Zotero is free, easy-to-use software that helps scholars collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. One of the largest and most successful digital humanities projects ever launched, Zotero has been downloaded many millions of times, is used daily on over 300,000 devices, and boasts an interface that is available in over forty languages. In addition to directing Zotero, I have also overseen numerous partnerships and related projects, including Zotero Commons (with the Internet Archive) and Bibliobouts (with the University of Michigan). With Dan Cohen and countless more. Funded by IMLS, the Mellon Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and NSF.

Expert Cook of Enlightenment France

In The Expert Cook of Enlightenment France (Johns Hopkins, 2011) I argue that French cooks exploited rapidly changing medical theory in an attempt to transform a servant’s occupation into a profession informed by science. In the face of profound disorganization — cooks lacked formal institutions like guilds and included men and women among their ranks — they proposed to reconfigure their occupation as a professional trade. During the 1730s cooks introduced la cuisine moderne, or “modern cooking,” which aimed at establishing cooks as expert arbiters of taste by fusing a new theoretical knowledge with existing mechanical skill. Funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Georges Lurcy Foundation.

Enlightenment Colonial Medicine

This current research project explores medical practices in the eighteenth-century French colonies and trading outposts. Well over a century before germ theory gave rise to “tropical medicine,” a consensus on the health challenges posed by warm climates emerged among physicians, surgeons, apothecaries, and quacks, with many blaming intemperance and debauchery for exacerbating the effects of a radically different environment. I examine how the devastating effects of tropical disease refined or challenged the humoral, mechanical, and chemical models of health that vied for attention among European medical practitioners, and how diet became the critical lever for regulating health (and the passions) in the tropics.

The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Diderot and d’Alembert Col­lab­o­ra­tive Trans­la­tion Project

The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Diderot and d’Alembert Col­lab­o­ra­tive Trans­la­tion Project collects, edits, and publishes English translations of this important (and massive) Enlightenment text. Hosted at the University of Michigan, the Encyclopedia provides invaluable primary source teaching materials on Enlightenment philosophy, technical information, and everyday life with articles ranging not only from “Absolute monarchy” to “Zeal, religious” but also from “Arsenic” to “Zenicon” (another poison). With Dena Goodman and Jen Popiel.


PressForward develops effective methods for collecting the best online scholarship, encourages open access, and creates a new platform that will make it simple for any organization or community of scholars to do the same. I direct a strategic partnership between PressForward, RRCHNM’s open-access publishing initiative, and OpenEdition, an international open-access publishing platform launched by France’s CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique). With Marin Dacos, Pierre Mounier, Dan Cohen, and Tom Scheinfeldt. Funded by the Sloan Foundation and the Agence nationale de la recherche.

Text Mining

Scholarship in the Age of Abundance: Enhancing Historical Research With Text-Mining and Analysis Tools provides a deep understanding of how historians are actually using digital technology and how they imagine it might enable them to do more. With Dan Cohen, Trevor Owens, and Fred Gibbs. Funded by NEH.


ScholarPress provides a flexible and streamlined alternative to cumbersome and expensive learning management systems. A range of WordPress plugins help instructors and researchers create course websites, share bibliographies, and distribute their CVs. Developed with Jeremy Boggs and Fred Gibbs. Funded by NEH.