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Kent Wright

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Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 0602
Biography

 

Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

 

Research Interests and Selected Publications

Kent Wright received his Ph.D. in History in 1990 from the University of Chicago.  His research and writing has been devoted to three related subjects – French political thought in the era of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the wider history of the Enlightenment and its place in modern thought and historiography in general.  He is the author of A Classical Republican in Eighteenth-Century France: the Political Thought of Mably (Stanford, 1997), and of essays on French republicanism, Montesquieu and Rousseau, historical writing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and on Ernst Cassirer and Carl Becker.  He is currently editing a volume of essays on the Enlightenment for Blackwell's New Histories series, and working on two book projects: a study of the Enlightenment in twentieth-century thought, entitled A Bright, Clear Mirror; and a study of Montesquieu's political thought in its historical context.

Teaching Interests and Courses

Professor Wright taught courses in Western Civilization and Social Thought in the College at Chicago for seven years.  He joined the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Arizona State University in 1994, for which he taught a wide range of courses in cultural and intellectual history, including surveys of Western art and literature, the history of psychoanalysis and modern critical and literary theory.  In 2003, Wright moved to the Department of History, where he has taught surveys in Western, European, and Global history, and courses and seminars in the Enlightenment, and the French, American, and Latin American Revolutions; and directed graduate work on French and modern European intellectual history.

Professional Service Activities

Professor Wright was Director of Graduate Studies in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program for four years.  Currently, he is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History; he also serves Program Advisor in History for the Barrett Honors College.  He is a past Vice-President of the Society for French History Studies, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture.

Publications
  • . . Review of: The Natural History of Revolution: Violence and Nature in the French Revolutionary Imagination, 1789-1794 (Cornell University Press, 2010), (2013).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Voltaire and the Lettres philosophiques". Enlightenment and Secuarlism: Essays on the Mobilization of Reason (2013).
  • . . Review of: La première contre-révolution, 1789-91 (2012).
  • Kent Wright. "Rousseaus Nachleben". (2012).
  • . . Review of: Les vies de Voltaire: discours et représentations biographiques (2010).
  • . . Review of: The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding (2010).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Phocion in France: Adventures of a Neo-Stoic Hero". Héorisme et lumières (2010).
  • . . Review of: The Declaration of Independence (2009).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "The Hard Birth of French Liberalism". (2009).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. Forum on Michael Sonenscher's "Sans-Culottes". (2009).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Montesquieuean Moments: the 'Spirit of the Laws' and Republicanism". Proceedings of the Western Society for French History (2008).
  • . . Review of: The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe Since the Seventeenth Century (2008).
  • . . Review of: Voltaire Almighty: A Life in Pursuit of Freedom (2008).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Mably and Berne". History of European Ideas (2007).
  • . . Review of: Iselin contra Rousseau: Sociable Patriotism and the History of Mankind (2007).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Montesquieuean Moments: The Spirit of the Laws and Republicanism". Proceedings of the Western Society for French History (2007).
  • Johnson Wright. Comment on a Forum on Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality". Modern Intellectual History (2006).
  • . . Review of: Rousseau as Author: Consecrating One's Life to the Truth / Grotesque Figures: Baudelaire, Rousseau, and the Aesthetics of Modernity (2006).
  • . . Review of: Voltaire Almighty (2006).
  • . . Review of: Montesq uieu and the Spirit of Modernity (2005).
  • . . Review of: The Making of Revolutionary Paris (2005).
  • . . Candide, or, Optimism, trans. Burton Raffel (2005).
  • . . Review of: Forging Rousseau: Print, Commerce, and Cultural Manipulation in the Late Enlightenment; On Jean-Jacques Rousseau Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution (2004).
  • . . Review of: The History of Political Thought in National Context (2004).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . History in the Service of Philosophy. The Enlightenment World (2004).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent. Public Opinion. Dictionary of Early Modern Europe (2003).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent. The Enlightenment. Dictionary of Early Modern Europe (2003).
  • Johnson Wright. History and Historicism. Camridge History of Science (2003).
  • Johnson Wright. La République des lumières. Le Dictionnaire de la République (2003).
  • . . The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (2003).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . History and Historicism. The Cambridge History of Science, The Modern Social and Behavioral Sciences (2003).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . La République des Lumières. La République: dictionnaire critique (2003).
  • Johnson Wright. Historical Thought in the Era of the Enlightenment. The Blackwell Companion to Historical Thought (2002).
  • Johnson Wright. The Idea of a Republican Constitution in Old Regime France. Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage (2002).
  • . . Review of: The Poltiics of Virtue in Eighteenth-Century France (2002).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . Historical Thought in the Era of the Enlightenment. The Blackwell Companion to Historical Thought (2002).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . The Idea of a Republican Constitution in the French Ancien Régime. Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage (2002).
  • Johnson Wright. A Bright Clear Mirror: Cassirer's Philosophy of the Enlightenment. What's Left of Enlightenment? A Postmodern Debate (2001).
  • Johnson Wright. The Pre-Postmodernism of Carl Becker. Postmodernism and the Enlightenment (2001).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . A Bright Clear Mirror: Cassirer's Philosophy of the Enlightenment. What's Left of the Enlightenment? A Postmodern Debate (2001).
  • Wright, Johnson Kent (Author) . The Pre-Postmodernism of Carl Becker. Postmodernism and the Enlightenment (2001).
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
CEL 194Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 112Foundations of Democracy
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 302Studies in History
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 492Honors Directed Study
HST 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
SGS 111Global History Since 1500
HST 302Studies in History
HST 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
POS 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 304Studies in European History
HST 599Thesis
HST 790Reading and Conference
HST 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 100Global History to 1500
HST 598Special Topics
HST 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 112Foundations of Democracy
HST 495Methods of Historical Inquiry
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
HST 101Global History Since 1500
Presentations
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Montesquieu and the Problem of the French Constitution Revisited". Conference on Montesquieu and the Uses of Nobility (Mar 2010).
  • Johnson Kent Wright. "Phocion in France: Adventures of a Neo-Stoic Hero". Annual Conference of the Western Society for French History (Nov 2008).
  • Wright, Johnson. Liberty and Responsibility in the French Revolution. Liberty Fund Symposium on Liberty and Responsibility in the French Revolution (Dec 2006).
  • Wright, Johnson. Montesquieu and the Problem of the French Constitution Revisited. Annual Conference of the American Society for Legal History (Nov 2006).
  • Wright, Johnson. Montesquieu and the Problem of the French Constitution Revisited. Conference of the American Society for Legal History (Nov 2006).
  • Wright, Johnson. Madame de Staël, Benjamin Constant, and the French Revolution. Liberty Fund Symposium on Madame de Staël and Benjamin Constant (Aug 2006).
  • Wright, Johnson. Clash of the Republicans? Rousseau vs. Mably on Poland. Conference of the Western Society for French History (Oct 2005).
  • Wright, Johnson. Comment on a Panel on the French Nobility at the End of the Old Regime. Annual Conference for the Society of French Historical Studies (Apr 2005).
  • Wright, Johnson. New Trends in the History of Political Economy in France. Annual Conference of the Western Society for French Historical Studies (Oct 2003).
  • Wright, Johnson. Insight and Blindness: Montesquieu and Nobility. Conference on the French Nobility (Nov 2002).
  • Wright, Johnson. Mably and Berne. Conference on Republican Political Economy & Enlightenment: the Economic and Patriotic Societies of Berne in European Context (Sep 2000).
Service
  • State-Wide Articulation Task Force for History & Political Science, Host for Annual Meeting (2009 - 2209)
  • Arizona Academic Decathlon, Consultant, Lecturer, Moderator (2099 - Present)
  • CLAS Academic Standards Committee, Member of Advisory Board (2013 - Present)
  • Institute for Humanities Research, Member of Advisory Board (2011 - Present)
  • Institute for Humanities Research, Member of Advisory Board (2011 - Present)
  • Arizona Academic Decathlon, Consultant, Lecturer, Moderator (2009 - Present)
  • Arizona Academic Decathlon, Consultant, Lecturer, Moderator (2009 - Present)
  • Barrett Honors College Advisor, History, Advisor (2006 - Present)
  • Undergraduate Studies, History, Director (2006 - Present)
  • French Historical Studies, Co-Editor (2011 - 2015)
  • French Historical Studies, C-Editor (2011 - 2014)
  • Western Society for French History, Board Member (2009 - 2012)
  • Faculty of History, SHPRS, Head of Faculty of History (2009 - 2011)
  • Society for French Historical Studies, Vice-President (2009 - 2010)
  • Society for French Historical Studies, Board, Vice-President (2009 - 2010)
  • Modern Intellectual History, Report on manuscript submission (2009 - 2009)
  • Arizona Academic Decathlon, Consultant, Host, Master of Ceremonies (2009 - 2009)
  • Faculty of History SHPRS, Head of Faculty (2009 - 2009)
  • Ad-Hoc Committee for World & Global History, Chair (2009 - 2009)
  • Barrett Honors College Advisor, History, Disciplinary Advisor (2008 - 2009)
  • Undergraduate Studies, History, Director (2008 - 2009)
  • Cornell University Press, Report on book manuscript (2009 - 2009)
  • Barrett Honors College, Disciplinary Advisor for History (2009 - 2009)
  • CLAS Curriculum Committee, Member (2009 - 2009)
  • CLAS Undergraduate Awards Committee, Member (2009 - 2009)
  • Department of History, Director of Undergraduate Studies (2009 - 2009)
  • European Field Committee, Chair (2009 - 2009)
  • William & Mary Quarterly, Report on manuscript submission (2009 - 2009)
  • Graduate Admissions Committee, Member (2009 - 2009)
  • French Historical Studies, report on manuscript submission (2009 - 2009)
  • Committee for Undergraduate Research Symposium, Committee Member (2006 - 2007)
  • Queen's University, Toronto, External tenure review (2006 - 2006)
  • Graduate Admissions Committee, History, Chair (2006 - 2006)
  • Research Goup on "What is Europe?" for institute for Humanities Research, Co-Coordinator (2005 - 2006)
  • Research Group on "What is Europe?" for Institute for Humanities Research, Co-Coordinator (2005 - 2005)
  • Barrett Honors College, History Department Advisor (2005 - 2005)
  • University of Toronto Press, Manuscript Reviewer (2005 - 2005)
  • Barrett Honors College, Honors College Advisor to the History Department (2004)
  • French Historical Studies, Manuscript Review (2004)
  • Graduate Committee, Member (2004)
  • Personnel Advisory Committee, Member (2004)
  • Steiner Prize Committee, Member (2004)
  • University of Toronto Press, Manuscript review (2004)
  • History - Graduate Committee, Member (2003)
  • History - Steiner Prize Committee, Member (2003)
  • The Journal of British Studies, Commentator on manuscript (2003)
  • Graduate Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities Program, Director (1997 - 2001)