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Presented By: Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies

EIHS Lecture: Biography and History: Building a Successful Life in the Wake of the French Revolution

Dena Goodman, University of Michigan

Dena Goodman Dena Goodman
Dena Goodman
This lecture seeks to provide a biographical lens through which to understand the French Revolution by tracing the life and career of mining engineer Augustin-Henry Bonnard (1781-1857). Professor Goodman will show how Bonnard drew upon complex family legacies to define and achieve a successful life in the wake of the Revolution. For Bonnard, the past was not a burden, but a valuable resource. In the politically turbulent world of revolutionary and post-revolutionary France he succeeded not by casting off the weight of the past or responding to the changing political winds, but by holding to a steady course that reflected his family’s long tradition of royal service and strong commitment to Enlightenment values.

Dena Goodman is Lila Miller Collegiate Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan and co-director of The Encyclopedia of Diderot and D'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project, a digital humanities project housed at the University of Michigan. Her research centers on the cultural history of early modern France, with particular interests in the Enlightenment, women and gender, material culture, writing, and sociability. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Camargo Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Voltaire Foundation. Her publications include The Republic of Letters: A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (1994) and Becoming a Woman in the Age of Letters (2009). She has also edited or co-edited several volumes, including Going Public: Women and Publishing in Early Modern France (1995), Marie-Antoinette: Writings on the Body of the Queen (2003) and Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us about the European and American Past (2006). She is currently engaged in a family history during the era of the French Revolution which explores Enlightenment legacies in a variety of domains, including science and technology, intellectual sociability, and state service.

Free and open to the public.

This event is part of the Thursday Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

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