Rousseau 300: Nature, Self and State (2012)
Exhibition in collaboration with UCL Centre for Transnational History
9 January - 27 April 2012

Fame and celebrity interrogated through representations of Jean Jacques Rousseau

Curated with Avi Lifchitz (then UCL Professor of History, now Associate Professor at University of Oxford), this exhibition featured rare items from UCL’s Art and Book collections to mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of the most controversial authors in the history of philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778).

Featuring first editions of Rousseau’s works, including On the Social Contract (Du contrat social, 1762), frontispieces and translations, the display highlighted his unique and interdisciplinary characteristics as a philosopher who not only wrote on politics, economics and education, but also composed music and wrote best-selling novels. 

A collaboration with UCL Centre for Transnational History, the British Museum and the Voltaire Foundation, the accompanying public programme included an international conference marking Rousseau’s tercentenary and a special performance of his rarely produced opera Le Devin du village by UCL Opera Club. 

For related publications, see Avi Lifschitz, Engaging with Rousseau: Reaction and Interpretation from the Eighteenth Century to the Present, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016).

This is part of UCL Art Collections’ commitment to interdisciplinary research-impact collaborations. For more information or expressions of interest to collaborate contact museums@ucl.ac.uk

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