Jeffrey S. Ravel
Professor of History
Jeffrey S. Ravel studies the history of French and European political culture from the mid-seventeenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. He is the author of The Would-Be Commoner: A Tale of Deception, Murder, and Justice in Seventeenth Century France (Houghton Mifflin, 2008); and The Contested Parterre: Public Theater and French Political Culture, 1680-1791 (Cornell University Press, 1999). He is currently working on a history of French playing cards and political regimes from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
He co-directs the Comédie-Française Registers Project, a collaborative digital humanities venture between the Bibiliothèque-musée of the Comédie Française theater troupe, MIT, Harvard University, the University of Victoria, the Sorbonne, and the Université de Paris-Nanterre. Ravel has co-edited an online, open access, bilingual, volume of essays inspired by this project: Databases, Revenues, and Repertory: The French Stage Online, 1680-1793 (MIT Press, 2020). He also directed the Visualizing Maritime History Project, a digital archive of two maritime history collections conserved by the MIT Museum.
Ravel was the President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in 2019-2020. From 2004-2006 he edited the Society’s annual journal, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. He served as Co-President of the Society for French Historical Studies in 2012-2013. He is a Co-Director of MIT’s Beaver Press Print Shop, located in Barker Library. Since April 2015, he has been the Faculty Lead for the MIT-Nepal Initiative.
Teaching interests include Old Regime and Revolutionary France, European cultural and intellectual history, the history of the book and comparative media studies, and World history.
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