Peter Stearns

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Peter N. Stearns

Peter N. Stearns.jpg
BornPeter Nathaniel Stearns
(1936-03-03) March 3, 1936 (age 85)
London, England
LanguageFrench and English
EducationPost Doctorate
Alma materHarvard University
GenreHistory, children's history, world history
Notable awardsMason Medal
Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award
SpouseDonna Kidd
ChildrenDuncan Stearns, Deborah Stearns, Clio Stearns, Cordelia Stearns

Peter Nathaniel Stearns (born March 3, 1936) is a professor at George Mason University, where he was provost from January 1, 2000 to July 2014.[1]

Stearns was Chair of the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University and also served as the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (now named Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences) at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, he founded and edited the Journal of Social History. While at Carnegie Mellon, he developed a pioneering approach to teaching World History, and has contributed to the field as well through editing, and contributing to, the Routledge series, Themes in World History. He is also known for various work on the nature and impact of the industrial revolution and for exploration of new topics, particularly in the history of emotions.

He is active in historical groups such as the American Historical Association, the Society for French Historical Studies, the Social Science History Association and the International Society for Research on Emotion.

Early life[edit]

Peter Stearns was born in London, but of American parents (Raymond and Elizabeth) and was an American citizen at birth. He was raised in Urbana, Illinois and attended public grade school and then the University of Illinois High School. After graduating from Harvard College, summa cum laude, he had a traveling fellowship in Europe and then returned to complete his PhD at Harvard. He has four children and a stepson, and five grandchildren. He has held positions at the University of Chicago, Rutgers, Carnegie Mellon, and now George Mason.

Education and career[edit]

He attended Harvard College and later received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.[2] In his prolific career as an author and editor, he has written or edited over 135 different books. Stearns served as founding chair of the Advanced Placement World History committee and as Vice President for Teaching of the American Historical Association.[3]


His books include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Provost". George Mason University. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Stearns, Peter. Teaching Consumerism in World History. AP Central. Retrieved 2012-2-25.