On Thursday, November 3, 4:30pm (Reese Room, Smith House): The History Department will be sponsoring its annual Philip C.F. Bankwitz Lecture titled, “Money, History and the French Revolution” featuring Rebecca Spang is Professor of History and Director of the Center for EighteenthCentury Studies at Indiana University. Her first book, The Invention of the Restaurant: Paris and Modern Gastronomic Culture, has been translated into Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish, and Modern Greek. It was the recipient of two major prizes, the Gottschalk Prize for the best book in eighteenth-century studies, awarded by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and theThomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize for best first book, awarded by the Harvard University Press.
Her most recent research is on the subject of money. Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution, published by Harvard University Press in 2015, uses one of the most infamous examples of monetary innovation — the assignats — to write a new history of money and a new history of the French Revolution. It shows that revolutionary radicalization was driven by the ever-widening gap between political ideals and the experience of daily life and restores economics, in the broadest sense, to its rightful place at the heart of the Revolution (and hence of modern politics).