Lecturer, Department of French and Italian

Stanford University, California

Research expertise

Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century French Literature; Cultural History; Epistolary Practices; Digital Humanities; Media History


Concepts Practices

Republic of Letters

The Republic of Letters was an abstract intellectual community in the seventeenth and eighteenth-century that was comprised of numerous networks throughout Europe and the Americas. Correspondence was the defining feature of its existence, enabling the dissemination of ideas, new literary and philosophical manuscripts, and political news and pamphlets.


The salon is one of the most recognizable practices of sociability of the French Enlightenment. While scholars continue to debate the relationship of the salons to the Enlightenment, the salons were nevertheless a defining feature of social life in the Ancien Régime, with hundreds of salons taking place throughout Paris. These weekly gatherings featured a mixed-gendered group of aristocrats, artists, and men of letters.