Wesleyan portrait of Andrew S. Curran

Andrew S. Curran

William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities

300 High Street,

Professor of French

300 High Street, 203


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BA Hamilton College
MA New York University
PHD New York University

Andrew S. Curran

Andrew Curran, the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities, is a scholar of eighteenth-century France and a non-fiction writer. His journalistic writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Paris Review, El País, and The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of three books. His most recent book, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (Other Press, 2019), was named one of the best biographies of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews, The Australian, The Independent, NRC, and Open Letters Review, and is being translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Chinese. Curran’s previous book was The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Era of Enlightenment, which was A Choice Outstanding Academic Title. Translated into French as L’Anatomie de la noirceur, this same book also received the 2018 Louis Marin Prize from the French l’Académie des sciences d’outre-mer. His next project is an edition edition of essays that is forthcoming at Harvard University Press in March 2022. He is also writing a new biography for Other Press entitled The Race Makers. Curran is a fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine and a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has received grants and fellowships from the French Government, The Mellon Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH Public Scholarships, and, most recently, The Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Curran is currently serving on the editorial board of Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, Critical Philosophy of Race, and Diderot Studies. At Wesleyan, Curran teaches classes on race, travel, exploration, and the French Enlightenment. 

Professional website: www.andrewscurran.com

Professor Curran completed his Ph.D. in French literature at New York University in 1996. He taught at Union College in Schenectady, New York, for two years before coming to Wesleyan. He has also directed the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris on two occasions. At Wesleyan, he teaches a variety of classes on French thought and culture from 1600-1900. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

By appointment. 


Spring 2022
FREN 215 - 02
Composition and Conversation

FREN 391 - 01