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April Shelford

Associate Professor, Department of History, American University

Fellow, Society of Fellows, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (1997–1999)

April G. Shelford is an intellectual historian of early modern Europe. Her article “Thinking Geometrically in Pierre-Daniel Huet’s Demonstratio evangelica (1679)” won the Selma Forkosch prize for best article published in the Journal of the History of Ideas in 2002. Her book, Transforming the Republic of Letters: Pierre-Daniel Huet and European Intellectual Life, 1650-1720 (University of Rochester, 2007) was a study of the seventeenth-century Republic of Letters. She has published other articles on Huet in French History and History of Universities. A two-year visiting professorship at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, inspired her current project on the Enlightenment in the Caribbean. Her research so far has led to the publication of “Sea Tales: Nature and Liberty in an English Seaman’s Journal” in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture (2004) and “Race and Scripture in the Eighteenth-Century French Caribbean” in Atlantic Studies (2013). For three years, she was co-editor of the Proceedings of the Western Society for French History. She has held fellowships at the Camargo Foundation, Cassis, France; the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA; and the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, RI. Her most recent book, A Caribbean Enlightenment: Intellectual Life in the British and French Colonial Worlds, 1750-1792 (Cambridge University Press, 2023) was awarded the 2024 Louis Gottschalk Prize by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.