Enlightenment historical thought and the centrality of Enlightenment historicism to the formation of a modern understanding of history. Two panels on vitalism and its translations will investigate the application of vitalist epistemology—derived from a biological model of goal-directed living forces—to political economy, natural history, and civil society. The conference will conclude with a final panel on esotericism and the Enlightenment. It will explore the significance of alchemical, hermetical, and occult thought for Enlightenment thinkers and will challenge the bifurcation often made by scholars between esotericism and magic, on the one hand, and “rational” scientific Enlightenment experiment, observation, and theory, on the other.
Registration Deadline: April 20, 2012
Registration Fees: $20 per person; UC faculty & staff, students with ID: no charge*
All students, UC faculty and staff may register via e-mail by sending their name, affiliation and phone number to
*Students should be prepared to provide their current University ID at the conference.

Complimentary lunch and other refreshments are provided to all registrants.

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