Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 238
Phone: +1-508-831-5190
Fax: +1-508-831-5932

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W. A. Bland Addison, Jr.

I believe it is important for American students to understand the philosophical and intellectual foundations of their way of viewing the world and how those cultural perspectives are different from other peoples of the world. Therefore, I teach a variety of courses about Western and non-Western civilizations: Introduction to European Cultural History (HI1322), Topics in the Western Intellectual Tradition (HI3323), and Topics in Comparative Civilizations (HI3342). Such cross-cultural understanding is fundamental in appreciating the values and accomplishments of other peoples and in learning how to build a better, more peaceful world. These are goals students address in Contemporary World Issues in Historical Perspective (HI2341) and in my Inquiry Seminar on World History dealing with conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.

I have advised students in hundreds of projects at many different WPI Project Centers, as I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for them to apply many of my teaching goals. I am also the codirector of the Morocco Project Center, located at Al Akhawayn University in the Berber village of Ifrane in the Middle Atlas Mountains. I believe it is particularly important that students study and work with the Arabic and Muslim students they meet at Al Akhawayn.

My original scholarly interests were in the intellectual and cultural origins of the French Revolution, particularly the underground book trade based outside of France in the Old Regime Bishop-Principality of Liège, today a part of Belgium. In recent years, I have done scholarly work on a variety of topics dealing with intellectual history, social justice, and contemporary world conflicts.

I am a sometimes jogger and an avid badminton player, which is a sport rarely played competitively by Americans but extremely popular elsewhere in the world.

Research Interests

  • Old Regime and Modern France
  • European Cultural History
  • Islam and the Arab World


  • BA, University of South Carolina, 1965
  • MA, University of Virginia, 1967
  • MPhil, Columbia University, 1974
  • PhD, Columbia University, 1986

Featured Publications

  • “Developing World” and “International Monetary Fund (IMF)” in Ethics, revised edition, edited by John K Roth (Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2004).
  • "Secularization in the Monde Livresque and Literate Mentalité at the End of the Ancien Régime," Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850, Proceedings, 1989, edited by Louise Salley Parker (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia, 1990).
  • "Les dessous des Lumiéres à Liège: Quelques èchos de 'livres infâmes'," Livres et Lumiéres au pays de Liège, edited by Daniel Droixhe (Liège: Desoer Editions, 1980).
  • “Osama bin Laden” in Notorious Lives, edited by Carl L. Blankston III (Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2007).
  • “May 1920: Shia and Sunni Clergy Unite to Spark Great Iraqi Uprising of 1920” and “July 24, 1922: League of Nations Establishes Mandate for Palestine” in Great Events from History: The Twentieth Century, 1901-1940, edited by Chris Moose (Pasadena, California: Salem Press, 2007).

View a Complete List (.pdf, 168kb)

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