Teaching Resources

Educator Resources for Teaching Rousseau's Confessions in Wisconsin

Preparing for the Annual Student Conference

  • Project Proposal Formdue Monday, March 2, 2015!
  • Lunch Contest Instructions - due Wednesday, March 11, 2015!
  • Preparing for the Student Conference: PDF of PowerPoint presentation (coming soon)
  • Student Project Guidelines & Tips
  • Event Guide for Educators (draft)
  • Event Guide for Students (draft)

Instructor's Guide (complete PDF here )


Supplementary Resource - Visual Culture

Supplementary Resources - "Teaching Confessions in Wisconsin" Educator Colloquium

  • Devin M. Garofalo, "Confessions in Wisconsin on Twitter: Ideas for Your Teaching": handout
  • Theresa M. Kelley, "Rousseau on Rousseau: Writing the Self": PowerPoint from fall teacher colloquium
  • Theresa M. Kelley, "Rousseau on Rousseau: Writing the Self": handout from Rousseau's Confessions.
  • Theresa M. Kelley, "Rousseau on Rousseau: Writing the Self": handout with extracts from Augustine's Confessions, Montaigne's essays, and Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of InequalityJulie and Émile.
  • Theresa M. Kelley, "Rousseau on Rousseau: Writing the Self": passages for in-class disscussion.
  • Caroline Levine, "Slow Reading": handout
  • Suzanne Desan, "Society & Politics According to Rousseau": PowerPoint from fall teacher colloquium
  • John Zumbrunnen, "Rousseau on Self-Government and Self-Education": PowerPoint from spring teacher colloquium
  • Laini Kavaloski, "Confessions in Digital Media": Keynote Presentation (in PDF format)

Recommended Resources - Rousseau's Work

Rousseau, Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (1750), Letter on French Music [excerpt] (1753),  Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754). Excerpt from the Discourse on Inequality. The Social Contract (1762). Excerpt from The Social Contract. "Creed of a Savoyard Vicar," from Emile (1762), Essay on the Origin of Languages [excerpt] (1781),  "Fourth Walk," Reveries of the Solitary Walker. (1782).

Rousseau Association. Useful content, numerous links. French/English.

Leo Damrosch, Ch 12 ("Beginnings of Fame") and 21 ("In a Strange Land"), from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.


Recommended Resources - Primers on the Politics and Philosophy

Christopher Bertram, "Jean-Jacques Rousseau." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Ed. Edward Zalta. Winter 2012.

Maurice Cranston, "Introduction" Discourse on Inequality. Penguin, 1984.

Nicholas Dent on "The Second Discourse" (Discourse on Inequality) and "The Social Contract," from Rousseau. Routledge, 2005. 

Robert Darnton, "The Great Divide: Rousseau on the Route to Vincennes." George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century. Norton, 2003.


Rousseau's Readers

Robert Darnton, "Readers Respond to Rousseau." From The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History. 2009.

Lynn Hunt. "Torrents of Emotion: Reading Novels, Imagining Equality." Inventing Human Rights. 2007.

Carla Hesse, "Reading in extremis: Revolutionaries Respond to Rousseau." From Into Print: Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment. Ed. Charles Walton, 2011.


Recommended Resources - Historical Background and Context


Eighteenth Century Sources” All things 18thc: history, literature, art, politics. Focus on UK, but includes France, Europe. “Historical Text Archive: France.” Primary source documents from French history, politics, culture

Robert Darnton, "The Great Cat Massacre." The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. 1984. Rpr. 2009.

The Basics - Government, Society, Religion


Martin Fitzpatrick, "The Age of Louis XIV and Early Enlightenment in France." The Enlightenment World. Ed. Fitzpatrick, et al. Routledge, 2004.

Gail Bossenga, "Society," and David Bell, "Culture and Religion," both from Old Regime France, 1648-1789. Ed. William Doyle. Oxford UP, 2001.

Louis-Sebastién Mercier, Panorama of Paris: Selections from the Tableau de Paris. [Excerpts] Trans. Simpson and Popkin. Ed. Jeremy Popkin. Penn State UP, 1999.

David Garrioch, "The Poor You Have with You Always." The Making of Revolutionary Paris. UC Press, 1994.  

Rousseau, Enlightenment and Slavery

David Garrioch, "The Party of the Philosophes." The Enlightenment World. Ed. Fitzpatrick, et al. Routledge, 2004. 

The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert: A Collaborative Translation Project. (University of Michigan). In French: Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (ARTFL, University of Chicago). Both online, open access, searchable sites.  

Daniel Roche, "Salons." From France in the Enlightenment. Harvard UP, 1988.

Lloyd Spencer and Andrzej Krauze. Excerpts from Introducing the Enlightenment: A Graphic Guide. 2010. Part I, Part II.

Dorinda Outram, "When People are Property: The Problem of Slavery in the Enlightenment." The Enlightenment. 2nd Ed. Cambridge UP, 2005

Print Culture 

Carla Hesse, "Print Culture in the Enlightenment." The Enlightenment World. Eds. Martin Fitzpatrick, et al. Routledge, 2004.

Robert Darnton, "The News in Paris." From George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century. 2003. 


Recommended Resources - Autobiography

Ourida Mostefai. "Author as Celebrity and Outcast." From Approaches to Teaching Rousseau's Confessions and the Reveries. MLA, 2003.

Jean Starobinski, "The Problem of Autobiography." Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. Chicago UP, 1988.

Philippe Lejeune. “Rousseau and the Autobiographical Revolution.” Tallinn University, May 2011. Video.

Michel Foucault. "On Confession" [Excerpt] from History of Sexuality, Vol. 1. Trans. Robert Hurley. Vintage, 1990. 57-62.


Autobiography: Suggestions for Group and Classroom Activities, from Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide to Interpreting Life Narratives. Minnesota UP, 2010.


Recommended Resources - Gender, Family, Politics   


Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E. "The Female Life-Cycle," and "Women's Economic Role," from Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe. 3rd Ed. Cambridge UP, 2008.

Roseanne Kennedy, "Introduction," from Rousseau in Drag: Deconstructing Gender. New York: Palgrave, 2012. 

Adrienne Rogers, "Women and the Law." French Women and the Enlightenment. Ed. Samia Spencer. Indiana UP, 1994.

Dena Goodman, "The Enlightenment Salonnière. From Cultural History of the French Enlightenment. Cornell UP, 1994.

Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Woman. September 1791.

Marriage and Children

Christopher Kelly and Eve Grace. Excerpt from "Introduction" to Jean-Jacques Rousseau on Women, Love and Famiily. Ed. and Trans. Kelly and Grace, 2009. Scroll down to Book V: "Sophie, or Woman," for the section on women and women's education in Rousseau's Émile, or Education. 

Suzanne Desan, "Making and Breaking Marriage: An Overview of Old Regime Marriage as a Social Practice." Family, Gender and Law in Early Modern France. Penn State UP, 2009. 1-25.

Lieselotte Steinbrügge, "Introduction," The Moral Sex: Women's Nature in the French Enlightenment Oxford UP, 1995. 

Margaret Hunt, "The Foundling Homes." From Women in Eighteenth Century Europe. 2009.

Jacques Gélis, "The Child: From Anonymity to Individuality." From A History of Private Life, Vol. III. Belknap, 1989.  


Anna Clark, "Enlightening Desire: New Attitudes toward Sexuality in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries." Desire: A History of European Sexuality. Routledge, 2008.

Michel Rey, "Parisian Homosexuals Create a Lifestyle, 1700-1750: The Police Archives." 'Tis Nature's Fault: Unauthorized Sexuality during the Enlightenment. Ed. Robert MacCubbin. Cambridge UP, 1987.

Bryant T. Ragan Jr. "The Enlightenment Confronts Homosexuality." Homosexuality in Modern France. Eds. Jeffrey Merrick and Bryant T. Ragan Jr. Oxford UP, 1996. 8-30.


Recommended Resources - Music

Cynthia Verba, "Music in the Enlightenment." The Enlightenment World. Ed. Fitzpatrick, et al. Routledge, 2004.

Robert Wokler, "Rousseau, Rameau and Revolution." From Rousseau, Age of Enlightenment and Their Legacies. Ed. Bryan Garsten. 2012.


Recommended Resources - Food, Dress and A Revolution of Forks

Susan Pinkard, "Simplicity and Authenticity and "Recipes from the Early Modern French Kitchen." From A Revolution in Taste. 2009.

Jean-Louis Flandrin, excerpt from "Distinction through Taste." From A History of Private Life, Vol. III. Belknap, 1989.  

Peter McNeil, "The Appearance of Enlightenment." [On dress in the period]. The Enlightenment World. Ed. Fitzpatrick, et al. 2004.