Caroline Winterer

Director & Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford Humanities Center; Professor of History and (by courtesy) of Classics

At Stanford Since

Ph.D., University of Michigan, History A.M., University of Michigan, History B.A., cum laude, Pomona College, History
Complete CV: 
Headshot of Professor Caroline Winterer

Research Interests

Caroline Winterer was appointed Director of the Stanford Humanities Center in September 2013. A historian of early America, she holds the Anthony P. Meier Family Professorship in the Humanities and is Professor of History and, by courtesy, of Classics. She joined the Stanford faculty in 2004. She received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Michigan and her B.A. with honors from Pomona College in 1988.

Winterer specializes in the transmission of ideas between Europe and the Americas in the era from Columbus to the Civil War. The author of 3 books and over 30 articles, her research interests include the American Enlightenment, ideas about ancient Rome and Greece, art and material culture, and political thought. She is currently writing a book called The American Enlightenment that will be published by Yale University Press.

Her publications include The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900(2007) and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910 (2002), as well as articles in the Journal of American History, the William and Mary Quarterly, the American Quarterly, the Journal of the Early Republic and Modern Intellectual History. Winterer recently curated two exhibits of rare books and artifacts:  the exhibit Ancient Rome & America at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia in 2010 and also The American Enlightenment at Stanford’s Green Library in 2011. She has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the Spencer Foundation, among others.

Her work in Digital Humanities, which mapped the social network of Benjamin Franklin, was awarded an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution in 2013. 

Courses Taught

  • 51N: The American Enlightenment
  • 150a: Colonial and Revolutionary America (lecture)
  • 154: U.S. Intellectual and Cultural History, 1790-1865 (lecture)
  • 351b: Graduate Core Colloquium in U.S. History (1788-1865)
  • 475: Graduate Research Seminar, U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History, 18th and 19th centuries


American Enlightenment PosterThe American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries. 7 February - 15 May 2011, Peterson Gallery, Green Library, Stanford University. Curator: Caroline Winterer



  • Curatorial consultant for "Ancient Rome & America," an exhibit at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, February 19-August 1, 2010:

Recent Publications


Book cover, The American EnlightenmentThe American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries (Stanford: Stanford University Libraries, 2011)




Winterer book coverThe Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007).




Winterer bookcoverThe Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). Paperback reprint, 2004. Winner of the 2003 New Scholar’s Award from the American Educational Research Association.



Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Where is America in the Republic of Letters?” Modern Intellectual History 9, 3 (Nov. 2012): 597-623. 
  • “Classicism,” in the Oxford Companion to American Intellectual and Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), forthcoming.
  • “Kings and Republicans,” in Catalogue of an Exhibition of the Books of Charles J. Tanenbaum (Stanford University Libraries), forthcoming.
  • “Thomas Jefferson and the Ancient World,” in A Companion to Thomas Jefferson, ed. Francis Cogliano, Blackwell Companions to American History series (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 380-96.
  • “Classical Taste at Monticello: The Case of Thomas Jefferson’s Daughter and Granddaughters,” in Thomas Jefferson, the Classical World and Early America, ed. Peter Onuf and Nicholas Cole (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011), 78-98.
  • Model Empire, Lost City: Ancient Carthage and the Science of Politics in Revolutionary America,” William and Mary Quarterly 67, 1 (Jan. 2010): 3-30.
  • “Why Did American Women Read the Aeneid?” in A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and Its Tradition (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series), ed. Michael Putnam and Joseph Farrell (forthcoming, Wiley-Blackwell).
  • The Universal Freckle,” Common-Place 9, 3 (April 2009).
  • "The Big Picture: The Ancient Mediterranean in Early America," Common-place, 8, 4 (July 2008).
  • "Women and Civil Society: Introduction," Journal of the Early Republic, 28 (Spring 2008): 23-28.
  • “The Female World of Classical Reading in Eighteenth-Century America,” in Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800, ed. Heidi Hackel and Catherine Kelly (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007): 105-23.
  • “Is There an Intellectual History of Early American Women?” Modern Intellectual History 4, 1 (April 2007): 173-90.
  • “Classical Oratory and Fears of Demagoguery in Antebellum America,” in Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America, ed. Michael Meckler (Baylor University Press, 2006): 41-53.
  • “From Royal to Republican: The Classical Image in Early America,” Journal of American History 91 (March 2005): 1264-90. Excerpted as “Republican Art,” Wilson Quarterly (Sum. 2005): 104-5.
  • From Royal to Republican: The Classical Image in Early America,” invited selection for “Teaching the JAH” (March 2005), a section of the /Journal of American History/ that suggests how to connect new scholarship to undergraduate courses:
  • Interview: National Public Radio, “Reviving Ancient Greece” (WBEZ-Chicago), 3 May 2005:
  • “Venus on the Sofa: Women, Neoclassicism, and the Early American Republic,” Modern Intellectual History 2, 1 (April 2005): 29-60.
  • “The Problem of the Past in the Modern University: Catholics and Classicists, 1860-1900,” History of Education Quarterly 42 (2002): 518-45 (with K. Mahoney).
  • “The American School of Classical Studies at Athens: Scholarship and High Culture in the Gilded Age,” in Susan Allen, ed., Excavating Our Past: Perspectives on the History of the Archaeological Institute of America. AIA Colloquia and Conference Papers 5 (Boston: AIA, 2002): 93-104.
  • “Victorian Antigone: Classicism and Women’s Education in America, 1840-1900,” American Quarterly 53 (March 2001): 70-93.
  • “The Humanist Revolution in America, 1820-1860: Classical Antiquity in the Colleges,” History of Higher Education Annual 18 (1998): 111-29.
  • “Avoiding a ‘Hothouse System of Education’: Nineteenth-Century Early Childhood Education from the Infant Schools to the Kindergartens,” History of Education Quarterly 32 (Fall 1992): 288-314. Second place, Henry Barnard prize of the HEQ for best essay by a graduate student.

Selected Fellowships and Awards

  • Smithsonian Institution, American Ingenuity Award, 2013 (for Benjamin Franklin Big Data project)
  • Martha Sutton Weeks Faculty Scholar, Stanford University, 2013-16
  • Lester J. Cappon Prize, William and Mary Quarterly, 2011 (best article  of 2010)
  • Hewlett Faculty Grant, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford, 2011
  • Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts, grant for “The American Enlightenment,” exhibit curated at Stanford University Library, 2011
  • Presidential Fund for Innovation in the Humanities, Stanford University: “Mapping the Republic of Letters” (2008-11)
  • Gordon and Dailey Pattee Faculty Fellow, Stanford University, 2009-10
  • Faculty Research Fellow, Clayman Institute, Stanford University, 2009-10
  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, 2008-9
  • William H. and Frances Green Faculty Fellow, Stanford University, 2005-6
  • Fellow, National Humanities Center, 2003-4
  • Fellow, Howard Foundation, Brown University, 2003-4
  • NEH Summer Seminar, Stanford University, 2002
  • Spencer Foundation Small Grant, 2000-1
  • Spencer Foundation Collaborative Research Grant, 2000
  • NEH Summer Seminar, Princeton University, 1999
  • Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, 1998-99
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Humanities, Northwestern University, 1998-99
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, 1995-96
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan, 1994-95
  • University of Michigan Alumni Fellowship, 1994-95
  • University of Michigan Alumnae Council Scholarship, 1994
  • Rackham Dissertation Research Grant, University of Michigan, 1994
  • Andrew W. Mellon Candidacy Fellow, 1993
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Michigan, 1993
  • John H. Kemble Senior Thesis Prize in History, Pomona College, 1988

Professional Service

  • Associate Editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of American Intellectual and Cultural History
  • Editorial Board, Stanford University Press, 2009-
  • Advisory Board, Stanford Humanities Center, 2009-
  • Co-Director, Seminar on Enlightenment and Revolution, Stanford University, 2009-10
  • Editorial board, Reviews in American History, 2009-
  • Editorial board, Modern Intellectual History, 2008-
  • Advisory board, Palgrave series in Intellectual and Cultural History, 2008-
  • Committee on the Classical Tradition, American Philological Association, 2008-11