Olympe de Gouges

Olympe de Gouges. European intellectual history, as a field, is often thought of as tracing the development of ideas in context. Why did particular writers or thinkers grapple with the topics they did? What was happening around them to influence their attitudes, their conclusions, or the sources they consulted? How were their ideas in conversation, even if they never explicitly identified other writers or ideas? To begin a deep dive into European thinkers, select ONE author from the approximately time frame of c. 1500 to c. 1850 (this is flexible); you can get ideas or suggestions from Imhoof’s text, readings posted to Top Hat, or your own research in Credo Online/Gale World History in Context on the library website.

To select your subject, consider the following criteria:

Should generally fit chronologically from the onset of the Enlightenment to the mid-1800s
MUST be European
Does not HAVE to be an author we specifically read in class, but must fit into the above parameters. I suggest you consult with me if you have any questions.
Details and Logistics

Once you have selected your subject (e.g. Mary Wollstonecraft or JS Mill), analyze his/her work, his/her background, and the context in which he/she wrote. Focus on your specific subject as he/she relates to one of the following questions:

What were the main issues or questions your subject wrote or spoke about? Be sure to be clear and thorough, and support your points with citations (Chicago Style).
How did your subject impact the cultural, social, or intellectual environs of the Enlightenment period (that is, what was your subject’s main influence, and how do you see it)? Be sure to include examples, and cite them clearly.
While considering these questions, you MUST CITE primary sources (such as the primary readings you have for class each week, available on Top Hat) as well as contextualizing material. You can use the Imhoof book, but you should also do some scholarly research in journals as well (see the list in the syllabus). YOU MUST INCLUDE ONE JOURNAL ARTICLE IN YOUR FOOTNOTES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY regarding your subject (see “Finding Journal Articles” in the resource folder).

Your paper will be approximately 4-6 pages, 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with a maximum of 1-inch margins. Your paper should also have a title. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let me know.

Olympe de Gouges

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