Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Division of International, Comparative and Area Studies The Europe Center Stanford University


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Dan Edelstein, PhD   Download vCard
Associate Professor of French; Europe Center Affiliated Faculty

102 Pigott Hall
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 724-9881 (voice)

Dan Edelstein works primarily on eighteenth-century France, which also serves as a convenient launching pad for raids into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as the early modern period. His first book, The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), examines how liberal natural right theories, classical republicanism, and the myth of the golden age became fused in eighteenth-century political culture, only to emerge as a violent ideology during the Terror. This book won the 2009 Oscar Kenshur Book Prize. He recently published a second book entitled The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), which explores how the idea of an Enlightenment emerged in French academic circles around the 1720's. He is currently working on two book projects: first, on the concept of "counter-mythologies" during the Enlightenment and in the aftermath of the French Revolution; and second, on the "myth of the Revolution."

With J.P. Daughton, Edelstein co-directs the French Culture Workshop at the Stanford Humanities Center, and with Paula Findlen, is a principal investigator for a project called "Mapping the Republic of Letters," which received a three-year Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities grant, and a "Digging into Data" grant from the NEH (read more about the project).He is a founding editor of Republics of Letters, where he also contributes to the Editors' blog.

Other affiliations
Department of French and Italian

News around the web

Project shows early social networks
A project led by Stanford researchers made gains in documenting the extensive social networks, similar to today’s online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, that existed as long ago as 1500. "This was a project that did not evolve out of an interest in using technology or doing things with the digital humanities in the first place," said Dan Edelstein, associate professor of French and Italian and the project's principal researcher.
November 14, 2011 in The Stanford Daily

New social media? Same old, same old, say Stanford experts
Social networks have been key to almost all revolutions – from 1789 to the Arab Spring. Dan Edelstein, an associate professor of French and the principal investigator for the project, will be teaching a course in the spring called Social Animals, Social Revolutions and Social Networks.
November 2, 2011 in Stanford University News

Lost in the Middle
Who knows? Maybe if we build it, they will come. Dan Edelstein is assistant professor of French at Stanford University.
January 21, 2011 in Inside Higher Ed

5 Minutes with Dan Edelstein
If you have any suggestions for interviewees or any specific questions you'd like to see asked, leave a comment or shoot an email to
January 6, 2011 in Stanford Review (blog)

Digitally Mapping the Republic of Letters
As the historian Dan Edelstein explains in the video above, he and his colleagues have used today's digital technology to reconstruct the ...
November 16, 2010 in New York Times (blog)

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