Past Seminars

Lynn Festa

2d Faculty Fellows Lynn FestaThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is the author of Sentimental Figures of Empire in Eighteenth-Century Britain and France (2006) and the co-editor of The Postcolonial Enlightenment: Eighteenth-Century Colonialism and Postcolonial Theory (2009). Her current project explores the way Enlightenment authors elaborated the distinction between human and animal around the relation each takes to things such as tools or works of art. She argues that eighteenth-century writers saw humanity not as a known quantity to be mimetically represented, but as something that had to be defined and produced through the manual and the liberal arts— through work understood as labor, as crafted artifact, and as aesthetic object.

Areas of Interest: Eighteenth-century British and French literature; material culture; art history (still life and trompe l'oeil); work and labor; definitions of humanity; distinctions between humans and animals.