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Liana Vardi

office: Park 582
phone: (716) 645-8427

Editor of Fiction and Film for French Historians


McGill, PhD, 1985

Courses Regularly Taught

Early Modern Europe
Ancien Regime
The Enlightenment
Science and art from the Renaissance to the present
History of Paris
Vichy France
The Thirty Years War


Early Modern Europe, Intellectual History, Medicine/Disability/Science, Social/Cultural History, Urban History

Research Interests

France, intellectual life in the eighteenth century, the relationship between the arts and sciences, the perception of nature and of the rural world

Current Research

The French Revolution and the conflicts of spring 1792

Selected Publications


The Physiocrats and the World of the Enlightenment, Cambridge UP, 2012; released in paperback, 2014.


The Land and the Loom, Peasants and Profit in Northern France, 1680-1800, Duke UP, 1993


“Physiocratic Visions”, Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, January 2010

“Rewriting the Lives of Eighteenth-Century Economists,” American Historical Review, June 2009

“Imagining the Harvest in Early Modern Europe”, American Historical Review, December 1996

“Construing the Harvest: Gleaners, Farmers and Officials in Early Modern France, American Historical Review, December 1993


  • Fellowship, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2000-2001)
  • Fellowship, The Yale Program in Agrarian Studies (1994-5)
  • The Koren Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies, for the best article in French History, 1994

 Recent reviews of The Physiocrats and the World of the Enlightenment, Cambridge UP, 2012:

“A revealing and instructive piece of scholarship. By situating Physiocracy within Enlightenment culture, Vardi adds significantly to our understanding of both, employing a lively and innovative biographical approach.” – David A. Bell, Princeton University

“In The Physiocrats and the World of the Enlightenment, Liana Vardi unlocks the mental world of the Physiocrats. Often narrowly viewed as mere proto-economic theorists, the Physiocrats emerge as major intellectual figures whose interests ranged across the disciplines, from the arts through politics and sociology to linguistics and the study of ceremony and myth. Vivid, richly textured and engagingly written, this book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the Enlightenment and its cultural, political, and economic legacies.” – Colin Jones, Queen Mary University of London, author of The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon

“In this important and original study, Liana Vardi goes beyond the economic and political theories of the Physiocrats to probe the group’s underlying philosophical, epistemological, and ‘aesthetic’ assumptions. With remarkable erudition, she examines and integrates virtually all of the writings of the principal theorists of the school – even those writings with little or no bearing on economic doctrine. She thus offers fascinating reflections on how their intellectual and life experiences influenced their understanding of the eighteenth-century world in which they lived.” – Timothy Tackett, University of California, Irvine