Sarah Shurts

Assistant Professor of History

BA History, Wake Forest University 1997
MA European History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro 2002
Ph.D. Modern French History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007

Office Location: Lyndhurst Campus Room 406
Phone: 201-301-1261
Email: [email protected]

Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, 10:15-11:15am Tuesday, Thursday 1:15-2:15pm  and by appointment

Courses Taught at BCC

  • History 101 Western Civilization II to the Reformation
  • History 102 Western Civilization II since the Reformation
  • History 106 History of Modern Europe to the French Revolution
  • History 107 History of Modern Europe since the French Revolution
  • History 111 US History to Reconstruction
  • History 112 US History Since Reconstruction
  • History 146 Genocide and Holocaust 

Research Interests

My research deals primarily with 20th century French intellectual life. In particular, I am interested in the construction of intellectual identity on the French extreme Right during the periods of active intellectual “engagement” or involvement in public and political affairs. This research has led me to other areas of interest in Modern European history including the history and nature of Fascism in Germany, France, and Italy, Holocaust studies, a study of Nationalism and national identity construction, and an interest in oppositional communities. 



  • “Continental Collaboration: the Transition from Ultranationalism to Pan-Europeanism by the Interwar French Fascist Right,” French Politics, Culture & Society vol. 32 no3 (Winter 2014)
  • “History in Harmony: The AHA “Tuning” Project in the Community College and the Closing of the Transfer Gap,” The History Teacher (forthcoming)
  • “Resentment and the right: a twentieth-century cycle of reaction, revaluation, and retreat by the French extreme right,” European History Quarterly volume 43 no2 (April, 2013): 257-278.
  • “Redefining the Engagé: Intellectual Identity in Fin de Siècle France,” Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques volume 38 no3 (Winter 2012). 

Short Articles 

  • “Does Tuning Hold Promise for the Humanities?” The Humanist (Fall 2014)
  • “Teaching Undergraduates: A conversation in Brooklyn” AHA Perspectives on History (September 2014) co-authored with Elaine Carey, Sara Haviland, Eric Platt, and Emily Tai 
  • “Richard William Lenk: Historian of Bergen County, NJ, 1936-2014” In Memoriam essay for AHA Perspectives on History (November 2014


  • Kevin Passmore, The Right in France from the Third Republic to Vichy (Oxford, 2013), in European History Quarterly (forthcoming 2014)
  • Robert Lynn Fuller, The Origins of the French Nationalist Movement, 1886-1914 (McFarland & Co., 2012), in European History Quarterly 44:2 (April 2014).

Conference Presentation

  • Agathon and the Nouvelle Sorbonne: Memory of the Franco-Prussian War and the conflict in French education on the Eve of World War I to be presented at the Western Society for French History annual meeting November 2014.
  • Pairing History with “The Other Disciplines”: Linked courses and Learning Communities in History Education presented at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting January 2015
  • What I did with Tuning provided at the Undergraduate Teaching Workshop for the AHA’s annual meeting, January 2015
  • Going beyond Gen Ed at the Associate’s Level presented at the Undergraduate Teaching Workshop for the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, January 2014.
  • In Defense of the Humanities: the Nouvelle Sorbonne debate and the crisis of identity in French education, 1910-1920 presented at the national CCHA annual meeting October 2013.
  • “’Qu’est-ce qu’un intellectuel?’: Ramon Fernandez and the Fascist reimagining of intellectual responsibility in the 1930s” Drew University’s Thinking Publicly conference June 2013.
  • Harmonious or Off-Key? The American Historical Association Tuning Project, Community College Humanities Association in Boston, Mass November 2012.
  • Europeanism as the New French Nationalism: the evolution of right-wing conceptions of French nationalism in response to global exchange. Presented at the Society for the Study of French History, York England July 2012.
  • Controversial Contributions: Alain de Benoist and an approach to controversial intellectual history for teachers and scholars. Presented at the New England Historical Association annual meeting April 2011.
  • Redefining the Engagé: Right-Wing Conceptualizations of Intellectual Identity, 1898-1968. Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, April 2008
  • An Engaging Prospect: the Allure of Communism and the Politicization of André Gide. Presented 
    at the annual meeting of the Southern History Association, November 2003.
  • From Ivory Tower to Red Square: the Political Journey of André Gide. Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, April 2003.
  • L’Essentiel: Robert Brasillach and the Appeal of Fascism for French Intellectuals. Presented at the European History Conference at the University of Memphis, April 2002.
  • Allied Reception of Athenian Imperialism: Questioning the Traditional Interpretation. Presented at the European History Conference at the University of Memphis, April 2001.
  • Commentary at Conferences
    Will provide commentary for Against the Day: Anti-Science and Anti-Rationality in Modern France panel at the Western Society for French History annual meeting November 2014. 
  • Provided Commentary for Urban History Association Conference, October 25-28, 2012, in New York

Professional Service