History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Jack R. Censer

Jack R. Censer

Jack R. Censer



French, European social

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Censer became the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University in 2006. He earned his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. After three years at the College of Charleston, Dr. Censer came to George Mason in 1977. Beginning as an assistant professor, he was promoted to full professor in 1987. He served as the Chair of the Department of History & Art History from 1995-2005 and served as Dean of the College from January 2006 to July 2013. He retired in May 2015. He has given numerous guest lectures and regularly presents his work at national conferences. He has held visiting professor appointments at Cornell University and the University of Maryland.

Dr. Censer’s research has examined the French Revolution, intellectual history, and the press. Previous publications include: Exploring the French Revolution; Visions and Revisions in Eighteenth-Century France; The French Press in the Age of Enlightenment; and The French Revolution and Intellectual History. Dean Censer’s latest work, On the Trail of the DC Sniper: Fear and the Media, was published in March 2010 by the University of Virginia Press.

Current Research

“Memphis, 1954-1968: From Elvis to the Assassination of Martin Luther King”

Selected Publications

On the Trail of the D.C. Sniper: Fear and the Media (2010)

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution (2001)

The French Press in the Age of Enlightenment (1994)

Prelude to Power: The Parisian Radical Press, 1789-91 (1976)

Articles and essays in: American Historical Review, Comparative Studies in Society and History; French Historical Studies; and Eighteenth-Century Life.

Courses Taught

Western Civilization

French Revolution (graduate and undergraduate)

History of the Press (graduate and undergraduate)

Recent Presentations

A series of presentations on his book On the Trail of the D.C. Sniper: Fear and the Media, including:

  • Virginia Festival for the Book
  • Borders in Fairfax, Virginia (available on C-SPAN)
  • The Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian
  • Fall for the Book (GMU)