Office: Herter 627
Telephone: (413) 545-1330
Fax: (413) 545-6137
Degree: Ph.D., University of Chicago (1990). MSL, Yale Law School (2003). B.A. Columbia University (1983).
Fields of interest: European history, comparative law
Citizens Without Sovereignty (Princeton University Press, 1994) is assigned in many graduate seminars and cited in textbooks as a contribution to the debate about the origins of the French Revolution (see e.g., Paul R. Hanson, Contesting the French Revolution, 2009; p. 16).
Candide (Bedford Saint Martins, 1999) has sold 45,000 copies and is widely assigned in undergraduate survey courses on European history.
As a history professor, taught the department's first Integrative Experience course. Developed (with Bruce Laurie) the first historiography seminar for all first year grad students (the template for this course was used for several years by other instructors). Developed expertise in U.S. Constitutional History and took on courses formerly taught by Milton Cantor (retired), while continuing to offer courses in my original specialty, European history.
As a journal editor, helped bring Historical Reflections to a higher level of recognition by moving the journal to a new publisher (Berghahn) and getting the journal onto JSTOR. I have also personally edited the writing of hundreds of scholars.
As associate dean in honors, led the design team of the required freshmen seminar, 291A, Ideas that Changed the World, which has become the only "core" Gen Ed course at UMass Amherst other than College Writing and has been rated very highly by students since its inception in 2010. Assisted the dean with strategic planning and implementation, especially in curricular mattters, yielding higher standards and higher student satisfaction.
As director of BDIC (2008-2011), brought new blood into the organization and revivified BDIC fundraising; established student advisory board; co-founded the annual national conference for leaders of individualized major programs.
As co-director of the Entrepreneurship Initiative, helped this organization, originally housed in BDIC under my directorship, develop to the point where it became mature enough to move into ISOM.
Professor of history and associate dean of the Commonwealth Honors College.
Cooeditor of the journal Historical Reflections.
Postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford (1989-91).
Assistant professor of History and of History and Literature at Harvard (1991-1995).
Came to UMass Amherst in 1995.
Two visiting appointments since1995: visiting associate professor Stanford (1998-99), visiting professor at the Collège de France (2002).
Primary Academic Interests:
The history of political and legal ideas, from the Enlightenment to the present. Course offerings include Western Thought, U.S. Constitutional History, Ideas that Changed hHstory, and Comparative Law.
I also have an interest in interdisciplinary education for undergraduates. I was director of the Bachelor's Degree with Individual concentration program from 2008 to 2011. I have promoted integrative thinking, leadership, and entrepreneurship inside the history department and in programs like BDIC, Commonwealth Honors College, and General Education.
Citizens Without Sovereignty,(book, Princeton University Press, 1994).
Editor of Postmodernism and the Enlightenment (Routledge, 2001).
"The Theater of Terror: The Jacobin Execution in Comparative and Theoretical Perspective," Historical Reflections (Summer, 2003)
Articles in the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (Oxford UP, 2003) on "Citizenship," "Ernst Cassirer," "Sociability," and other topics.
Editor (with Michael Kwass) of Money in the Enlightenment, a special volume of Historical Reflections (Summer, 2005).
"Raymon Aron on Secular Religion and Communism," Journal of Classical Sociology (2011).
"Unmasking and Disclosure as Sociological Practices: Contrasting Modes for Understanding Religious and Other Beliefs," Journal of Sociology (December, 2012). Co-authored with Peter Baehr.
"From the Headscarf to the Burqa: The Role of Social Theorists in Shaping Laws on the Veil," Economy and Society (May, 2013). co-authored with Peter Baehr.
"Research for Whom?" (A history of the concept of academic research from 1820 to the present.) To appear in Knowledge for Whom? ed. Andreas Hess and Christian Fleck (Ashgate, 2013).
"Raynal and the Colonial Public Sphere," to appear in Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (2013).
I have written editorials for the History News Service and for The Public Humanist.
Numerous review essays for History and Theory, including "Is Tocqueville Defunct?" (vol. 43, 2004).
- Honors 291a Ideas that Changed the World (required honors freshmen seminar; I led the design team of this course and also taught it when it began in fall 2010)
- History 100 Western Thought to 1600
- History 101 Western Thought from 1600
- History 394CI Ideas that Changed History (the first Integrative Experience course in history)
- History 375 U.S. Constitutional History since 1865
- BDIC 397A Intro to Entrepreneurship (2008-2011, with Robert H. Hyers, Robert Lowry, and Paul Silva)