Paige E. Pendarvis

Paige Pendarvis

Ph.D. Candidate

I study the history of modern Europe, with a focus on France and its empire in the twentieth century. My research explores the intellectual, political, and social history of political economy and the social sciences. I am especially interested in how concepts from the social sciences shaped and were shaped by European imperial expansion, decolonization, the rise of welfare and developmental states, and international institutions.

My dissertation presents a history of one such concept: "standard(s) of living." From the vantage point of France and its empire, I examine how and why the standard of living and its proper definition and measurement became a fixture of debates over imperial reform, decolonization, international development, social and economic policy, and European integration. My research is supported by the the Social Science Research Council Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship, the Chateaubriand Fellowship from the French Embassy, and the American Historical Association.

At Penn, I have co-organized several workshops and reading groups, such as our department's Graduate Colloquium. From 2018-2019, I served as co-president of Clio, the history department's graduate student organization. 

Prospective students, please feel free to be in touch if you have questions about studying at Penn. 

Committee: Sophia Rosenfeld (advisor), Amy Offner, Warren Breckman, Emily Marker (Rutgers University-Camden)


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

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

Research Interests

Modern Europe (1750-1989), particularly France and its empire; history of the social sciences; international political economy; imperialism and decolonization; human rights; history of welfare states; intellectual history; historical methods; 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)