AP European History Students Re-Create Enlightenment Salon

On Thursday, December 1st, students in Dr. Gretchen Atwater’s AP European History class re-created an Enlightenment salon – a popular intellectual and social gathering where people of all social classes would discuss ideas. Each student portrayed a different historical figure and engaged in discussion on topics ranging from economics and government to women’s rights and deism.

Several students dressed for the role including Zach Levine (Empress Catherine the Great of Russia) and Maddie Drucker (Emperor Joseph II of Austria) while Dr. Atwater played the role of well-known salon hostess Madame Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin.   

Other historical figures portrayed by the students included:

* Denis Diderot:  Jonas Weinmann
*  Immanuel Kant:  Hannah Everett
*  Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu:  Sal D'Agostino
*  Jean-Jacques Rousseau:  Jonathan Hong
*  Adam Smith:  Zubin Pande
*  Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet):  Max Nussbaum
*  King Frederick the Great of Prussia:  Justin Benbassat

The AP European History course examines European history since 1450 and introduces students to major cultural, economic, political and social developments that have shaped modern Europe.


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