Paige E. Pendarvis

Paige Pendarvis

Ph.D. Candidate

I specialize in the social, political, and intellectual history of political economy and human rights in France and its empire. I have broad interests in modern European history, economic and social thought, and the history of welfare states, social movements, and the social sciences. I completed my General Examinations in June 2020 in European History, 1650-1989 (Sophia Rosenfeld and Peter Holquist); Social Welfare and the State (Amy Offner), and Modern European Intellectual History (Warren Breckman).

Currently, I am at a work on a dissertation about the intellectual and social history of “the standard of living” from the late nineteenth through mid twentieth centuries. A concept deployed by a variety of individuals and institutions at local, national, imperial, and global scales, my dissertation maps the standard of living’s journey across the Atlantic from its origins in the United States. From there, it follows its translation into French and its adoption by social scientists, politicians, activists, and imperial administrators. Finally, it follows the international trajectory of the concept through its fate in the emerging international order in the interwar years and formal decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s. The dissertation illuminates the multitude of possible definitions and interpretations of this concept in the realms of economics, international human rights law, imperial administration, cost-of-living indices, and postwar housing projects in order to demonstrate why certain interpretations triumphed over others and what was gained or lost in the process.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, I am a visiting doctoral student at the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations at SciencesPo Paris.

I have previously served as co-president of Clio, the history department's graduate student organization and as co-organizer of the department's Graduate Colloquium, a biweekly forum for graduate students to workshop articles, dissertation chapters, and conference papers. 

Prior to Penn, I attended the University of Chicago, where I earned an A.B. with honors in History and a minor in Philosophy.



M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania (2019)

A.B., History (with honors), University of Chicago (2016)

Research Interests

Modern Europe (1750-1989), particularly France; history of the welfare state; history of the social sciences; social movements; political economy; human rights; intellectual and social history; historical methodologies; twentieth-century social theory and economic thought

Courses Taught

PSCI 181: Modern Political Thought (Spring 2021)

HIST 175: History of Brazil (Fall 2020)

HIST 169: History of American Law (Spring 2020)

HIST 174: Capitalism, Socialism, and Crisis in the Twentieth-Century Americas (Fall 2019)

HIST 313: The French Revolution and the Origins of Modern Politics (Spring 2019)

HIST 081: The History of the Modern Middle East Since 1800 (Fall 2018)