Faculty and Staff

Robert Zaretsky
Professor

Robert Zaretsky
  • Phone: (713) 743-9018
  • Email: rzaretsky@uh.edu
  • Office: 17C Roy G. Cullen Building

Robert Zaretsky works in the field of modern European intellectual and cultural history. His latest book, A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2013. In 2014, Harvard will publish Boswell’s Enlightenment, his book on reason and religion in the 18th century. Cornell University Press has just issued a paperback edition of his Albert Camus: Elements of a Life, and Oxford University Press is preparing a second edition of France and its Empire Since 1870, a book Zaretsky co-authored with Alice Conklin and Sarah Fishman. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Foreign Policy, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Le Monde Diplomatique, Chronicle of Higher Education, and the London Times Higher Education Magazine. He is the history editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books and monthly columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward. He has a BA in Philosophy from McGill University, an MA in European History from the University of Vermont, and a PhD in European History from the University of Virginia.

Teaching

Professor Zaretsky teaches courses in modern French and European history, ranging from perspectives on the Enlightenment to everyday life in Occupied Europe, and from the modern experience of exile to the history of history writing.

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Research Interests

Professor Zaretsky's latest book, A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2013. Boswell’s Enlightenment, on reason and religion in the 18th century, will also be published by Harvard University Press in 2014.

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Selected Publications

Books

  • A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning (Harvard University Press, 2013).

  • France and Its Empire Since 1870, with Alice Conklin and Sarah Fishman (Oxford University Press, 2010).

  • Albert Camus: Elements to a Life (Cornell University Press, 2010).

  • The Philosophers' Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume and the Limits of Human Understanding, with John Scott (Yale University Press, 2009).

  • Cock and Bull Stories: Folco de Baroncelli and the Invention of the Camargue (Nebraska University Press, 2005).

  • Nîmes at War: Religion, Politics and Public Opinion in the Department of the Gard 1938-1944 (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995).

Recent Publications

  • “Albert Camus’ Tragic Sense of Nostalgia,” in Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques (Spring 2013).

  • “Tony Judt, Essayist and Pugilist,” in French Historical Studies (Winter 2012).

  • “From Resistance to Revolution à la française,” in The Occupy Handbook, ed. Jane Byrne (Little, Brown, 2012).

  • “Upon the Rock: James Boswell in Corsica,” in Southwest Review (Spring 2012).

  • “My Life as a Door,” in The American Scholar (Summer 2012).

  • “Boswell’s Grand Tour”, in London Magazine (June-July 2012).

  • “Struggling with destiny: Barbara Tuchman’s Legacy as a Historian,” in Times Literary Supplement (February 24, 2012).