Lisa Tiersten

Lisa Tiersten

Research Interests


Fall 2020

  • Colonial Encounters (3 credits)
    History BC2321 
    Examines the shaping of European cultural identity through encounters with non-European cultures from 1500 to the post-colonial era. Novels, paintings, and films will be among the sources used to examine such topics as exoticism in the Enlightenment, slavery and European capitalism, Orientalism in art, ethnographic writings on the primitive, and tourism.
  • Consumer Culture in Modern Europe (4 credits)
    History BC3327 

    The development of the modern culture of consumption, with particular attention to the formation of the woman consumer. Topics include commerce and the urban landscape, changing attitudes toward shopping and spending, feminine fashion and conspicuous consumption, and the birth of advertising. Examination of novels, fashion magazines, and advertising images.


Lisa S. Tiersten, professor of history, joined the Barnard faculty in 1993. In addition to her teaching duties for the history department, she is affiliated with Barnard's women's studies program.

Professor Tiersten's research and teaching interests include modern European cultural history, the cultural history of capitalism, modern France, feminist theory, gender history, and comparative colonialisms. She has received the Emily Gregory Award for Excellence in Teaching from Barnard College.

Professor Tiersten's research and scholarship have been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, the Gilder Foundation, the French Historical Studies Society, and the Western Society for French History. She has received a French Government research grant, the Bourse Chateaubriand.


  • PhD, Yale University
  • MPhil, Yale University
  • MA, Yale University
  • BA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Selected Publications

  • Sentimental Modernity: Business Culture in Third Republic France (Book in progress)
  • The Child and the Nation-State: The US, France, and Sweden, 1900-2000, with L. Tragardh (Book in progress)
  • The Western Experience: The Modern Era, with I. Woloch, et al. (New York: McGraw Hill, 2006)
  • Marianne in the Market: Envisioning Consumer Society in Fin-de-Siècle France(Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
  • "Marianne in the Department Store: Gender and the Politics of Consumption in Turn-of-the-Century Paris," in Cathedrals of Consumption: The European Department Store, 1850-1939, ed. G. Crossick and S. Jaumain (Ashcroft Press, 1999)
  • "Consumer Culture and the European Bourgeoisie," Il Bollettino del diciannovesimo secolo (Spring 1997)
  • "The Chic Interior, the Feminine Modern, and the Rehabilitation of Bourgeois Taste: Home Decorating as High Art in Turn-of-the-Century Paris," in Not at Home: The Suppression of Domesticity in Modern Art and Architecture, ed. C. Reed (Thames and Hudson, 1996)
  • "Redefining the Bourgeoisie: Recent Literature on Consumer Culture in Western Europe," Radical History Review 57 (Fall 1993)