Knowledge and Power: Women and the Salon in the Eighteenth Century

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South Central Society for Eighteenth Century Studies SCSECS
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Knowledge and Power: Women and the Salon in the Eighteenth Century.


By the eighteenth century, the continentalEuropean salon already had a longhistory, although in England such intellectual gatherings were just beginningto gain popularity.  Women, crucial tothe institution of the salon, oversaw the significant changes in the salon thatcoincided with the erosion of aristocratic political control.  The salon transformed from a courtlyimitation to a membership of "far wider social and intellectual elite,"[1]and those in the "professional" classes and occupations participatedfully.  This panel explores theimportance of gender in the salons, both European and English, and women'semergence as salon organizers, some with public careers of their own.  Any aspect of salon culture or any woman'scontribution to the salon may be discussed.        

[1]DorindaOutram, The Enlightenment, 2nded., CUP:2005, 90.