The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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B.A. (Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR); M.A. (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL);
Ph.D. (University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA)
Associate Professor, Department of History, CUHK

Room 108, 1/F, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
(852) 3943 1765

I am an historian of Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World with a focus on the late eighteenth century and the revolutions of France and the United States. I earned my Ph.D. in 2004 at the University of California at Berkeley, where I focused on the relationship between religion and state-building in Old Regime and Revolutionary France. Following my doctorate studies I taught at Temple University (Philadelphia) before arriving at CUHK in 2014. My first two books both examined the role of religion in shaping the history of the French Revolution. My current research has expanded to include the history of North America, and focuses on the history of militias and citizen-soldiers in the Atlantic World, from the rise of renaissance criticisms of mercenaries through to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and its declaration that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state. Focusing on the history of citizen-soldiers and militias allows me to rethink some classical questions about the role that violence played in the French Revolution, and particularly the role that Parisian National Guardsmen played in shaping the events there. It also allows me to contribute to larger discussions in the United States about the history of gun violence and private weapon ownership.

Research Interests
  • Eighteenth-century ATLANTIC WORLD
  • Militias and Citizen-Soldiers
  • History of Violence
  • Gender history
Selected Publications
  • Armed Citizens: The Road from Ancient Rome to the Second Amendment, University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  • The French Revolution: Faith, Desire and Politics. Routledge Press, 2014.
    Translated into Dutch as De Franse Revolutie. Veen Media, 2015.
    Second edition, Routledge Press, forthcoming 2020.
  • Religion and the Politics of Time: Holidays from Louis XIV to Napoleon.  Catholic University of America press, 2010.
  • “The Strange History of the Right to Bear Arms in the French Revolution.” Journal of Social History. Winter 2020.
  • “La seule loi sûre d’être obéie : Robespierre, les milices et le débat sur l’armée permanente. [The Only Law Sure To Be Obeyed: Robespierre, Militias, and the Debate over the Standing Army.]” Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française, December 2019.
  • “All of his Power Lies in the Distaff: Robespierre, Women, and the French Revolution.” Past & Present, March 2014.
Research Projects
Year Research Project
2018–2019 Militias and Citizen-Soldiers in Early Modern France (1550-1800).
Hong Kong General Research Fund Grant
2015–2017 Militia Mania: Weapons and Citizenship in the Early Modern Atlantic World.
Hong Kong General Research Fund Grant
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