ISECS Congress 2019: About Us

Planning for the 2019 International Congress on the Enlightenment began in 2012, and a growing team of academics from across the UK have been responsible for ensuring its success, working together with our partners at Edinburgh First. Please meet the team!


Professor Brycchan Carey (Northumbria University) –
Chair of the Organising Committee, and Vice-President of BSECS

Brycchan Carey is Professor of English at Northumbria University where he specialises in the literature and culture of slavery and abolition. Publications include British Abolitionism and the Rhetoric of Sensibility (2005), From Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery (2012), and an Oxford World’s Classics edition of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative. He is currently both the International Officer and Vice-President of BSECS.


Professor Frank O’Gorman (University of Manchester) – Secretary of the Organising Committee

Frank O’Gorman spent his entire career at the University of Manchester and has remained active since his retirement. He has continued to publish, most recently a second edition of his well-known The Long Eighteenth Century: A Political and Social History. His current interests revolve around the incidence and roles of ritual in eighteenth-century politics.




Caroline-WarmanDr Caroline Warman – President of BSECS

Caroline Warman is Associate Professor and Zeitlyn Fellow in French at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Jesus College. She is interested in literature and the circulation of ideas, and her publications include Sade: from materialism to pornography (2002) and Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment (2016).  She is currently looking at Diderot’s Eléments de physiologie in the context of the thinking of his contemporaries on matter, physiology and consciousness.



Dr James Harriman-Smith (Newcastle University) – Treasurer of BSECS

James HarrimanSmith is a lecturer in Restoration and eighteenth-century literature at Newcastle University, and BSECS’s treasurer. He specializes in the theatre of the long eighteenth century, both on the page and on the stage.





Dr Mark Towsey (University of Liverpool) – Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society Representative

Mark Towsey is Reader in Modern British History and Director of the Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre at the University of Liverpool, and former Vice-President of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society. He has published extensively on the history of reading and libraries, including Reading the Scottish Enlightenment: Books and their Readers in Provincial Scotland (2010) and Before the Public Library: Reading, Community and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650–1850 (2017).



Dr Daniel Cook (University of Dundee) – Webpages manager

Daniel Cook is a Senior Lecturer in English and Associate Director of the Centre for Scottish Culture at the University of Dundee with research and teaching interests in Scottish and Irish literature of the long eighteenth century. He is the author of Thomas Chatterton and Neglected Genius, 1760–1830 and editor of The Lives of Jonathan Swift, The Afterlives of Eighteenth-Century Fiction (with Nicholas Seager), and Women’s Life Writing, 1700–1850 (with Amy Culley). For Oxford World’s Classics he is currently editing a volume of Scottish literature, 1740-1830.



Professor Penelope Corfield (Royal Holloway, University of London) – Programme Subcommittee

Penelope Corfield is Emeritus Professor of History at Royal Holloway, London University; and Visiting Professor at Newcastle University. She has been President of BSECS and is now First Vice-President of ISECS. Her research and publications focus on eighteenth-century British social, cultural, urban, and electoral history—and interpreting big pictures of historical change.





Professor Catriona Seth (University of Oxford) – Programme Subcommittee / Francophone matters

Catriona Seth, FBA, is Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature at Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls. She is currently President of SFEDS, the French Society for eighteenth-century Studies. She works on poetry and the novel as well as more widely on Enlightenment cultural history with themes ranging from writing the self to foundlings or smallpox inoculation.




Dr Adam Budd (University of Edinburgh) – Facilities Subcommittee

Adam Budd is Lecturer in Cultural History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the culture of authorship and bookselling, principally in Edinburgh and London, during the eighteenth century. He also publishes on the history of historical writing in Europe and America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and runs projects that bring sources in eighteenth-century history into secondary schools in local communities.




Dr Alison Duncan (Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews) – Facilities Subcommittee

Alison Duncan recently completed a doctorate in Economic and Social History at the University of Edinburgh and is currently tutoring at the University of St Andrews. She is also writing a monograph on ‘old maids’ which will demonstrate that the latter were not the crazy cat ladies of eighteenth-century caricature, but resourceful and determined social self-promoters.




Professor Viccy Coltman (University of Edinburgh) – Events Subcommittee

Viccy Coltman is a Professor of eighteenth-century History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialises in visual and material culture in Britain and its colonial territories. She is the author of Fabricating the Antique: Neoclassicism in Britain, 1760-1800 (2006) and Classical Sculpture and the Culture of collecting in Britain since 1760 (2009). She is currently completing a cultural history of Scotland from 1745 to 1832.




Dr Leonie Hannan (Queen’s University, Belfast) – Events Subcommittee

Leonie Hannan is a Research Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast, in the field of social and cultural history. Her work focuses on Britain and Ireland in the long eighteenth century and her interests include gender, material culture, intellectual life, and histories of home.





mburdenProfessor Michael Burden (University of Oxford) – Events Subcommittee

Michael Burden is Professor in Opera Studies at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Music at New College. He has served on the Council of the Royal Musical Association, is a patron member of ASECS, a trustee of Répertoire International des Sources Musicales, and former President of BSECS. Publications include London Opera Observed 1711–1844 (2013), Impresario and Diva: Regina Mingotti’s years at London’s King’s Theatre (2013) and editions of operas by William Walton and Henry Purcell. 




Professor Harry Dickinson (University of Edinburgh) – University of Edinburgh Representative

Harry T. Dickinson has been at the University of Edinburgh since 1966, where he is now an emeritus professor. He has authored or edited thirty books and produced two hundred contributions to books and academic journals. He has taught frequently in China, the USA, Japan, Taiwan, France, Germany, and Poland. He has been a Vice President of the Royal Historical Society and President of the Historical Association of Great Britain.




Montana Davies-Shuck (Northumbria University) – Early Career Representative

Montana studied English and Related Literature at the University of York before specialising in Literature of the Romantic Period for her MA. In 2016 she started her PhD at Northumbria University as part of the Long Eighteenth Century Research Group. Her research explores the figure of the fop between 1660 and 1790.




Clare Loughlin (University of Edinburgh) – Early Career Representative

Clare Loughlin is a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Wolfson Foundation. Her research explores anti-Catholicism in Scotland c.1690–1750, particularly the Church of Scotland’s attempts to quash the perceived ‘increase of popery’. Her research questions the extent to which anti-Catholicism became a unifying force within Scottish Protestantism in this period, by exploring how Scotland’s increasingly fractured religious environment after 1690 affected the Church’s response to Catholicism’s continued presence.



Alastair Noble (University of Edinburgh) – Early Career Representative

I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.  I am a part-time student, currently in my fifth year of study. I also work for the Civil Service. My research is focused on the way in which the Highlands were represented and understood as a region from different perspectives, and how this affected the implementation of government policies.


Contact the organising team.


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