Pictures of Enlightenment/Die Bilder der Aufklärung/Les Images des Lumières – Annual Conference of the German Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (DGEJ) Back

The Enlightenment, one might think, is all about words and writing; its ideas are recorded in philosophical, literary, scholarly, and journalistic texts. How can pictures contribute to this? The words “Aufklärung/Enlightenment/Lumières” are characterised by a distinctive figurative meaning associated with light and, in German, the weather, which can be easily realised in programmatic pictures. Do pictures possibly even precede the terms, do they nonverbally convey teachings and patterns of perception that, in turn, affect society? These questions are discussed at an international conference that takes place at the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg from 16 to 18 September 2020. Funded by the German Research Foundation, the annual conference of the German Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (DGEJ) brings together speakers from thirteen countries in the city of Halle an der Saale, whose university was itself an important site of the Enlightenment, and which, with the help of its highly effective publishing houses, contributed significantly to the dissemination of enlightened ideas and knowledge. The consideration of artistic sculptures, pictorial agendas in painting and architecture, book illustrations, and also technical drawings, tables or diagrams shall allow us to explain how pictures represent and assess Enlightenment through their conception and their technical and artistic realisation as well as through their different ways of distribution. After examining the “Matters of Enlightenment” (2010) and the means of “Narrating Enlightenment and Enlightenment Narrative” (2015), the third DGEJ conference in Halle now turns to another key medium of the period.

Organisation: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Décultot (MLU) and Prof. Dr. Daniel Fulda (MLU)

Pascal Griener (Neuchâtel): The Celebration of a New Gaze by the Enlightenment. The Case of Art History
Cécilia Hurley Griener (Neuchâtel): How Powerful are our Image? Book Illustrations During the Long 18th Century (1681–1823)
Thomas Kirchner (Paris): Pierre-Paul Prud’hons „La Justice et la Vengeance divine poursuivant le Crime“
Martin Schieder (Leipzig): Diderots Ikonographie der Aufklärung

Pictorial Concepts
Representations of Power (Religion and Politics)
Scientific Pictures & Pictures of Science
Pedagogy & Didactics
Relationships of Text and Image / The Art of Description
Book Illustrations
Perception and Sensation
History, Harmony, Causality, Sublimity. What can Pictures Convey?

The complete conference programme can be accessed on the conference website:

The Corona pandemic requires strict adherence to the necessary spatial and hygienic regulations. In order to be able to prepare and run the conference adequately, all conference participants need to register beforehand. Please note that the number of participants is limited. If you wish to join the conference, please fill in the registration form provided on the IZEA website ( and send it to us by email, fax or mail by Monday, 7 September 2020.

Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung (IZEA)
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Tel. 0345 55 21781
Fax. 0345 55 27252
Email. bilder2020(at)

We have a room contingent at the hotel Tryp by Wyndham ( ready for you. Please refer to the keyword “Bilder der Aufklärung” when booking a room. The offer expires on 21 August 2020.

DGEJ members / Day pass/ Non-MLU students: 20 Euros
Non-DGEJ members: 40 Euros
Conference speakers and MLU students are exempt from the conference fee.

Dr. Theresa Schön
Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für die Erforschung der Europäischen Aufklärung (IZEA)
Franckeplatz 1, Haus 54
06110 Halle (Saale)
Tel. 0345 55 21766
Fax. 0345 55 27252
Email. bilder2020(at)