2020 Lecture – Enlightenment, Gender and Race: Personal Reflections on Leading Issues in Masonic Studies

Prof. Cécile Révauger


Besides Freemasonry, her research are devoted to the Lumières and the historiography of the Lumières as well as to the history of the English-speaking Caribbean, from the time of plantation companies to the abolition of slavery.

Her research on the eighteenth incited her to examine Freemasonry, born in the age of Enlightenment. Cécile Révauger focused therefore on a largely unexplored area by the university community. She at first met a certain distrust from Anglo-Saxon Grand Lodges that demonstrated reserves regarding the public character of her work.

Révauger gained a Fulbright scholarship from the Franco-American Commission, which enabled her to conduct research in the libraries of large American lodges in Boston, Washington DC and Cedar Rapids. She thus had access to the most extensive collections of Masonic archives of the United States and, thanks to the quality and quantity of information considered, she wrote a State thesis entitled: La franc-maçonnerie en Grande–Bretagne et aux États-Unis au XVIIIe : 1717-1813 (“Freemasonry in Britain and the United States in the eighteenth. 1717-1813”), supported at the University of Bordeaux III in 1987. By gaining a second search scholarship, she worked on the archives of Prince Hall lodges in New York and Washington DC and wrote a book on Black Freemasonry in the United States published in 2012: Prince Hall au XVIIIe aux États-Unis – Noirs et Franc-Maçons.

Révauger writes in collaboration numerous articles on Masonic subjects and several anthologies. She completed a common work started in collaboration with historian and author Charles Porset before his disappearance: Le Monde maçonnique des Lumières. Europe-Amériques et Colonies, Dictionnaire biographique de franc-maçons du siècle des Lumières.

Lecture summary

The lecture features Cécile Révauger of the University of Bordeaux (Montaigne) in France. She shares the major themes from her long and active career as an expert on the history of Freemasonry in Europe and the Americas in a lecture titled “Enlightenment, Gender and Race: Personal Reflections on Leading Issues in Masonic Studies.

The poster of the lecture is available here.