Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Bowdoin College
Website URL
18th century France, Enlightenment, Atlantic World, medicine, science, gender, masculinity, reputations, marriage, family
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of eighteenth-century France and an associate professor at Bowdoin College. I study the age of Enlightenment as a lived experience: what did people think it meant to live in an enlightened age, and did they put their ideals into practice?  With this fundamental question in mind, I have worked on topics ranging from marriage to material culture, education to inoculation, medicine to marvels.

I see the past as both foreign and familiar. I am particularly interested in how we have inherited eighteenth-century ideas about marriage, medicine, and expertise. I believe a better understanding of the connections between the past and the present can shed light on contemporary dilemmas such as the value of expertise, the role of women in public life, and the political of personal reputation.

Recent Publications

Sentimental Savants: Philosophical Families in Enlightenment France (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016)

Laclos’s Objects of Affection: Venerating the Family During the French Revolution, Eighteenth-Century Studies 51.3 (2018)

Learned and Loving: Representing Women Astronomers in Enlightenment France, Journal of Women’s History 29.1 (2017)


Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
France, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
18th century
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Medicine, Science, Women