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Matthew Kadane

Associate Professor of History

Joined the faculty in 2005

Ph.D., Brown
A.M., Brown
M.A., Graduate Faculty, New School for Soc. Research
B.A., Southern Methodist University

Current scholarly interests:
I am working on a book on the diary of a Leeds clothier and dissenter Joseph Ryder (1695-1768). This 12,500 page and virtually unexamined source sheds new light on the cultural roots of Britain's transition to modern capitalism as well as a set of interrelated questions about the decriminalization of self-interest, diary-keeping, spiritual despair, the appeal and spread of Unitarianism, and the formation and growth of the middle-class.

Previous teaching experience:
Harvard University Lecturer and teaching assistant
Brown University Instructor and teaching assistant
Eugene Lang College Adjunct Professor

Courses Routinely Taught:
HIST 103: Early Modern Europe
HIST 201: Tudor-Stuart Britain
HIST 301: The Enlightenment
HIST 318: The Making of the Individualist Self
HIST 319: Puritanism, 1560-2000
HIST 473: Britain in the Age of Industry and Empire

Recent Publications:
The Watchful Clothier: The Life of an Eighteenth-Century Protestant-Capitalist (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013).

"Anti-Trinitarianism and the Republican Tradition in Enlightenment Britain." Republics of Letters: A Journal for the Study of Knowledge Politics and the Arts, 2 no. 1 (December 15 2010): http://rofl.stanford.edu/node/68.

"Success and Self-Loathing in the Life of an Eighteenth-Century Entrepreneur," in The Self-Perception of Early Modern Capitalists, edited by Margaret C. Jacob and Catherine Secretan (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

"La vigilanza e L'etica protestante di
Weber," in Contemporanea. Rivista di storia dell'800 e del '900, 9, 2 (2006).

"Missing, Now Found in the Eighteenth Century: Weber's Protestant Capitalist," with M. C. Jacob, American Historical Review, 108, 1 (2003): 20-49; German translation in Hannovershe Schriften 6: Veranderte Weltbilder, edited by Detlev Claussen, Oskar Negt and Michael Werz (Frankfurt am Main, 2006).

"Les bibliotheques de deux theologiens reformes du 17e siecle, L'un puritain anglais, l'autre pasteur huguenot," Bulletin de la Societe de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Francais, 147 (2001): 67-100.

"Deism," from the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, edited by Maryanne Cline Horowitz (Charles Scriber's Sons, 2004).


Professional Affiliations:
American Historical Association
American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
North American Conference on British Studies

Personal Statement: My current research interests reflect a major reason I was led from undergraduate and graduate coursework in philosophy and economics to the study of early modern history. I am interested, now as then, in how material acquisitiveness for its own sake became an unquestioned goal for countless ordinary people. I am addressing this question by returning to self-accounts written in the English-speaking world from the mid-seventeenth century, when condemnation of self-interest was still normative, to the end of the eighteenth, when profit maximization was established as the new ethos of industrial Britain. Reading through these accounts has also led me think more about the clashes and convergences between religion and the Enlightenment. My study of Ryder touches on aspects of this complex relationship, but I anticipate undertaking a larger project on it in the near future.

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