Originally published 01/25/2013
Andrew S. Curran, the dean of the arts and humanities and a professor of French at Wesleyan University, is the author, most recently, of “The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment.”THE Enlightenment polymath Denis Diderot turns 300 this year, and his October birthday is shaping up to be special. President François Hollande has indicated that he plans to honor the philosopher and novelist with what may be France’s highest tribute: a symbolic reburial in the Panthéon. In the roughly two centuries since this massive neo-Classical church was converted into a secular mausoleum, fewer than 80 people have been admitted into its gravestone club. If inducted, Diderot will arguably be the first member to be celebrated as much for his attacks on reigning orthodoxies as for his literary stature.
- Niall Ferguson chastises Trump’s comments on Cville but says the left’s open to criticism, too
- Male Historians Have Long Dominated Public Debates. Is Charlottesville a Turning Point?
- Kevin Levin says he’s changed his mind about Confederate statues
- Scholar of African history says his Jewish background didn’t stop him from writing about Muslims and Africa
- Jon Meacham points out why Lee should go but Washington should stay