Matthew Lauzon

Matthew LauzonAssociate Professor
European Intellectual History, Early Modern Europe, Historiography

Office: Sakamaki B401
Phone: (808) 956-8541

BA Carleton, 1994; MA, PhD Johns Hopkins, 1998, 2002




Growing up on the border between French and English Canada, Professor Lauzon became interested in the history of attitudes toward languages. After completing degrees in History and Philosophy at Carleton University, Matthew moved to Baltimore and Paris to earn his PhD from The Johns Hopkins University. He completed fields in Early Modern French and British History, Habsburg History, European Intellectual History and the History of European Encounters with the World and defended his dissertation on early modern European theories about language. This work formed the foundation of his recent book, Signs of Light: French and British Theories of Linguistic Communication, 1648-1789 (Cornell University Press, 2010).

Professor Lauzon is currently working on 18th-century French representations of the past and on French diplomacy in the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Courses Offered

European Intellectual History (Early Modern and Modern) (337, 338, 438, 611G); Early Modern France, France and Empire, and the French Revolution (345, 352, 445); Historiography (396B, 396C, 602); European Civilization 1500-1800 (231); World Cultures in Perspective (161A)

Representative Publications

  • “Dangerous Educations and Factitious Puberties: The Enlightening Lessons of Foreign Love,” in Shane Agin ed., Sex Education in Eighteenth-Century France (Oxford: Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 2011).
  • “Modernity/ies,” in Jerry Bentley ed., The Oxford History Handbook of World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • “‘Time Has Rendered These Allusions Natural’: Re-enacting the Saint-Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in 1789,” in Mark S. Phillips, et al. eds., Rethinking Historical Distance: Varieties of Historical Engagement (Palgrave, forthcoming).
  • Signs of Light: French and British Theories of Linguistic Communication (Cornell University Press, 2010).
  • “Welsh Indians and Savage Scots: History, Antiquarianism, and Indian Languages in 18th-century Britain,” History of European Ideas, Volume 34, Issue 3, September 2008, Pages 250-269.
  • “‘A Language More Peculiarly Circumstanced Than Any That Has Yet Appeared’: English as a ‘Perfect’ Language in 18th Century Linguistic Thought,” in History of Linguistics, vol. 2 From Classical to Contemporary Linguistics, ed. David Cram, Andrew Linn, & Elke Nowak (Philadelphia, 1999).

Signs of Light