Dr Morgan Golf-FrenchBack to People

Department: History
Academic position: Special Lecturer


Before moving to Oxford I was a research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of the European Enlightenment (IZEA) at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.  In 2019 I completed my doctoral research on German historical thought at University College London. I also spent almost a year as a visiting researcher at the Lichtenberg-Kolleg Institute of Advanced Study in Göttingen (funded by the German Historical Institute London and the DAAD), and in December 2021 I will begin a six-month postdoctoral fellowship at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel.


I teach papers on British and European history across the long eighteenth century (c. 1688-1815), as well as other undergraduate courses on intellectual history and historical methodologies. In Trinity Term I will convene the Final Honour School paper European and World History VIII: Enlightenments and Revolutions (Europe 1680-1815).

Research Interests

I am particularly interested in the development of new theories of history, culture, and human difference during the long eighteenth century. This period saw a flourishing of new ideas about past and present societies. My research explores the emergence and development of these ideas, with particular attention to their relationships to political debates.

I am currently preparing a book on German history-writing as a form of political thought between 1775 and 1815. This research focuses on how historians utilised and developed theories of race, culture, and Enlightenment in response to the tumult between the American Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It will be the first monograph to analyze German Enlightenment historiography as a form of political thought. I am also developing a project focusing on how leading thinkers interpreted and utilised sources about Africa and Africans between 1748 and the British Abolition of the Slave Trade Act (1807). The project investigates how the critical assessment, circulation, and rhetorical deployment of different sources shaped the generation and exchange of knowledge about Africa in the Enlightenment using the work of British, French, and German thinkers. This will be the first project dedicated to understanding the use of sources about Africa during the late Enlightenment from a transnational perspective.



‘Christoph Meiners Geschichte der Ethik und der Atheismusstreit’, in Stefan Klingner & Gideon Stiening (eds.), Christoph Meiners (1747-1810). Anthropologie und Geschichtsphilosophie in der Spätaufklärung (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022).

(As transcriber/editor), ‘Ausgewählte Briefe von Christoph Meiners‘, in Christoph Meiners, Ausgewählte Werke und Briefe, eds. Stefan Klingner, Udo Roth & Gideon Stiening (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022).

‘The Limits of the Enlightened Narrative: Rethinking Europe in Napoleonic Germany’, in History of European Ideas (issue tbc). (https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2020.1763746).

‘Bourgeois Modernity Versus the Historical Aristocracy in Christoph Meiners’s Political Thought’, in The Historical Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Dec. 2019), 943-966. (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X18000456).