Fabrique des Identités dans les "Génies" de l'Europe (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles)

Fabrique des Identités dans les "Génies" de l'Europe (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles) - FIGéE

The Making of Identities in the "Geniuses" of Europe (17th-18th centuries)

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[in progress] 2020-2022
Junior Laboratory


There are probably few ideas as problematic and old as that of "genius". Since the nineteenth century, this notion has been increasingly used to describe the exceptional individual, a meaning that is only recorded in the Dictionary of the Académie Française in 1835. Before that, in the belles-lettres of the 17th and 18th centuries, the idea of "genius" was still dependent on the Latin genius and ingenium. It can in fact be understood in three ways: in accordance with genius, genius can refer to a god, a spirit or a demon who watches over a person or who "presides over certain places"; in the line of ingenium, it can mean either the disposition, the character of an individual or of a language, or the talent of a person. It is on these last two meanings that our project focuses mainly, but the question of the supernatural will occasionally enlighten our discussions.

Creation Date

October 2020

Closure Date


Project Leaders

Sache GRANGEAN,Maxime JEBAR, Madeleine SAVART and Élisabeth VUILLEMIN