Victoria Thompson Selected as Chair of the School of History and Sociology

Posted February 8, 2023

Victoria Thompson has been selected to serve as chair of the School of History and Sociology in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, effective July 1. 

Hanchao Lu, professor of history, will continue to serve as interim chair until June 30. Lu will work closely with Thompson to ensure a smooth transition of School leadership.  

“We are delighted Dr. Thompson will be leading the School of History and Sociology. I look forward to working with her in this key leadership role,” said Kaye Husbands Fealing, Dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair. “We are very grateful to Dr. Lu for his interim leadership of the School.”  

Thompson is joining Georgia Tech from Arizona State University, where she is an associate professor of history. Her research focuses primarily on Paris, France in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her work combines cultural and social history approaches, focusing on the interplay between representation and experience. Her research interests include the history of urban space, travel and travel writing, the history of women, gender and sexuality, political culture, and the role of emotion in the formation of collective and individual identities. 

She is the author of The Virtuous Marketplace: Women and Men, Money and Politics in Paris, 1830-1870 (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000) and, with Rachel G. Fuchs, Women in Nineteenth-Century Europe (Palgrave MacMillan, 2004). She edited and contributed to The Cultural History of Work in the Age of Empire (Bloomsbury, 2018). She has published articles and book chapters on colonial Algeria, British travelers in revolutionary Paris, Parisian travel guides and urban monuments, and revolutionary spaces and memory. She is currently completing a monograph entitled Inventing Public Space: Sentiment and Citizenship in Paris, 1748-1789.  

Thompson has taught a variety of courses on European and French history and on cultural history. Undergraduate courses include courses on European Women's History, the History of Sexuality, French Imperialism, the French Revolution, European travel and European countercultures. On the graduate level, she has developed courses on European Cultural History, History and Memory, and Space and Place. 

She has served in leadership positions as president of the Society for French Historical Studies, co-president of the Western Society for 18th Century Studies, and as co-chair of the Advanced Placement European History Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee. She has served on prize committees for the American Historical Association and the Society for French Historical Studies, on the editorial board of French Historical Studies, and on selection committees for the Fulbright Fellowship and the International Dissertation Research Fellowship. 

Thompson received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in History from the University of California Berkeley.

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