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Christopher E. Forth

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Humanities, History
Dean's Professor of Humanities
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). His new book is entitled Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life (London: Reaktion, 2019).  


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:

  • WGSS 336: Fat, Food and the Body in Global Perspective
  • 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 the History of Emotions

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. (2019). Fat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life. London: Reaktion.

Forth, C. E. (2019). “Corpulence, Modernity and Transcendence in the Early Twentieth Century,” in J. Jajszczok and A. Musiał, eds., The Body in History, Culture, and the Arts. London: Routledge.

Forth, C. E. (2018). “France and the Fattened American: Animality, Consumption, and the Logic of Gavage.” Food, Culture & Society, 21, no. 3: 355-66.

Forth, C. E. (2018). “Gender, Empire, and the Politics of Regeneration,” French Politics, Culture & Society, 36, no. 2: 149-56.

Forth, C. E. (2015). “Fat and Fattening: Agency, Materiality and Animality in the History of Corpulence,” Body Politics: Zeitschrift für Körpergeschichte, 3, no. 5: 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, pp. 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). Fat, Desire, and Disgust in the Colonial Imagination. History Workshop Journal, 73(1), 211-39.

Calendar of Events

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