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Christopher E. Forth

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Humanities, History
Jack and Shirley Howard Professor of Humanities & Western Civilization
Primary office:
Bailey Hall
Room 303F
University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7574

Christopher E. Forth is Professor of History and the Dean’s Professor of Humanities. He also holds courtesy professorships in the departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and American Studies. His interdisciplinary and thematic research revolves around the cultural history of gender, sexuality, the body, and the senses (with an emphasis on modern France, Britain and America) as well as European intellectual and cultural history. He is especially concerned with how perceptions and experiences of the body are situated in different social and cultural locations, and has become increasingly interested in exploring embodiment, materiality, and the senses in historical context. He is the author of Zarathustra in Paris: The Nietzsche Vogue in France, 1891-1918 (2001), The Dreyfus Affair and the Crisis of French Manhood (2004) and Masculinity in the Modern West (2008), as well as the co-editor of several collections, most recently Fat: Culture and Materiality (2014) and Honour, Violence and Emotion: Historical Perspectives (2014). He is currently completing a monograph entitled On Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life, and is beginning work on a cultural and material history of semen.


Professor Forth teaches interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate courses in the cultural history of gender, sexuality the body and the senses. Please contact him by email with questions about graduate study in these areas and/or in cultural history.

Recent Courses:

HIST 323: Sex in History

HIST 625: Body, Self and Society

HIST 626: Men and Masculinities

HIST 895: Colloquium in the History of Gender

HIST 859: Colloquium in Modern European History IV

Teaching Interests

  • Cultural History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • The Body and the Senses
  • Men and Masculinities
  • European Intellectual History
  • Modern France

Research Interests

  • Cultural History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • The Body and the Senses
  • Men and Masculinities
  • European Intellectual History

Selected Publications

Forth, C. E. (2015). “Fat and Fattening: Agency, Materiality and Animality in the History of Corpulence,” Body Politics: Zeitschrift für Körpergeschichte, 3, no. 5 (2015): 51-74.

Forth, C. E. (2015). “Fat and Disgust, or, the Problem of ‘Life in the Wrong Place,’” in M. Delville, A. Norris, and V. von Hoffmann, eds., Le dégoût. Histoire, Langage, Politique et Esthétique d’une Emotion Plurielle (Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège, 2015), 41-60.

Forth, C. E., & Leitch, A.  (Eds.). (2014). Fat: Culture and Materiality. London: Bloomsbury.

Forth, C. E., Strange, C., & Cribb, R. (Eds.). (2014). Honour, Violence and Emotion: Historical Perspectives. London: Bloomsbury.

Forth, C. E. (2013). The Qualities of Fat: Bodies, History, and Materiality. Journal of Material Culture, 18(2), 135-54.

Forth, C. E. (2012). Melting Moments: The Greasy Sources of Modern Perceptions of Fat. Cultural History, 1(1), 83-107.

Forth, C. E. (2012). Fat, Desire, and Disgust in the Colonial Imagination. History Workshop Journal, 73(1), 211-39.

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