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Ph.D., Columbia University (1998)
B.A., Carleton College (1988)

Recent Courses

S/T: World War One And Its Centennial
Sophomore Seminar Research Skills

Personal Statement

Beyond teaching the history of different topics, my goal as an educator is to help students begin to practice history as a discipline with its own specific methods and techniques by which one understands the world and creates new knowledge.

Teaching Specializations/Interests

French Revolution and modern France, 20th-century Europe, the global sixties, and modern European political and social thought.

Research Interests

My research focuses on 20th-century French history. I am currently working on a book on François Furet, an historian of the French Revolution and major figure in late 20th-century French intellectual life.

Grants/Sponsored Research

Faculty Development Grant, Adelphi University, 2012

Faculty Research Grant, Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanities, summer 2008.

NEH Summer Stipend Research Grant, summer 2006 (used in December 2006-January 2007).

Global Fund Grant, Penn State University, spring 2003.

Faculty Research Grant, Penn State Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies, summer 2000.

NEH Summer Institute on “Memory, History, and Dictatorship: The Legacy of World War II in France, Germany, and Italy,” stipended participant, summer 1999.


Michael Scott Christofferson (2009). Les Intellectuels contre la gauche: L’idéologie antitotalitaire en France (1968-1981). Marseilles, France: Agone, (2nd, "pocket" edition, 2014).

Thomas R. Christofferson (75%) with Michael S. Christofferson (25%) (2006). France During World War II: From Defeat to Liberation. New York: Fordham University Press.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2004). French Intellectuals Against the Left: The Antitotalitarian Moment of the 1970s. New York: Berghahn Books.

Book Chapters

Michael Scott Christofferson (2014). Introduction: David D. Bien and the Paradoxical History of Old Regime France. In Rafe Blaufarb et al. (Eds.). Interpreting the Ancien Regime. Oxford: Voltaire Foundation (forthcoming).

Michael Scott Christofferson (2014). Foucault et la « nouvelle philosophie » : Pourquoi Michel Foucault soutient Les Maîtres penseurs d’André Glucksmann. In Daniel Zamora (Eds.). Critiquer Foucault: Essais critiques sur Michael Foucault. Brussels: Editions Aden.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2013). Les 'passeurs' du 'dépasseur' : les historiens américains de la Révolution française et François Furet. In Jean-Numa Ducange and Michel Biard (Eds.). Passeurs de Révolution. (pp. 57-67). Paris: Société des études robespierristes.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2004). "French Intellectuals and the Repression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956: The Politics of a Protest Reconsidered". In Julian Bourg (Eds.). After the Deluge: New Perspectives on French Intellectual and Cultural History. (pp. 253-76). New York: Lexington Books.

Refereed Articles

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Note that the following are both refereed and solicited articles. (9999).

Michael Scott Christofferson (2014), A Mind for the Left? [review essay]. New Left Review, 86.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2014), L'historiographie américaine de la gauche française des années 1970. Dissidences, 13.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2013), Maoism and the French Sixties [review essay]. European Journal of Political Theory, 12, 2, 195-204.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2009), François Furet entre l’histoire et le journalisme, 1958–1965. Agone : Histoire, Politique & Sociologie, 41-42, 101-22.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2009), Review Essay on From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought by Julian Bourg. H-France Forum, 4, 3, 61-68.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2008), The French ‘Sixties’ [review essay]. French Politics, Culture & Society, 26, 3, 123-40.

Michael Scott Christofferson (2001), François Furet Between History and Journalism, 1958-65. French History, 15, 4, 421-47.

Michael Scott Christofferson (1999), An Antitotalitarian History of the French Revolution: François Furet’s Penser la Révolution française in the Intellectual Politics of the Late 1970s. French Historical Studies, 22, 4, 557-611.

Invited Presentation/Lecture

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(2013, December). François Furet's Liberalism. New Perspectives on the French Liberal Renaissance, University of London Institute in Paris, Paris, France.

(2013, January). Presentation and discussion of my book "Les Intellectuels contre la gauche". Séminaire Les gauches alternatives en Europe : idées, cultures, évolutions, Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po, Paris, France.

(2013, January). Supplément aux Intellectuels contre la gauche (trad. fr. : Agone, 2009) : Penser la biographie de François Furet. Séminaire Marx au XXIe siècle, The Sorbonne, Paris, France.

(2013, January). L'historiographie américaine de la gauche française des années 1970. La décennie 70 en France. Inflexion, retournement, restauration politique?, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

(2013, January). Les 'passeurs' du 'dépasseur' : les historiens américains de la Révolution et François Furet. “Passeurs” de Révolution, Université de Rouen, France.

(2012, November). Paris, Cholet, Saint-Amand-Montrond: François Furet's Youth. New York Area Seminar in Intellectual and Cultural History, New York, NY.

(2010, June). Presentation and discussion of Les Intellectuels contre la gauche. Institut d’Études Politiques, Paris, France..

(2010, June). Presentation and discussion of Les Intellectuels contre la gauche. l'Institut d'histoire de la Révolution française (Université de Paris 1 / Panthéon-Sorbonne), Paris, France..

(2009, October). Presentations of Les Intellectuels contre la gauche. In the bookstores L’Atelier and Tropiques (Paris), Les Ombres Blanches (Toulouse), and La Machine à Lire (Bordeaux), France..

(2009, October). Les Intellectuels de gauche depuis mai 68: la cause ou le pouvoir ? Les Rendez-vous de l’histoire, Blois, France..

(2009, September). François Furet and the Algerian Independence War. Institute for French Studies Weekly Seminar Series, New York University, New York, NY..

(2005, April). Understanding the Collapse of the Intellectual Left and the Rise of Liberal Thought: A Reply to Perry Anderson. Institute of French Studies, New York University. New York, NY..

(2004, April). From the Antitotalitarian to the Liberal Moment. Conference on “Liberalism’s Return: French Social Thought Since 1968.” Columbia University, New York, NY..

(2001, February). Rethinking French Intellectual Politics: The Question of Communism Since World War Two. Lefler Lecture. Carleton College, Northfield, MN..

Conference Presentations/Papers

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(2014). François Furet's 'Le catéchisme révolutionnaire' (1971) Revisited. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. Montréal, Canada.

(2013). Comment for panel “Left-wing Expatriates in Wartime France: Elsa Triolet, Victor Brauner, Tristan Tzara, and Albert Camus”. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. Cambridge, MA.

(2012). François Furet’s Resistance. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. Los Angeles, CA.

(2009). Comment for panel “The Left in France after May ’68”. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. St. Louis, MO.

(2008). François Furet and America: The First Years, 1968-84. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. New Brunswick, NJ.

(2005). The Concept of Totalitarianism in Cold War France: A Comparative Perspective. In Cold War France and America: New Perspectives. Florida State University. Tallahassee, FL.

(2003). A Reactionary Revolutionary Aftermath? François Furet’s Dialogue with Ernst Nolte. In Revolutionary Aftermaths. Carleton College, Northfield, MN.

(2002). Explaining Gauchisme’s Demise in the Early 1970s. In 30th Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History. Baltimore, MD.

(2001). Comment for panel “French Social Cinema of the 1990s”. In 29th Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History. Indianapolis, IN.

(2001). The Politics of French Intellectuals’ Protests Against the Repression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. Chapel Hill, NC.

(2000). François Furet as a Journalist: The France observateur Years, 1958-64. In 28th Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History. Los Angeles, CA.

(1999). Political and Institutional Factors in the Divorce of Intellectuals from the Party Politics of the Left in the Aftermath of the Algerian War. In 27th Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History. Asilomar, CA.

(1999). East European Dissidence and French Intellectual Politics in the 1970s. In Cold War Culture: Film, Fact, and Fiction. Indiana University. Bloomington, IN.

(1998). From the Comité Tibor Déry to Solidarité avec Solidarnosc: French Intellectuals’ Protests Against Repression Under Communism Reconsidered. In Eleventh International Conference of Europeanists. Baltimore, MD.

(1996). The Gulag Effect: French Readings of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, 1974-76. In Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association. Atlanta, GA.

(1995). The Origins and Significance of Esprit’s Critique of Totalitarianism. In 23rd Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History.. Las Vegas, NV.

Other Scholarly/Artistic Work

EXCERPT from Les Intellectuels contre la gauche published in the French language edition of Le Monde diplomatique 667 (October 2009): 27, republished in the Norwegian, Korean, and Kurdish language editions of Le Monde diplomatique.


“Aux Sources de la Relecture de l’histoire de la Révolution française par François Furet: La Lutte des intellectuals français contre le ‘totalitarisme’ et ses effets sur l’histoire de l’historiographie de la Révolution française,” Annales historiques de la Révolution française 360 (April-June 2010): 227-38.

“L’antitotalitarianisme n’était pas la meilleure façon de sortir du marxisme,” Libération, Oct. 9, 2009. 1pp.

“L’Invention du ‘totalitarisme’.” Contretemps 22 (May 2008): 108-14.

BOOK REVIEWS in Canadian Journal of History, Choice, French Politics, Culture & Society, H-France Review, The Historian, History: Reviews of New Books, Patterns of Prejudice, La Revue Internationale des Livres et des Idées.

Professional Activities

Series editor of "Berghahn Mongraphs in French Studies" published by Berghahn Books. (Beginning in 2013)