Past Lectures & Conferences

The Lewis Walpole Library at ISECS Congress 2019, Edinburgh

The Lewis Walpole Library is delighted to support the ISECS Congress 2019, being held Sunday, July 14 through Friday, July 19 in Edinburgh. The Library is sponsoring the grand reception and two panels. Look for us also at the Publishers’ Showcase in McEwan Hall where we will have a table along with Yale University Press who will be featuring the publications from the Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History. See you in Edinburgh!

The Grand Receptionlink to catalog record

Monday, July 15, 6:30 PM to 8 PM

All congress attendees are invited to the Grand Reception in the stunning Grand Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the university. Doors open at 6 pm and wine and canapes will be served to the accompaniment of traditional Scottish pipers. 


Conference Programme

Session 5, Panel 133 - Gothic Horrors, Catholic link to catalog recordUndertones, and Political Caricature: Archival Riches of the Lewis Walpole Library

Tuesday, July 16, 10 - 11:45 am

Room G.07 Meadows Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School

Chair: Stephen Clarke (University of Liverpool)
Dale Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University) Catholicism and the early Gothic Revival
Misty Anderson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Staging The Mysterious Mother
Elizabeth Denlinger (Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and his Circle, New York Public Library) The Half-Extinguished Light: Looking to Gothic Art to Illuminate Frankenstein
Claire Grogan (Bishop’s University) The Challenges of Political Caricature: Identifying the women in Contrasted Opinions of Paine’s Pamphlet (May 26 1791)

Session 15, Panel 476 Visual and Literary Topography

Friday, July 19,  2 - 3:45 pm

Room 2.14, Appleton TowerCastle on a hill

Chair: Cynthia Roman (The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University)
Dana Arnold (Art History, Art History and World Art Studies, The University of East Anglia) “Through a Glass Darkly:” the Visual and Verbal Topographies of a Sensory Aesthetic
Stephen Bending (Director, Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Director MA Programmes, English Department, University of Southampton) Walpole’s Pleasures: Topography and
fantasy at Strawberry Hill
Matthew Sangster (Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Material Culture, University of Glasgow) Collaborative Versions of the British Metropolis
Jennifer Johnson (Junior Research Fellow, St John’s College, Oxford) William Gilpin’s Picturesque Composition and Twentieth-Century Abstraction


2019: Twenty-Fourth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

by Caroline Winterer

Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, and

Director, Stanford Humanities Center

The American Enlightenment is often viewed as a singular era bursting with new ideas as the U.S. sought to assert itself in a new republic free of the British monarchy. In this talk, Stanford historian Caroline Winterer shows how the myth and romanticization of an American Enlightenment was invented during the Cold War to calm fears of totalitarianism overseas. She’ll then look behind the 20th-century mythology, rescuing a “real” eighteenth-century American Enlightenment that is far different than the one we usually imagine.

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019, 5:30 PM

Location: Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall, 1080 Chapel St., New Haven 


Caroline Winterer is Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Stanford Humanities Center. She is an American historian, with special expertise in American thought and culture. Her most recent book is American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale, 2016). Winterer’s other books include The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 (2007) and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910 (2002). 

For mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin she received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution; an article about the project appeared in Smithsonian Magazine(Dec. 2013). She has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Spencer Foundation, among others. She has published peer-reviewed articles in the American Historical Review, Journal of American History, William and Mary Quarterly, American Quarterly, Journal of the Early Republic, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Modern Intellectual History. Winterer has also curated two exhibits of rare books and artifacts: Ancient Rome & America at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia (2010) and also The American Enlightenment at the Stanford Library (2011). 

Image: Thomas Rowlandson after G.M. Woodward, Iohn Bull Making Observations on the Comet, 1807


Horace Walpole’s The Mysterious Mother: A Mini-conference 
Thursday, May 3, 2018
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
The Yale Center for British Art
1080 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
Organized by Jill Campbell, Professor of English, Yale University
Cynthia Roman, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
Session 1, 10:15 am—12:15 pm: Reading The Mysterious Mother

Chair: Jill Campbell

Dale Townshend, Professor of Gothic Literature, Manchester Metropolitan University, “The Mystery of The Mysterious Mother: Textual Lives and Afterlives”

Matthew Reeve, Associate Professor, Art History, Queen’s University, “The Mysterious Mother and Crypto-Catholicism in the Circle of Horace Walpole”

Nicole Garret, Lecturer, Department of English, SUNY Stony Brook, “Mis-reading in The Mysterious Mother

Cheryl Nixon, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston, ”The Mysterious Orphan: Dramatizing the Betrayal of the Child”

 Nicole Wright, Assistant Professor of English, University of Colorado, Boulder, “ ‘Kindest Laws’: Intimate Adjudication in The Mysterious Mother


Session II, 2—4 pm:    Staging The Mysterious Mother

Chair: Misty Anderson, Lindsay Young Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of Theater and Religious Studies, University of Tennessee

Marcie Frank, Professor of English, Concordia University, ”Wilful Walpole: Performing Publication and The Mysterious Mother” 

Jean Marsden, Professor of English, University of Connecticut, ”Family Dramas:  The Mysterious Mother and the Eighteenth-Century Incest Play”

Al Coppola, Associate Professor of English, John Jay College, CUNY, “Spectacles of Science and Superstition”

Judith Hawley, Professor of English, Royal Holloway, University of London, “’the beautiful negligence of a gentleman’: Horace Walpole and Amateur Theatricals”

David Worrall, Professor Emeritus, Nottingham Trent University, “ ‘I beg you would keep it under lock and key:’ the Mystery of the 1821 Mysterious Mother performances”

A Literary Walpole Weekend

November 9 - November 11, 2017

As part of our celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary this fall, the Library hosted a mini-conference on Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto”. Organized by Jonathan Kramnick, LWL Faculty Director and Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale, the program consisted of short paper presentations by panelists led by a moderator followed by lively discussion with an audience of other panelists, faculty, and graduate students.

The mini-conference was video-recorded, and the recordings are available on the Yale Youtube channel: Morning and Afternoon.

list of participants 


  • Jonathan Kramnick, Yale University


  • Joseph Roach, Yale University
  • Ruth Yeazell , Yale University 

Invited Panelists:

  • John Bender, Stanford University
  • Sophie Gee, Princeton University
  • Sarah Kareem, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Wendy Ann Lee, New York University 
  • Sandra Macpherson, Ohio State University
  • Jesse Marti Molesworth, Indiana University Bloomington
  • Sean Silver, University of Michigan
  • Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University
  • Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
  • Eugenia Zuroski, McMaster University

Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century

Friday, February 9 - Saturday, February 10

The Graduate Club, New Haven

Publicity image for the "Global Encounters and the Arcives" conference with conference title, dates, and location in white text on a teal background with a detail of the western hemisphere from an 18th century map  As part of the Lewis Walpole Library’s celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary and the 100th anniversary of W.S. Lewis’s Yale class of 1918, the library is working with Steve Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History, Yale University, to organize a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday, February 9 and 10, 2018, to consider how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in archival and special collections at the Lewis Walpole Library and beyond. Planned thematic sessions include “What is Empire?,” “Conceptualizing Political Economy,” “Slavery,” “Indigenous Peoples,” “Diplomacy,” and “Material Culture.” This conference is organized in association with the exhibition, Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire during the Age of Horace Walpole

The conference will be held at The Graduate Club, 155 Elm Street, New Haven Connecticut 06511. For directions to the club and parking information, please see their website

Register for this event 


Lecture: Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Age of Horace Walpole

Wednesday November 1, 2017
7:00 PM until 9:00 PM

Lewis Walpole Library

Justin Brooks, Doctoral Candidate in History, Yale University, will speak on the the Lewis Walpole Library’s exhibition “Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Age of Horace Walpole.” The exhibition, which looks at aspects of the global British Empire in the long eighteenth century, takes full advantage of the diverse range of archival resources held by the Library and which Mr. Brooks co-curated, including manuscripts, printed texts, graphic images, and objects. Interrelated themes include political economy, diplomacy, indigeneity, and slavery. The talk, exhibition, and other related programs celebrate the broad pre-disciplinary collecting activities of Horace Walpole (1717-1797) and W.S. Lewis (1895-1979) and will explore how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in the Library’s archival collections. Mr. Brooks’s talk is offered as part of a year’s worth of events celebrating the 300th anniversary of Horace Walpole’s birth.

This Lewis Walpole Library lecture is held in partnership with the Farmington Libraries.

Space is limited. Registration required: .

Lecture: The Many Lives of Horace Walpole

"Horace Walpole Youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford" in 49 3582

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 5:30 pm

Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall

1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510

George E. Haggerty, Distinguished Professor and Chair 

Department of English, University of California, Riverside 

In his charming biography of Horace Walpole, R.W. Ketton-Cremer makes the point that “one of the difficulties which confront a biographer of Walpole is his remarkable versatility.  He was active in many fields—in politics, social life, literature, architecture, antiquarianism, printing, virtú; and it is not easy to include them all in the compass of a single volume.”  George Haggerty, who is currently writing a new biography of Horace Walpole, will take up this challenge in his lecture with and through Walpole’s letters. Haggerty asserts that Walpole writes himself into his experience by means of his epistolary imagination. 

Professor Haggerty’s talk will be streamed live from the Yale Center for British Art at:

Evening Public Talk: “The Land without Music: Satirizing Song in Eighteenth Century England” by Amy Dunagin

Thursday, May 18th, 7pm

The Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main St. Farmington CT 06032

Evening public talk by Amy Dunagin, Postdoctoral Associate, European Studies Council, Yale University, and Managing Editor, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and curator of the exhibition “The Land without Music: Satirizing Song in Eighteenth-Century England” at the Lewis Walpole Library. The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries.

Talk with Edward Koren

Edward Koren
Cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Edward Koren’s iconic images record the comedy of manners in society and politics that have captured his attention for decades. In this talk, he will reflect on his career as a New Yorker artist, and on the many and diverse influences that have contributed to the development of his thinking and drawing.  

“In my cartoon drawings, I like getting things right… What captures my attention is all the human theater around me. I can never quite believe my luck in stumbling upon riveting minidramas taking place within earshot (and eyeshot), a comedy of manners that seem inexhaustible. And to be always undercover makes my practice of deep noticing more delicious. I can take in all the details as long as I appear inattentive – false moustache and dark glasses in place. All kinds of wonderful moments of comedy happen right under my nose…”
On Cartooning, by Edward Koren

The art of observational satire: a conversation with Rachel Brownstein and Edward Koren

Moderated by Cynthia Roman

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Room 38-39
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511

Edward Koren, a long-time cartoonist for The New Yorker, and Rachel Brownstein, a literary scholar, will reflect on the enduring tradition of social satire.

Public Talk: Eating People

Rachel Brownstein
Professor Emerita, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Offered in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries. 

Past Lewis Walpole Library Lectures

2018: Twenty-third Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

2018 23rd Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Pride, Prejudice and Portraits: The Rice Portrait of Jane Austen

Claudia L. Johnson, Murray Professor of English Literature, Princeton University

April 4, 2018

2016: Twenty-second Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Mr. Boswell Goes to Corsica: Charismatic Authority in the Age of Democratic Revolutions

David A. Bell, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor, Department of History, Princeton University

October 6, 2016

2014: Twenty-first Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Offensive Vulgarity in an Age of Enlightenment

Steve Bell, principal editorial cartoonist for The Guardian

Thursday, October 23, 2014

2013: Twentieth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

The Ladies Library: Or, Benjamin Franklin’s Sister’s Books

Jill Lepore, David Woods Kemper ‘41 Professor of American History, Harvard University

November 8, 2013

2012: Nineteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Robert Burns and Scottish Independence

Robert Crawford, Professor of Modern Scottish Literature, University of St. Andrews

September 20, 2012

2011: Eighteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Family Life Makes Tories of Us All”: Love and Power at Home in Georgian England

Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History, Queen Mary, University of London

October 21, 2011

2010: Seventeenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Romantic Science

Richard Holmes

Author of The Age of Wonder

October 29, 2010

2009: Sixteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Visualizing Religious Difference: Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World (1723-1737)

Lynn Hunt

Eugen Weber Professor of History, UCLA

May 8, 2009

2008: Fifteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Feeling Free in the Enlightenment: Diderot versus Rousseau, or, Philosophy versus Lived Experience

by Leo Damrosch

the Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature at Harvard University

April 18, 2008

2007: Fourteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Observation in the Enlightenment

by Lorraine Daston

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, and The University of Chicago

April 27, 2007

2006: Thirteenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Slander: The Art and Politics of Slinging Mud, Paris and London, 1770-1795

by Robert Darnton

Shelby Cullom Davis ‘30 Professor of European History, Princeton University

April 7, 2006

2005: Twelfth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Thomas Paine and the Intellectual Underpinnings of American Democracy

by Joyce Appleby

Professor Emerita of History, UCLA

April 22, 2005

2004: Eleventh Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

‘The Faithless Column and the Crumbling Bust’: Alexander Pope and Sculptural Portraiture

by Malcolm Baker

Professorial Research Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and Professor, Art History and The History of Collecting, University of Southern California

April 23, 2004

2003: Tenth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Mr. Handel Puts on an Opera

by Nicholas McGegan

Music Director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco

April 8, 2003

2002: Ninth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Love and Madness in Eighteenth-Century Britain

by John Brewer

John and Marion Sullivan University Professor, The University of Chicago

March 1, 2002

Country House weekend held in conjunction with the Lecture

March 1-3, 2002, Farmington

2001: Eighth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Et in Arcadia ego: The Eighteenth Century of the 1920s

by Terry Castle

Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University

February 16, 2001

1999: Lectures

Origins of the Gothic Revival Revisited

by Michael McCarthy

Professor of the History of Art, University College Dublin

October 20, 1999

Some Thoughts on Hogarth’s Jew: Issues in Current Hogarth Scholarship

by Ronald Paulson

Professor of English, The Johns Hopkins University

October 19, 1999

1999: Seventh Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Britain and Islam, 1650-1750: Different Perspectives on Difference

by Linda Colley

Leverhulme Research Professor of History, London School of Economics

October 15, 1999

1998: Sixth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Exposures: Sex, Privacy and Sensibility

by Patricia Meyer Spacks

Edgar F. Shannon Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature, The University of Virginia

April 9, 1998

1997: Fifth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Walpole’s Hogarth

by David Bindman

Professor of the History of Art, University College London

February 5, 1997

1995: Fourth Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Horace Walpole’s Gout: The Politics of Physic

by Roy Porter

Professor, The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine

April 5, 1995

1994: Third Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Tombs That Tell Tales: the Romance Revival and Modern Nationalism

by Marilyn Butler

Rector, Exeter College, Oxford University

March 24, 1994

1993: Second Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

Sexualities in Eighteenth-Century England

by Lawrence Stone

Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Princeton University

April 15, 1993

1992: First Lewis Walpole Library Lecture

The Scourge of the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Carlyle

by Noel Annan

author of Our Age: English Intellectuals between the World Wars

April 8, 1992