Netta Green


I am a doctoral candidate in the History department, where I study the cultural and intellectual history of Early Modern France. My Dissertation, titled “Before Kinship: Inheritance, Families and the Social Sciences in France, 1789–1850,” traces the study of the family in France from the French Revolution through the first half of the nineteenth century. Taking the fraught debates about succession during the French Revolution as its point of departure, the project examines how questions of inheritance permeated the emerging social sciences in France, becoming key to nineteenth-century social engineering, ethnographic literature and population control. By exploring the methods that were developed inside and outside of the household to manage inheritance and plan for one’s future, the dissertation explores how intimate familial stories or secretive inheritance struggles merged with nineteenth-century social-scientific positivism in the intellectual landscape of post-revolutionary France.

More broadly, my research interests include the history of knowledge-making, historical epistemology, and the history of genetics and genealogies. Prior to starting at Princeton, I received an M.A. in History, summa cum laude, from Tel-Aviv University, where my thesis explored the concept of nature in women’s writing during the French Enlightenment. In 2019–2020, I was a visiting student at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, as well as a visiting researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). 

Dissertation Title:

"Revolutionary Succession: Families, Inheritance Law, and the Social Sciences in France, 1789-1815"

Degree Year
Year of Study
Area of Interest
Cultural History
Gender & Sexuality
Human Sciences
Intellectual History
Political History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
17th & 18th Centuries
19th Century