New Book | The Enlightened Mind

Posted in books by Editor on October 21, 2022

From Vernon Press:

Amanda Strasik, ed., The Enlightened Mind: Education in the Long Eighteenth Century (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2022), 164 pages, ISBN: 978-1648895142, $68. With contributions by Dorothy Johnson, Amanda Strasik, Rachel Harmeyer, Brigitte Weltman-Aron, Franny Brock, Madeline Sutherland-Meier, and Karissa Bushman

The rise of Enlightenment philosophical and scientific thought during the long eighteenth century in Europe and North America (c. 1688–1815) sparked artistic and political revolutions, reframed social, gender, and race relations, reshaped attitudes toward children and animals, and reconceptualized womanhood, marriage, and family life. The meaning of ‘education’ at this time was wide-ranging and access to it was divided along lines of gender, class, and race. Learning happened in diverse environments under the tutelage of various teachers, ranging from bourgeois mothers at home, to Spanish clergy, to nature itself.

The contributors to this cross-disciplinary volume weave together methods in art history, gender studies, and literary analysis to reexamine ‘education’ in different contexts during the Enlightenment era. They explore the implications of redesigned curricula, educational categorizations and spaces, pedagogical aids and games, the role of religion, and new prospects for visual artists, parents, children, and society at large. Collectively, the authors demonstrate how new learning opportunities transformed familial structures and the socio-political conditions of urban centers in France, Britain, the United States, and Spain. Expanded approaches to education also established new artistic practices and redefined women’s roles in the arts.

Amanda Strasik is an Associate Professor of Art History at Eastern Kentucky University. She received her PhD in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art history from the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on representations of royalty, childhood and family relationships, and issues of gender identity in French art during the long eighteenth century. Strasik has received numerous grants and fellowships to conduct research in France at the Musée du Louvre, the National Museum of the History of Education in Rouen, the Palace of Versailles, as well as The Frick Collection in New York City.


List of Figures
About the Editor
About the Contributors

The Enlightened Mind: Introduction — Amanda Strasik
1  Anatomy Lessons: Teaching Anatomy to Artists in Eighteenth-Century France — Dorothy Johnson
2  Painting Paradoxes: Jeanne-Elisabeth Chaudet’s Little Girl Teaching her Dog to Read — Amanda Strasik
3  The Education of Daughters: Embroidered Pictures after Angelica Kauffman — Rachel Harmeyer
4  Madame de Genlis’s New Method and Teaching Drawing to Children in Eighteenth-Century France — Franny Brock
5  Outside for Girls in Madame d’Epinay’s Conversations d’Emilie — Brigitte Weltman-Aron
6  Reforming Education in Eighteenth-Century Spain: Padre Sarmiento’s Reflections on Teaching Young Children — Madeline Sutherland-Meier
7  Religious Education and the Lasting Effect on Goya’s Depictions of Saints — Karissa E. Bushman


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