Thomas Apel studies the histories of ideas and environments in the Atlantic World during the 18th and 19th centuries. His recently published book, Feverish Bodies, Enlightened Minds: Science and the Yellow Fever Controversy in the Early American Republic (Stanford 2016), details the efforts of American intellectuals to determine the cause of yellow fever, a disease that scourged American port cities in the 1790s and early 1800s, stimulating one of the most innovative and expansive outpourings of scientific thought in American history. Until recently, Thomas taught history at Menlo College in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Translating Lavoisier,” Thomas’s project during this fellowship, examined the reception of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier’s chemistry in the early United States. The project shows how the cultural demands of the postcolonial republic influenced the practice and perception of “French” science during an era of revolutionary upheaval and reactionary backlash.