Programs > Academic Programs

Academic Seminars


Curiosity, Cosmopolitanism and Improvement: Motivations and Mentalities in the Late Eighteenth-Century Empire of Humanity


Amanda Bowie Moniz

(Cassius Marcellus Clay Postdoctoral Fellow in History, Yale University)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.
Class of '47 Room, Homer Babbidge Library
University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

PRÉCIS: This paper will delve into the mindsets of eighteenth-century American and British humanitarian activists. Over the century, the charitable infrastructures of Anglophone Atlantic cities grew ever larger and more tightly interrelated, and philanthropists overcame long-standing obstacles to succoring suffering strangers near and far. What made these developments possible was an outlook fostered by living in geographically and socially mobile societies. Leaders of the "empire of humanity" approached the world with a great curiosity, a willingness to cross borders, an attentiveness to what they saw in new places, and a belief in their improving power, traits that were crucial to bolstering their growing confidence in universal benevolence.

Directions: Parking is available in the UConn South Parking Garage for a fee. The Class of '47 Room is on the main floor of the Homer Babbidge Library. The rear entrance to the library (from the terrace) opens to a small alcove; the Class of '47 Room straight ahead and Bookworms Café is around the corner to your left.


The Class of '47 Room will open at 4:00 p.m. for a reception preceding the seminar. Afterwards, the group will go out for a dutch-treat dinner at a nearby restaurant. Please indicate your plans, especially if you wish to stay for dinner, by emailing nancy.comarella[at]

Reservations are suggested (and deeply appreciated) for attending the seminar. Reservations are required to attend the supper.