Dan Edelstein

Dan Edelstein, PhD

Professor of French and Italian
Professor, by Courtesy, of History
Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center

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.

Edelstein's research was featured in The Europe Center January 2018 Newsletter.

Other Affiliations

Department of French and Italian