Meghan Roberts

Associate Professor of History

Teaching this semester

HIST 2063. Challenging the Catholic Church, 1529-1633

Immerses students in the religious, political, and scientific culture of early modern Europe through the study of two key moments: the trial of Galileo Galilei for heresy and the efforts of King Henry VIII to divorce his wife and assume control of the Church of England. These episodes famously pitted these individuals against the Catholic Church, allowing consideration of how religion shaped the history of ideas and politics in this volatile period. Employs well-developed classroom simulations in which students take on roles of historical personae, allowing them to think through the broad forces shaping history as well as the potential for individual actors to affect change.

HIST 3060. Remembering the French Revolution

Advanced research seminar. Explores the relationship between memory and social, cultural, and political history through a focus on the French Revolution. Considers how memories of the past and dreams for the future shaped the course of the French Revolution and the turbulent history of France in the nineteenth century. Students conduct independent research in this area, teach their research to the class, and write a substantial paper based on analysis of primary and secondary sources. This course is part of the following field(s) of study: Europe.

I am a historian of eighteenth-century France with particular interests in cultural history, the history of science and medicine, and women's and gender history. I published my first book, Sentimental Savants: Philosophical Families in Enlightenment France, with the University of Chicago Press in 2016. I am now working on a book about the medical practitioners in the Atlantic World. For more about my current research, teaching, and CV, please visit my personal website:




  • Ph.D. , History, Northwestern University, 2011
  • M.A., History, Northwestern University, 2006
  • B.A., History, College of William and Mary, 2004


Sentimental Savants: Philosophical Families in Enlightenment France (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

"Laclos's Objects of Affection: Venerating the Family During the French Revolution," Eighteenth-Century Studies 51.3 (2018)

"Learned and Loving: Representing Women Astronomers in Enlightenment France," Journal of Women's History 29.1 (2017)

"Philosophes Mariés and Epouses Philosophiques: Men of Letters and Marriage in Eighteenth-Century France," French Historical Studies 35.3 (2012)

With Anne Verjus, Claire Cage, Jennifer Heuer, and Andrea Mansker, "Regards croisés sur le mariage à l’époque révolutionnaire et impériale," Annales Historiques de la Révolution Française 388.2 (2017)