Professor David Andress
Associate Dean (Research), Professor of Modern History
As a researcher, my main interest has always lain with the French Revolution, and with the complex ways in which succeeding generations of historians have sought to co-opt or condemn its relationship to European modernity. My own work has evolved from an initial concern to reposition the agency of non-elite subjects in this process (culminating in my book, The French Revolution and the People, 2004), towards two further strands of analysis. The first concerns itself with the absences and hypocrisies attendant on violence, and especially ‘popular violence’ in revolutionary circumstances, and formed part of the discussion in my book The Terror (2005), as well as some ongoing more specific work. The second involves an attempt to grapple with the complex resonances of cultural change in the decades before 1789, and their potential shaping influence, as ‘cultural forms’, on the mental apparatus of people attempting to construct, and live through, the ‘political processes’ of revolutionary modernity.
• Social and Cultural History