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"Europe today faces its biggest political, economic and moral challenges since the Second World War and decolonization. How it addresses these challenges will be important for the future of democracy, economic well-being, and human rights worldwide."

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Mary D. Lewis

Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair

Mary D. Lewis

Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair

Trailer for History 1206 - Empire, Nation, and Immigration in France since 1870


Mary D. Lewis

Mary D. Lewis is Robert Walton Goelet Professor of French History at Harvard University and affiliated faculty at the Harvard Law School. She is also a resident faculty at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES). Her current research interests center around international and imperial history, with particular attention paid to the connections between international relations and social or economic life.

Her most recent book, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in French Tunisia, 1881-1938, was released by the University of California Press in 2013. Lewis’ book, The Boundaries of the Republic: Migrant Rights and the Limits of Universalism in France, 1918-1940, was a co-winner of the 2008 James Willard Hurst Prize awarded by the Law and Society Association for the best book in socio-legal history.

Lewis has been awarded such major grants as the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. Lewis is presently beginning a new project on the “First French Decolonization,” which will examine the transformation of France’s Atlantic empire in the 19th century after the loss of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti). Lewis was co-president of the Society for French Historical Studies in 2012-2013.


  • Robert Walton Goelet Professor of French History, Harvard University
  • Resident Faculty & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University


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Other Affiliations

  • Department of History, Harvard University
  • Affiliated Faculty, Harvard Law School
  • Faculty Associate, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs