Dan Edelstein earned his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and came to Stanford in 2004. He is William H. Bonsall Professor of French, chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, and director of the Summer Humanities Institute. Dan's research is focused on eighteenth-century France, with interests at the crossroads of literature, history, political theory, and digital humanities. His most recent book manuscript, On the Spirit of Rights, concerns the history of natural and human rights from the wars of religion to the age of revolution (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2018). Currently, Dan's two main projects are On Permanent Revolution and Digital Humanities.
On Permanent Revolution, a 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.
More recently, he has 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. He was also the faculty advisor for Stanford's French Revolution Digital Archive (FRDA), and collaborates regularly with the Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language (ARTFL). At Stanford, Dan teaches courses on the literature, philosophy, culture, and politics of the Enlightenment; nineteenth-century novels; the French Revolution; early-modern political thought; and French intellectual culture (“Coffee & Cigarettes”).