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Dan Edelstein

William H. Bonsall Professor in French and Professor, by courtesy, of History

Bio
Born in Ithaca, NY, I moved to Geneva, Switzerland when I was eleven. After attending the Collège Calvin, I studied French literature at the University of Geneva; I then returned to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2004. I joined the Department of French and Italian at Stanford that same year.

I work for the most part on eighteenth-century France, with research interests at the crossroads of literature, history, political theory, and digital humanities (DH). I've published two books, one on French revolutionary Terror, the other on the Enlightenment, both with the University of Chicago. I've also edited or co-edited three volumes of essays: one on "Myth and Modernity" (co-edited, Yale French Studies); the second on "The Super-Enlightenment" (Voltaire Foundation, at Oxford University); and the third on "Scripting Revolution" ( co-edited with Keith Baker, Stanford University Press). I'm a co-PI for the "Mapping the Republic of Letters" project, and the founding faculty director of the "Humanities + Design" research lab at CESTA.

I'm currently at work on two book projects: a history of early-modern rights ("The Spirit of the Rights"); and a comparative history of revolutions ("On Permanent Revolution"). I also continue to work on a variety of DH projects.

I regularly teach courses on the literature, philosophy, culture, and politics of the Enlightenment; nineteenth-century French novels; the French Revolution; early-modern political thought; French intellectual culture (“Coffee & Cigarettes”); liberal education ("Education as Self-Fashioning"); and historical networks ("Networks: Ecological, Revolutionary, and Digital").
Academic Appointments: 
Professor, French and Italian
Professor (By courtesy), History
Administrative Appointments: 
Chair, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL) (2015 - 2018)
Director, Department of French and Italian (2013 - 2014)
Director, Stanford Summer Humanities Institute (2011 - Present)
Honors and Awards: 
Digital Humanities Implementation Grant ("Networks in History"), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) (2013-2015)
W. Warren Shelden University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University (2013)
Faculty College, Stanford University (2011-2012)
Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award, School of Humanities and Sciences (2011)
National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, Fellow, Teagle Foundation (2010-2012)
“Digging into Data” Challenge Grant (“Digging Into the Enlightenment”), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) (2010-2011)
Oscar Kenshur Book Prize, Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University/ASECS (2010)
Fellowship at a Digital Humanities Center (ARTFL project), University of Chicago/National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) (2009-2010)
William H. and Frances Green Faculty Fellow, School of Humanities and Sciences (2009-2010)
William Koren, Jr. Prize (honorable mention), Society for French Historical Studies (2009)
Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities Grant, Stanford University (2008-2011)
Stanford Humanities Center Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center (2008-2009)
Walter J. Gores Award, highest award for excellence in teaching, Stanford University (2006)
Naomi Schor Prize, Nineteenth-Century French Studies Association (2003)
Fulbright Fellowship, Université Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle (2002-2003)
Professional Organizations: 
Residential Fellow, Humanities House (2015 - Present)
Breadth Governance Board, Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) (2013 - Present)
Faculty Senate, Stanford University (2013 - 2015)
Faculty Director, Humanities + Design research lab, CESTA (2013 - 2014)
Faculty Advisory Committee, Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies (SPCS) (2012 - Present)
Faculty Oversight Committee, Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) (2012 - 2014)
Undergraduate Advisory Council (UGAC), Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) (2012 - 2014)
Selection Committee, Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship (2012 - 2013)
Academic Council Committee on Libraries (C-LIB), Stanford University (2011 - 2014)
Search Committee (Academic Technology Specialist), Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) (2011 - 2012)
Search Committee (Digital Humanities), Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) & Department of English (2011 - 2012)
Steering Committee, Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) Program, Stanford University (2011 - 2012)
Executive Committee, Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) (2010 - Present)
Executive Committee, The Europe Center, FSI/School of H&S (2010 - Present)
Chair of undergraduate studies, French, Department of French and Italian (2010 - 2014)
Chair, Undergraduate Affairs Committee, Division of Literature, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) (2010 - 2014)
Director of undergraduate studies, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages (DLCL) (2010 - 2014)
Humanities Curriculum Committee, School of H&S, Stanford University (2010 - 2014)
Search Committee (Francophonie), Department of French & Italian (2010 - 2011)
Subcommittee on Breadth, Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford (SUES) (2010 - 2011)
Executive Committee, France-Stanford Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (2009 - 2014)
Editor, Republics of Letters (journal) (2008 - Present)
Planning and Personnel Committee, Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages (DLCL) (2006 - 2007)
Steering Committee, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (2006 - 2007)
Academic Advisor, Undergraduate Advising Program, Stanford University (2004 - 2006)
Education: 
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, French (2004)
Licence ès Lettres, Université de Genève, French, English, Latin (1999)
Research & Scholarship
Current Research Interests: 
My current research lies in the fields of intellectual history, political thought, and digital humanities (DH). I'm writing a book that explores the history of rights from the Wars of Religion to the Age of Revolutions ("The Spirit of the Rights"); a second book on the history and theory of permanent revolution ("On Permanent Revolution"); and I continue to work on a number of DH projects, including Mapping the Republic of Letters (for which I am a co-PI), and Writing Rights, a study of the drafts and debates leading up to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
Projects: 
On Permanent Revolution
Title: 
On Permanent Revolution
Detail: 

This book-length project explores how revolution went from being the means toward a constitutional settlement, to becoming an end in and of itself. Stretching from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, it focuses in particular on the transformation of revolutionary authority during the French Revolution; on Marx's development of the concept of a "revolution in permanence"; and finally on the relation between this new model and the political violence that has often accompanied revolutions. An article from this project appeared in French Historical Studies; another is forthcoming in The Scaffold of Sovereignty, ed. Zvi Ben-Dor, Stefanos Geroulanos, and Nicole Jerr (Columbia University Press).

Location

France, Russia, Germany

The Spirit of the Rights
Title: 
The Spirit of the Rights
Detail: 

This book project considers the impact that French Enlightenment authors had on the discourses of natural right theory, and how their innovations paved the way for the revolutionary declarations at the end of the century. While focusing mostly on French "rights talk," I also compare it with the language and logic found in the American state declarations, as well as with the later formulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. An early version of this research ("Enlightenment Rights Talk") recently appeared in the Journal of Modern History; a more recent piece is forthcoming in Humanity ("Is There a 'Modern' Natural Law Theory? Notes on the History of Human Rights")

Location

France, England, United States

Digital Humanities
Title: 
Digital Humanities
Detail: 

I'm a PI on the NEH-funded digital humanities project "Mapping the Republic of Letters." This project, which brings together other scholars at Stanford and around the world, aims to map the correspondence and social networks of major intellectual figures. A series of articles based on this project is under review at the American Historical Review; a spin-off article, "The French Enlightenment Network," is forthcoming in the Journal of Modern History (co-written with Maria Comsa, Melanie Conroy, Chloe Edmondson, and Claude Willan). The tool-building part of this project has now been subsumed in the Humanities + Design Research Lab, of which I am the founding faculty director; we received another NEH grant to develop Palladio. This Lab is itself part of Stanford's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis, or CESTA. More recently, I have been working on the project "Writing Rights," and published an article exploring the potential of JSTOR's data portal for exploring the "great unread" of scholarship. I was also the faculty advisor for Stanford's French Revolution Digital Archive (frda.stanford.edu), and collaborate regularly with the ARTFL project at the University of Chicago.

Location

Stanford, CA

Teaching
Courses Taught: 
Academic Year: 
2016-17
Courses: 
CAPITALS: How Cities Shape Cultures, States, and People
COMPLIT 100, DLCL 100, FRENCH 175, GERMAN 175, HISTORY 206E, ILAC 175, ITALIAN 175 (Win)
Digital Humanities
DLCL 225 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Independent Study Courses: 
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189B (Win)
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189C (Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 399 (Aut, Spr, Sum)
Language Specials
FRENLANG 199 (Spr)
Academic Year: 
2015-16
Independent Study Courses: 
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189B (Win)
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189C (Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 399 (Aut, Spr, Sum)
Language Specials
FRENLANG 199 (Spr)
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Independent Study Courses: 
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189B (Win)
Honors Thesis Seminar
DLCL 189C (Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 199 (Aut, Win, Spr)
Individual Work
FRENCH 399 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 199 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Individual Work
ITALIAN 399 (Aut, Spr, Sum)
Language Specials
FRENLANG 199 (Spr)
Advisees: 
Postdoctoral Advisees: 
Publications
The French Enlightenment Network JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY Comsa, M. T., Conroy, M., Edelstein, D., Edmondson, C. S., Willan, C. 2016; 88 (3): 495-534

View details for DOI 10.1086/687927

View details for Web of Science ID 000383012300001

The Enlightenment: A Genealogy Edelstein, D. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2010
The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution Edelstein, D. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2010
The Super-Enlightenment: Daring To Know Too Much Edelstein, D. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation. 2010
INTELLECTUAL HISTORY AND DIGITAL HUMANITIES MODERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY Edelstein, D. 2016; 13 (1): 237-246
Enlightenment Rights Talk JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY Edelstein, D. 2014; 86 (3): 530-565

View details for DOI 10.1086/676691

View details for Web of Science ID 000341513400002

To Quote or not to Quote: Citation Strategies in the Encyclopedie JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF IDEAS Edelstein, D., Morrissey, R., Roe, G. 2013; 74 (2): 213-236
THE CLASSICAL TURN IN ENLIGHTENMENT STUDIES MODERN INTELLECTUAL HISTORY Edelstein, D. 2012; 9 (1): 61-71
Do We Want a Revolution without Revolution? Reflections on Political Authority FRENCH HISTORICAL STUDIES Edelstein, D. 2012; 35 (2): 269-289
A Response to Jonathan Israel Self-Evident Truths? Human Rights and the Enlightenment Edelstein, D. edited by Tunstall, K. London: Bloomsbury Press. 2012
How is Innovation Taught? On Liberal Education and the Knowledge Economy Liberal Education 96 Edelstein, D. 2010
Iphigenia and the iPhone Inside Higher Ed Edelstein, D. 2009
The Birth of Ideology from the Spirit of Myth: Georges Sorel among the Idéologues The Re- Enchantement of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age edited by Landy, J., Saler, M., Edelstein, D. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2009
Humanism, l’Esprit Philosophique, and the Encyclopédie Republics of Letters Edelstein, D. 2009
War and terror: The law of nations from Grotius to the French revolution FRENCH HISTORICAL STUDIES Edelstein, D. 2008; 31 (2): 229-262
Hostis Humani Generis: Devils, Natural Right, Terror, and the French Revolution Telos: A Quarterly Journal of Critical Thought Edelstein, D. 2007; 141
Hyperborean Atlantis: Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Madame Blavatsky, and the Nazi Myth Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture Edelstein, D. 2006; 35
Between Myth and History: Michelet, Lévi-Strauss, Barthes, and the Structural Analysis of Myth Clio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History Edelstein, D. 2004; 32 (4)
Moving Through the Looking-Glass: Deleuzian Reflections on the Series in Mallarmé L’Esprit Créateur Edelstein, D. 2000; 40 (3)