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Reason. Power. Vision. Joseph II and the short reign of The Age of Enlightenment

Josephinum Lecture & Symposium on 6/7 November 2019
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(Vienna, 30 October 2019) Since the start of his exclusive reign in 1780, Joseph II (1741‐1790) made visionary and radical reforms, which were to have a lasting impact upon his kingdom.   On 6 and 7 November, in advance of the 230th anniversary of his death, the Josephinum is holding a conference dedicated to the josephinian project of a scheduled "revolution from above" in the context of European Enlightenment. The many different consequences of this project are still relevant today.  On 7 November 1785, Emperor Joseph II opened the Josephinum as an Academy for military doctors and surgeons and his wide-reaching medical establishments still dominate the city of Vienna today.

The Josephinum Lecture on 6 November in the Austrian National Library is being given by American historian Pieter Judson from the European University Institute in Florence. In his work about the Habsburg monarchy, which appeared in 2017, Judson created a new narrative of a successful state of modern character. He is talking on: "Repositioning the legacies of Joseph II: radical changes from above, radical opportunities from below." In her keynote speech, author and filmmaker Monika Czernin outlines the Emperor's travels and the huge influence they had upon his thinking and his programme of reforms.

The second day, in the Van Swieten Hall of MedUni Vienna, is dedicated to the ruler's character and his various reforms in the fields of politics, religion, science, music and art. In the afternoon, the focus will be on his achievements in healthcare policy and the development of the Josephinum – from its foundation right through to the immediate future.
The talks given by international experts will be followed by a panel debate entitled "Sissi, Franz-Joseph & Maria Theresa – Why is Joseph II not included among the Habsburg superstars?". "To mark the upcoming anniversary of his death," says Josephinum Director Christiane Druml, "we want to commemorate the man that was Josephs II and present his life and legacy in a new light, at an international event."     

If you would like to attend either or both of these events, please register at: Both events are free.

Event: Josephinum Lecture & Symposium on 6/7 November 2019
Wednesday, 6 November 2019, 17:00 hrs
Venue: Austrian National Library
Josefsplatz 1, 1010 Vienna
Thursday, 7 November 2019, 9:15 hrs
Venue: Medical University of Vienna, Van Swieten Hall
Van-Swieten-Gasse 1a, 1090 Vienna