Dr Ruggero Sciuto

Dr Ruggero Sciuto, BA (Pisa) MPhil DPhil (Oxford)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Ruggero Sciuto is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and a fellow of St Edmund Hall. His research focuses on eighteenth-century French literature and culture, particularly the works of Denis Diderot, Paul Thiry d’Holbach, and Voltaire. He is currently finalising a monograph on the theory of determinism jointly advanced by Diderot and d’Holbach (to be published in the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment in 2023), while beginning to work on a second book to understand how d’Holbach’s authorial strategies affected the reception of his ideas. He is a collaborator on both the Oxford edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire and the Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori, and he is currently directing the Oxford critical edition of d’Holbach’s complete works (Digital d’Holbach). As part of Digital d’Holbach, which falls under the umbrella of a larger project (Digital Enlightenment) directed by Prof Nicholas Cronk and based at the Voltaire Foundation, he is currently working on editions of two key Enlightenment texts: the Lettres à Eugénie and Le Bon Sens.

Ruggero has a strong secondary interest in diplomatic history. His work on Franco-Italian diplomatic relations has appeared in premier journals, including the Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France and Archivio Storico Italiano, and his edition of the Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire, an unknown diplomatic manuscript by Voltaire, was published in 2020 in the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire. Since 2017, he has been directing with Dr Tracey Sowerby the TORCH Network on Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period, a platform for the study of early modern diplomacy that brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds. He has also edited with Dr Florian Kühnel a special issue of the International History Review on ‘Gender and Everyday Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period’ to be published in December 2022. 

Ruggero teaches undergraduate courses on Voltaire (paper X) and eighteenth-century French materialism (for students taking papers VII, VIII, and X) as well as a class on Diderot’s Salons as part of Prof. Jennifer Yee’s course on ‘Literature and the Visual Arts’. He also offers tutorials on various early modern French topics (papers VIII and X) and teaches one of the seminars of the M.St. in the European Enlightenment. 

 

Publications

Books:

R. Sciuto, Determinism and Enlightenment: The Collaboration of Diderot and d’Holbach (forthcoming in May 2023 in the Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment series, published by Liverpool University Press).

Volumes edited:

R. Sciuto and F. Kühnel (eds.), Gender and Everyday Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period, special issue of the International History Review (forthcoming in December 2022);

R. Sciuto (ed.), Volume 17 dell’Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori (Carteggi con Fabiani…Filicaja), Firenze: Olschki (in progress).

Articles and book chapters:

R. Sciuto, ‘Emilie Du Châtelet and the Three Leibnizian Versions of the Principle of Sufficient Reason’ (in progress); 

R. Sciuto, ‘Cui prodest? Pour une révision du concept de diplomatie culturelle’, in V. Martin and G. Montègre (eds), Négocier l’étranger. Une diplomatie de l’Europe moderne, Rome: Ecole Française de Rome (forthcoming);

R. Sciuto, ‘Ideas in Action: Franco Venturi’s Settecento’, in N. Cronk and E. Décultot (eds.), Inventions des Lumières/Inventions of Enlightenment (forthcoming in 2023);

R. Sciuto, ‘Bringing together the Essay and the Second Treatise: d’Holbach interpreter of Locke’ (forthcoming in Studi Lockiani in 2022);

R. Sciuto, ‘The Absent Guest: d’Holbach’s Strategic Use of Voltaire’s Texts’, in L. Nicolì (ed.), The Great Protector of Wits. Baron d’Holbach and his Time, Leiden: Brill, 2022, p.116-134; 

R. Sciuto, ‘Voltaire, l’Arioste, et le genre littéraire de La Pucelle’, Revue Voltaire, 21 (2022), p.147-162;

R. Sciuto, ‘The Correspondence(s) of Count and Countess Lorenzi: What was the Extent of an Early Modern Ambassadress’ Autonomy?’, published online on the International History Review on 6 April 2021;

R. Sciuto, ‘A ‘Reversible Figure Annotation System’ for the Born-Digital Critical Edition of d’Holbach’s Complete Works’, in Julia Nantke and Frederik Schlupkothen (eds.), Annotation in Scholarly Editions and Research: Function, Differentiation, Systematization, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020, p.371-387;

R. Sciuto, ‘Démarches secrètes de l’abbé Trublet pour devenir Immortel’, La Lettre clandestine, 28 (2020), p.241-253;

R. Sciuto, ‘Reti diplomatiche al servizio del progresso scientifico: Luigi Lorenzi e l’inoculazione antivaiolosa nella Toscana granducale’, Chroniques italiennes, 37 (2019), p.283-301;

R. Sciuto, ‘Voltaire et Johann Baptist Anton von Pergen : cinq lettres inédites’, Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France, 118 (2018), p.165-176;

R. Sciuto, ‘The duc de Richelieu, Voltaire, and Mme du Barry: an Unpublished Letter from the Cabinet noir (D18516a)’, Revue Voltaire, 17 (2017), p.309-314;

R. Sciuto, ‘The Correspondence of André Morellet: Seven Unpublished Letters to Luigi Lorenzi (1758-1765)’, Archivio Storico Italiano, 174 (2016), p.499-522;

R. Sciuto, ‘L’imbarazzo del Naturalista e del Metafisico: Voltaire e le implicazioni filosofiche di un esperimento condotto da Lazzaro Spallanzani sulla rigenerazione della testa delle lumache terrestri’, in Nel nome di Lazzaro. Saggi di storia della scienza e delle istituzioni scientifiche tra il XVII e il XVIII secolo, Bologna: Pendragon, 2014, p.245-258.

Texts edited (either digitally or in print):

Paul Thiry d’Holbach, Le Bon Sens, ou Idées naturelles opposées aux idées surnaturelles, ed. by R. Sciuto (in progress, scheduled to be published on the Digital Enlightenment online platform);

Paul Thiry d’Holbach, Lettres à Eugénie, ou Préservatif contre les préjugés, ed. by R. Sciuto (in progress, scheduled to be published on the Digital Enlightenment online platform);

Correspondence of Paul Thiry d’Holbach, ed. by R. Sciuto (in progress, scheduled to be published on the Digital Enlightenment online platform);

Voltaire, Continuation du même sujet; Que les philosophes ne peuvent jamais nuire, ed. by R. Sciuto, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 6B, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2020, p.391-421;

Voltaire, De Newton, ed. by R. Sciuto, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 6B, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2020, p.443-457;

Voltaire, Histoire de l’infini, ed. by R. Sciuto, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 6B, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2020, p.459-475;

Voltaire, Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire, ed. by R. Sciuto, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 29B, Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2020, p.427-478;

Voltaire, Dialogue entre un brahmane et un jésuite sur la nécessité et l’enchaînement des choses, ed. by R. Sciuto, February 2019;  

Voltaire, Réponse à Monsieur le Duc de Bouillon, ed. by R. Sciuto and C. Paillard, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 78B (Commentaire Historique sur les Œuvres de l’Auteur de La Henriade), Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2018, p.181-186;

C. M. de La Condamine, Les Quand adressés au Sr Palissot, ed. by R. Sciuto, in Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, vol. 51A (Writings of 1760), Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2015, p.407-422.

Databases and Research Tools:

R. Sciuto (in collaboration with Clovis Gladstone), Tout d’Holbach (a database that brings together fully searchable transcriptions of the vast majority of Paul Thiry d’Holbach’s works);

R. Sciuto, Paul Thiry d’Holbach: A Selected Bibliography, published on the Voltaire Foundation website in February 2021;

R. Sciuto, Metadata of the correspondence of Paul Thiry d’Holbach, Early Modern Letters Online, June 2019;

Contributed several entries to the EpistEur Database (Università di Padova).

Book reviews:

R. Sciuto, Review of Claude Buffier, Traité des premières vérités, ed. by Louis Rouquayrol, Paris: Vrin, 2020, published online in French Studies in April 2022; 

R. Sciuto, Review of Gerhardt Stenger et al. (eds.), Œuvres complètes d’Helvétius, t.III (Poésies, Recueil de notes, Correspondance), Paris: Honoré Champion, 2020, French Studies, 76, 1 (2022), p.118; 

R. Sciuto, Review of Charles T. Wolfe, Lire le matérialisme, Lyon: ENS éditions, 2020, French Studies, 75, 3 (2021), p.393-394;

R. Sciuto, Review of Jeroom Vercruysse, Bibliographie descriptive des imprimés du baron d’Holbach, Paris: Garnier, 2017, French Studies, 73, 1 (2019), p.118-119;

R. Sciuto, Review of Antonio Gurrado, La religione dominante: Voltaire e le implicazioni politiche della teocrazia ebraica, Catanzaro: Rubbettino, 2018, Revue Voltaire, 19 (2019), p.222-224;

R. Sciuto, Review of Fougeret de Monbron, Margot la ravaudeuse, edited and translated by E. Langille, Cambridge: The Modern Humanities Research Association, 2015, French Studies, 70, 4 (2016), p.599-600.

Encyclopedia entries:

R. Sciuto, ‘Baron d’Holbach’, in The Literary Encyclopedia, 14 April 2021. 

Other publications:

contributed four unpublished letters to the Edizione Nazionale delle Opere di Ruggiero Giuseppe Boscovich, Milan: 2008-;

contributed one unpublished letter to the Edizione Nazionale del Carteggio di Lodovico Antonio Muratori;

translated the articles ‘Gibel’, ‘Palerme’, and ‘Suffisante Raison. Principe de la Raison Suffisante’, for The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaborative Translation Project (University of Michigan);

contributed nine blog entries (‘Voltaire and the La Barre Affair’, ‘The Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire: a New Addition to the Œuvres complètes de Voltaire’, ‘A born-digital edition of Voltaire’s Dialogue entre un brahmane et un jésuite’, ‘Digital d’Holbach’, ‘Introducing Tout d’Holbach’, ‘Lettres philosophiques 4D – coming soon to libraries near you!’, ‘Annotation in Scholarly Editions and Research’, ‘For action! A bibliography of d’Holbach studies’, and ‘The princely progress of the human race: Guido Maria Brera’s new Candido’) to the Voltaire Foundation Blog.

 

Conference and seminar papers

Invited lectures:

St Edmund Hall Lunchtime Lectures, St Edmund Hall, Oxford, United Kingdom, 11 March 2022: ‘Digital d’Holbach: Understanding the Radical Enlightenment in an Age of Obscurantism’;

All Souls Seminars on Early Modern Intellectual History, All Souls, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4 May 2021: ‘Hiding between the lines: God, causation, and laws of nature in the works of the baron d’Holbach’;

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4 May 2020: ‘D’Holbach: The Many Faces of an Invisible Author’ (postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak);

Séminaire du Labex OBVIL, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France, 5 February 2020: ‘Reconstituer le réseau de correspondance du baron d’Holbach pour mieux comprendre les Lumières’;

USC Francophone Research & Resource Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, U.S.A., 16 January 2019: ‘The Christian Roots of d’Holbach’s Atheism’;

Forschungskolloquien “History of Women Philosophers and Scientists”, Paderborn, Germany, 27 June 2017: ‘Emilie Du Châtelet and the Three Leibnizian Versions of the Principle of Sufficient Reason’;

Besterman Enlightenment Workshop, Voltaire Foundation, Oxford, United Kingdom, 16 January 2017: ‘Diderot and d’Holbach on Causal Necessitation’;

Invited presentations:

Inventions of Enlightenment: The Emergence and use of the concepts of Lumières, Enlightenment, and Aufklärung between 1800 and 1980, Online conference organised by Nicholas Cronk (University of Oxford) and Elisabeth Décultot (University of Halle-Wittenberg), 18 and 25 October and 15 November 2021: ‘Ideas in Action: Venturi’ Settecento’;

La diplomatie des mobilités culturelles : Normes, pratiques et protagonistes (XVe – XIXe siècle), Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, 21-22 November 2019: ‘Diplomazia, mercato librario, e libera circolazione: Luigi Lorenzi e la creazione dell’identità europea’

Other presentations:

Digitising Enlightenment V — Vers l’interopérabilité des bases de textes, Montpellier, 6-8 July 2022: ‘Digital d’Holbach’;

Journées Voltaire, Paris, 9-10 June 2022: ‘Ame des bêtes, immortalité, matière pensante/matière pensante, âme des bêtes, immortalité: Voltaire jongleur philosophe’;

New Approaches to d’Holbach’s Système de la nature, Online conference organised with the technical support of the Maison Française d’Oxford, 14-15 March 2022: ‘Fighting or Reflecting the Light? Jacob Vernes’s Confidence philosophique’;

Errors in Early Modern Diplomacy, Online conference, 10-11 November 2021: ‘Drafting and Correcting a Diplomatic Text: Voltaire’s and François de Bussy’s Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire’;

Networking Archives Colloquium, Oxford, 14-15 September 2020: ‘Intimacy and frequency of contact in concentric multimedia ego networks: the epistolary and social networks of Paul Thiry d’Holbach’;

15th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Edinburgh, 14-19 July 2019: ‘Diplomatic Correspondences at the Crossroads of Local and Supranational Enlightenment’;

15th International Conference of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Edinburgh, 14-19 July 2019: ‘Towards a born-digital edition of d’Holbach’s complete works: Challenges and opportunities’;

Pensées secrètes des académiciens : Fontenelle et ses confrères, Paris (France), 27-29 June 2019: ‘L’académicien Trublet témoin de la vie intellectuelle de son temps: sa correspondance avec Luigi Lorenzi’;

The great protector of wits. D’Holbach 1789-2019, Göttingen (Germany), 9-11 May 2019: ‘Towards a born-digital critical edition of d’Holbach’s complete works’ (with Nicholas Cronk);

The great protector of wits. D’Holbach 1789-2019, Göttingen (Germany), 9-11 May 2019: ‘The Absent Guest: D’Holbach’s Strategic Use of Voltaire’s Texts’;

TORCH Network on Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period (1400-1800), Oxford, 6 November 2018: ‘Diplomatic Networks and the Progress of Scientific Knowledge: Luigi Lorenzi and the Diffusion of the Practice of Smallpox Inoculation in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany’;

Diplomacy and Gender in the Early Modern World (1400-1800), Oxford, 11-12 June 2018: ‘Mr and Mrs Lorenzi: One or Two Correspondences?’;

La Diplomatie des lettres au XVIIIe siècle – Joint Conference of the Société Française d’Etude du Dix-Huitième Siècle and the Società Italiana di Studi sul Secolo XVIII, Paris, 7-9 December 2017: ‘Luigi Lorenzi e Charles Marie de La Condamine: analisi di un carteggio (1755-1765)’;

Interim Conference of the Society for Italian Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, 29-30 April 2016: ‘Ambasciatori e ministri residenti nella Repubblica delle Lettere: il caso Lorenzi (1705-1766)’;

Oxford French Graduate Seminar, All Souls College, Oxford, 26 April 2016: ‘Does Madness Represent a Threat in a Deterministic Universe? Diderot and d’Holbach Answer’;

45th Annual Conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, 7 January 2016: ‘A New Work by Voltaire: the Représentation aux Etats de l’Empire’;

Emilie du Châtelet Study Day, Ertegun House, Oxford, 14 May 2015: ‘The Principle of Sufficient Reason, Emilie du Châtelet and… an anonymous Encyclopédiste’;

Early Modern French Seminar: Graduate Research Showcase, Maison Française d’Oxford, Oxford, 19 February 2015: ‘Causation in Eighteenth-Century France (How-to)’;

Enlightenment Correspondences Network, Ertegun House, Oxford, 29 January 2015: ‘The La Condamine-Lorenzi Correspondence and other Unpublished Letters found in the National Archives in Florence’;

44th Annual Conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, 8 January 2015: ‘Universalism and Particularism in d’Holbach’s Système de la Nature’;

Book launch of Nel nome di Lazzaro. Saggi di storia della scienza e delle istituzioni scientifiche tra il XVII e il XVIII secolo, Bologna: Pendragon, 2014, Scandiano (Reggio Emilia), 28 November 2014: ‘Voltaire e Lazzaro Spallanzani: nuove direttive di ricerca’;

Post-Graduate Training Programme in Italian Studies, School of Advanced Studies, London, 29 November 2013: ‘On the permeability of both the categories of Antiquity and Modernity in Leopardi’s thought’.

 

Conferences and events organised

Conferences organised:

New Approaches to d’Holbach’s Système de la nature, Oxford, Maison Française d’Oxford, 14-15 March 2022;

Errors in Early Modern Diplomacy, Virtual conference organised with Dr Tracey Sowerby, 10-11 November 2021;

Diplomacy and Gender in the Early Modern World (1400-1800), Oxford, Radcliffe Humanities Building, 11-12 June 2018.

Seminars organised:

Leverhulme Seminars on the Enlightenment, November 2020-present;

TORCH Network on Diplomacy in the Early Modern Period (1400-1800), July 2017-present (convener, then co-convener with Dr Tracey Sowerby). 

Panels organised:

Celebrating the completion of the Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire (1968-2021) and the beginning of new digital scholarly edition of Voltaire and d’Holbach, 50th BSECS Annual Conference, Online conference, 6-8 January 2021.

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