About

ANDREW CURRAN is the author of Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (Other Press, 2019), named one of the best biographies of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews. Curran is also the author of The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Era of Enlightenment, which was A Choice Outstanding Academic Title and also received the 2018 Louis Marin Prize from the French l’Académie des sciences d’outre-mer). Most recently, he edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Who's Black and Why? at Harvard University Press, 2022.

Curran's writing has appeared in the New York Review of Books, El Cultural, The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Paris Review, El Pais, and The Wall Street Journal.

Curran is a fellow in the history of medicine at the New York Academy of Medicine and a Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has also received grants and fellowships from the French Government, The Mellon Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Humanities, most recently an NEH Public Scholarship.

Born on Long Island and raised in Queens and then upstate New York, Curran has also spent years in France and attempts, whenever possible, to return to Paris where, among other things, he met his wife, rode motorcycles, studied wine, and learned how to cook. He is a committed humanist who believes, like Diderot, that “skepticism is the first step toward truth.”

His new book, edited with Henry Louis Gates. Jr., is Who's Black and Why? A Forgotten Chapter in the Eighteenth-Century Invention of Race (Harvard, 2022).

Curran lives in Connecticut where he is the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and Professor of French at Wesleyan University.

Other Works

  • Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely

    2019

Awards and Recognition

  • A Kirkus Best Biography of 2019 for Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely
  • A '"Must Read" Title of 2019 for Diderot
  • An "Open Letters Review" Best book of 2019
  • An "Independent.ie." Best Book of 2019
  • An "NRC" Best Book of 2019
  • Finalist, Paris-American Library Best Book of 2019
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for Diderot