Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Modern languages professor invited to speak at symposium celebrating Voltaire

April 21st, 2016
StFX Modern Languages professor Dr. Edward Langille, a renowned expert on the work of Voltaire, was an invited speaker and part of a group of international scholars who gathered at McGill University in Montreal last month for a one-day symposium “Celebrating Voltaire.”
McGill sponsored the symposium to celebrate its recent acquisition of J. Patrick Lee’s Voltaire Collection. Pat Lee, as he was known to friends and colleagues, was a pre-eminent American Voltaire scholar, an inspiring teacher and a gifted university administrator. He was also a discriminating bibliophile. At his death in 2006, his library held some 11,000 volumes and many manuscripts. Of these, McGill purchased 1,994 rare and important items, including 35 manuscripts in the hand of Voltaire, Madame du Châtelet, and others in Voltaire’s circle; there are 245 stand-alone editions of Candide, 39 of Zadig, 54 of the Dictionnaire philosophique, and 21 of La Henriade, as well as American imprints of Voltaire’s works, and volumes with notable American provenance.
 
The one-day event included a series of lectures presenting an overview of Voltaire’s life and career as well as a round table discussion on “Why does Voltaire matter in the 21st century?” 
 
Dr. Langille was recently appointed a director of the Voltaire Society of America, based in New York.
 
He was also recently named the Jules Léger Research Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at StFX. 
 

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