College of Letters & Sciences
Back to directory

James Coons
Associate Professor

  • Department(s): History
  • Office Location: Laurentide Hall 5233
  • Phone: (262) 472-1523
  • Email:
James Coons profile picture

Jim Coons (Ph.D. 2014, UW-Madison) teaches courses in European history, especially focusing on the early modern period, as well as historical methods. His research interests revolve around the ways in which informal culture, implicit rules, and “irrational” worldviews inform politics, especially in the early years of Louis XIV’s reign. His 2014 dissertation and in-process book project look particularly at controversies and debates around the “Grand” Prince de Condé during the failed rebellion of the Fronde (1648-1653), and the lasting effects of those arguments on the political culture of the Sun King’s absolutist reign. His recent research has focused on the history of emotions and their role in political argumentation and authority.
Select Awards and Recognition

Wisconsin Teaching Fellow, 2018-2019
UW-Whitewater Student Government Teaching Award, Fall 2018
Nominated for MSU, Mankato Dr. Duane Orr Teacher of the Year Award, Spring 2015
UW-Madison College of Letters and Science Teaching Fellow, 2013
Herfurth Fellowship, UW-Madison History Department, Spring 2013
Ronald S. Love Paper Prize, Western Society for French History, October 2012
UW-Madison George L. Mosse Teaching Fellowship, Spring 2012
Milton R. Gutscht Fellowship, UW-Madison History Department, Fall 2010
Select Presentations and Publications

The Image of Man – book-review/essay on modern European masculinity, for UW-Madison’s George Mosse Program: Invisible History, Fluid Masculinities, Mosse’s Image of Man in the #MeToo Moment
“‘I felt compelled to respond, as I did, very dryly’: Laughter, Status, and Subjecthood in Mazarin’s Letters from the Pyrenees” Journal of the Western Society for French History, n.44 (Ann Arbor: Michigan UP), 2017.
Entries in Literary Encyclopedia: “Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet,” “Bossuet, Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture,” “Bossuet, Oraisons Funèbres,” "Jules Mazarin" (forthcoming)
Editorial assistant for Jeffrey R. Watt, Isabella M. Watt, Lee Palmer Wandel, Registres du Consistoire de Genève au temps de Calvin, tomes ix-x (Geneva: Droz, 2015-2016).
"Emotional Tactics: The Battle of Charenton (1649) in Parisian Mazarinades,” Western Society for French History Annual Meeting, Portland, ME, November 2018
"Rebellious Sentiments: Emotion, Masculinity, and Community in the Fronde,” UW-Madison Center for Early Modern Studies, Faculty Series, April 2018
"Foreign Sentiments: Affective Community in the Fronde,” Society for the Study of French History Annual Meeting, Edinburgh Scotland, June 2017
“The Sentimental Politics of the Princely Fronde,” Western Society for French History Annual Meeting, Cedar Rapids, IA, November 2016 (archived by H-France:
“The Ambivalent Hero: The Grand Condé at the Center and Margins of Patriotism,” Society for Interdisciplinary French Seventeenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting, London ON, October 2014
“’An Invincible Obstacle’: The Grand Condé in the Treaty of the Pyrenees,” Western Society for French History Annual Meeting, Banff AB, October 2012 (Ronald S. Love Prize)
“Unwilling Allies: Forced Cooperation during the Princely Fronde (1650-53),” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Chicago IL, January 2012 (Panel Organizer)