Paige E. Pendarvis

Ph.D. Student

B.A., History (with honors), University of Chicago (2016)

Advisor: Sophia Rosenfeld

I study modern European intellectual and cultural history, with a focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century France. At the broadest level, I am interested in the historical construction of norms and knowledge. Put differently, I am concerned with placing particular concepts, ideas, and ways of knowing in political and social context in order to situate them in relation to the social and political institutions from which they emerged and from where they were then deployed. I am also interested in the history of historical thinking, especially that of the early Annales School. My current project focuses on the Académie des sciences morales et politiques's usage of the concept "nature" in the aftermath of the 1848 Revolution. I hope to expand this project into a history of the concept of nature and its institutionalization in nineteenth- and early-twentieth century France, with a particular focus on the legacy of early modern notions of natural law and state of nature arguments.

Prior to Penn, I attended the University of Chicago, where I earned a B.A. with highest honors in History and a minor in Philosophy. My senior thesis, supervised by Jan Goldstein, explored the tension between the history and commemorations of the 1848 Revolution and French Second Republic during the second half of the nineteenth century. I examined the Baudinomanie that erupted in France in 1868 as a result of the republican opposition's excavation of the memory of Alphonse Baudin and his death during Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's 1851 coup d'état. I argued that Baudin gradually became the new model for the ideal republican citizen at a crucial period of transition from empire to republc. 

This year, I am serving as co-President of Clio, the history department's graduate student organization. I am happy to answer any queries from prospective graduate students about the department, Penn, and modern European history more broadly.

Research Interests: 

Modern Europe (1750-1945), particularly France; history of (political) concepts; the historical construction of norms; history of historical thinking; historical epistemology; history of the human sciences; intellectual and cultural history; social history of ideas; twentieth-century philosophy and political theory

Courses Taught: 

HIST 081: The History of the Modern Middle East Since 1800 (Fall 2018)