Fara Dabhoiwala

Senior Research Scholar/Lecturer with rank of Professor
Office Phone
304 Dickinson Hall
Office Hours

On Leave 2024–2025


I am a historian of England, and of the English-speaking world, since the middle ages. My main interests are in the history of language and communication in all its forms. My current projects include a history of free speech; a global history of English; a brief history of the signature; and the biography of a seventeenth-century scrivener and spy.

I have previously published on various other topics, and especially on the history of changing sexual attitudes and behavior. My book The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution tells the story of the Enlightenment origins of modern western attitudes to sex. It drew on pictorial, fictional, judicial, philosophical, and other kinds of evidence, and tried to connect together social, intellectual, literary, legal, political, and other kinds of history.

I am strongly committed to public engagement and the communication of historical scholarship to as wide an audience as possible, through writing for the press, broadcasting, and public speaking. You can find out more at my website.

Before coming to Princeton in 2016, I spent many years on the Faculty at Oxford, where I am now a life fellow of All Souls College and of Exeter College. I was educated at Oxford, York, and Amsterdam.

Area of Interest
Art History
British Studies
Colonialism & Post Colonialism
Constitutional History
Cultural History
Gender & Sexuality
History & Public Policy
Intellectual History
Legal History
Political History
Public History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
15th & 16th Centuries
17th & 18th Centuries
19th Century
20th Century