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School of History

Professor Colin Jones


Emeritus Professor of Cultural History



I was educated at Oxford and came to Queen Mary in 2006.  I have also taught at Newcastle, Exeter, Warwick, Stanford, Renmin, Paris-VIII universities and in 2014 was Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond, Virginia. Since 2017, I have been Visiting Professor in the History Department, University of Chicago.

I have held research positions at Princeton, the Collège de France, Columbia University’s Paris campus and the National Humanities Center, North Carolina. In 2020-21, I am Fellow in the Institut d’études avancées (Paris).

From 2012-15, I held a Leverhulme Trust Major Fellowship on my current research project which focuses on the day of 9 Thermidor when Robespierre was overthrown. My first publication on the project appeared as 'The Overthrow of Maximilien Robespierre and the "Indifference" of the People', American Historical Review (2014). My book, The Fall of Robespierre. 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris will be published by Oxford University Press in July 2021.

I am currently Principal Investigator on an AHRC Research Grant on ‘The Duchesse d’Elbeuf’s Letters to a Friend, 1788-94’. Dr Simon Macdonald (QMUL) is postdoctoral research fellow attached to the project. Our co-investigator Alex Fairfax-Cholmeley (Exeter University) has recently established a project website, accessible at



Research Interests:

I am a social and cultural historian of France whose interests focus around the eighteenth century. I have published widely and am the author or editor of around 20 books.

  • 18th century France and the French Revolution
  • The Terror
  • The history of medicine, especially 17th-early 19th centuries
  • The history of Paris
  • Physiognomy and caricature

Current PhD Students

  • Robin Carlile – The ‘journées’ of Germinal and Prairial in the Year 3: origins, participation and repression
  • Marie Giraud – Jansenism, religious art and women in early 18th-century Paris

Former PhD Students

  • Amelia Jackson – André-Charles Boulle as a Collector of Prints and Drawings
  • Anais Pedron – Women of Theatre and the Question of Rights in Paris, 1750-1800
  • Nigel Ritchie – The origins of Marat's revolutionary persona and the creation of a new form of political journalism
  • Gabriel Wick – Landscapes of Conscience: reform, liberalism and the transformation of the aristocratic landscape in France, 1770-1792

Postgraduate supervision 

I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:

  • Early modern, 18th century and French Revolutionary history
  • History of medicine 




Membership of professional associations or societies 

Editorial Positions

Appearances in the media

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