Report Felicia Gottmann 10 June 2011 Activities during the summer term 2011

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Report Felicia Gottmann 10 June 2011

Activities during the summer term 2011

  • I attended a conference in Belfast, organised by the centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Queen’s University: ‘New Global Connections, India and Europe in the Long Eighteenth Century’. My attendance was invited and paid for by Queen’s. My paper focussed on the French reactions, predominantly in the realm of political economy (the Gournay Circle, the Physiocrats, Voltaire, and Raynal), to French and European trade relations with India. It was entitled ‘Voltaire’s Fragments sur l’Inde and the problematic nature of Indian-European exchange in the later eighteenth century.’ It is due to be published in an edited volume based on the conference papers and invited contributions in Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth century.

  • We are all preparing the conference to be held in the Ashmolian on the 1st and 2nd of July.

Archival Research

  • Aix-en-Provence: Archives nationales d’Outre Mer. I spent a week in the Archives, focussing in particular on the documents relating to the French China trade. The collections are unsystematic and very patchy and hence not usable for any quantitative evidence, but I found some interesting materials relating to the quality, usage, and ordering of goods.

  • London: British Library, India Office records. Together with Chris and Hanna we are compiling lists of, and making notes on, the company’s orders as contained in the Letterbooks. This gives a very good insight into ordering mechanisms, quality control, shifting patterns in fashion, and problems of communication, availability of goods, and inferior quality or damage during transfer.

Planned Activities for the Summer and the autumn term
Archival Research

  • I will be spending a week at the Company Archives in Lorient, France, hopefully to find documents similar to those contained in the English letter books relating to French Company orders and quality control. There are already extensive and detailed lists of the French Company sales published by Wellington, but it does not seems as if there are similar order lists in the French case.


  • I will be attending the 13th International Congress of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Graz, Austria, in July to give a revised version of the paper I presented in Belfast as part of a panel on the Indian Ocean. My attendance is largely funded by a grant I obtained from the conference organisers.


  • I will be working on three, hopefully four, publications

  1. A version of the papers presented at Graz and Belfast will be published by SVEC as part of an edited collection on India-Europe relations in the Eighteenth Century. Deadline for submissions is in December

  2. I am to write a review of the first volume and accompanying Atlas of Raynal’s Histoire des Deux Indes, to be published in French Studies. Deadline for this is September.

  3. My paper on the beginnings of the debate on commercial society in France, entitled ‘Du Châtelet, Voltaire, and the transformation of Mandeville's Fable’ has been accepted for publication in History of European Ideas, pending revisions. These I may effect in my own time and have not been set a deadline.

  4. I would like to turn my thesis into a book. There are significant synergies with paper 1) which I can hopefully exploit, but this will be quite a lot of work which I will have to do in my free time and over the holidays. The provisional title is ‘Voltaire’s political economy’ or ‘Voltaire and political economy’.

Preparation and Teaching

  • I will need to do a significant amount of reading and preparation for the module we are teaching next term.

  • Teaching itself will take up a good deal of my time in some weeks of the following terms. So I should be in Warwick at least once a week next term.


  • I will need to write the literature review. This should overlap with the other publications I am working on, but I will still need to set quite some time aside for this.

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