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:

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Chair, Department of History (2020 - Present)
  • William Robertson Coe Professor of History and American Studies, Department of History, Stanford University (2019 - Present)
  • Director, Stanford Humanities Center (2013 - 2019)
  • Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford Humanities Center (2013 - 2019)
  • Professor, Department of Classics, Stanford University (2011 - Present)
  • Professor, Department of History, Stanford University (2010 - Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of History, Stanford University (2004 - 2008)
  • Associate Professor, Department of History, Stanford University (2008 - 2010)
  • Assistant Professor, Department of History, San Jose State University (1998 - 2004)
  • Associate Professor, Department of History, San Jose State University (1998 - 2004)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University (1997 - 1998)

Honors & Awards

  • Elected Member, Society of American Historians ("for literary distinction in the writing of history") (2019)
  • Elected Member, American Antiquarian Society (2016)
  • Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians (2015-2021)
  • Marta Sutton Weeks Faculty Scholar, Stanford University (2013 - 2016)
  • American Ingenuity Award, Smithsonian Institution (2013)
  • Lester J. Cappon Prize, William and Mary Quarterly, Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture (2011)
  • Faculty Research Fellow, Michelle R. Clayman Institute, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • Gordon and Dailey Pattee Faculty Fellow, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)
  • Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2008 - 2009)
  • William and Frances Green Faculty Fellow, Stanford (2005 - 2006)
  • Fellow, National Humanities Center (2003 - 2004)
  • Fellow, Howard Foundation, Brown University (2003 - 2004)
  • New Scholar’s Book Award for The Culture of Classicism, American Educational Research Association (2003)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Humanities, Northwestern University (1998 - 1999)
  • Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow, The National Academy of Education (1998 - 1999)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellow, ACLS (1995 - 1996)
  • Fellowship, University of Michigan Alumni (1994 - 1995)
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan (1994 - 1995)
  • Scholarship, University of Michigan Alumnae Council (1994)
  • Candidacy Fellow, Andrew W. Mellon (1993)
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Michigan (1993)
  • John H. Kemble Senior Thesis Prize in History, Pomona College (1988)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Editorial Board, University of Chicago Press, Histories of the University series (2017 - Present)
  • Chair, Search Committee, Native American History (2016 - 2017)
  • Chair, Search Committee, 19th-Century U.S. (2016 - 2017)
  • Advisory Board, Society for U.S. Intellectual History (2015 - Present)
  • Advisory Board, University of Pennsylvania Press, Intellectual History of the Modern Age Series (2015 - Present)
  • Chair, Search Committee, Early American History, Stanford (2014 - 2015)
  • Digital Humanities Outside Reviewer, John Carter Brown Library, (Brown University) (2014 - 2014)
  • Member, Denning Fund in Digital Humanities Selection Committee, Stanford (2013 - Present)
  • Member, Library Digital Humanities Selection Committee (2013 - 2014)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, Interdisciplinary Honors Program in the Arts, Stanford (2013 - 2014)
  • Member, Humanities Curriculum Committee, H&S, Stanford (2013 - 2014)
  • Associate Editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of American Intellectual and Cultural History (2013 - 2013)
  • Editorial Board Member, Reviews in American History (2009 - Present)
  • Advisory Board Member, Stanford Humanities Center (2009 - 2013)
  • Editorial Board Member, Modern Intellectual History (2008 - Present)
  • Editorial Board Member, Palgrave series in Intellectual and Cultural History (2008 - 2013)

Program Affiliations

  • American Studies
  • Program in History & Philosophy of Science

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, History (1996)
  • A.M., University of Michigan, History (1991)
  • B.A., Pomona College, History (1988)

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • “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 Winterer, C. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2021. 2021: 98–124
  • “History: Narratives of Progress.” A Cultural History of Ideas in the Age of Enlightenment, ed. Jack Censer. Winterer, C. London: Bloomsbury Academic Press. 2021
  • Washington Post, review of Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (2018). Feb. 23, 2018: Winterer, C. Washington Post. 2018
  • "Historical Research in a Digital Age: Refllections on the Mapping the Republic of Letters Project" American HIstorical Review Winterer, C., et al 2017; 2 (2017): 400-424
  • The Importance of Being Ideological Eighteenth-Century Studies Winterer, C. 2017; 50 (3): 308-14

    View details for DOI 10.1353/ecs.2017.0016

  • "What Was the American Enlightenment?" The Worlds of American Intellectual History Winterer, C. Oxford University Press. 2016: 19–36
  • “The Aquarial View: Taking Things Seriously in the History of Ideas.” Society for U.S. Intellectual HIstory Classics Series Winterer, C. 2016:
  • Classicism Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment Winterer, C. edited by Spencer, M. Thoemmes. 2014
  • Classicism Oxford Encyclopedia of American Intellectual and Cultural History Winterer, C. Oxford University Press. 2013
  • The U.S. Founders and Cyrus the Great of Persia (Book Review of Cyropaedia) Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies Winterer, C. 2013
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Ancient World A Companion to Thomas Jefferson, Blackwell Companions to American History Series Winterer, C. edited by Cogliano, F. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. 2011: 380–396
  • Classical Taste at Monticello: The Case of Thomas Jefferson's Daughter and Granddaughters Thomas Jefferson, the Classical World and Early America Winterer, C. edited by Onuf, P., Cole, N. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. 2011: 78–98
  • The American Enlightenment: Treasures from the Stanford University Libraries Winterer, C. Stanford: Stanford University Libraries. 2011
  • Phillis Wheatley The Virgil Encyclopedia Winterer, C. edited by Thomas, R., Ziolkowski, J. M. Wiley-Blackwell. 2011
  • Model Empire, Lost City: Ancient Carthage and the Science of Politics in Revolutionary America WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY Winterer, C. 2010; 67 (1): 3-30
  • Fraternities and Sororities The Classical Tradition Winterer, C. edited by Grafton, A., Most, G., Settis, S. Harvard University Press. 2010
  • Why Did American Women Read the Aeneid? A Companion to Vergil’s Aeneid and Its Tradition, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series Winterer, C. edited by Putnam, M., Farrel, J. Wiley-Blackwell. 2010: 366–375
  • The Universal Freckle Common-Place Winterer, C. 2009; 9 (3)
  • Victorian Antigone: Classicism and Women’s Education in America, 1840-1900 American Women and Classical Myths Winterer, C. edited by Staley, G. Baylor University Press. 2009: 159–179
  • Women and Civil Society: Introduction JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Winterer, C. 2008; 28 (1): 23-28
  • The Big Picture: The Ancient Mediterranean in Early America Common-Place Winterer, C. 2008; 8 (4)
  • The Female World of Classical Reading in Eighteenth-Century America Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 Winterer, C. edited by Hackel, H., Kelly, C. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2007: 105–123
  • The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750 - 1900 Winterer, C. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 2007
  • Is There an Intellectual History of Early American Women? Modern Intellectual History Winterer, C. 2007; 4 (1): 173 - 190
  • Classical Oratory and Fears of Demagoguery in Antebellum America Classical Antiquity and the Politics of America Winterer, C. edited by Meckler, M. Baylor University Press. 2006: 41–53
  • From royal to republican: The classical image in early America JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY Winterer, C. 2005; 91 (4): 1264-1290
  • Venus on the Sofa: Women, Neoclassicism, and the Early American Republic Modern Intellectual History Winterer, C. 2005: 29 - 60
  • Republican Art Wilson Quarterly Winterer, C. 2005: 104 - 105
  • The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910 (Paperback) Winterer, C. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2004
  • John Clarke (1687-1734) Dictionary of British Classicists, 1500-1960 Winterer, C. edited by Todd, R. Bristol: Thoemmes Press. 2004
  • The culture of classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American intellectual life, 1780-1910 (Book Review) NEW REPUBLIC Book Review Authored by: Bowersock, G. W. 2002; 227 (19): 27-31
  • The Problem of the Past in the Modern University: Catholics and Classicists, 1860-1900 History of Education Quarterly Winterer, C., Mahoney, K. 2002; 42: 518-545
  • The American School of Classical Studies at Athens: Scholarship and High Culture in the Gilded Age Winterer, C. edited by Allen, S. 2002: 93–104
  • Victorian Antigone: Classicism and women's education in America, 1840-1900 AMERICAN QUARTERLY Winterer, C. 2001; 53 (1): 70-93
  • The Humanist Revolution in America, 1820-1860: Classical Antiquity in the Colleges History of Higher Education Annual Winterer, C. 1998; 18: 111 - 129