Awards and Service
- President, Western Society for French History,
- Rotunda Teaching
Award and HOPE Award, 2003.
- Godbey Lecture
Series Authors’ Award, 2003.
- Public Scholar, Cary Maguire
Center for Ethics, 2002.
- President’s Associates Outstanding
Faculty Award, 2001-02.
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, University of Oklahoma, History of
Science Department, 1998-99.
- National Endowment for the
Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for College Teachers, 1996-97.
- NEH Summer Institute, “Science, Religion, and Society in Early Modern Europe," University of Florida, 1990.
- NEH Seminar, "Descartes and his Contemporaries," Cornell, 1986.
Books and Essays
Queens and Mistresses of
University Press, 2013.
The Enlightenment, ed. with Dena Goodman, Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
- Making Science Social: The Conferences of Théophraste Renaudot, 1633-1642,
Series in History and Culture, University of Oklahoma Press, 2003.
- La Mettrie: Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment , Duke University Press, 1992.
- “Physiology and Sexual Morality in the French Enlightenment ,”
Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2002>
- “Talismans, Incubi, Divination and the
Book of M.: The Bureau d'adresse confronts the Occult,”Sixteenth-century Studies, 1999.
Professor Kathleen Wellman’s work focuses on the connections between science and culture in early modern France. Her career reflects the evolution of both the history of science and of intellectual
history, disciplines which have become more sensitive to the broad cultural contexts that shape
scientific careers and the production of knowledge in which intellectuals flourish.
In Making Science Social, Wellman provokes a reevaluation of conventional accounts of the scientific revolution and challenges common assumptions about the character of early seventeenth-century French culture through her study of the published proceedings of a series of conferences held in Paris every Monday afternoon from 1633 - 42. Théophraste Renaudot, a cultural and scientific impresario, was the guiding force behind them and their publisher.
Intended to present an encyclopedic array of seventeenth-century fare—more than 400 topics cover almost every imaginable (and some unimaginable) social, cultural, and scientific concerns—the conferences, in Wellman’s analysis, are revealed as important sources for the early development of the social sciences.
In La Mettrie: Medicine, Philosophy, and Enlightenment, Wellman explores the ways in which philosophe and physician, Julien Offray de La Mettrie’s medical concerns shaped his views on philosophy, morals, and social reform, and, conversely, how the emerging thought of the Enlightenment was reflected in his medical writings. La Mettrie emerges as a central figure in connecting medicine to the Enlightenment and in elucidating the medical view of nature, human beings, and society that the Enlightenment bequeathed to the modern world.
Wellman continues to explore a fundamental revolution in the eighteenth century, the admission of physiological thinking as central to the understanding of human beings and, equally important, a willingness to apply physiology to understanding human beings in society, providing a forum and a context in which radical philosophical ideas could be generated and openly discussed.
Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France
tells the history of the French Renaissance through the
lives of its most prominent queens and mistresses,
beginning with Agnès Sorel, the first officially
recognized royal mistress in 1444; including Anne of
Brittany, Catherine de Medici, Anne Pisseleu, Diane de
Poitiers, and Marguerite de Valois, among others; and
concluding with Gabrielle d’Estrées, Henry IV’s powerful
mistress during the 1590s.
Wellman shows that women in both roles—queen and
mistress—enjoyed great influence over French politics
and culture, not to mention over the powerful men with
whom they were involved. The book also addresses the
enduring mythology surrounding these women, relating
captivating tales that uncover much about Renaissance
modes of argument, symbols, and values, as well as our
own modern preoccupations.
and Mistresses of Renaissance France
is an important book. . . . The topic is timely,
important, and will draw a wide audience of scholars and
non‑specialists with an interest in Early Modern
France.”—Deborah Losse, Arizona State University
"Wellman achieves that rare mix of the scholarly and
accessible while making a compelling case for queens and
mistresses as crucial facets of the political and
artistic development of Renaissance France."—Katherine
Crawford, Vanderbilt University
and Mistresses of Renaissance France
is a scholarly but accessible account of the most
women ever to sway the French monarchy. Thanks to
Wellman’s vivid portraits, we see French royal women
certainly 'had' a Renaissance."—Kathryn Norberg,
University of California, Los Angeles