Christopher E. Forth

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  • Dean's Professor of History
  • Cultural History of Gender, Sexuality, the Body, and the Senses; Modern France, Britain and America; European Intellectual and Cultural History.

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 3606
Office Hours:
By appointment


Christopher E. Forth is the Dean’s Professor of History. 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. The author or editor of twelve books, including 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), Forth’s most recent book isFat: A Cultural History of the Stuff of Life (2019). He is currently working on two book projects tentatively entitled Life is Elsewhere: Feeling Alive in the Modern World and Planet Fight Club: Masculinity, Modernity, and the Global Far Right.


Research Interests

  • Cultural History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • The Body and the Senses
  • Phenomenology and Materiality
  • History of Emotions
  • Men and Masculinities
  • European Intellectual History



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 324: History of Women and the Body
  • HIST 364: Angry White Male Studies 
  • WGSS 336: Fat, Food and the Body in Global Perspective
  • HIST 625: Body, Self and Society
  • HIST 801: Colloquium in Men and Masculinities
  • HIST 859: Colloquium in the History of Emotions
  • HIST 895: Colloquium in the History of Gender

Teaching Interests

  • Modern Europe
  • Cultural History
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • The Body and the Senses
  • History of Emotions
  • Men and Masculinities

Selected Publications

Forth, C. E. (2020). “The Fat Imaginary in Trump’s America: Matter, Metaphor, and Animality,” special issue “Consuming Materialities: Bodies, Boundaries and Encounters,” Cultural Politics, 16, no. 3: 387-406. 

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, no. 2: 135-54. 

Forth, C. E. (2012). “Fat, Desire, and Disgust in the Colonial Imagination,” History Workshop Journal, 73, no. 1: 211-39.