Junior Research Fellows and ECR Awards in Enlightenment Studies

In 2017 Sydney Intellectual History Network appointed seven Junior Research Fellows in Enlightenment Studies, five of which are funded through a Sydney Research Excellence Initiative Award from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research. These JRFs form a team of researchers, each with responsibility for a case study, supervised by core members of The Enlightenment and Its Impact program and related to its core research themes: Globalisation, Subjectivity, Empiricism, Prosperity and Tolerance.

Robert Boncardo

Robert Boncardo

I completed my PhD in 2015 at Sydney University and Aix-Marseille. Since then I have published, with Christian R. Gelder, Mallarmé: Rancière, Milner, Badiou (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), and Mallarmé and the Politics of Literature: Sartre, Kristeva, Badiou, Rancière (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). I am also currently translating Pierre-François Moreau’s work Spinoza: L’Expérience et l’éternité for Edinburgh.

My project, undertaken alongside Dr. Cat Moir, looks at the uptake of Spinoza’s work in contemporary discussions of ecology and politics, with a particular focus on the resources Spinoza’s thought offers for renewed conceptions of agency and change. Can Spinoza’s concept of Nature help us reorient our understanding of our relation to the environment? If so, to what end? Does Spinoza’s resolute determinism help or hinder political projects that seek to chart a path out of the contemporary environmental crisis? My project hopes to clarify the stakes of Spinozist thought with regards to this pressing set of questions.

Daniel Canaris

Daniel Canaris

Daniel Canaris completed his Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Sydney in January 2017. His doctoral research concerned the representation of China in the thought of the Neapolitan philosopher Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) and its significance for the hermeneutic strategies employed by the Jesuits in their interpretation of the Chinese classics. After completing his Ph.D. in January he was appointed Visiting Research Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung (IKGF) of the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg where he has been researching on the role of Hermeticism in the Jesuit China mission. In June he was appointed Junior Research Fellow in Enlightenment Studies at the University of Sydney. In this role Daniel is collaborating with Dr. Francesco Borghesi on the role of China as a model for political reform in the political philosophy of Paolo Mattia Doria (1667-1746).

Garritt Van Dyk

Chip Van Dyck

Garritt Van Dyk is a Junior Research Fellow, Enlightenment Studies, in the Sydney Intellectual History Network. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Sydney. His work has appeared in Petits Propos Culinaires, and he received the Sophie Coe Prize for Food History at the 2014 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery.

His current research explores the role that commerce has played in the transmission of ideas, including the relationship between food and identity, using economic history to examine both commercial and cultural exchange in the early modern world. Current topics include: ‘Manufacturing Desire: Luxury, Novelty and Exoticism in Enlightenment Food; and ‘Beyond Cockaigne: Fénélon’s Voyage to Pleasure Island’.

Emma Gleadhill

Emma Gleadhill

Emma Gleadhill's research interests are women’s history, material culture and tourism studies. She was awarded a PhD from Monash University in early 2017 for her dissertation titled "Travelling trifles: the souvenirs of late-eighteenth century female British tourists”. Her thesis explored how British women touring Europe and the British Isles used their travel accounts and collections to construct their identities and lay claim to knowledge and expertise.

Emma's Junior Research Fellowship project concerns eighteenth-century women's contributions to scientific enquiry through the experience of travel. She argues that women's scientific activities, commonly belittled as hobbies, need to be recast as serious pursuits. In the eighteenth-century scientists deliberately enlisted women to promote their fledgling discipline through an array of lectures, periodicals and instruments. Historians have placed these trends within a wider historiography on consumer culture, terming them “polite science”, but while polite scientific texts have been fruitfully analysed, the female audiences who avidly consumed them have yet to be considered. By taking a closer look at their journals, personal correspondence and collections, Emma seeks to show that women challenged the gendering of scientific knowledge far more consistently than is suggested by the prescriptive literature of the time.

Ekaterina Heath

Ekaterina Heath

Ekaterina Heath is a Junior Research Fellow in Garden History. Her PhD is dedicated to the Russian Empress Maria Fedorovna and her influence on Pavlovsk Park. The dissertation provides an interpretation to the way the empress used plants, garden design and art in general to promote her agenda at the Russian court. Ekaterina’s research interests include history of botany, cultural meanings of plants in the eighteenth century and European garden history. She has presented papers on Maria Fedorovna’s interest in botany, Joseph Banks' use of botany for diplomacy and Panopticon architecture in Pavlovsk. Her articles are due to be published next year in the Enlightenment and Peasant collection of essays for the Lumières internationales series published by Honoré Champion, Paris as well as the emaj (Electronic Melbourne Art Journal).

Working with Professor Jennifer Milam, Ekaterina’s project is aimed at co-writing a publication on Russian chinoiserie between Peter I and Catherine II and a book chapter on cultural representations of plants in the eighteenth century.

Henry Martyn Lloyd

Martyn Lloyd

Henry Martyn Lloyd is a specialist in the History of French Philosophy with a particular interest in the Philosophy of the French Enlightenment. As well as publishing in journals including Intellectual History Review and Philosophy Today, Martyn has published two edited books, The Discourse of Sensibility: The Knowing Body in the Enlightenment (Springer, 2013) and, with Geoff Boucher, Rethinking the Enlightenment: Between History, Philosophy, and Politics (Lexington Books, forthcoming 2017). He is currently completing a manuscript Sade’s Philosophical System in its Enlightenment Context which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. Martyn also researches and teaches in traditions of twentieth-century French and ‘Continental’ philosophy. He was awarded the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Price for 2015.

Working with A/Prof Anik Waldow, my project focuses on the theories of autonomy and rational self-control in Condillac and Herder. It is tempting to think of the Enlightenment’s philosophy of the subject as dominated by two mutually exclusive positions: for Kant the autonomy and freedom of the human were grounded in the rational and noumenal self while the animal remained bound to the laws of nature; by contrast La Mettrie reduced the human entirely to the natural and determined order and so denied it autonomy and control. But some of the most interesting and influential thought in the period worked between these two extremes, sharing the naturalistic impulse which was foundational to La Mettrie’s thought, while worked carefully to avoid the conclusion that humans were therein heteronomous. This project will focus on Condillac and Herder, two of the Enlightenment’s most important attempts to use a theory of language to reconcile a naturalistic theory of the human with a theory of rational autonomy.

Jessica Priebe

Jessica Priebe

Jessica Priebe is an historian of eighteenth-century European visual and material culture, specialising in artists’ collections. Jessica lectures in art history at the National Art School, and has previously taught at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She has published essays on eighteenth-century French art and collecting, most recently in the Journal of the History of Collections. Her book on the collection of François Boucher is forthcoming with Routledge.

My research project explores the intersection of art and science in the work of the French painter and collector Leroy de Barde, particularly as it relates to ethnographic displays of South Sea collections in museums in England and France from the late eighteenth century. I consider the extent to which De Barde’s exposure to the collections of William Bullock, Sir Ashton Lever and Louis XVIII shaped his artistic ideas and practices in the studio. I also investigate his activities as a collector and owner of a private museum in Paris, the contents of which he would later donate to the new museum at the Château de Boulogne-sur-Mer. My examination of Leroy de Barde acknowledges the importance of artists’ collections to enriching the public’s education of natural history, places and cultures during the Enlightenment.

Melanie Cooper

Melany Cooper

Melanie Cooper is a practising visual artist and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide where she graduated with a PhD in 2017. As an interdisciplinary art historian, Melanie’s research interests are centred on representations of classical mythology, gender and sexuality in the context of the eighteenth century. Her work is further informed by early modern evolutionism and philosophies of materialism and sensationism. She currently serves on the editorial committee of Ceræ: An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and her paper ‘Meeting the Locals: Mythical Images of the Indigenous Other in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’ is soon to appear in a volume of essays edited by Jennifer Milam and Nicola Parsons (University of Delaware Press, 2018). Her book chapter ‘The Horror of the Horns: Pan’s Attempted Rape of Syrinx in Early Eighteenth-Century Visual Art’, appears in ed. Anne Greenfield, Interpreting Sexual Violence, 1660-1800 (London and Vermont: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), 163-175.

Her current research is based on an expansion of the findings of her thesis which explores representations of mythological masculinities in eighteenth-century French art and visual culture as a means through which to build upon understandings of perceptions and expectations of gender during this period.