Nina Gelbart's teaching specialties are early modern European history, French Enlightenment and Revolution, women's history, and the history of science and medicine.
Professor Nina Gelbart is the author of The King’s Midwife: A History and Mystery of Madame du Coudray (1998) and Feminine and Opposition Journalism in Old Regime France: Le Journal des Dames (1987). Both books won the Sierra Prize and The King’s Midwife also won the 1999 Biography Prize from the American Society of Eighteenth Century Studies (ASECS) and a CHOICE Outstanding book award. She was invited to write the introduction to a new translation of Fontenelle’s popular 17th century classic, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, and has published articles and book reviews in a number of scholarly journals. Her current research concerns two topics. The first is a study of six women of science in Enlightenment France: a botanist, an anatomist, an astronomer, a chemist, a Newtonian physicist and a field naturalist. This book will be published by Yale University Press in 2021. The second project is a study of Charlotte Corday, her dramatic 1793 murder of the French Revolutionary leader Marat in his bathtub, the consequences of that act for France’s politics, and the numerous and varied depictions of this fateful encounter by artists across the centuries.
Gelbart received her B.A. from Harvard in 1968 and her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1974. She has taught at Occidental since 1975. Her teaching specialties are early modern European history, French Enlightenment and Revolution, women’s history, and the history of science and medicine. She is professor of History and also the Anita Johnson Wand Professor of Women’s Studies. Her research has been supported by year-long grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation.