Participant Info

First Name
Christine
Last Name
Adams
Affiliation
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Website URL
http://www.smcm.edu/directory/faculty-profile/christine-adams/
Keywords
French, European, family, gender, sexuality, politics, the politics of reproduction, the culture of fashion and beauty
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

I received my PhD at Johns Hopkins University in January 1993 in French History; my areas of expertise are family history (my first book was the history of a family in eighteenth-century France); gender history (my second book examined maternal societies in nineteenth-century France). My book with Tracy Adams, The Creation of the French Royal Mistress: From Agnès Sorel to Madame Du Barry is due out with Pennsylvania State University press in early 2020. My next project will be a political and cultural history of the Merveilleuses, a group of French women under the Directory (1794-99). I am especially interested in their impact and function in the historical imaginary of scholars of the French Revolution; the fixation on these women’s beauty, style, and sexuality has obscured their political and cultural significance. I plan to highlight how disparagement of women’s sexuality and influence continues to fascinate, but also serves as shorthand for conservative critiques of social and political change.

I also write op-eds on topics that link historical insights with current events, especially with regard to the politics of reproduction, women, and sexuality.

I work at a small liberal arts colleges, and teach a wide range of courses (European history from the Middle Ages to the present),  which allows me to consider past and current events in a broad historical context.

Recent Publications

Opinion pieces (since 2014):

“Will the Judiciary Bow to Trump?” The Baltimore Sun, October 9, 2019 (print edition October 10, 2019), https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-1010-conservative-justices-20191009-fu7qevs6yvfinik4sfcv3fgoey-story.html

“Is America Headed towards a Second Revolution?” The Baltimore Sun, July 15, 2019 (print edition July 15, 2019), https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/op-ed/bs-ed-op-0715-republican-revolution-20190715-spyozrzp2fedlfb35c62spnqyi-story.html

“What’s Wrong with the ‘Constitutional Republic’ Defense,” The Baltimore Sun, November 28, 2018 (print edition November 29, 2018), https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-1129-constitutional-republic-20181128-story.html

“What Else Does the GOP Want?” The Baltimore Sun, July 8, 2018 (print edition, July 9, 2018), http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0709-end-game-20180706-story.html

“Why President Trump Resembles a Pre-Revolution French Monarch,” The Washington Post, March 22, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/03/22/why-president-trump-resembles-a-pre-revolution-french-monarch/?utm_term=.861c73ae3b6e

“Tyranny Does Not Arrive in One Fell Swoop,” The Baltimore Sun, September 3, 2017 (print edition, September 4, 2017), http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0904-historical-actors-20170831-story.html

“America Hates Older Women,” The Baltimore Sun, January 11, 2017 (print edition, January 12, 2017), http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-older-women-hate-20170111-story.html

“Let the Past Inform our Understanding of the Present,” Education Week, December 14, 2015, http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/op_education/2015/12/let_the_past_inform_our_unders.html

“Justice Kennedy’s Misperception of Marriage,” The Baltimore Sun, May 8, 2015 (print edition, May 11, 2015), http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-marriage-definition-20150510-story.html?fb_action_ids=582430455562&fb_action_types=og.shares

“The Supreme Court Has Decided That Women’s Rights Aren’t Human Rights,” Rewire, posted July 2, 2014. https://rewire.news/article/2014/07/02/supreme-court-decided-womens-rights-arent-human-rights/

Books:

The Creation of the French Royal Mistress, with Tracy Adams (in press, Pennsylvania State University Press)

Co-editor, with Tracy Adams, and contributing author, Female Beauty Systems: Beauty as Social Capital in Western Europe and the United States, Middle Ages to the Present (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015)

Poverty, Charity and Motherhood:  Maternal Societies in Nineteenth-Century France (University of Illinois Press, 2010)

A Taste for Comfort and Status: A Bourgeois Family in Eighteenth-Century France (Penn State Press, 2000)

Peer-reviewed articles (since 2014):

“The Gallic Singularity and the Royal Mistress,” for a special edition of French Politics, Culture & Society, in press

“The Cultural Implications of Performance,” Arts and International Affairs 2:1 (Winter 2017): 83-91

“Mistresses and Merveilleuses: The Historiographical Record on Female Political Players of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” Medieval Feminist Forum 51:2 (2015): 95-103

“‘Belle comme le jour’:  Beauty, Power, and the King’s Mistress,” French History 29:1 (2015): 1-21

“‘Venus of the Capitol’:  Madame Tallien and the Politics of Beauty Under the Directory,” French Historical Studies, 37: 4 (Fall 2014): 599-629

Media Coverage
See opinion pieces listed above; I write occasional op-eds, especially for the Baltimore Sun.
Country Focus
France
Expertise by Geography
France
Expertise by Chronology
Early Modern, Modern
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Politics, Sexuality, Women