Research, Teaching, Writing
Rebecca L. Spang
I am a historian first, a specialist in a particular field only secondarily. Throughout my career, my more or less conscious goal has been to produce high quality work that cuts across and sometimes challenges distinctions based on field, discipline, and even genre.
As a critic of the obvious, I am drawn to subjects (mis)understood as natural, normal, or universal. In other words, I am a historian of that which appears to have no history. My first book asked, “Why are there restaurants?”—a question previously and wrongly answered in terms of natural human appetites or extraordinary national characters—while my second focuses on the long French Revolution to explore what money is and how it functions. I am now at work on a new book tentatively entitled The Money of the Poor.
Some Recent Writing
In Public and in the News
Teaching and Graduate Supervision
Recent Undergraduate Classes
Money and History -- Business and Inequality (syllabus) -- Luxury, from Mortal Sin to Market Sector (syllabus) -- Business Models and Higher Ed (syllabus) -- Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Cultures of Knowledge -- French Revolution and Napoleon -- Revolutionary Europe -- Modern France
French Revolution -- Past and Future in Nineteenth-Century Europe -- History and Psychoanalysis -- Introduction to Eighteenth-Century Studies -- Introduction to the Professional Study of History
Hannah Malcolm (current student)
Alex Tipei (Assistant Professor, Université de Montréal), "For Our Civilization and Yours: Greece, Romania, and the Making of French Universalism," IU PhD 2016.
Elizabeth A. Nelson (Assistant Professor, Medical Humanities, IUPUI), "Timeknots: Madness, Psychiatry, and History in France, c. 1900," IU PhD 2015.
Jennifer Sovde (Assistant Professor, SUNY-Canton), "Education and Regulation of Child Performers in Third Republic France," IU PhD 2014.
Michael Anklin (Instructor, Academia International School, Switzerland), “Legitimizing Violence vs. Violating Legitimacy: Power, Military Masculinity, and Force in French Vietnam,” IU PhD 2013.
Robert Priest (Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway-University of London), “Great Men and Holy Lands: The Life and Times of Ernest Renan’s Vie de Jésus,” M.A, UCL, 2006.
Thomas Dodman, (Assistant Professor, Columbia University), “Rendez-vous à l’Ouest? Imperial Russia and the Western World,” M.A., UCL, 2002.
Ralph Kingston (Associate Professor, Auburn University), “Office Politics: Bureaucracy and Bourgeois Types in post-Revolutionary France,” PhD, University of London, 2002.