Miranda Spieler

Miranda Spieler's picture
Associate Professor of History






SS 235

My research as a French historian looks at the relationship between law and violence as these affected marginal groups in domestic France - convicts, political enemies, vagabonds - and in French colonies between the 18th and 19th centuries. The colonial dimension of my research has hitherto focused on French Guiana, a sparsely inhabited and culturally diverse French-speaking territory on the northern coast of South America ; it is most known to people in this country as the former site of a penal colony. I am now working on a manuscript that explores this and other facets of French Guiana 's past, especially slavery and emancipation. Future projects include a study of French and American economic, political, and cultural relations in the 1790s and a study of personhood as it evolved, in a legal and conceptual sense, from the seventeenth century forward. I joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in the fall of 2005. I currently teach a section of History 396 on the theme of “Civilians and War” and undergraduate surveys of the Enlightenment, the Revolution, and of French history from the eighteenth century to the present. In these courses, I tend to work a great deal with students on improving their writing and on interpreting primary documents.