Sarah Maza Jane Long Professor in the Arts and Sciences and Professor of History

Sarah Maza (Ph.D., Princeton, 1978), Jane Long Professor in the Arts and Sciences, specializes in the history of France from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, with a focus on social, cultural and intellectual history. Most of her work concerns “the social imaginary,” the ways in which people in the past have understood, experienced and represented social identities, particularly class identities. She has published Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-Century France: The Uses of Loyalty (Princeton University Press, 1983), Private Lives and Public Affairs: the Causes Célèbres of Pre-Revolutionary France (University of California Press, 1993), which won the David Pinkney Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie: An Essay on the Social Imaginary, 1750-1850 (Harvard University Press, 2003) winner of the George Mosse Prize of the American Historical Association, and Violette Nozière: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris (University of California Press, 2011) singled out as an “editor’s choice” by the New York Times Book Review.  She also works on issues of theory and methodology, has published articles on cultural history, history and literature, and interdisciplinarity, and coedited the Blackwell Companion to Western Historical Thought (2002). Her most recent book, an introduction to the discipline entitled Thinking About History, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2017.  Maza’s research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.

Affiliated Programs

Since 2012, Maza has directed Northwestern’s Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies

Recent Publications

Books

  • Thinking About History, University of Chicago Press, 2017 (forthcoming).
  • Violette Nozière: A Story of Murder in 1930s Paris, University of California Press, 2011.
  • The Myth of the French Bourgeoisie: An Essay on the Social Imaginary, Harvard University Press, 2003 ed., with Lloyd Kramer, A Companion to Western Historical Thought, Blackwell, 2002.
  • Private Lives and Public Affairs: The Causes Célèbres of Pre-Revolutionary France, University of California Press, 1993.
  • Servants and Masters in Eighteenth-Century France: The Uses of Loyalty, Princeton University Press, 1983.

Representative Articles

  • “The Bastard Child of a Noble House:  Détective and Middle-Class Culture in Interwar France,” in Charles Walton, ed., Into Print: Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment (Penn State Press, 2011), 32-49.
  • “Interdisciplinarity: (Why) is it still an issue?” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 2006:12, 3-17.
  • “Stephen Greenblatt, New Historicism, and Cultural History or What we Talk about When we Talk about Interdisciplinarity” Modern Intellectual History 1 (2004): 249-265.
  • "Luxury, Morality, and Social Change: Why there Was no Middle-Class Consciousness in Prerevolutionary France" Journal of Modern History 69 (June 1997): 199-229.
  • “Stories in History: Cultural Narratives in Recent Works in European History” American Historical Review 101 (December 1996): 1493-1515.               
  • "Domestic Melodrama as Political Ideology: The Case of  the Comte de Sanois (1786)" American Historical Review 94  (December 1989): 1249-1264.

Teaching Interests 

  • Professor Maza accepts graduate students interested in any aspect of the history of France from 1750 to the present, especially those specializing in social, cultural and/or intellectual history.  She welcomes students enrolled in the program to her graduate methods seminar (405), Introduction to Cultural History.
  • She teaches undergraduate lecture courses on the French Revolution, Modern and Contemporary France, European Intellectual History, The Enlightenment, Early Modern Europe, and undergraduate seminars on a wide variety of topics including History and Memory; The French Revolution: History and Fiction; Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and the French Revolution; Arabs and Jews in Modern France.

Recent Awards and Honors

  • 2016: Clarence L. Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellowship, Northwestern University
  • 2015: Editorial Board, American Historical Review
  • 2013: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2007-2008: Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University