Leonard V. Smith

  • Frederick B Artz Professor of History

Areas of Study

Education

  • BA, Oberlin College, 1980
  • MIA, School of International Affairs, Columbia University, 1982
  • PhD, Columbia University, 1990

Biography

Leonard V. Smith is on sabbatical leave for the 2022-23 academic year.  In the Spring 2023, he will be a Fernand Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

His most recent book, Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, was published in May 2018 by Oxford University Press. A coauthored book was published in September 2018, by Éditions Les Arènes in Paris: Ils ont fait la paix: le Traité de Versailles vu de France et d’ailleurs (They Made Peace: The Treaty of Versailles Seen from France and Beyond), directed by Serge Berstein (with John Keiger, Sergio Romano, Toshio Takemoto, and Gerd Krumeich).

Smith also is the author of The Embattled Self: French Soldiers’ Testimony of the Great War (Cornell University Press, 2007); France and the Great War, 1914-1918, with Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker (Cambridge University Press, 2003); and Between Mutiny and Obedience: The Case of the French Fifth Infantry Division During World War I (Princeton University Press, 1994).

He has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Humanities Center. Smith has been a visiting professor at the Mershon Center, The Ohio State University in spring 2015; École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in January 2012, Claremont McKenna College in fall 2008, as William F. Podlich Distinguished Fellow, and at the Associated Kyoto Program at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, in fall 2004.

His next book, French Colonialism from the Ancien Régime to the Present, has gone into production for the New Approaches to European History series with Cambridge University Press. During his sabbatical, he is beginning a new project on liberalism, racial exclusion, and the law in Texas and French Algeria in the 19th century.

  • Ils ont fait la paix: le Traité de Versailles vu de France et d’ailleurs [They Made Peace: The Treaty of Versailles Seen from France and Beyond], (coauthor), Éditions Les Arènes in Paris, September 2018
  • Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, Oxford University Press, May 2018
  • The Embattled Self: French Soldiers’ Testimony of the Great War, Cornell University Press, 2007
  • France and the Great War, 1914-1918, with Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker, Cambridge University Press, 2003
  • Between Mutiny and Obedience: The Case of the French Fifth Infantry Division During World War I, Princeton University Press, 1994 

His teaching interests include modern Europe, war and society, and French imperialism.

Notes

Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship Awarded to Leonard Smith

January 3, 2022

Frederick B. Artz Professor of History Leonard V. Smith has been awarded a three-month, Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute. The institute is located in a villa just outside Florence, Italy. He will begin work on a project comparing law, liberalism, and racial exclusion in 19th century Texas and French Algeria.

 

Leonard V. Smith Publishes Article

January 31, 2020

Leonard V. Smith ’80, Frederick B Artz Professor of History, published an article titled: "Sovereignty under the League of Nations Mandates: The Jurists' Debates," in the December 2019 issue of Journal of the History of International Law. The article argues that mandates after World War I were never "colonies" in a traditional legal sense and that jurists were never able to agree on just what they were instead.

Leonard Smith Receives Grant for Book Research

September 27, 2019

Professor of History Leonard Smith is writing a book for Cambridge University Press on the history of French colonialism from the Old Regime to the present. In support of the project, he received funding from Oberlin's Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) implementation grant for travel to Vietnam during winter term 2020, to study the environmental footprint left by the French.

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