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Tea, Women, and the Concept of Civilization

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017. 05:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
History Corner (Building 200), Room 302
Seminar on the Enlightenment and Revolution, 1660-1830
Meeting Description: 

It is well known that figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, such as Adam Smith, helped create the stage theory of history in which Europe was imagined as the highest point of civilization known in human history. Scholars have recently paid more attention to the way women’s status served as the defining benchmark of civilization. The work of jurist and philosopher John Millar was especially influential in this regard and will serve as the take-off point for this lecture which tries to answer the questions, why Scotland, why women, and why then (hence tea)?

Lynn Hunt has her B.A. from Carleton College (1967) and her Ph.D. (1973) from Stanford University and is now Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA. Before going to UCLA as Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History (1998-2013, now emerita) she taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1987-1998) and UC Berkeley (1974-1987). She has authored, co-authored or edited books on the origins of human rights, the French Revolution, historical method and epistemology, time in history, the eighteenth century sources of religious toleration as well as the history of pornography and has co-authored widely used textbooks on western civilization and the French Revolution. Her books have been translated into fourteen languages. She was President of the American Historical Association in 2002 and awarded the Nancy Lyman Roelker Award for graduate mentorship by the American Historical Association in 2010. She won distinguished teaching awards at Berkeley (1977) and UCLA (2013). Her most recent book, Writing History in the Global Era, was published by W.W. Norton in 2014.