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Invitation to symposium on Stranded encyclopedias: encyclopedic dreams and practices c. 1600–2000

Invitation to symposium on Stranded encyclopedias: encyclopedic dreams and practices c. 1600–2000

International symposium at Stockholm University 13–14 September, 2018. Language: English.


13.09.2018 - 14.09.2018


Keywords: history of encyclopedism, history of knowledge, history of science, book history, global history

The international and interdisciplinary symposium Stranded encyclopedias brings together scholars around the globe who study unfinished and unpublished encyclopedias, compiled c. 1700–2000. The symposium is a collaboration between Stockholm University and Aalborg University. It takes place in Stockholm 13–14 September 2018 and includes presentations from eighteenth experts from nine countries and three continents.   

By exploring and comparing stranded encyclopedic projects during a three-hundred-year period, the symposium aspires to obtain new insights into the varieties, motivations, changes, and global diffusion of alphabetical encyclopedism as practice, and thereby deepen our understanding of the rise and continuous development of the modern knowledge society.   

International research on the formation of the alphabetically-organized encyclopedia has for a long time been dominated by serial narratives of influential, large-scale publications – typically conceptualized as predecessors, counterparts, or successors of the genre-defining Encyclopédie (1751–1772) of Denis Diderot and Jean D’Alembert. Yet, for decades scholars have remarked that many encyclopedic projects probably were left unfinished, stranded at some volume before the end of the alphabet.

Stranded encyclopedias is the first symposium to place abandoned encyclopedic works and their forgotten production histories and compilers at the center. If published encyclopedias are only the top of an iceberg, how large is the body below the surface, and what – and who – will we find there?

Parts of the symposium will be open to the public.        


Thursday, 13 September
Venue: Geo-Science Building, Svante Arrhenius väg 8–12, Frescati
Room: Y 23



Coffee and refreshments


Welcome and information

Linn Holmberg and Maria Simonsen


Introduction and rationale of the Symposium

Linn Holmberg


Session 1. Stranded encyclopedias in eighteenth-century France

Chair: Lynda Mugglestone (University of Oxford, UK). 

Annelie Grosse (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities, Germany)
'Christian philosophy in the Enlightenment’s flagship encyclopedia: Jean Henri Samuel Formey’s unfinished philosophical encyclopedia (1742–1747) as a source of the Encyclopédie’

Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (Saarland University, Germany)
'Reinventing economic encyclopedias: Abbé Morellet’s ambitious projet of a Nouveau Dictionnaire de commerce (1769) and its (provisional) failure’

David Eick (Grand Valley State University, USA)
‘Stranded dictionaries during the French Revolution’

Lisanne Jansen (Leiden University, Netherlands)
'An old-fashioned copycat? Mme de Genlis’ unfinished remake of the Encyclopédie’

12:30 Lunch

Session 2. Stranded encyclopedias across the globe

Chair: Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (Saarland University, Germany)

Clorinda Donato (California State University, USA)
'Stranded geographies: Italy for Italians in the Dizionario di geografia moderna composto per l’Enciclopedica metodica (1797)’

Linn Holmberg (Stockholm University, Sweden)
'Stranded encyclopedias in eighteenth-century Scandinavia’

Ana Maria Alfonso-Goldfarb, Marcia H M Ferraz & Elaine de Souza (co-author: Silvia Waisse) (Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil)
'Stranded Brazilian encyclopedias: a late affair’

Poster: Bertha M. Gutiérrez Rodilla (University of Salamanca, Spain) and Carmen Quijada Diez (University of Oviedo, Spain)
'Stranded encyclopedic medical dictionaries in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Spain’

Friday, 14 September
Venue: Geo-Science Building, Svante Arrhenius väg 8–12, Frescati
Room: U 28


Coffee and refreshments


Session 3. Stranded encyclopedias in the modern era

Chair: Clorinda Donato (California State University, USA)

Marianne Brooker (University of London, UK)
'Bringing knowledge into encyclopaedic forms: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the ‘materials of method’

Lynda Mugglestone (University of Oxford, UK)
'Stranded in time: Andrew Clark and the language of WW1’

Marija Ivanovic (co-author: Stefanie Kremmel) (University of Vienna, Austria)
'The Arnold-Lissance-Archive – A stranded translator’s dictionary’ 

Maria Simonsen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
'From printed to digitized: the history of how the Danish national encyclopedia stranded twice’


Closing remarks

Linn Holmberg and Maria Simonsen




Contact the organizers:

Linn Holmberg, PhD
Researcher and teacher in History of Science and Ideas
Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University, Sweden

Maria Simonsen, PhD
Assistant professor in History  
Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University, Denmark

More information at the Stockholm University webside

Photo in top of page: Magnus Hjalmarsson, Uppsala University Library



Linn Holmberg, Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University & Maria Simonsen, Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University


Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University

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