News & Events

The Enlightenment of the Senses

Third Symposium – MRU, March 6, 2015

For its third symposium, the Enlightenment Group at Mount Royal University invites paper

propositions on the enlightenment of the senses.

This symposium is also open to undergraduate and graduate students.

The publication of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690 rejuvenated the

relationship between thought and senses by rejecting the concept of innate ideas and establishing

sense experience as the basis of knowledge.  While the senses were no longer seen as the cause

of errors or illusions, this new empiricism was difficult to reconcile with long privileged themes

such as the nature of the soul and of the real essence of things. Voltaire and others would make

use of those tensions in their critiques of orthodox theology.  The work of writers such as

Condillac would prolong the effect of Locke’s empiricism throughout the eighteenth century.

Given the influence of this epistemological revolution in Europe across philosophy, science,

literature and the arts, this symposium aims at examining the notion of sensualism in the

Enlightenment through the lens of various disciplines in order to map out the similarities and the

differences in the reception and application of sensualism in the Enlightenment world.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  •  Empiricism and science
  •  Arts and senses
  •  Sensualism and literature
  •  Senses and philosophy
  •  Taste and sensibility
  •  Social dynamics of sensibility and taste


Please submit abstracts of 250 words by January 30, 2015 to Antoine Eche (

STUDENTS: submit your abstract by February 17, 2015.

 The Enlightenment Group is an interdisciplinary group of MRU scholars engaged in the study of

the Eighteenth Century:


French Film Festival 2013

Rendez-Vous CinéMAGINE 2013 and the Department of Languages and Cultures present “Le Fils de l’Autre” by Lorraine Lévy (France, 2012).
Free – English Subtitles
Sunday June 16 (Jenkins Theatre – 2pm)

Joseph Silberg is turning 18 and prepares to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces when, during routine tests, his family discovers that his blood type is different from theirs. Further DNA tests demonstrate that Joseph is not their son.
An investigation conducted by the hospital where he was born concludes that Joseph and another baby were switched by mistake during a bombing attack. The other family involved is Palestinian.
Both families have to come to terms with the reality that they raised each other’s sons. In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this situation forces an identity crisis for all involved and a re-evaluation of beliefs and values that takes different forms for the fathers, the mothers and the young adults.

José Gordillo featured on MRU Face Time Magazine:

José Gordillo's exhibit at Mount Royal University library. More...