Thomas Dodman

Assistant Professor of French

Columbia University

I am a historian of modern France and its empire, with a broad training in cultural and intellectual history. My research has led from original interests in labor history, political economy and Marxist thought to the history of medicine, war, and colonialism. My first book, What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire, and the Time of a Deadly Emotion (Chicago, 2017) explores how people once died of nostalgia in order to tell a larger story about social transformation in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A work of archival research, the book develops a theory of practice as a way of grounding the history of changing concepts and emotions. I am currently coediting a multi-volume Histoire de la guerre for the Editions du Seuil and researching the extraordinary “family romance” of a French revolutionary-era citizen-soldier based on his correspondence. With this last project, tentatively titled When Emile Went to War, I wish to explore what the history of fantasies and emotions can do for a renewed interest in micro-history in our global age.

I am associate editor at Emotion Review and serve on the editorial boards of Critical Historical Studies and Sensibilités. I was a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2016-17, and have previously held fellowships from the Library of Congress, the Huntington and Newberry libraries, as well as the Marie Curie program among others. Before moving to Columbia I taught at Boston College, George Mason University, and Sciences Po in Paris. I teach CC in the Core, modern French, Mediterranean, and intellectual history, as well as thematic courses on the interdisciplinary study of emotions, war, and utopian thought.

BA University College London, 2001; MA University College London, 2002; PhD University of Chicago, 2011