James Barry Collins




Department of History


Republicanism and the State in early modern France, a study of the French polity from mid fourteenth to the early eighteenth century. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

In March 2013, I gave a series of four lectures as professeur invite at the College de France; the lectures may be available as a book (final decision yet to come).

The State in Early Modern France (Cambridge University Press, 2009, second edition). The new edition is 40% new and offers some significantly different interpretations.

Recent articles (2006-10)

« Women and the origins of the capitalist consumer economy, » forthcoming in Enterprising Women: Gender, Agency and Work in Old Regime France, ed. D. Hafter and N. Kushner. The essay examines economic change in middling and small towns (<10,000 pop.) in the first half of the eighteenth century; it focuses on women as producers, rather than consumers.

*“Un parricide raté: Jean Chastel et Henri IV,” Les Régicides en Europe du XVe au XIXe siècle, ed. I. Pébay-Clottes (Paris, 2012, in press).

“Resistance and Order in early modern France,” H-France, 2012. I gave this paper at the 2011 meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, at a special session honoring the late Sharon Kettering. Printed text at: http://www.h-france.net/Salon/Salonvol4no1.pdf

“Sistemas regionales de impuestos: ley, racionalidad y diversidad financieras en la Francia monárquica », Los Ámbitos de la fiscalidad ; Fronteras, territorio y perceptión de tributos en los imperios ibéricos, siglos XV-XIX, ed. L. Salas Almela (Madrid, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, 2011). Translated to the Spanish by M. Hernandez.

« Le pouvoir municipal et l'écroulement de l’Ancien Régime : question sociale ou question politique ? » L’exercice du pouvoir municipal de la fin du Moyen Age à 1789, ed. G. Aubert (Rennes : PU de Rennes, 2011).

« L’agriculture sous Henri IV: redressement ou réorganisation ? » Lendemains de guerre civile : Réconciliations et restaurations en France sous Henri IV, ed. M. de Waele (Québec : Presses Universitaires de Laval, 2011), 109-126.

Short biographies of Pierre Goubert and of Pierre de Saint Jacob in French Historians 1900-2000 New Historical Writing in Twentieth-Century France, P. Daileader and P. Whalen, eds. (NY and London: John Wiley & Sons, 2010).

“The Constitution of the Third May (1791) in European context,” Supreme Constitutional Tribunal of Poland, Warsaw, May 2008. The Tribunal hosted a series of conferences in 2007-08 on the theme of “Lex est Rex in Polonia et in Lithuania.” They published the papers given by 16 historians in a special volume of that title. My essay appears there in Polish translation (119-144). An English version is due out soon.

“La campagne bourguignonne à la fin du XVIIe siècle », in Campagnes en mouvement en France du XVIe au XIXe siècle Autour de Pierre de Saint Jacob, ed. A. Follain, (Éditions Universitaires de Dijon, 2008), 235-250.

“Beyond History: Memory and Justice at Oradour-sur-Glane, Contemporary French Civilization XXXI, n. 2 (2007): 203-230.

”Translation de domicile ; Rethinking Sedentarity and Mobility in the Early Modern French Countryside,” French History 20, n. 4 (2006): 387-404.

Eclectic selection of talks in last 10 years

Collège de France, March 2013, four lectures (see titles above).

Amplified versions of these papers were also given at French universities:

« La République et l’État en France, 1360-1740 » at Paris-IV-la Sorbonne, 18 March 2013 and the Université of Le Mans, 21 March 2013.

“’L’absolutisme’ : la critique anglophone », at the Université de Rennes, 27 March 2013.

« Discours sur la méthode : quel programme de recherche pour l’État de l’Ancien Régime, » Université de Versailles-St-Quentin, 11 March 2013.

“From Monarchy to State: France, 1356-1610,” State Formation in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, Bergen, Norway, May 2012.

“Online archives: time to reshape our research culture,” Plenary session on Online Research Resources, Society for French Historical Studies, March 2012, Los Angeles.

Round table on “Equality across citizenship, civil society and rule of law” at the What Equality? Workshop, Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, June 2011.

“Revolution in Tunisia and Egypt: an historian’s long-term view,” Popular Uprising in the Arab World, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University, February 2011. Available online (broadcast on C-Span): http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ArabWorld.

“Women and the Birth of Modern Consumer Capitalism,” Western Society for French History, October 2009, Boulder, CO.

“Cross pollination: The secret life of parishes.” Seventh Warwick Symposium on Parish Research: Microhistory – Parish History – Local History, University of Warwick, May 2009.

"East meets West: Constitutions and the flow of political ideas in eighteenth-century Europe and America.” Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York, May 2009.

“European constitutional history: rethinking 19th-century paradigms,” University of Aberdeen, May 2009.

"Beheading the Body Politic: Parricides and Politics in the France of Henri IV,” Centre for early modern Studies, University of St. Andrews, April 2009.

“L’état dans la France moderne: l’optique Anglophone,” Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, January 2009.

“The geography of social mobility in late 17th-century Champagne,” Western Society for French History, Québec, November 2008.

“Molière’s medicine,” Shakespeare Theatre Company, Harmon Theatre, Washington, DC, June 2008. A presentation on Molière’s own medical history and the medical profession in 17th-century France, as part of the Shakespeare Theatre’s production of “The Imaginary Invalid.”

“Nation and patrie in early modern French political practice,” The Transformation of Christian Europe: Princes, Dynastic Agglomerations and Fatherlands in Shaping European Society, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, June 2008.

“The Constitution of the Third May (1791) in European context,” Supreme Constitutional Tribunal of Poland, Warsaw, 3 May 2008.

“Power in early modern France,” Keynote address, Society for the Study of French History, Brighton, UK, July 2006.

“A tale of two brothers: Andrea Chénier and the French Revolution,” Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 10 September 2004. Washington National Opera Insight Lecture, to accompany their production of the Giordano’s “Andrea Chénier.” Available online at: http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/videos/?id=M2047.