Dan Edelstein

Professor of French and History

Stanford University

Daniel Edelstein works for the most part on eighteenth-century France, with research interests at the crossroads of literature, history, political theory, and digital humanities. His first book, The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (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. Edelstein's second book, entitled The Enlightenment: A Genealogy (University of Chicago Press, 2010), explores how the idea and narrative of "Enlightenment" emerged in French academic circles around the 1720's. He has also edited two volumes of essays, one for Yale French Studies, on Myth and Modernity, the other for SVEC (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century) on The Super-Enlightenment; a third volume, which I'm co-editing with Keither Baker on Scripting Revolution, is currently under review. In addition, I’ve published articles on such topics as the Encyclopédie (here and here) antiquarianism, Orientalism, the Idéologues, revolutionary authority, and structuralism, as well as on writers including Jean-Sylvain Bailly, Balzac, Roland Barthes, Lévi-Strauss, Michelet, Mallarmé, Georges Sorel, Emmerich de Vattel, and Voltaire.

Edelstein is a founding editor of the journal Republics of Letters, and with J.P. Daughton, he co-directs the French Culture Workshop.