Dr. Avi Lifschitz

Avi Lifschitz

Core areas

My broad area of interest is the intellectual history of Europe in the long eighteenth century (c. 1680-1830). I am particularly interested in the links between Enlightenment anthropology, theology, and political theory. Another significant aspect of my research concerns translation and cross-cultural transfer, especially between France and Germany. I am also interested in the history of universities, royal academies, and exiled intellectuals in the eighteenth century.

I am Senior Lecturer in European History at University College London (UCL), and a member of the editorial boards of e-Enlightenment and German History. Previous research fellowships included the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2012/13) and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at UCLA (2007).


Project: The whole human being

This project examines Enlightenment discussions of human nature as a point of departure for a reassessment of public debates in eighteenth-century Germany. By highlighting the role played by anthropological theories in wider fields of inquiry (from theology to aesthetics), I hope to shed new light on the contours of the Aufklärung while situating it within a broader European context. Among the examined issues are human perfection (or completeness), animal instincts, civic education, and Jewish emancipation.

Selected publications


Please find further information here.