Participant Info

First Name
Julia M
Last Name
Utah State University
Website URL
Early Modern, Eighteenth-Century, Europe, France, Atlantic, Vast Early America, Childhood & Youth, Gender, Digital Humanities, Pedagogy
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Julia M Gossard is Assistant Professor of History and Distinguished Assistant Professor of Honors Education at Utah State University. Julia studies the history of childhood, youth, and gender in the eighteenth-century French world. Her research and teaching interests fit well within the #VastEarlyAmerican field.

Dr. Gossard’s book manuscript, Coercing Children: State-Building and Social Reform in the Eighteenth-Century French World  (under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press) considers children as active agents of social reform, state-building, and imperialism in Europe, North America (Canada & Louisiana), the Ottoman Empire, and Siam.  The actions of children, both young women and men, had profound impacts on the trajectory and success of imperial projects and grassroots social reform programs.

Dr. Gossard is currently researching her second project on the history of inculcation, childhood experience, and propaganda in revolutionary France.  This second project, “Little Republicans: Inculcation and Youth Experience in Revolutionary France,” is a manuscript-length project.

As a way to bridge her research and teaching, Dr. Gossard strives to include a “wider early modern world” perspective in all of her classes, whether Western Civilization, Comparative Revolutions, or gender courses. The most exciting course Dr. Gossard has has taught in recent years is “Revolution!: Reacting to Atlantic Revolutions.” This course employs Reacting to the Past as method to study Atlantic revolutions through a comparative framework.  While assigned a revolutionary character, students study the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions. In addition to analyzing primary sources, students learn important skills about civics and how to be “good” citizens.  In Summer 2018, Dr. Gossard also used this pedagogy in her Comparative Atlantic Revolutions Teachers’ Workshop, “Revolution, Representation, Propaganda: Discovering Democracy in the 18th-Century Atlantic.

Her work has been published in the Journal of the History of Childhood & Youth, Age of Revolutions, The Junto, the American Historical Association’s “Teaching with #DigHist” series, Notches, Not Even Past, and 15 Minute History. I’ve also appeared on the BBC 4 Radio Show, “When Greeks Flew Kites” to discuss the long history of childhood agency.

Follow me on Twitter or my personal website.

Recent Publications

Book Manuscript (under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2019)

Coercing Children: State-Building and Social Reform in the 18th-Century French World

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

2018 “Breaking a Child’s Will: Eighteenth-Century Parisian Juvenile Detention Centers,” French Historical Studies (accepted 2018; forthcoming publication)

2017  “Tattletales: Childhood & Authority in Early Modern France,” Journal of the Society of Childhood & Youth (Vol. 10, No. 2, Spring 2017, pp.169-187)

  • Honorable Mention, Neil Sutherland Article Prize, History of Children and Youth Group of the Canadian Historical Association

2011  “The Crown’s Catholic Subjects: Lyon’s Écoles de Charité and the French State, 1660-1689,” The Journal of the Western Society for French History, Vol. 39 (2011)

Book Chapters

2018 “Education and Work in Early Modern Europe,” A Cultural History of Youth (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2019) Invited author

Public History Pieces

2018  Twitter Conferences: To Do or Not To Do?,” The Junto, posted May 24, 2018.

2018  Why We Doubt Capable Children: Constructing Childhood in the Revolutionary Era,” The Junto, posted April 17, 2018.

2018  Teaching the Early Modern Penis-Vagina,Notches, posted March 2018. Peer-Reviewed.

2018  Food in the West: Using TimelineJS in the Classroom,” AHA Today’s Teaching with #DigHist, posted March 2018.

2018  Episode 103, “French Child Ambassadors in the East,” 15 Minute History, Feb 2018

2017  Mapping the Early Modern World: Using Google Maps in the Classroom,” AHA Today’s Teaching with #DigHist, posted October 2017.

2017  Child Gangs and Motherly Duty at the Onset of Revolution,” Age of Revolutions, posted August 2017. Peer-reviewed.

2017  Prix de Moralité: The Inculcation of Young French Citizens,” Age of Revolutions, posted June 19, 2017.  Peer-reviewed.

2017 Episode 96, “Louis XIV’s Absolutism and the ‘Affair of the Poisons,’” 15 Minute History, September 13, 2017.

2014  Ten Things to Remember During Your Research Year,Not Even Past, June 5, 2014.

2013  Women’s Bodies and Political Agendas: UT Gender Symposium,” co-authored with Shaherzad Ahmadi, Not Even Past, September 16, 2013.

2013  Review: State of Virginity: Gender, Religion, and Politics in an Early Modern Catholic State,Not Even Past, February 17, 2013.

2013  Les Misérables: A Historian’s Review,” The Alcalde, January 16, 2013.

2013 Review: Sarah’s Key,Not Even Past, September 7, 2011.

2011   Death and Decadence: Vatel,” Not Even Past, May 9, 2011.

2010   Review: A Tale of Two Murders: Passion and Power in Seventeenth-Century France,” Not Even Past, October 2010.


Media Coverage
Radio: BBC 4 "When Greeks Flew Kites" (March 2018) (; Utah Public Radio, "Access Utah" (May 2018) (
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, Caribbean, England, France, United Kingdom, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
American Revolution, Children & Youth, Colonialism, Family, Gender, Pedagogy, Public History, Rebellion & Revolution, Sexuality, Women