Alain Corbin

Alain Corbin is one of France’s premier historians, whose work on the nineteenth century has garnered widespread acclaim. He is currently Professor Emeritus at University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, having been associated from the early stages of his career with the Annales School. From his first writings in the 1970s, Corbin reacted against the then-predominant emphasis on economics, serial history and large-scale collective structures to revive the early emphasis of figures such as Lucien Febvre on the history of mentalités and collective mindsets. Combining this with an interest in microhistory, Corbin is noted for his work on unusual and unexpected topics within cultural history, which have included studies of ‘soundscapes’, smell and the seaside, as well as the study of the wider significance of specific incidents and individuals. Polity has published many of these works, including Village of Cannibals, Lure of the Sea and Time, Desire and Horror.