Erika Vause

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., 2012 University of Chicago, HistoryM.A., 2005, University of Chicago, HistoryB.A., 2004, University of California, Berkeley, History and English

Dr. Vause is a specialist in the social and cultural history of law and economics of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century France. At St. John’s University, she teaches undergraduate courses in early modern and modern European history including the Age of Revolution, Age of Absolutism, Crime and Punishment in Modern Europe, and the History of Modern France as well as graduate courses on topics relating to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European and global history and the history of capitalism.

Although Dr. Vause’s original attachment to European history derived from a high school passion with the French Revolution (she still possesses a quarter-scale model guillotine in her office), her research has subsequently moved into the nineteenth century.  Her first book, which examines the development of debt imprisonment and bankruptcy as a means of understanding the changing relationship between the economic and penal realms, is entitled In the Red and in the Black: Debt, Dishonor, and the Law in France Between Revolutions and is published with the University of Virginia Press.

Dr. Vause’s articles on debt and credit have appeared in leading journals including Law and History ReviewFrench Historical StudiesJournal of Social History and Financial History Review as well as in several edited volumes. She has also co-edited a volume entitled The Cultural History of Money and Credit: A Global Perspective with Chia Yin Hsu and Thomas Luckett (Lexington Books 2015), which grew out of the biennial Richard Robinson Business History Workshop, a conference she co-organizes. Her current research project looks at future orientation and the culture of capitalism in France and the French Empire through an examination of the discourse of prévoyance (roughly translated as “foresight” or “planning”) a term that cuts across insurance, savings banks, retirement, public health and agricultural reform.

- “Credit, Trust, Reputation” in The Cultural History of Shopping in the Age of Empire and Revolution, edited by Erika Rappaport. Forthcoming with Bloomsbury Press.

- In the Red and in the Black: Debt, Dishonor and the Law in France Between Revolutions. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018.

- “A Subject of Interest: Usurers on Trial in Nineteenth-Century France” Financial History Review 24, no. 1 (2017): 103-119.

-Co-Editor (with Chia Yin Hsu and Thomas Luckett) The Cultural History of Money and Credit: A Global Perspective (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2016)

 - “‘That Pawnshop of Human Flesh’: Debtors, Creditors and the Uses of Debt Imprisonment in Lyon 1835-1840” in Margit Shulte Beerbuhle ed., Dealing with economic failures: extrajudicial and judicial conflict regulations (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015).

-“Disciplining the Market: Debt Imprisonment and the Making of Commercial Actors in Revolutionary France” Law and History Review 32, no. 3 (2014): 647 - 682.

-“’The Business of Reputations’: Shame, Secrecy, and Social Standing in Nineteenth-century French Debtors’ and Creditors’ Newspapers” Journal of Social History 48, no. 1 (2014): 47-71.

- "'He Who Rushes to Riches Will Not Be Innocent': Commercial Honor and Commercial Failure in Post-Revolutionary France" French Historical Studies 35, no. 2 (2012): 321-349.

- “Credit, Trust, Reputation” in The Cultural History of Shopping in the Age of Empire and Revolution, edited by Erika Rappaport. Forthcoming with Bloomsbury Press.

- In the Red and in the Black: Debt, Dishonor and the Law in France Between Revolutions. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018.

- “A Subject of Interest: Usurers on Trial in Nineteenth-Century France” Financial History Review 24, no. 1 (2017): 103-119.

-Co-Editor (with Chia Yin Hsu and Thomas Luckett) The Cultural History of Money and Credit: A Global Perspective (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington Books, 2016)

 - “‘That Pawnshop of Human Flesh’: Debtors, Creditors and the Uses of Debt Imprisonment in Lyon 1835-1840” in Margit Shulte Beerbuhle ed., Dealing with economic failures: extrajudicial and judicial conflict regulations (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015).

-“Disciplining the Market: Debt Imprisonment and the Making of Commercial Actors in Revolutionary France” Law and History Review 32, no. 3 (2014): 647 - 682.

-“’The Business of Reputations’: Shame, Secrecy, and Social Standing in Nineteenth-century French Debtors’ and Creditors’ Newspapers” Journal of Social History 48, no. 1 (2014): 47-71.

- "'He Who Rushes to Riches Will Not Be Innocent': Commercial Honor and Commercial Failure in Post-Revolutionary France" French Historical Studies 35, no. 2 (2012): 321-349.