Historian to Lecture at Yale on French Revolution

Sarah Maza, a professor of history from Northwestern University, will speak at Yale on September 25 about social class and the French Revolution.

An award-winning scholar and author, Maza is best known for her work on the social history of France, particularly relations of the classes in the 18th century.

She has written two books, “Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-Century France: The Uses of Loyalty” and “Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Celebres of Prerevolutionary France,” and is the author of countless articles, book chapters and essays. Her book reviews have appeared in a broad range of publications, from the Journal of Economic History and the American Historical Review to Art Bulletin and the New York Times Book Review.

Her talk on Monday, titled “The Social Imaginary of the French Revolution: The Problem of the Missing Bourgeoisie,” will explore a particular paradox of history. Although the French Revolution has been largely interpreted as a pivotal moment in the rise of the middle class, none of the players in the dramatic events following 1789 ever talked about a bourgeoisie. Maza’s lecture will consider “whether we can say that social classes existed in the past in situations where contemporaries failed to identify them.”

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4 p.m. in Room 211 of the Hall of Graduate Studies, 320 York Street.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345