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James Epstein

Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus


Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus

James Epstein is a historian of modern Britain, specializing in late eighteenth and nineteenth-century political culture. He taught at Vanderbilt from 1987 to 2018. He is author of The Lion of Freedom: Feargus O’Connor and the Chartist Movement (Croom Helm, 1982); Radical Expression: Political Language, Ritual, and Symbol in England, 1790-1850 (Oxford University Press, 1994), winner of the British Council Prize in the Humanities; In Practice: Studies in the Language and Culture of Popular Politics in Modern Britain (Stanford University Press, 2003); Scandal of Colonial Rule: Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic during the Age of Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2012), co-winner of the Stansky book prize. He is also co-editor, with Dorothy Thompson, of The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working Class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-1860 (Macmillan, 1982).  His most recent book is British Jacobin Politics, Desires, and Aftermaths: Seditious Hearts (Routledge, 2021), co-authored with David Karr.

Professor Epstein has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, the National Humanities Center, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Huntington Library.

From 2000 to 2005, Professor Epstein co-edited, along with Nicholas Rogers, Journal of British Studies