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Dr Avi Lifschitz

Senior Lecturer


Avi Lifschitz specialises in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe in the long eighteenth century (c. 1680-1820). He is particularly interested in the links between Enlightenment anthropology, theology, and political theory. Another significant aspect of Avi's research concerns translation and cross-cultural transfer; he is also interested in the history of universities, royal academies, and exiled intellectuals in the eighteenth century.

He is co-convener of the History of Political Ideas seminar at the Institute of Historical Research and of the London Summer School in Intellectual History. Research fellowships included the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the Clark Library at UCLA, the Lichtenberg-Kolleg at the University of Göttingen, and Brasenose College at the University of Oxford. In summer 2018 Avi will deliver the annual Quentin Skinner Lecture in Modern Intellectual History at Cambridge.

Avi is now working on the science of man in the German Enlightenment and on the first modern English edition of a range of philosophical works by Frederick the Great (for Princeton University Press). A paperback edition of Avi's book Language and Enlightenment was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press. He is the editor of Engaging with Rousseau (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and 'Rousseau's Imagined Antiquity' , a special issue of History of Political Thought (2016); and co-editor of Rethinking Lessing's Laocoon (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and Epicurus in the Enlightenment (Voltaire Foundation, 2009).

Areas of Research Supervision: The Enlightenment; eighteenth-century intellectual and cultural history, especially in Germany and France; language and translation; history of academies and universities.  


Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

2007  DPhil  University of Oxford 
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 

Courses Taught

HIST6307 Enlightenment and Revolution: Europe 1715-1805
HIST7339 The Human and Its Others: Enlightenment Ideas of Ethnicity and Race
HISTG108 Paradoxes of Enlightenment: German Thought from Leibniz to Humboldt
HISTG061 Signs, Mind, and Society: Early Modern Debates on Language
Method and Practice in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History 

Major Publications


IRIS Researcher Profile 

Dr Avi Lifschitz