George Rousseau Lecture from Prof Emma Rothschild


Magdalen Auditorium


8 May 2023



Conversations about Roads: A.R.J. Turgot and Economic Enlightenment

A.R.J. Turgot was for nineteenth-century liberals, including John Austin, Mathew Arnold and John Stuart Mill, a heroic and even “godlike” figure. The lecture will explore Turgot’s distinctive combination of theoretical and practical interests. It will look in particular at the “great roads” with which Turgot was so preoccupied, and at the infrastructure of enlightenment.  

Professor Emma Rothschild (Harvard) is one one of the most pre-eminent historians of economic thought. She is the Jeremy and Jane Knowles Professor of History at Harvard University, Director of the Joint Center for History and Economics, Cambridge, and professeur invitée at the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris. She is involved in collaborative research projects on Exchanges of Economic, Legal and Political Ideas and on Visualizing Historical Networks. Publications include “Economic History and Nationalism” (Capitalism, Winter 2021), “A (New) Economic History of the American Revolution?” (New England Quarterly, March 2018), “Isolation and Economic Life in Eighteenth-Century France” (American Historical Review, October 2014), Economic Sentiments: Adam Smith, Condorcet and the Enlightenment (Harvard University Press, 2001), The Inner Life of Empires: An Eighteenth-Century History (Princeton University Press, 2011), and An Infinite History: The Story of a Family in France Over Three Centuries (Princeton University Press, 2021).

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