Born in Panama and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lynn Hunt earned her B.A. from Carleton College (1967) and her M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1973) from Stanford University.
Before coming to UCLA, where she is Distinguished Research Professor, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1987-1998) and the University of California, Berkeley (1974-1987).
Prof. Hunt’s most recent books are History: Why It Matters (2018), The French Revolution and Napoleon: Crucible of the Modern World (2017). She has also written on the origins of human rights in the eighteenth century, Inventing Human Rights (2007), the question of time and history writing, Measuring Time: Making History (2008), early 18th century views of the world’s religions, The Book that Changed Europe (with M. Jacob and W. Mijnhardt, 2010), and Writing History in the Global Era (2014).
Her abiding focus has been the French Revolution: Revolution and Urban Politics in Provincial France (1978); Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution (1984); and The Family Romance of the French Revolution (1992). She has also been concerned with historical method and epistemology: The New Cultural History (1989); with Joyce Appleby and Margaret Jacob, Telling the Truth about History (1994); with Jacques Revel, Histories: French Constructions of the Past (1995); and with Victoria Bonnell, Beyond the Cultural Turn (1999). In addition, she has edited collections on the history of eroticism, pornography, and human rights, and co-authored a western civilization textbook, The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures (6th ed. 2020). Her books have been translated into 14 languages.