Field(s) of interest:
early modern and modern Europe, especially France; the Enlightenment and the trans-Atlantic Age of Revolutions; the history of democratic ideas and practices; the history of epistemology and the senses; the history of free speech and censorship; experimental historical methods
Sophia Rosenfeld is an intellectual and cultural historian with a particular interest in the Enlightenment and its political legacy. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1996. She arrived at Yale in 2015 after twenty years on the faculty at the University of Virginia. She is the author of A Revolution in Language: The Politics of Signs in Eighteenth-Century France (2001) and Common Sense: A Political History (2011), which won the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Book Prize, as well as numerous articles on aspects of eighteenth-century history or historical methods. She is the past recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Mellon Foundation, ACLS, Remarque Institute at NYU, and School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and has been a visiting faculty member at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Currently, she is writing a book, to be published by Princeton University Press, exploring how the idea of choice became a proxy for freedom in the modern world, and co-editing a six-book series on the cultural history of ideas since antiquity. She also co-edits the journal Modern Intellectual History and writes occasionally for the Nation, among other publications. At Yale, she anticipates teaching a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses and supervising graduate students in all the fields of interest listed above.