Raymond Jonas

Jon Bridgman Endowed Professor in History
Raymond Jonas

Contact Information

SMI 210b
Office Hours
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Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1985

I am a free-range historian of the long nineteenth century (1789-1918). My work explores episodes and themes that connect Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

My most recent book, Habsburgs on the Rio Grande: The Rise and Fall of the Second Mexican Empire (Harvard) shows how European and Mexican fears of American empire culminated in an attempt to establish a European monarchy on Mexican soil.

The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire (Harvard) tells the unique story of successful African resistance to colonization. The book narrates this signal event in global history and follows the Adwa story as it rolls through African and European diasporic communities. The Battle of Adwa represents the culmination of ten years of research on three continents – Africa, Europe and the Americas. A companion web site BattleOfAdwa.org augments and extends this work.

Earlier work elaborates the political culture of counter-revolution, notably in art, architecture, and ritual. France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart: an Epic Tale for Modern Times (California) focuses on the basilica of Sacré-Coeur, on Montmartre, in Paris. It situates the basilica within the cold civil war that simmered for over a century after the Revolution of 1789. The book lays out the elements of a fierce struggle between advocates of a Christian national ideal and defenders of a pluralist vision of the nation.

The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War (California) adopts the biographical form to follow an unusual personality as she navigates the boundary between divine inspiration and hysteria. Le Sacré-Cœur; histoire d'une dévotion du XVIe au XXe siècle (Geste, 2004) developed these themes for a francophone audience.

Industry and Politics in Rural France, 1870-1914 (Cornell) subverts the conventional story of the making of the European working class by focusing on unconventional members of it.


Courses Taught

Graduate Study Areas

Division: Europe--Medieval to Modern Times

Europe and the Modern World

This field aims to provide a familiarity with some of the great themes, problems, and events in the history of modern Europe, including but not limited to Europe’s larger global engagements. It offers a foundation for advanced study of a thematic or regional nature, a basis for comparative historical study within Europe and beyond, and preparation for the teaching of entry-level and advanced undergraduate surveys in the field.

Course work for a primary field in Europe and the Modern World includes HSTEU513 and at least two graduate level courses or directed readings under my supervision, along with appropriate language training.

Course work for a field in Europe and the Modern World that is not a primary field includes HSTEU513 and at least one graduate level course or directed reading under my supervision.

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