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Peter Reill

Distinguished Research Professor

Contact Information

Office  6265 Bunche Hall
Phone  68552


Fulbright Fellowships
Guggenheim Fellowship
Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin
Max-Planck-Institute for History fellowships.

Selected Publications


The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism, University of California Press, 1975.

Aufklarung und Geschichte: Studien zur deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft im 18. Jahrhundert, co-editor, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1986.

Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany, and Representations of Nature; co-editor; Cambridge University Press, 1996.

The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, editor: Facts on File, 1996. Second revised and Expanded Edition, 2004.

Wissenschaft als kulturelle Praxis, co-editor, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht,
Göttingen. 1999

Republikanische Tugend: Ausbildung eines Schweizer Nationalbewusstseins und Erziehung eines neuen Bürgers, co-editor, Geneva: Slatkine, 2000.

What’s Left of the Enlightenment: A Postmodern Question, co-editor, Stanford University Press, 2001

Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment. University of California Press, 2005

Discourses of Tolerance and Intolerance in the Enlightenment. co-editor, University of Toronto Press, forthcoming.

Selected Articles and Chapters in Books:

"History and Hermeneutics in the Aufklarung: The Thought of Johann Christoph Gatterer," The Journal of Modern History 45 (1973).

"Philology, Culture and Politics in Early Nineteenth Century Germany," Supplement to Romance Philology, XXX, 2 (l976).

"Barthold Georg Niebuhr and the Enlightenment Tradition," German Studies Review 3 (1980).

"Die Geschichtswissenschaft um die Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts," in Wissenschaften in Zeitalter der Aufklarung, ed. Rudolf Vierhaus, Guttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (1985).

"Narration and Structure in Late Eighteenth-Century Historical Thought," History and Theory, vol. XXV, (1986). Reprinted in modified form in History of Historiography, vol 10 (1986).

"Science and the Science of History in the Spataufklarung," in Aufklarung und Geschichte: Studien zur deutschen Geschichtswissenschaft im 18. Jahrhundert.

"History and the Life Sciences at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century: Wilhelm von Humboldt and Leopold von Ranke," in: The Shape of History: Leopold von Ranke and the Discipline of History. Editors James Powell and Georg Iggers, Syracuse University Press, 1990.

"Die Naturwissenschaften und die Geschichtswissenschaft in der Sp„taufkl„rung: das Prozess der Verwissenschaftlichung der Geschichte" in Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic. ed. H. Kattler, Berlin, 1991.

"Buffon and Historical Thought in Germany and Great Britain." Buffon 88: Actes du Colloque International Paris- Montbard-Dijon ed. Jean Gayon. Paris: Vrin, 1992.

"Between Mechanism and Hermeticism: Nature and Science in the Late Enlightenment" in: Frohe Neuzeit-Frohe Moderne Forschungen zur Vielschichtigkeit von Uebergangsprozessen ed. Rudolf Vierhaus. Guttingen: Vandenheock and Ruprecht, 1992.

"Science and the Construction of the Cultural Sciences in Late Enlightenment Germany: The Case of Wilhelm von Humboldt," History and Theory; 33 (October 1994).

"Anthropology, Nature and History in the Late Enlightenment: The Case of Friedrich Schiller:" in: Schiller als Historiker. ed. Otto Dann. 1995.

"Aufklarung und Historismus: Bruch oder Kontinuitat?" Historismus in den Kulturwissenschaften. eds. Otto G. Oexle and Jurn Rosen. Cologne: Buhlau, 1996.

"The Construction of the Social Sciences in Late 18th and Early 19th Century Germany:" in The Rise of the Social Sciences, eds. J. Heilbron, B. Wittock, L. Magnussen. Published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in the series: Sociology of the Sciences: An International Yearbook (1997)

“Vitalizing Nature and Naturalizing the Humanities in the Late Eighteenth Century.” In: Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, vol. 28, 1999.

“Death, Dying and Resurrection in Enlightenment Science and Culture,” in: Wissenschaft als kulturelle Praxis, 1750-1900, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht 2000.

“Religion, Theology, and the Hermetic Imagination in the Late German Enlightenment: The Case of Johann Salomo Semler.” In: Antike Wesiheit und kulturelle Praxis: Hermetismus in der Frühen Neuzeit. Vandeheock and Ruprecht, 2001.

“Entre el positivismo y la romantic Naturphilosophie: Alexander von Humboldt y la ilustracion,” Istor , 12 (2003), 53-71.

“The Legacy of the ‘Scientific Revolution’: Science and the Enlightenment. In: The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 4: Eighteenth-Century Science, ed. Roy Porter, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

"Between Mechanism and Romantic naturphilosophie: Vitalizing nature and Naturalizing Historical Discourse in the Late Enlightenment." In: Regimes of Description. In the Archive of the Eighteenth Century. Eds. John Bender and Michael Hofmann. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.

"Between Theosophy and orthodox Christianity: Johann Salomo Semler's Hermetic Religion." In: Polemical Encounters: Esoteric Discourse and its Others. Eds. Olav Hammer and Kocku von Stuckrad, Leiden: Brill, 2007


My research interests cover the history of historical thought, the history of the life and social sciences in the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and the role of hermetic thought in the Enlightenment and Romanticism.