Please tell us about your researchproject.
By having a closer and systematical look at Denis Diderot’s (1713-1784) entire letter collection(1742-1784), my research in socio-cultural history aims to a better understanding of what it meant to be a philosopher in the XVIIIth century Paris. Not only a field for self-presentation, the letter is especially a way of creating and maintaining social connections, in a vast relational space, that I am trying to map, thanks to the digital approaches of social network analysis.
Could you please tell us a bit more about this scholarship/exchange programme?
I started my Phd in 2015, at the University of Bucharest, then continued at EHESS, Paris, in the frames of a joint program. Supported by my supervisors Antoine Lilti and Florin Turcanu, I applied for a the three months stay scholarships at the MFO, which is part of an agreement between the French and British institutions. After the evaluation procedures, my research project – the role of mediators between Diderot and Voltaire – was accepted, so here I am, until December 2019.
First impressions of Oxford/the University?
It feels great to breath the oxonian fresh air, as well as the scents of old and recent books, in these splendid and overwhelming libraries. I am delighted to attend the Enlightenment seminars at the Saint John’s and Saint Catherine’s College and the Maison Française; and especially to get new perspectives for my thesis, by exchanging with researches at the Voltaire Foundation and the other residents here at the Maison.