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Caroline Winterer

Photo of Caroline Winterer

Caroline Winterer

Courtesy Professor


Caroline Winterer is William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, and Professor by courtesy of Classics. She specializes in American history before 1900, especially the history of ideas, political thought, and the history of science. She is currently writing a book on the history of deep time in America, to be published by Princeton University Press.

She teaches classes on American history until 1900, including American cultural and intellectual history, the American Enlightenment, the history of science, and the trans-Atlantic contexts of American thought.

She is the author of five books, including most recently Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era (Chicago, 2020), edited with her Stanford colleague Karen Wigen. Assembling a group of distinguished historians, cartographers, and art historians, the book shows how maps around the world for the last 500 years have ingeniously handled time in the spatial medium of maps.

Her book American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason (Yale, 2016), showed how early Americans grappled with the promises of the Enlightenment – how they used new questions about the plants, animals, rocks, politics, religions and peoples of the New World to imagine a new relationship between the present and the past, and to spur far-flung conversations about a better future for all of humanity. Earlier books and articles have explored America's long tradition of looking at the ancient classical world for political, artistic, and cultural inspiration. She received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution for mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin:

She is currently accepting graduate students. For more information on the PhD program in the Department of History, visit:

Other Titles

Professor, History
Professor (By courtesy), Graduate School of Education
Professor (By courtesy), Classics

Recent Publications

Winterer, C. (2021). “History: Narratives of Progress.” . A Cultural History of Ideas in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Jack Censer. (Vol. 4). London: Bloomsbury Academic Press.

Winterer, C. (2021). “Enlightened Despotism and the American Revolution: The Political Thought of Frederick the Great of Prussia.” . Political Thought and the Origins of the American Presidency, ed. Ben Lowe (pp. 98–124). Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2021.

Winterer, C., & Wigen, K. (Eds.). (2020). Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era. University of Chicago Press.

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