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Expanding the Boundaries of the Republic of Letters: Il Caffè, Enlightened Italy, and the Global Enlightenment, DAY 2

Sep 23, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 1:15 pm
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018 United States
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-Conference organized by Clorinda Donato, California State University, Long Beach, and Sabrina Ferri, Independent Scholar

Co-sponsored by the Clorinda Donato Center for Global Romance Languages and Translation Studies, California State University, Long Beach

Conference will be Livestreamed on the Center’s YouTube Channel

Born out of an extraordinary confluence of talent in the socio-political context of Habsburg Lombardy, Il Caffè (1764–66) was a short-lived but wide-ranging periodical, which would prove to be one of the most original and influential intellectual products of the Italian Enlightenment. The journal, which owed its title to English coffee houses and to the invigorating virtues of coffee, was the product of a collective effort involving a group of young people. Most of them had been members of the Milanese Accademia dei Pugni, a think-tank of intellectuals including Pietro and Alessandro Verri and Cesare Beccaria. Inspired by the Spectator and by the Encyclopédie, the contributors wrote on the most disparate aspects of cultural, social, and political life: from agriculture to natural history, from aesthetics to medicine. The journal is a unique incarnation of the ideals of the Republic of Letters. The ideas of the authors of Il Caffè traveled far and wide, reaching well beyond the geographical and chronological limits of Habsburg Lombardy. By promoting a collective discussion on Il Caffè and its global impact, this conference aims to showcase the transnational and trans-ideological nature of the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters, to trace the global movement of ideas, and to explore the tensions and exchanges between the centers and peripheries of the Enlightenment. This conference will bring together scholars across the disciplinary spectrum to engage in a rich dialogue, both bringing attention to local cultural and socio-political contexts, and looking at Il Caffè as an original product of and contribution to the network of multifarious discourses that shaped the global Enlightenment.

Shane Agin, Duquesne University
Philippe Audegean, Sorbonne Université
Giovanna Ceserani, Stanford University
Lidia De Michelis, Università degli Studi di Milano and Lia Guerra, University of Pavia
Clorinda Donato, California State University, Long Beach
Sabrina Ferri, Independent Scholar
Gianmarco Gaspari, University of Insubria, Varese-Como
Lavinia Maddaluno, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Rebecca Messbarger, Washington University
Pierre Musitelli, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris
Francesca Savoia, University of Pittsburgh
Gisela Schlüter, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Romanistik

This conference is free to attend with advance registration.
In-person registration will close on Monday, September 18 at 5:00 p.m.
Please visit our website for a complete schedule and to register.
No registration is required to watch the livestream.


Sep 23, 2023
10:00 am - 1:15 pm
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UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies
Clark Library


William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street
Los Angeles, CA 90018 United States
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