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David Spadafora


Professor of History, Emeritus


Professor of History, Emeritus 


Yale University, Ph.D., May 1981
Preparation in: the history of European thought since the Renaissance, and British history since the Tudors
Examination fields: European intellectual history, 1680-1830; British history, 1815-1918; the Renaissance
Dissertation committee: Franklin L. Baumer (adviser), Peter Gay, iaroslav Pelikan, Frank M. Turner
Williams College, B.A., June 1972; History major

Faculty Appointments

Professor of History, Lake Forest College (since 1990)
Lecturer, Department ofHistory, Yale University (1982-90)
Lecturer in History, University ofConnecticut- West Hartford (1978-80)
Instructor in History, Simon’s Rock of Bard College (1977-78)
Teaching Fellow, Department of History, Yale University (fall 1975, spring 1977)

Teaching Experience

Undergraduate Lecture Courses: Western Civilization to 1500, Western Civilization since 1500, Early Modem Europe, Modern Europe, Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Europe in the 20th Century, English History to 1603, History ofModern England, Medieval England, Tudor-Stuart England, Georgian Britain

Undergraduate Seminar Courses: European Intellectual History 1700-1918, History and Politics (political theory), The Enlightenment, The Scottish Enlightenment, Religion and the Rise of Secularism (senior seminar), Perfecting Humanity (college-wide sophomore honors seminar), History and Literature: Crises in England  1485-1660 (team-taught, interdisciplinary), Historiography, Religion and Secularism in History and Literature (team-taught, interdisciplinary, research-intensive), What Makes Great History?

Graduate Courses: The Enlightenment, The Scottish Enlightenment, The 18thCentury (team-taught, interdisciplinary), Mind and Brain (team-taught, interdisciplinary), Darwin (team-taught, interdisciplinary), reading courses in British and intellectual history

Other: Faculty Lecturer, Association of Yale Alumni trip to Scotland, August 1986; director and reader of Senior Essays and member of graduate student qualifying examination committees, Yale Department of History


Principal Publication: The Idea ofProgress in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Yale University Press, 1990); named to the Choice Outstanding Academic Books List, 1992
Current Work: “The Religious and Secular World ofEnlightened Britain,” book-length project offering new interpretations of secularization and the Enlightenment, with a focus on the relationship between religion and the secular in eighteenth-century British thought and life-, new English edition of Antoine-Nicolas de Condorcet’s E.sqwsse dun tableau historique ties progrès de l ‘esprithumain, with scholarly essays

Recent Fellowships

Frederick and Marion Pottle Visiting Fellow, Beinecke Library, Yale University Oct. -
      Nov. 2002
British Academy-Newberry Library Fellow, London and Edinburgh, Sept. -Oct. 2002
Visiting Fellow, Lewis Walpole Library, Farmington, Connecticut, Aug.-Sept. 2002
      and Jan.-Feb. 2003
A.C.M. Fellow, Newberry Library, and Director, A.C.M. Newberry Seminar in the
      Humanities, 2001-02

Recent Administrative Appointments

President, Lake Forest College, 1993-2001
Dean of the Faculty, Lake Forest College, 1990-93