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Residency Dates: September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019


Julian Bourg

Julian Bourg is associate professor of history at Boston College. He teaches European intellectual history. He is the translator of Claude Lefort’s Complications: Communism and the Dilemmas of Democracy (2007). Bourg serves on the editorial board of Modern Intellectual History and as co-chair for the Harvard Colloquium for Intellectual History at CES.

During his stay at CES, Bourg will trace the history of the idea of terrorism from the French Revolution to the 1970s. From Europe to the rest of the world, this idea was shaped by the experience of revolution, war, and empire. He will investigate how this idea embodied the paradox of using violence in the name of “the people” to create a world beyond violence.

Bourg’s book From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought examined the revival of the theme of ethics among French intellectuals during the 1970s. It won the 2008 Morris D. Forkosch Book Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas.

This information is accurate for the time period that the affiliate is affiliated with CES.


  • Associate Professor of History, Boston College
  • Local Affiliate, CES, Harvard University
  • CES Seminar Co-chair, Harvard University


  • Julian Bourg, ed. Keith Michael Baker and Dan Edelstein. “Writing on the Wall: 1968 as Event and Representation,” Scripting Revolution: A Historical Approach to the Comparative Study of Revolutions. Stanford University Press, 2015.
  • Julian Bourg, ed. Alexander C. Cook. “Principally Contradiction: The Flourishing of French Maoism,” Mao’s Little Red Book. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • Julian Bourg, ed. Ruud van Dijk et al. “Tempered Nostalgia in Recent French Films on the ’68 Years,” The Long 1968, 2013.

Research Project

In the name of the people: How we came to think about terrorism (and how we should)


Intellectual History