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Lynn Hunt

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Lynn Hunt
Lynn Hunt portrait


L
ynn Hunt is one of North America's most respected historians. Pre-eminent among historians of the French Revolution, she is also known for her theoretical work in European cultural studies. Currently the Eugen Weber Professor of Modern European History at UCLA, Lynn Hunt has taught and lectured throughout the world, and many of her books have been translated into a dozen foreign languages.


Professor Hunt was educated at Carleton College (B.A. 1967) and Stanford University (M.A. 1968, Ph.D. 1973.) She held positions at UC/Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania before moving to UCLA in 1999. She was also a Visiting Professor in France at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes, at Beijing University, and at the Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam.

Her publications are numerous and impressive. First, she published her dissertation titled Revolution and Urban Politics in Provincial France: Troyes and Reims, 1786-1790 (Stanford University Press, 1978). Then Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution (UC Press, 1984). Her much acclaimed book The Family Romance of the French Revolution (UC Press, 1992) injected psychoanalytic thinking into the history of revolutionary politics, with surprising results.

Co-authored books titled Telling the Truth about History (Norton, 1994), The Challenge of the West (Heath and Houghton Mifflin, 1995), and The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2001) have allowed Professor Hunt to expand her range beyond France to the whole of Western civilization.

Edited volumes, such as The New Cultural History (UC Press, 1989), Eroticism and the Body Politic (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity (Zone Books, 1993), and Beyond the Cultural Turn: New Directions in the Study of Society and Culture (UC Press, 1999) have placed Professor Hunt at the forefront of cultural studies. She has provided an excellent body of work that explains the importance of this relatively new field to current scholarship, not only in history, but also in literary studies, anthropology, sociology, and economics.

In addition to the fifteen books she has authored, co-authored, or edited, she is also the author of around sixty articles and book chapters. While most of these focus on the French Revolution, several are directly concerned with issues of gender. Her 1989 articles "Masculin et féminin dans la révolution française" and "Forum: Beyond Roles, Beyond Spheres: Thinking about Gender in the Early Republic" (with Linda Kerber) helped bring gender politics into the heated debate occasioned by the bicentennial of the French Revolution. Elsewhere she has used the French Revolution as a springboard to explore human rights, as well as the rights of women.

Professor Hunt's accomplishments have been recognized by her peers in numerous ways. Among her many honors, she was given an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Carleton College and was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, both in 1991.

 


Text by Marilyn Yalom,
Stanford University ©2002.



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