The Jesuits and (Anti)-Colonialism: Voltaire's Candide and the Representation of Missionaries

When and Where

Friday, November 11, 2022 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
MW 329
U of T Scarborough Campus


This event is particularly aimed at undergraduate and graduate students. To make the most out of the event, please prepare by reading or refreshing your memory of Voltaire’s Candide and its treatment of the Jesuits.

Organizer: Sébastien Drouin

This roundtable is dedicated to Voltaire’s famous novel Candide. Published in 1759, in the midst of the Seven Years War, Candide is a ferocious satire of Europeans’ barbaric customs. The principal character of the novel travels the world. In his trips, he witnesses the disastrous consequences of European countries’ imperialism on Indigenous peoples from South America as well as the cruelty of slavery. Voltaire also depicts the Jesuits missionaries’ actions on many occasions. Our discussion will enable us to have a close reading of this masterpiece with anticolonial lens in an anticlerical (and anti-Jesuits) perspective.

Sébastien Drouin, PhD., is Associate Professor in the Department of French at the University of Toronto. He specializes on eighteenth-century French literature, Libertinage, Early Modern clandestine literature, Allegorical interpretation, Journalism and Intellectual Networks, Literature and Religion, Literature and Fine Arts.



Jackman Humanities Institute