Deborah Coen

Associate Professor of History

Deborah Coen, Associate Professor of History, joined the Barnard faculty in 2006. In addition to teaching for the Department of History, Professor Coen is affiliated with Barnard's Women's Studies Program. Prior to coming to Barnard, Professor Coen was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows.

Professor Coen has taught such courses as "Bodies and Machines, 1750-1939," "History of Environmental Thinking," "Gender and Knowledge in Modern History," "Vienna and the Birth of the Modern," and "Central Europe: Nations, Cultures, and Ideas."

Professor Coen's research centers on the history of the physical and earth sciences and the cultural history of central Europe. Currently, she is studying how climate came to be understood in terms of the exchange of energy among systems at a spectrum of scales, from the molecular to the hemispheric.

Selected Publications:

The Earthquake Observers: Disaster Science from Lisbon to Richter (University of Chicago Press, January, 2013)

Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life (University of Chicago Press, 2007; paperback 2011)

Editor, Witness to Disaster: Earthquakes and Expertise in Comparative Perspective, Science in Context volume 25, issue 1 (2012)

Co-Editor, with James R. Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic, Intimate Universality: Local and Global Themes in the History of Weather and Climate (Science History Publications, 2006)

“Rise, Grubenhund: On Provincializing Kuhn,” Modern Intellectual History 9 (2012): 109-126.

“Imperial Climatographies from Tyrol to Turkestan,” Climate and Cultural Anxiety, Osiris volume 26 (2011), eds. James Fleming and Vladimir Jankovic, pp. 45-65

“Climate and Circulation in Imperial Austria,” Journal of Modern History 82: 4 (December, 2010): 839-875

European history
Modern Central Europe
History of science and technology



AB, Harvard University

MPhil, University of Cambridge

PhD, Harvard University

In the News

Congratulations to Deborah Coen, associate professor of history, Andrea Miller, dance faculty member and guest artist, and Annie Baker, adjunct lecturer in the theatre department.

History professor answers questions about her research and the evolution of seismology.