Faculty Directory
Jeffrey Freedman


Professor of History
BA, University of Rochester,
MA, Princeton University,
PhD, Princeton University,
Jeff Freedman is a historian of the ‘long 18th century’ with particular interests in the French- and German-speaking worlds. His research and teaching encompass the history of the book, media and mediation; the transnational circulation of books and ideas; the history of emotions; Enlightenment philosophy; and the genealogies of democratic political culture. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1991 under the direction of Robert Darnton and Natalie Zemon Davis and has held teaching positions at Princeton, Franklin & Marshall College, and Yeshiva University. In addition to numerous articles, he is the author of two books, both of which are based on original archival research in German and French manuscript sources. His first book, A POISONED CHALICE (Princeton University Press, 2002), belongs to the genre of ‘micro-history.’ It reconstructs a sensational and never-before studied criminal case, the poisoning of the communion wine in the main cathedral of Zurich in 1776, and uses that incident to analyze the relation between religion and the Enlightenment in the late 18th century. His second book, BOOKS WITHOUT BORDERS IN ENLIGHTENMENT EUROPE (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), examines the transnational book trade of the late 18th century. Based on the archive of an 18th-century Swiss publisher, it shows how booksellers mediated the passage of literature across the frontiers of nation, language and culture. His current book project, entitled THE DANGERS WITHIN: FEAR, STATE POWER, AND MEDICINE IN OLD REGIME FRANCE, examines the emergence in the 18th century of new, distinctively modern fears connected to the expansion of the state, transformations in the medical profession, and the widening circulation of print. Forthcoming publications include THE CULTURAL HISTORY OF DEATH IN THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT (London: Bloomsbury), of which he is the editor, as well as a chapter for the new OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE BOOK (Oxford University Press, 2016) entitled “From Author to Reader: The Book in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolution." Freedman has been the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (summer 1994); the Annenberg Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania (fall 1997); and the Center for Advanced Study (CAS) at the University of Munich, Germany (summer 2016). This term he is a fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies of Princeton University.
Beren campus - 215 Lexington Ave
Wilf campus - Furst Hall

To request an interview, please contact Media Relations at 212-960-5400 x5488 or publicaffairs@yu.edu

Fall 2018
History of Emotions
HIS 2914
Fall 2018
Media Rev: Scroll to Screen
HIST 2909
Fall 2018
Media Revolutions
CUOT 1037H
Fall 2018
Topics in Media Studies
ENGL 1728
Fall 2018
Topics in Psychology
PSY 4930
Spring 2017
History of the Book
ENG 3124H
Spring 2017
History of the Book
ENGL 2922H
Spring 2017
History of the Book
HIS 2124H
Spring 2017
History of the Book
HIST 2124H
Fall 2016
Democratic Political Culture
CUOT 1021