ELEC Season – 2015-2016

The speakers for 2015-2016 have now been finalised. The details are as follows:

3 October 2015: A necessary part of a woman’s duty?: Learning to sew and the place of needlework in working class lives (Bridget  Long, UCL Institute of Education)

24 October 2015: Total eclipse of the lamp: familiar astronomy in the long eighteenth century (Melanie Keene, Cambridge)

14 November 2015: Morals or Piety? French and English educational board games in the Long Eighteenth Century (Adrian Seville, City University)

30 January 2016: Pinnock’s Catechisms, 1812-1840: schoolbooks for “he meanest capacity” (Margaret Lock, Independent Scholar)

5 March 2016: Needlework Education in the Long Eighteenth Century (Rosanne Waine, Bath Spa)

23 April 2016: “Passionate, dedicated and loyal”: characteristics of the leaders of early Mechanics’ Institutes in south-east England, 1825-1840 (Jana Sims, Independent Scholar)

7 May 2016: Natural graces, natural genius: gender and ‘accomplishments’ in the long eighteenth century (Michèle Cohen, UCL Institute of Education)


ELEC Season – 2014-2015

Here is a summary of our speakers during the 2014-2015 season:

Alison Shell  (UCL)   October 11

Katarina Stenke (Cambridge) November 15

Sarah Goldsmith (York) January 31

Elodie Duché (Warwick) February 21.

Our speaker last week was:

Foppish Masculinity and Generational Identity in Eighteenth-Century Oxbridge

Heather Ellis (Liverpool Hope)

This paper aims to bring Oxford and Cambridge back into the debate about elite masculine socialization in eighteenth-century England. It argues that the ancient universities in this period are too often described by historians as bastions of moral stability and man making. It will offer an alternative view of the universities’ role in shaping the identities of young men in the eighteenth century is offered, one which takes into account the significant effect of rising student ages, generational and class tensions. In particular, it will trace the characteristics and development of foppish masculine styles among Oxbridge undergraduates, highlight their opposition to book-learning and academic regulations, and analyse the increasing suspicion which they incurred from the university authorities against the background of the American and French Revolutions.

Next ELEC seminar – date change – Sophie Bankes – 26 October 2013

Sophie Bankes’s paper for the ‘Education in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar’ has been moved from 9 November 2013 to 26 October 2013. We have changed the date to prevent a clash with Anne Dunan-Page’s conference at Dr Williams’s Library on ‘Church Life’.

Sophie has recently submitted a PhD at the Open University. Her presentation is titled ‘The Confessions of J. Lackington, Late Bookseller (1804): A Pattern for Education in an Age of Infidelity’.

We will be in the Torrington Room (104) at the IHR, Senate House Library, London, 2.00-4.00.

Mark Burden, Michele Cohen, Mary Clare Martin (convenors)

ELEC Seminar Schedule, 2013-14

The ELEC Seminar 2013-14 schedule is now fixed. As usual, we shall be meeting at the Institute of Historical Research, London on Saturdays, 2.00-4.00. All welcome!

12 October 2013 Sarah Faulkner (Edinburgh University), ‘Suitors as Tutors in Frances Burney and Jane Austen’, The Court Room

9 November 2013: Sophie Bankes (Open University), ‘The Confessions of J. Lackington, Late Bookseller (1804): A Pattern for Education in an Age of Infidelity’, Room 349

23 November 2013: Karen Williams (Roehampton University), ‘ “Playing with Pedagogy” in the Christmas Annuals of the 1820s and 1830s’, The Torrington Room

7 December 2013: Gabriel Moshenska (UCL), ‘Public Lectures in Egyptology in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Education and Entertainment’, The Court Room

8 March 2014: Koji Yamamoto (KCL), ‘Reformation and the Distrust of the Projector in the Hartlib Circle’, Room 349

24 May 2014: Jo Elcoat (Leeds University), ‘ “Packaging the Curriculum”: General Course Schoolbooks and the Encyclopaedic Project in the Eighteenth Century’, The Court Room

ELEC Seminar – Stephen Bygrave on Priestley and Barbauld

The next Education in the Long Eighteenth Century seminar will take place 2:00-4:00 on Saturday 25 May in the Athlone Room, Senate House Library, London. We are delighted to be welcoming Professor Stephen Bygrave (Southampton University), who will be discussing “Joseph Priestley and Anna (Aikin) Barbauld: Utility, Devotion and Education”.

Professor Bygrave is the author of (among many other things) Uses of Education: Readings in Enlightenment in England (2009) and ‘ “I predict a riot”: Joseph Priestley and languages of enlightenment in Birmingham in 1791’ (2012).

All welcome to the seminar, and yes – there will be tea and cakes afterwards!

Best wishes,

Mark Burden

Michele Cohen

Mary Clare Martin

ELEC Seminar – 11 May – Marilyn A Lewis on Cambridge Platonism

The next Education in the Long Eighteenth Century seminar will meet a week today, 2:00-4:00 on Saturday 11 May in the Athlone Room, Senate House Library, London. We are delighted to be welcoming Dr Marilyn Lewis, who will be discussing Cambridge Platonism:

Tutorial Influence in Seventeenth-Century Oxbridge: A Cambridge Platonist Case Study. In this paper, Marilyn Lewis will present a new way of assessing the contribution of Oxford and Cambridge to the wider intellectual life of England during the second half of the seventeenth century. She will explain the model she has developed for the study of ‘educational influence’ in Oxbridge colleges,which she developed in order to study the influence of the Cambridge Platonist philosophical theologians Ralph Cudworth and Henry More at Christ’s College, Cambridge. She will critique the model in the light of her application of it to Christ’s, and explain how it could be applied to other Oxbridge colleges which have adequate records of students’ tutors, residence and degrees. She will suggest that the dismissal of late seventeenth-century Oxbridge as a viable component in the nation’s intellectual development may be premature.

All welcome for the seminar, and for tea and cakes afterwards!

ELEC Conference – Politics and Education in the Very Long Eighteenth Century, 1660-1860

The schedule has now been fixed for our free 2013 conference on ‘Politics and Education’ (9 March, Court Room, Institute of Historical Research, London). All welcome! Enquiries regarding the conference, or the regular seminar series, may be addressed to Professor Michele Cohen (COHENM@Richmond.ac.uk), Dr Mark Burden (m_k_burden@yahoo.co.uk), or Dr Mary Clare Martin (M.C.H.Martin@greenwich.ac.uk).

‘Politics and Education in the Very Long Eighteenth Century, 1660-1860’

A one-day interdisciplinary conference to be held on Saturday 9 March 2013
in The Court Room, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

Convenors: Michèle Cohen, Mary Clare Martin, Mark Burden
Keynote Speakers: Kathryn Gleadle, Lissa Paul
Other Participants: Sophie Defrance, Emmanuelle Chaze, Robert Ivermee, Dominic Wright, Sam McLean, Louise Joy, Judy Bainbridge, Karen Williams

Sponsor: The Centre for the Study of Play and Recreation, University of Greenwich (head: Mary Clare Martin)

Attendance is free: Morning and afternoon tea will be provided, but delegates will need to bring their own lunch.


9.50-10.00 Registration in the Court Room, Senate House,
University of London

10.00-10.45 Plenary I: Kathryn Gleadle
“The Juvenile Enlightenment? British Children and Radical Politics in the Late
Eighteenth Century”

10.45-11.45 Panel 1: Educational Correspondence
Sophie Defrance, Cambridge: “ ‘An opportunity of seeing men and things as happens to few’: Darwin and his Correspondents’ Political and Moral Thought in the Beagle letters, 1831-1835”
Emmanuelle Chaze, Bayreuth: “ ‘Vous avez senti vous-même combien j’avais besoin d’aide pour ne pas m’égarer’: A Distance Education in the 18th Century: Correspondence between Jean-André De Luc and his Children”

11.45-12.00 Tea Break

12.00-1.30 Panel 2: Education and Political Change: India and the Navy
Robert Ivermee, Kent: “A Madrasa without Islam? Secularism and the Politics of Education in Colonial Calcutta (1780-1840)”
Dominic Wright, Royal Holloway: “The Political Significance of Experimentation in Indian Education in the Early Nineteenth Century”
Sam McLean, King’s: “Politics and Education: Defining the Royal Naval Officer following the Restoration”

1.30-2.20 Lunch

2.20-3.50 Panel 3: The Politics of Children’s Literature
Louise Joy, Cambridge: “Regulating the Child’s Emotions: The Politics of Eighteenth-Century Children’s Literature”
Judy Bainbridge, Roehampton: “ ‘Unwillingly to school’: Voicing Protest in the Eighteenth-Century School Story”
Karen Williams, Roehampton: “ ‘Politics and ‘Papillonnades’: Political Messages in Texts Inspired by The Butterfly’s Ball”

3.50-4.10 Tea Break

4.10-4.55 Plenary II: Lissa Paul
“Eliza Fenwick (1760-1840): Educator, Abolitionist – and Slaveholder”


Despite a growing interest in the practices and principles of eighteenth-century education, and a continuing critical preoccupation with eighteenth-century political events and philosophies, there have been few attempts to explore the connections between them. Yet these connections were vital. Political events and ideas influenced teaching in schools, universities, the home, and the workplace. The education of eighteenth-century political figures affected their future beliefs and actions. The political strategies of the European powers helped to determine educational provision in America, India, Africa, and East Asia. Changing legal frameworks altered the education of Roman Catholics, Protestants, and dissenters across Europe. Young women, as well as young men, used their education to become familiar with political rhetoric. Eighteenth-century ethics teaching was closely connected to early modern politics and natural law theory. Children’s literature contained explicit, implicit and concealed political messages, while educational texts were subject to the politics of production and exchange.

This one-day interdisciplinary conference will examine the ways in which education influenced politics, and the means by which politics affected educational provision in the long eighteenth century. To this end, we are employing a broad definition of the term ‘education’, including educational correspondence, education and science, vocational education, education in the colonies, and educational literature. Our definition of ‘politics’ extends to political and moral thought, as well as to political events, people, and texts. The conference follows our successful one-day workshop on ‘Education in the Very Long Eighteenth Century’ (2011) and our recent roundtable on education at the BSECS annual conference (2013); it marks the fifth anniversary of the ‘Education in the Long Eighteenth Century Seminar Series’ at the Institute of Historical Research, London (2008-13).