| Peter N. Stearns

Peter N. Stearns


Provost and Professor of History


George Mason University


Peter N. Stearns became Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University on January 1, 2000. He has taught previously at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, Rutgers, and Carnegie Mellon; he was educated at Harvard University.

Dr. Stearns has authored or edited over 100 books, publishing widely in modern social history, including the history of emotions, and in world history. He has also edited encyclopedias of world and social history, and since 1967 has served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Social History. As Provost at George Mason, Dr. Stearns has worked to expand research capacities, to add or enhance centers of strength such as the arts, biomedical research and education, and public health, and to increase the global activities and educational goals of the University. He has helped establish new facilities to promote teaching excellence and has encouraged a range of interdisciplinary and interunit programs. While under Dr. Stearns' leadership, George Mason University was awarded the 2006 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education. Also in the area of international education, Dr. Stearns wrote Educating Global Citizens in Colleges and Universities, published in December 2008, and teaches a course on International Higher Education.

In his research and writing, Dr. Stearns pursues three main goals. As a social historian he is explores aspects of the human experience that are not generally thought of in historical terms, and with attention to ordinary people as well as elites. Second, he seeks to use an understanding of historical change and continuity to explore patterns of behavior and social issues. Finally, he is concerned with connecting new historical research with wider audiences. Dr. Stearns also promotes comparative analysis and the assessment of modern global forces for their own sake and as they illuminate the American experience and impact.

Selected Publications


Stearns, Peter N. 1848: the revolutionary tide in Europe. New York: Norton, 1974.

Stearns, Peter N., ed. American behavioral history : an introduction. New York : New York University Press, c2005.

Stearns, Peter N. American cool : constructing a twentieth-century emotional style. New York : New York University Press, c1994.

Stearns, Peter N. American fear : the causes and consequences of high anxiety. New York : Routledge, c2006.

Stearns, Peter N. Anxious parents : a history of modern childrearing in America. New York : New York University Press, c2003.

Stearns, Peter N. Battleground of desire : the struggle for self-control in modern America. New York : New York University Press, c1999.

Stearns, Peter N. Be a man! : males in modern society. New York : Holmes & Meier, 1990.

Stearns, Peter N. Childhood in world history. New York, London : Routledge, 2006.

Stearns, Peter N. Consumerism in world history the global transformation of desire. New York : Routledge, 2001.

Stearns, Peter N. Cultures in motion : mapping key contacts and their imprints in world history. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2001.

Stearns, Peter N. A day in the life : studying daily life through history. Westport, CT : Greenwood, 2006.

Stearns, Peter N. Educating global citizens in colleges and universities: challenges and opportunities. New York : Routledge, 2009.

Stearns, Peter N. European society in upheaval : social history since 1750. New York : Macmillan, 1975.

Stearns, Peter N. Fat history : bodies and beauty in the modern West. New York: New York University Press, c1997.


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