Gary Kates

H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences and Professor of History; On leave Spring 2024
With Pomona Since: 2001
  • Expertise


    After eight years as dean of Pomona College, Gary Kates returned to the classroom and to his long-time scholarly interest in the European Enlightenment and the French Revolution. He is author of The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies (1998)—which examines a collection of important texts cited in current research challenging the orthodox views of the Revolution—and of Monsieur d’Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (1995), which relates a historical tale that The New York Times book reviewer Richard Bernstein called “almost too good to be true, a kind of ultimate human-interest story mingling with the larger themes of history.”

    Professor Kates's latest book, The Books that Made the European Enlightenment: A History in 12 Case Studies was published by Bloomsbury in 2022.

    Research Interests

    • The European Enlightenment
    • The French Revolution

    Areas of Expertise

    Modern European History

  • Work


    The Books that Made the European Enlightenment: A History in 12 Case Studies (London and New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2022 or 2023).

    “Politics and Economies: The Making of Enlightenment Political Economy” in A Cultural History of Ideas in the Enlightenment, ed. Jack Censer (Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

    Monsieur d'Eon Is a Woman: A Tale of Political Intrigue and Sexual Masquerade (1995; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), translated into German, Italian, and Portuguese.

    The French Revolution: Recent Debates and New Controversies (London: Routledge Press, 1998) hardback and paperback; second edition hardback and paperback, 2006; audio book edition for the Norwegian Library for Talking Books and Braille (Oslo: Norsk lyd- og blindeskriftbibliotek , 2003)

    The Cercle Social, the Girondins, and the French Revolution (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985)

    “D’Eon: Christian, Woman, and Autobiographer,” in Simon Burrows, Jonathan Conlin, Russell Goulbourne, and Valerie Mainz, eds., The Chevalier D’Eon and His Worlds: Gender, Espionage, and Politics in the Eighteenth Century (London and New York: Continuum, 2010), pp. 233-240

    "The Transgendered World of the Chevalier/Chevalière d'Eon," Journal of Modern History 67 (September 1995): 558-594

    "From Liberalism to Radicalism: Tom Paine's Rights of Man," Journal of the History of Ideas 50 (Oct.-Dec. 1989): 569-588; reprinted in Frank Shuffelton, ed., The American Enlightenment (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1993), pp. 318-336; reprinted in Bruce Kuklick, ed., Thomas Paine (Burlington, VT: Ashgate [The International Library of Essays on the History of Social and Political Thought] 2006), pp. 99-118.

    "Jews Into Frenchmen: Nationality and Representation in Revolutionary France," Social Research 56 (Spring 1989): 213-232; reprinted in Ferenc Féher, ed., The French Revolution and the Birth of Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990 [paperback ed., 1992]), pp. 103-116; reprinted in The French Revolution: Conflicting Interpretations, 5th edition, eds. Frank A. Kafker, et. al. (Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company, 2002), pp. 417-432.

  • Education


    University of Chicago

    Master of Arts
    University of Chicago

    Bachelor of Arts
    Pitzer College

    Professional Experience

    2001-2009, Dean of the College

    Pomona College

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Early Modern Europe
    • Enlightenment and Capitalism
    • The French Revolution
    • Critical Inquiry Seminar
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    American Historical Association, Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentor Award, 1999