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Clare H Crowston

Professor of French and Italian,History, and Center for Global Studies

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Clare Haru Crowston received her BA from McGill University in 1988 and her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1996. She began teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August 1996. She is the author of Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France (Duke University Press, 2013) and Fabricating Women: The Seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675-1791 (Duke University Press, 2001), which was awarded the Berkshire Prize for the best first book in history by a woman in North America and the Hagley Prize in business history.  She is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles, which have appeared in journals such as Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales, French Historical Studies and the International Review of Social History. Along with her co-author Steven L. Kaplan, she has received an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship (2012-2014) for her next project, "Learning How: Apprenticeship in France, 1670-1830".

Crowston is also co-author of the popular textbooks A History of Western Society (10th edition, Bedford St Martin's) and A History of World Societies (9th edition, Bedford St. Martin's). Her work on the textbooks draws on her own research in early modern history as well as regular teaching of the Western Civilization survey and classes on early modern Europe and its relations with the wider world. 

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • French and European History, history of women and gender, apprenticeship, fashion, material culture and consumption, historical methods


  • Ph.D. Cornell University, 1996
  • BA, McGill University, 1988



  • Crowston, Clare, John McKay, Merry Wiesner Hanks, and Joe Perry. A History of Western Society, 12th Edition. . Boston: Bedford St. Martin's, 2016.
  • Crowston, Clare, John McKay, Patricia Ebrey, Roger Beck, Jerry Davila, and Merry Wiesner Hanks. A History of World Societies, 10th Edition. . Boston: Bedford St. Martin's, 2014.
  • Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France. . Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.
  • Fabricating Women: The Seamstresses of Old Regime France, 1675-1791. . Durham: Duke University Press, 2001.

Book Contributions

  • Crowston, Clare. "Family Affairs: Wives, Credit, Consumption and the Law in Old Regime France." Family, Gender, and Law in Early Modern France. . Ed. Suzanne Desan and Jeffrey Merrick. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2009.

  • Crowston, Clare H. "From School to Workshop: Pre-Training and Apprenticeship in Old Regime France." Learning on the Shop Floor. . Comp. Steven Kaplan. Ed. Bert de Munck and Hugo Soly. New York: Berghahn Books, 2007.

Journal Articles

  • "Credit and the Metanarrative of Modernity." French Historical Studies 34.1 (2011): 7-19.
  • Crowston, Clare. "Women, Gender, and Guild in Early Modern Europe: An Overview of Recent Research ." International Review of Social History 53 (2008): 19-44.