Alison Calhoun, Indiana University-Bloomington: Staging Robots: From Cartesian Intelligibility to Enlightenment Dehumanization (MHC Renaissance Studies)


Thursday, February 10, 2022, 5:00pm


Zoom Meeting
Alison Calhoun is Associate Professor of French/Francophone Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her work focuses on the intersection of early modern philosophy and literature, especially in Montaigne, and was the topic of her first book, Montaigne and the Lives of the Philosophers: Life Writing and Transversality in the Essais. Her studies in early modern philosophy as well as the history and practice of opera and ballet led her to explore the relationship between the history of the passions and the texts and artisanal practices of French baroque drama. Most recently, she is investigating how dramatic works and their artisans dialogue with scientific and philosophical networks about the mechanical passions, and how this dialogue takes a turn during the later enlightenment, the so-called “age of sensibility,” as scientists and artists alike develop a clearer case for human exceptionalism and stricter borders between the machinic and the organic. She is currently completing a book manuscript on this topic, tentatively titled Mechanics of the Passions on the French Baroque Stage.

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