Thomas W. Laqueur

Helen Fawcett Professor of History Emeritus


Swarthmore College, 1963-67, B.A. (Hons. Philosophy)

Princeton University, 1967-68, M.A. (with distinction 1969)

Princeton University, 1969-71, Ph.D. (1973)

Nuffield College, Oxford University (1971-73)

Research Interests

Britain since 1509: social, history of medicine

Teaching Experience

Instructor in Social Sciences, Concord College, Athens, West Virginia, 1968-69

Assistant, Associate, Full Professor of History, Fawcett Endowed Professorship, University of California, Berkeley, 1973-

Director, Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, UCB, 1992-95, Acting Director, 2003-2004

Honors, Awards, Selected Endowed Lectures

Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, 1967-68

Princeton University Fellowship, 1969-71

Nuffield College, Oxford, Studentship, 1971-73

Berkeley Institute for International Studies Grant and Regents' Junior Faculty Fellowship, 1973-76

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 1976-77, 1990-1991

American Council of Learned Societies Training Fellow (Medicine), 1980-81; Senior Fellowship, 1983, 1990-91 (both declined)

Director, NEH Summer Seminar, 1982

Lowe Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies for the best article in the field of British Studies, 1983

Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities, 1983-84

Directeur des Etudes, Ecole Des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 1989

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, 1990-91

Frehling Visiting Professorship, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, Oct-Nov., 1990

Distinguished Visiting Humanist, Northwestern University Center for the Humanities, May 1993

Ashworth Lecturer, University of Melbourne, July 1993

Hearst Professor of English, Washington University, St. Louis, Spring semester 1995

Kreisel Lecturer, University of Alberta, Spring 1998

Darwin Lecture, Cambridge University, Spring 1999

Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Science, 1999-

Berglund Senior Fellow, National Humanities Center, 2000-2001

Frankel Lecturer, Free University of Berlin, Dec. 2001

Open Society Grant, 2002-2003

Guest of the Rektor, Wissenschafts Kolleg zu Berlin, Nov-Dec 2003

Fellow, Council for the Humanities, Princeton University, Fall 2004

Member, Historical School, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, Spring 2005

Editorial Boards and Other Editorial Projects:

Representations (co-chair of editorial board); Sexualities; Cambridge University Press series on social theory; Daedalus: The Journal of the American Academy; Social Anthropology; Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism; PEN Non Fiction Prize Committee; Phi Beta Kappa Emerson Prize Committee; Los Angeles Times History Prize Committee; Board, National Humanities Center


Religion and Respectability: Sunday Schools and Working Class Culture, 1780-1850 (Yale University Press, 1976)

Catherine Gallagher and Thomas Laqueur, edited with introduction, The Making of the Modern Body (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press 1987)

Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (Harvard University Press, 1990).(French translation with new introduction, Gallimard, 1992; German translation, Campus Verlag, 1992; Italian, Laterza, 1992; Spanish 1994; Swedish, 1995; Portuguese, Lisbon 1997, Brazil 1998; Japanese 1998; Chinese, 1999; Rumanian, 1999, Korean 2000; Hungarian, 2002; Greek 2004).

Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation (ZONE BOOKS, 2003) translation in French (2005 Gallimard, with new introduction), Polish (2005) Spanish (2006), Italian (2006); Greek (2006) Turkish (2006), Chinese (abridged by author) and Japanese in progress.

The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (Princeton University Press, 2015)


"Literacy and Social Mobility in the Industrial Revolution in England," Past and Present, no. 64, August 1984, pp. 96-107

"Working Class Demand and the Growth of Elementary Education1750-1850" in Lawrence Stone, ed., Education and Society (John Hopkins University, 1976)

"The Cultural Origins of Popular Literacy in England, 1500-1850," Oxford Review of Education, vol. 2, no. 3, 1976, pp.255-275

"John Bull and the Ideology and Symbolism of Legitimation in England, 1792-1799," The Consortium on Revolutionary Europe Proceedings, Owen Connelly, ed., Athens, Georgia, 1979, pp. 271-280

"The Queen Caroline Affair: Politics as Art in the Reign of George IV," Journal of Modern History, September 1982, pp. 417-466 (translated into Portuguese (Editora UFMG, Brazil, 2000)

"Clio Among the Doctors," Threepenny Review, no. 9, spring 1982 (and variously reprinted)

"Bodies, Death and Pauper Funerals," Representations, University of California Press, January 1983

"Toward a Cultural Ecology of Literacy, 1600-1850" in Daniel Resnik, ed. Literacy in Historical Perspective (Library of Congress, 1983)

"Clio Among the Old Folks" Threepenny Review, Spring 1984 and variously reprinted

"The White Visibility of the Dead" University Publishing, Summer 1984

"Orgasm, Generation, and the Politics of Reproductive Biology," Representations 14, Spring 1986 (variously reprinted)

"Amor Veneris, vel Dulcedo Appeletur," Zone, 5, 1989, 91-131

"The Social Evil, the Solitary Vice, and Pouring Tea," Zone, 5, 1989, 334-342 (variously reprinted)

"Bodies, Details, and the Humanitarian Narrative," Lynn Hunt, ed. The New Cultural History (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989) 176-204 (translated into Japanese, French, Portuguese)

"Crowds, Carnival, and the State in English Executions, 1604-1868," Lee Beier, David Cannadine, and James Rosenheim, eds., The First Modern Society: Essays in Honor of Lawrence Stone (Cambridge University Press, 1989)

"The Facts of Fatherhood" in Evelyn Fox-Keller and Maryanne Hirsch, eds. Debates in Feminism (Routledge, 1990) and variously reprinted

"Sex, Gender, and Desire in the Industrial Revolution," in Patrick O'Brien and Roland Quinault, eds, The Industrial Revolution and British Society: Festschrift for R.M. Hartwell (Cambridge University Press, 1993)

"Sexual Desire and the Market Economy during the Industrial Revolution" in Domna Stanton, ed. Histories of Sexuality (University of Michigan Press, 1992)

"Cemeteries, Religion, and the Culture of Capitalism," in Colin Mathews and Jane Garnett, eds. Revival and Religion since 1700 (London: The Hambledon Press, 1993)

"Memory and Naming in the Great War" in John Gillis, ed. Memory and Commemoration (Princeton University Press, 1993)

"Introduction" [with Carla Hesse] to "National Cultures before Nationalism" Representations, Fall 1994 (special issue)

"Credit, Novels, Masturbation," in Choreographing History, ed. Susan Foster, University of Indiana Press, 1995

"Introduction," Sylvie Anne Goldberg, Crossing the Jabbok: illness and death in Ashkenazi Judaism in sixteenth- through nineteenth-century Prague (Berkeley: UC Press, 1996)

"Jeu de Corps/jeu d'esprit" Paletten 2-3/96, nr 225-26, August 1997, Malmo Academy of Art

"L'Homme, L'Humanitaire et La Catégorie de L'Humain au xviiie sičcle," Études de Lettres, 1998, 3-4

"Introduction" to "Grounds for Remembering" Special issue of Representations, Winter 1999

"'From Generation to Generation,' Imagining Connectedness in the Age of Reproductive Technologies," in Paul E. Brodwin, ed.Biotechnology and Culture: Bodies, Anxieties, Ethics (Bloomington, University of Indiana Press, 2000)

"Dying Well and the Doctors" in Susanna Elm and Stefan N Willich, eds. Medical Challenges to the New Millenium: An Interdisciplinary Task (Dordrecht; Boston: Kulwer Academic Publishers, 2001)

"Forword," Chinese femininities, Chinese masculinities: a reader, edited by Susan Brownell and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2002)

"Places of the dead in modernity" in The Age of Cultural Revolutions: Britain and France, 1750-1820, edited by Colin Jones and Dror Wahrman (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002) (Earlier shorter Spanish version)

"The Dead Body and Human Rights," in The Body, edited by Sean T. Sweeney and Ian Hodder (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

"The Secret Sin and the Modern Self," in Gisela Engel, ed. Das Geheimnis am Beginn der Moderne (Klostermann, 2002)

"Sex in the Flesh" Isis 94, 300-306, 2003.

"Bodies Visible and Invisible: The disappearance of the Jewish Cemetery in Modern Thessaloniki" (with Carla Hesse) DINI, 2005 (in Greek, with English forthcoming).

"Vaterschaften," figurationen: gender, literature, kultur 6. Jahrgang 2005, heft 2, 65-83.

"Why The Margins Matter: Occultism and the Making of Modernity," Modern Intellectual History, 3, 1, April 2006, 111-135.

Longer Reviews, Review Essays, Responses, and Occasional Writings

"English and French Education in the Nineteenth Century," History of Education Quarterly, Spring 1972, pp. 53-58

Philip McCann, ed., Popular Education and Society, in Social History, January 1979, vol. 4, no. l, pp. 129-143

David Stannard, The Puritan Way of Death, in Journal of Social History, Winter 1979, pp. 338-342

James Obelkevich, Religion and Rural Society: South Lindsey, 1825-1875, in Journal of Social History, 12:4, Summer 1979, pp. 637-642

Michael Ignatieff, A Just Measure of Pain, in Social History, 6:3, Oct., 1981, pp. 384-386

"The John Johnson Collection" (a bibliographical note), History Workshop Issue 4, Autumn 1977

"Viral Cultures" (a review of Mirko D. Grmek's History of AIDS and Claude Quetel's History of Syphilis) New Republic, July 8, 1991, pp 36-41

"History under the Skin," a review essay of Barbara Duden, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Spring 1993.

"Clio Looks at Corporal Politics," in Corporal Politics (MIT List Visual Arts Center and Beacon Press, Boston, 1992)

"It's not Cricket" review of "The Crying Game," Threepenny Review, March 1993

Review of "Oleanna," Threepenny Review, Fall,1994

Contribution to Symposium on Laura Engelstein, The Keys to Happiness, ed. Irina Paperno, Slavic Review, Fall 1994

"The Holocaust Museum" Threepenny Review, Winter, 1994 (translate into Rumanian, Dilema, 11-17 Nov. 1994)

"Closing Time" [review essay of Sherwin Nuland, How we Die], London Review of Books, 18 August, 1994

"Smoking and Nothingness", [review essay on the history of culture of tobacco] New Republic, Sept. 17-24, 1995

"The Facts of Life" [review essay of Lesley Hall and Roy Porter, Sexual KnowledgeLondon Review of Books, Feb. 15, 1996

"The Past's Past," London Review of Books, 18, 18, Sept. 1996 (translated into Swedish)

"The Sound of Voices Intoning Names" [review essay of Serge Klarsfeld, Children of the Holocaust] London Review of Books, 19, 1, 5 June 1997

"Sexual Behavior in the Social Scientist," (Review of J.H. Jones, Alfred Kinsey: A Public Private Life) Slate, Nov. 4, 1997

"The Troubled Marriage of Poles and Jews" London Review of Books, May 1998

"Medicomania" [review of Roy Porter, The Greatest Benefit of Mankind] London Review of Books, 19 July 1999

"Pint for Pint: The Price of Blood" [review of Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce by Douglas Starr] London Review of Books, 14 October 1999

"The Dog's Eye View," Threepenny Review, Winter 2000

"Symposium on the Strange, the Weird, and the Uncanny," Threepenny Review, Spring, 2001

"Aus Eins Mach Zwei" NZZ Folio (Die Zeitschrift der Neuen Zuricher Zeitung 7, Juli, 2000, 30-34

"Species and Genius" (Review of Linnaeus: Nature and Nation by Lisbet Korner) New Republic, June 5, 2000, 4, 455, pp 35-38 (reprinted in somewhat shortened form in Taxon: Journal of the International Association of Plant Taxonony, August 2000)

"Festival of Punishment," [Review of William McFeely, Proximity to Death Row and Bonnie Bobit, ed. Death Row: The Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment], London Review of Books, 5 October, 2000 (A longer version of this appeared, in German, as the extended text for the Frankel Lecture, delivered in German, at the Free University of Berlin, Dec. 2001 and published in the occasional papers of the Kennedy Center.)

"In and Out of the Pantheon," (review of Avner Ben-Amos, Funerals, Politics, and Memory in Modern France, 1789-1996 and Neil McWilliam, Monumental Intolerance: Jean Baffier, a Nationalist Sculptor in Fin-de-Sičcle FranceLondon Review of Books 20 September, 2001

Response to Annick Jaulin, (Clio no. 14, 2001, "Festins de femmes", 2001, pp 197-205) in no. 15, 2001, pp 209-211 (in French)

"Die Kugel, die Abraham Lincoln Traf," Feuilleton section, Süddeutsche Zeitung," 6 Feb. 2002 (reprinted with some changes in "Tabletalk," Threepenny Review, Spring, 2002

"Traveling in Style: Thomas Laqueur on Primo Levi," (Review of Primo Levi's Ordinary Virtues: From Testimony to Ethics by Robert Gordon, Primo Levi by Ian Thomson, The Double Bond: Primo Levi, a Biography by Carole Angier) London Review of Books (5 September 2002)

"On Emil Meyer" Threepenny Review, no. 92, Winter 2002

"Sex in the Flesh" Isis 94, 300-306, 2003

Entry of Maurice Sendak, Encyclopedia of Childhood, ed. Paula Fass, 2003

"Prelude" London Review of Books, Dec. 2. 2003 ("Diary Section" This is a somewhat reduced version of a longer essay that in Wendy Lesser, ed. The Genius of Language (Pantheon, 2004)

"On the death of my Father," Threepenny Review, Winter 2003

"Interview" [written responses] Revue des deux Mondes Dec. 2003

"Roy Porter, 1946-2002: A critical Appreciation" Social History 2004, 29 (1)

"Four pfennige per track kilometer," London Review of Books, 4 November 2004

"Strange Bedfellows: Sexuality and Its Discontents in Postwar Germany," Bookforum, Summer 2005

"Unquiet Bodies," London Review of Books 6 April 2006

"Diary: Dead Fathers," London Review of Books 7 Sept. 2006

Review Symposium of Thomas W. Laqueur, Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation (New York: Zone Books, 2003), Metascience, Fall, 2006 ("Response to my critics")

"A Symposium on Berlin" Threepenny Review, Winter 2007, no. 104

"Encyclopedic Sexuality" TLS, Feb. 9, 2007

Short Reviews

One hundred twenty plus short reviews in the American Historical Review, English Historical Review, Albion, Social History of Medicine, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Isis, Journal of Social History, Victorian Studies, School Review, History Teacher, Renaissance Quarterly, Journal of the British Medical Association, Journal of Library History, Journal of Modern History, Eighteenth Century Studies, Slate, Social History, Taxon, Nineteenth Century Contexts, The San Jose Mercury, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post.

Professor Emeritus Thomas Laqueur


3123 Dwinelle Hall