Professor Suzanne M. Desan, Ph.D.

Professor Suzanne M. Desan
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of California, Berkeley
I've devoted my career to studying the French Revolutionary era. This era--its actors, its dreams, its politics, its tragedies--it just won't let me go. I seem to be addicted to the French Revolution.

Professor Suzanne M. Desan is the Vilas-Shinners Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Professor Desan is a historian of early modern Europe, specializing in 18th-century France. She holds a B.A. in History from Princeton University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Desan’s love of teaching has been recognized by various awards, including the University of Wisconsin Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2007) and the UW–Madison Undergraduate History Association’s Professor of the Year Award (2013). She has sought out wider audiences for her teaching by participating in Wisconsin Public Radio’s University of the Air, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and seminars and workshops sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Professor Desan’s research has often probed how individuals experienced French revolutionary politics in their daily lives. She has especially tried to understand the Revolution’s impact on ordinary men and women and to analyze how they engaged in politics in households, churches, and villages. More recently, her writing has examined the international circulation of revolutionary ideas and practices and has explored the influence of foreigners on French politics and political culture.

Professor Desan has written or coedited Reclaiming the Sacred: Lay Religion and Popular Politics in Revolutionary France; The Family on Trial in Revolutionary France; Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France; and The French Revolution in Global Perspective.

Professor Desan has spent many happy hours delving into archives in France. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Philosophical Association, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fulbright Program, and American Council of Learned Societies.

Testimonials
"Dr. Desan's enthusiasm and knowledge of subject is excellent. She is the finest professor I have ever had, in person or in this series."

13 Courses and Sets

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13 Courses and Sets

  1. Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Suzanne M. Desan
    4.8 out of 5
    93% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (144)
    Starting at £69.99 Starting at £69.99 £99.99 £69.99£99.99
    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. Now you can learn the full story of this era that shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society—not just for France, but for all of Europe—in Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon....
  2. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History Collection

    36 Revolutionary Figures of History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    3.2 out of 5
    42% of reviewers would recommend this product
    (7)
    Starting at £34.99 Starting at £34.99 £34.99 £34.99£34.99
    Alexander the Great. Jesus. Darwin. Churchill. These are just a few of the revolutionary individuals who have transformed our world in ways that still resonate today. 36 Revolutionary Figures of History is a unique collection of 36 lectures from our extensive course catalog—one that takes you across time and around the globe to offer piercing insights into some of history’s most transformative figures.
  3. (Set)  French Revolution & Turning Points in Modern History Set

    (Set) French Revolution & Turning Points in Modern History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £102.98 Starting at £102.98 £144.98 £102.98£144.98
  4. (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Foundations of Western Civilization II: A History of the Modern Western World  Set

    (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Foundations of Western Civilization II: A History of the Modern Western World

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £130.98 Starting at £130.98 £186.98 £130.98£186.98
    Immerse yourself in a thrilling era in modern history that shaped politics, religion and society in France and all of Europe, and get a comprehensive historical overview of the past five centuries and their legacy on social progress, political evolution, industrialization, and other economic factors in this course set that will give you the foundation for understanding our current times. First, in Living the French...
  5. (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Rise and Fall of the British Empire  Set

    (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Rise and Fall of the British Empire

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £116.98 Starting at £116.98 £167.98 £116.98£167.98
    Learn about a seminal event in world history as well as an era in British history that changed not only the landscape of France and Great Britain, but also all of Western Europe and even beyond. In Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, you’ll see how the 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution and the Bourbon restoration led to permanent changes in politics, religion, and...
  6. (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & World War I: The "Great War"  Set

    (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & World War I: The "Great War"

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £167.98 Starting at £167.98 £167.98 £167.98£167.98
  7. (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & American Revolution  Set

    (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & American Revolution

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £102.98 Starting at £102.98 £144.98 £102.98£144.98
    Immerse yourself in two thrilling eras in modern history that forever changed France and America and their relationship to each other. First, in Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, revisit the 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814. Then, in The American Revolution, learn how 13 colonies, with nothing resembling a unified and...
  8. (Set) Learning French & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon Set

    (Set) Learning French & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £116.98 Starting at £116.98 £167.98 £116.98£167.98
    Discover the language, culture, and history of France with this two-course set. Start by exploring the intersection between French language and culture to gain an advanced understanding of both in Learning French: A Rendezvous with French-Speaking Cultures. Then, earn the full story of a captivating period in Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon.
  9. (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Decisive Battles of World History Set

    (Set) Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon & Decisive Battles of World History

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £116.98 Starting at £116.98 £167.98 £116.98£167.98
    N/A
  10. (Set) The History of Spain & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon Set

    (Set) The History of Spain & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £60.98 Starting at £60.98 £144.98 £60.98£144.98
    N/A
  11. (Set) 36 Revolutionary Figures of History & 36 Books That Changed the World Set

    (Set) 36 Revolutionary Figures of History & 36 Books That Changed the World

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £64.98 Starting at £64.98 £64.98 £64.98£64.98
    Learn something new and exciting with this set of collections courses. Start by exploring 36 revolutionary figures that have changed the course of history. Then, dive into 36 books that have played a central role in shaping our culture – from entertaining and instructing to shaping our social mores.
  12. (SET) The Great Tours: France through the Ages & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon Set

    (SET) The Great Tours: France through the Ages & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £102.98 Starting at £102.98 £144.98 £102.98£144.98
    Discover the magical and timeless appeal of France—its romantic cities, idyllic landscapes, legendary food and wine, and fabulous history—in the 24 visually lavish lectures of The Great Tours: France through the Ages. Then, drill down into one of the most critical periods in French history with Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon, which immerses you in the full story of an era that shook the...
  13. (Set) History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon Set

    (Set) History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach & Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at £102.98 Starting at £102.98 £144.98 £102.98£144.98
    Time and time again, revolutions and military conflicts have changed the tides of history. In this two-part set of History’s Great Military Blunders and the Lessons They Teach and Living the French Revolution, you can experience the drama of notable battles and meet remarkable military leaders. Trace the astonishing impacts these events and people had on everything that followed them in history.