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John Bohstedt

Professor Emeritus


Professor Bohstedt teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Modern Britain and Ireland and on Riots and Revolutions in Western Europe and the United States. His book and articles on riots have been widely cited in studies of Russian, Dutch, German, Japanese, and Indian, as well as British and American history. He has won major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alexander Humboldt Stiftung (Bonn), the British Academy, the Council for European Studies at Columbia University, the ACLS and American Philosophical Society, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. He led an international team from the US and Germany in a comparative study of “The Politics of Provisions: Riots, Repression and Welfare in England, France, and Germany, 1600-1900.” He has presented invited papers at these universities: NYU, Free University of Berlin, Emory, Virginia Tech, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Central Lancashire, Sheffield, Brighton,  Harvard, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy. He has given papers at the North American Conference on British Studies, the Social Science History Association, the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, the American Historical Association, and the Anglo-American Historians Conference. He has supervised a dozen Ph.D. and Master’s dissertations and theses.


Ph.D., Harvard University, 1972

B.A., M.A., Oxford University, 1966, 1970

B.A. Cornell College of Iowa, 1964  

Awards and Recognitions

  • L. R. Hesler Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service
  • UT Alumni Association Teacher of the Year
  • UTK Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Advising, 2005
  • Rhodes Scholarship
  • Danforth Graduate Fellowship

Selected Publications

  • The Politics of Provisions:  Food Riots, Moral Economy, and Market Transition in England, c. 1550-1850 (Ashgate Ltd., 2010). For details, please see For indexed catalogues of riot-events, see
  •  “Food Riots and the Politics of Provisions in World History,” working paper delivered at the Conference on Food Riots and Food Rights, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, 13 February 2014.  Available at:
  • “Food Riots and Provision Politics in Early-Modern England and France, the Irish Famine and World War I, ” in   Disturbing the Peace: Riots, Resistance and Rebellion in  Britain and France, 1381 to the present,  ed. M. T. Davis (Macmillan, 2014).
  •  “The Pragmatic Economy, the Politics of Provisions, and the ‘Invention’ of the Food Riot Tradition in 1740,” Moral Economy and Popular Protest, ed. A. Randall and A. Charlesworth (Macmillan, 2000) 55-92.
  •  “The Dynamics of Riots: Escalation and Diffusion/Contagion,” The Dvnamics of Aggression, ed. M. Potegal and J.F. Knutson (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994) 257-306.
  • “The Moral Economy and the Discipline of Historical Context,” Journal of Social History26 (1992) 265-284.
  • “More than One Working Class: Protestant-Catholic Riots in Edwardian Liverpool,”Popular Politics, Riot and Labour: Essays in Liverpool History, 1790-1940, ed. J.C. Belchem (Liverpool University Press, 1992) 173-216.
  • “The Myth of the Feminine Food Riot:  Women as Proto-Citizens in English Community Politics, 1790-1810,”  in  Women and Politics in the Age of Democratic Revolution, ed.  D.G.  Levy and H.B. Applewhite (University of Michigan Press, 1990),  21-60.
  • “Gender, Household, and Community Politics: Women in English Riots, 1790-1810,”Past & Present 120 (1988): 88-122.
  • “The Diffusion of Riots: The Patterns of 1766, 1795, and 1801 in Devonshire,” with Dale E. Williams, Journal of Interdisciplinary History , XIX: 1 (Summer 1988), 1-24.
  • Riots and Community Politics in England and Wales, 1790-1810 (Harvard University Press, 1983).

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