William M. Reddy

William M. Reddy


External address: 
314 Classroom Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 684-2497


Most recent book-- The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). Awarded the Pinkney Prize for best book in French History, 2012, by the Society for French Historical Studies.

Personal web page: http://people.duke.edu/~wmr/

Current research projects concern:

(1) the relation between reason and emotion in the seventeenth century, (2) the comparative history of romantic love, (3) the history and cultural variability of emotions, (4) methodological interests including theories of culture, cognitive psychology, interpretive method.

Recent talks and panels:

With Barbara Rosenwein and Daniel Lord Smail, Round Table on the History of Emotions, Vanderbilt History Seminar, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 19 September 2016

Keynote lecture: From Madurai to Rotterdam: Self and Difference in the Seventeenth Century," 8 April 2016, International Graduate Historical Studies Conference, Central Michigan University.

"Parler à la cour au XIIe siècle: Silences, ironies, vérité". Session d'été. Centre d'Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiéval, Université de Poitiers. June 18, 2015 Edit

"From Zeal to Sweetness: The Emotional History of the Intellect in the Seventeenth Century". English Department, University of Maryland. March 25, 2015 Edit

"The History of Love". What Is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age. Conference co-sponsored by the Popular Romance Project and the Center for the Book, Library of Congress. February 10, 2015 - February 11, 2015 Edit

"The Paradox of Modernity". Department of History, University at Buffalo. September 17, 2014 Edit

Plenary Session, "What is modernity? Recent debates and their implications for the seventeenth century". Annual Meeting. Society for the Study of French History. July 11, 2014 Edit

Keynote Lecture: "Is Pleasure an Emotion? Historicism and Anachronism in the History of Emotions,", International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 5, 2013

"Reason and Emotion: Their Mutual Transformation in the Seventeenth Century,", Colloque International Ve Rencontre EMMA: Histoire intellectuelle des émotions de l'Antiquité à nos jours, May 23, 2013

"The Self as a Domain of Effort: The Convergence of Ethnographic, Historical, and Neuroscience Evidence", ARC Center for the History of Emotions, Methods Collaboratory, University of Melbourne, March 15, 2013

"Do Emotions Have a History? The Example of Romantic Love", ARC Center for the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne, March 14, 2013

"Cacher ses émotions: Ancien régime, Révolution, 19e siècle,", Séminaire ERCOMES-CIM 2012- 2013, Université de Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris-3, January 16, 2013
Plenary address for conference entitled "Emotions, Health and Wellbeing," London, 10-12 September 2012, sponsored by The British Society for the Social History of Medicine, September 10, 2012 

Keynote address for Colloque international -Colloque international - L’EMOTION: DE L’ESPACE PRIVE A L’ESPACE PUBLIC XIXe-XXIe SIECLES, Paris, 11-13 avril 2012. Cosponsors: - CHCSC (Université de Versailles-St-Quentin en Yvelines), HAR (Université de Paris-Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense) CARISM/Institut Français de Presse (Université Panthéon-Assas) Laboratoire Identités-Cultures-Territoires (Université Paris Diderot-Paris7) CRHEC (Université Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne).

"Beyond 'Emotions'" Keynote Address for CHEP 2011 Istanbul "Emotions East and West," İstanbul, September 29- October 1, 2011.

"Learning to Feel: Emotions Beyond Nature versus Nurture,"Jerusalem, April 10-14, 2011; joint conference of The Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, and The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, in cooperation with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv University.

"Science and the Emotions: Transnational Emotional Cultures in the United States and Western Europe after 1945," San Diego, February 24-26, 2011, IICAS, UC San Diego.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1974

  • M.A., University of Chicago 1970

  • B.A., University of Chicago 1969

Reddy, WM. The Navigation of Feeling: A Framework for the History of Emotions. Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Reddy, WM. The Invisible Code: Honor and Sentiment in Postrevolutionary France, 1815-1848. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1997.

Reddy, WM. Money and Liberty in Modern Europe: A Critique of Historial Understanding. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

Reddy, WM. The Rise of Market Culture: The Textile Trade and French Society, 1750-1900. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.

Reddy, WM. "Humanists and the Experimental Study of Emotion." Science and Emotions after 1945: A Transnational Perspective. Ed. F Biess and D Gross. University of Chicago Press, March 16, 2014.

Reddy, WM. "The Question of Romantic Love in Early Modern Historical Research." Amor Docet Musicam: Musik und Liebe in der Frühen Neuzeit. Ed. D Helms and S Meine. Ohms, 2012. (Essay)

Reddy, WM. "The Rule of Love: The History of Western Romantic Love in Comparative Perspective." New Dangerous Liaisons: Discourses on Europe and Love in the Twentieth Century. Ed. L Passerini, L Ellena, and ACT Geppert. Berghahn Books, 2010. 33-57.

Reddy, WM. "Emotional Styles and Modern Forms of Life." Sexualized Brains. Ed. M Gruber and N Karafyllis. MIT Press, 2008.

Reddy, WM. "The Theory of Emotives: A Synopsis." EMOTIONAL SYSTEMS: Contemporary Art Between Emotion and Reason. Ed. F Nori and M Steinhoff. 2008.

Reddy, WM. "Anthropology and the History of Culture." A Companion to Western Historical Thought. Ed. SC Maza and L Kramer. Blackwell, 2002. 277-296.

Reddy, WM. "Need and Honor in Balzac’s Père Goriot: Reflections on a Vision of Laissez-Faire Society." The Culture of the Market: Historical Essays. Ed. TL Haskell and RF Teichgraeber. Cambridge University Press, 1993. 325-354.

Reddy, WM. "Les ouvriers textiles connaissaient-ils la loi? Principes et pratiques autour des coalitions ouvrières (1820-1839)." “Les ouvriers textiles connaissaient-ils la loi? Principes et pratiques autour des coalitions ouvrières (1820-1839),”. Ed. A Plessis. Institut d’histoire de l’industrie, 1993. 213-223.

Reddy, WM. "The Concept of Class." Social Orders and Social Classes in Europe Since 1500: Studies in Social Stratification. Ed. M Bush. Longman, 1992. 13-25.

Reddy, WM. "The Structure of a Cultural Crisis: Thinking About Cloth in France Before and After the Revolution." The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective. Ed. A Appadurai. Cambridge University Press, 1986. 261-284.


Reddy, WM. "THE EURASIAN ORIGINS OF EMPTY TIME AND SPACE: MODERNITY AS TEMPORALITY RECONSIDERED." History and Theory 55.3 (October 1, 2016): 325-356. Full Text

Eustace, N, Lean, E, Livingston, J, Plamper, J, Reddy, WM, and Rosenwein, BH. "AHR conversation: The historical study of emotions." American Historical Review 117.5 (December 1, 2012): 1487-1531. Full Text

Reddy, WM. "Reply from W. M. Reddy." Emotion Review 2.4 (October 1, 2010): 402-null. (Letter) Full Text

Plamper, J, Rosenwein, B, Stearns, P, and Reddy WM, . "The History of Emotions: An Interview with William Reddy, Barbara Rosenwein, and Peter Stearns." History and Theory 49.2 (July 2010): 237-265.

Reddy, WM. "Neuroscience and the fallacies of functionalism." Hist Theory 49.3 (2010): 412-425.

Reddy, WM. "Historical research on the self and emotions." Emotion Review 1.4 (October 1, 2009): 302-315. (Review) Full Text

Reddy, WM. "Saying Something New: Practice Theory and Cognitive Neuroscience." Arcadia: International Journal for Literary Studies 44 (March 2009): 8-24.

Reddy, WM. "Comment." Slavic Review 68.2 (2009): 329-334. Full Text

Reddy, WM. "'Comment,' special issue on 'Emotions in Russian History and Culture'." Slavic Review 68 (2009): 329-334. (Special issue)


Reddy, WM. "Émotions et histoire contemporaine: Ésquisse d’une chronologie, pp. 29-44." Émotions contemporaines, XIX-XXe siècles, edited by Anne-Claude Ambroise-Rendu, Anne-Emmanuelle Demartini, Hélène Eck, Nicole Edelman (Paris: Armand Colin, 2014), (2014): 29-44.