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Standing Faculty

Alan Charles Kors

Henry Charles Lea Professor of History

Alan Charles KorsAlan Charles Kors (B.A., Princeton; M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard) specializes in European intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with a special teaching interest in the deep intellectual transformation of European thought, and a special research interest in the relationships between orthodox and heterodox thought in France after 1650. He has published several books and many articles on early-modern French intellectual history, and was editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 volumes, Oxford University Press, 2002). He regularly teaches, among other courses, History 415 (seventeenth-century European intellectual history); History 416 (eighteenth-century European intellectual history); and various seminars on the French Enlightenment, the history of classical liberalism, and the phenomenon of political disillusionment. He served for six years, after confirmation by the U.S. Senate, on the National Council for the Humanities, and he has received fellowships from the American Council for Learned Societies, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University . In 2003-2004, he was a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, lecturing around the country on early-modern intellectual history and on academic freedom. He has won the Lindback Award and the Ira Abrams Memorial Award for distinguished college teaching and several national awards for the defense of academic freedom. In 2005, at the White House, he received the National Humanities Medal, for, according to the citation, "his study of European intellectual thought and his dedication to the study of the humanities. A widely respected teacher, he is the champion of academic freedom." He has taught seminars at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes of the University of Paris and at the University of Leiden , and he gave the TB Davie Lecture on Academic Freedom at the University of Cape Town . He has served on the Board of Governors of The Historical Society and on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. In 2008, he was awarded the Bradley Prize.

Courses Taught (As Schedule Allows)

For current course listings, consult the Course Directory.

Atheisim in the Age of Enlightenment (PDF)

Academic Freedom (PDF)


The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700 Atheism in France, 1650-1759 Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment Anticipations of the Enlightenment in England, France, and Germany D'Holbach's Coterie: An Enlightenment in Paris