Sean Takats

Sean Takats

Sean Takats

Associate Professor

European History: Eighteenth-century France and its colonies; the Enlightenment; history of medicine

Takats is Professor and Chief Scientist in Digital History at the University of Luxembourg, where he leads a team developing a generalized digital workbench for historical research at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH). As Affiliate Faculty at George Mason University, Takats is Principal Investigator of Tropy (with Abby Mullen).

Takats's research focuses on France and its colonies, the Enlightenment, and the digital humanities. He leads digital projects relating to historians’ research practices. Most notable among these are Zotero, the popular research platform; Tropy, the archival photography software; and PressForward, the innovative open access publishing environment.

Until 2019, Takats was Director of the Research Division at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM). He has received research fellowships and funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Luxembourg National Research Fund.

Selected Publications

The Expert Cook in Enlightenment France. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Grants and Fellowships

PressForward 3: Establishing Sustainable Platforms and Communities of Open-Access Scholarship, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $736,000, Principal Investigator (2015–2018).

Tropy: Digital Image Management for the Humanities Research Community, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, $600,000, Co-Principal Investigator (2015–2017).

PressForward 2: Implementing New Modes and New Platforms of Open-Access Scholarship, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $481,000, Principal Investigator (2014–2015).

Understanding the Role of Social Media in Scholarly Communication, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $360,000, Project Director (2014–2016).

Discovery and Archiving with Zotero and Library Resources, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, $440,000, Co-Principal Investigator (2014–2016).

The PressForward Initiative: Creating New Modes and New Platforms for Scholarship Beyond Traditional Forms, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, $862,000, Principal Investigator (2013–2014).

Courses Taught

HIST 307: Old Regime and Revolutionary Europe
HIST 388: History of Western Medicine
HIST 388/ARTH 399: Taste, Fashion, and Consumption in Early Modern Europe
HIST 499: Documenting the French Revolution
HIST 635: The Enlightenment
HIST 635: First French Empire
HIST 635: The French Revolution
HIST 696: Clio Wired

Recent Presentations

“DIY Digitization: The informal uses of digital photography in special collections,” Invited speaker, Oxford University, January 2016.

“Mapping Colonial Medical Expertise of the Old Regime,” Western Society for French History, Chicago, Illinois, November 2015.

“Digital Humanities: Teaching and Research,” Invited speaker, Princeton University, March 2015.

Panel comment, “Hygiene, Public Health, and the Social Body,” Western Society for French History, San Antonio, Texas, November 2014.

“Archives Without End,” Invited speaker, Purdue University, October 2014.

Session chair, “Digitizing the French Enlightenment: A Discussion of Three Digital Humanities Projects,” Society for French Historical Studies, Université du Québec à Montréal, April 2014.

“Scholarship in the Age of Perpetual Research,” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2014.

In the Media

“Beta blockers?” Nature 455, no. 7214 (October 9, 2008): 708.