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").