Julia Osman

Julia Osman


  • War, Power, International Affairs


  • Associate Professor


  • France
  • Military History
  • Atlantic World


  • Director, Institute for the Humanities




  • 275 Allen Hall
My current research interests focus on French army and its challenges and changes during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as North American influences on French military reform. I am also interested in the Seven Years' War as a global conflict, early American colonial history, Atlantic history, and military history, broadly defined. Most of my questions focus on armies of different host cultures fighting alongside or against one another and the challenges accompanying such interactions. My current project explores civil-military relations in France and how war is “written” for both military and civilian readers.
I am presently Director, Institute for the Humanities, at Mississippi State.
  • PhD, Early-Modern French History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2010
    • Dissertation: Dissertation: "The Citizen Army of Old Regime France." Adviser: Jay Smith
    • Committee: Christopher Browning, Dick Kohn, Lloyd Kramer, Wayne Lee.
    • Secondary Fields: Atlantic History, Military History, Modern European History
  • M.A., European History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2006
    • M.A. Thesis: "Citizen Warriors: French Perception of the American Military, 1775-1777. Adviser: Jay Smith. 
  • B.A., History with Highest Honors, Cum Laude, College of William and Mary, 2004
    • Senior honors thesis: "Bridging the Gap: The French Military Linking the American and French Revolutions." Highest Honors. Adviser: Paul Mapp
  • Instructor, National Institute for American History and Democracy, Summer, 2010
    College of William and Mary 
    Led discussions with and graded work of advanced high school students operating at the college level .
  • Instructor, History Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Summer, 2009
    Created syllabus, chose readings, created assignments, grades, lectures, led discussion 
  • Tutor, University of North Carolina Writing Center, 2008-2009
    Met individually with students to provide assistance on papers and general writing skills, led workshops on different types of writing 
  • Teaching Assistant, History Department, University of North Carolina, 2004-2010
    Led discussions, graded papers, assisted with assignments and exams 
  • Student Teacher, AP and Regular U.S. History, Tabb High School, 2003-2004 York County, Virginia 
  • Book

  • Citizen Soldiers and the Key to the Bastille (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).
  • “Guibert vs. Guibert: Competing Notions in the Essai général de tactique and the Défense du système de guerre moderne,” Society of Military History Journal 83:1(January 2019) : 43-65.

    Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Guibert vs. Guibert: Competing Notions in the Essai général de tactique and the Défense du système de guerre moderne,” Society of Military History Journal 83:1(January 2019) : 43-65.

  • “Dynamic Harmony: War and Culture in 18th-Century France and 21st-Century History,” in Cultures et identités combattantes en Europe de la guerre de Cent Ans à l’entre-deux-guerres, vol. 2 of La construction du militaire eds. Benjamin Deruelle and Arnaud Guinier, (Paris : Publications de la Sorbonne, 2017).

  • “Cincinnatus Reborn: The George Washington Myth and French Renewal during the Old Regime,” French Historical Studies, 2015.

  • "Early Modern French Armies." In Oxford Bibliographies in Military History. Ed. Dennis Showalter. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

  • "Pride, Prejudice, and Prestige: French officers in North American during the Seven Years' War," in The Seven Years' War as a Global Conflict: Essays and Interpretations, eds. Mark H. Danely and Patrick J. Speelman (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers), forthcoming 2012.
  • "French / American Alliance" entry in Reporting the American Revolution, ed. Todd Andrick (Sourcebooks, 2012).
  • "A Tale of Two Tactics: Laclos's Novel Approach to Military Reform," Eighteenth Century Fiction 22:3 (Spring, 2010): 503-524.
  • "Ancient Warriors on Modern Soil: French Military Reform and American Military Images in 18th Century France," French History 22 (June, 2008): 175-196.
  • "Patriotism as Power: The Old Regime Foundation for Napoleon's Army," International Congress of Military History Conference Proceedings 2009 (Fall, 2010).

Review of The Military Enlightenment: War and Culture in the French Empire from Louis XIV to Napoleon by Christy Pichichero.  H-France, April, 2019.

• Review of A Theater of Diplomacy: International Relations and the Performing Arts in Early Modern France by Ellen R. Welch.  H-Diplo, August, 2017.

• Review of St. Louis Rising: The French Regime of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive by Carl J. Ekberg and Sharon K. Person.  Journal of American History, 2016.

• Review of L’Honneur du Soldat: Ethique Martiale Et Discipline Guerrière Dans La France Des Lumières by Arnaud Guinier.  H-France, H-Net Reviews.  September, 2015.

• Review of Controlling Paris: Armed Forces and Counter-Revolution, 1789-1848 by Jonathan M. House.  H-War, H-Net Reviews. January, 2015.

• Review of Forging Napoleon's Grande Armee: Motivation, Military Culture, and Masculinity in the French Army, 1800-1808, by Michael J. Hughes. History: Review of New Books, (January, 2014).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       • Review of The Global Seven Years’ War 154-1763 by Daniel Baugh.  H-France Review (Spring, 2013)                                                                                                          

• “French / American Alliance” entry in Reporting the American Revolution, ed. Todd Andrick (Sourcebooks, 2012).                                                                                      

• Review of Aristocracy and its Enemies in the French Revolution by William Doyle.  History: Review of New Books  (Spring,2012)


  • "'War by the Book': Visions of Combat in 18th-Century French Literature", presented at the War and Culture Studies Conference in London, England, June 2015.
  • "Citizens vs. Conscripts: Guibert's competing arguments in the Essai and the Défense," presented at the Society for Military History Conference in Montgomery, Alabama, April 2014.
  • Bloody Books and Gory Gazettes: Violence and Imagination in 18th-Century French Reading Culture,” presented at the Western Society for French History in San Antonio, TX, November, 2014
  • From Kingpins to Outcasts: French Officers in the Early Revolution,” presented at the Society for French Historical Studies Conference in Quebec City, Canada, April 2014.
  • “Enemies to Allies: French texts and the making of American identity,” presented at the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference in Williamsburg, VA, March 2014.
  • “'This is Sparta!': French Construction of Masculinity and the American Army,” presented at the Consortium for Revolutionary Era Conference in Oxford, MS, February, 2014
  • "A Dream Deferred: The Citizen Army of France, 1760-1791," presented at the Society for the Study of French History Conference in Cardiff, Wales, 2013.
  • "Old Regime Illusions and Revolutionary Realities: Competing Views of Citizenship and Military Service, 1789-1792" presented at the Society for French Historical Studies Conference in Boston, MA, 2013. 
  • "Civil Confidence, Military Madness, and Fictional Foes: The French Army in the Early Revolution," presented at the Society for Military History Conference in New Orleans, LA, 2013. 
  • "Defense of La Defense: Guibert and his Duty to the Military Enlightenment," presented at the Western Society for French Studies Conference in Portland, Oregon, November, 2011. 
  • Co-Organizer, "Medieval Music to Contemporary Parks: The 2007-2008 Chateaubriand Workshop," Paris, April 2008.
  • "Washington in Paris: the Creation of a Republican Noble," to be presented at the French Historical Studies conference, Charleston, South Carolina, February 2011.
  • "Unwitting Sacrifice: The Noble Officer Corps and the rise of the French Soldier, 1760-1789," presented at the Society for Military History Annual Meeting, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, May 2010.
  • "The Arsenal of Revolution: France's Citizen Army 1787-1790," presented at "History of Military, War, and Society Triangle Seminar Series," Durham, North Carolina, March 2010.
  • "French Soldiers into French Citizens: New Ideas for an Old Army, 1760-1789," presented at "French Cultural Studies Seminar" in Raleigh, North Carolina, February 2010.
  • "La Dernire Goute de Mon Sang: The Sacred Duty of French Officers and their Rejection of Amerindian Allies," presented at "Contest for Continents: The Seven Years' War in Global Perspective," Fort Niagara, Niagara University, Brock University, October 2009.
  • "Honor, Zeal, and Defeat: French Military Attitudes towards the Fight for Canada, 1756-1759," presented at "1759 Revisited: The Conquest for Canada in Historical Perspective," London, England, September, 2009.
  • "The Citizen Army of Old Regime France," presented at the Triangle Institute for Security Studies "New Faces" Conference, September, 2009.
  • "Patriotism as Power: Old Regime Foundations for Napoleon's Army," presented at "The XXXV International Congress of Military History: Warfare in the Age of Napoleon," Porto, Portugal, September 2009.
  • "Citizen Soldiers: French Imagery of Americans in Arms during the Eighteenth Century," presented at the Revolutionary Consortium, Savannah, Georgia, February 2009. 
  • "Reviving Sparta: The Role of Masculinity in French Participation in the American Revolution," presented at the Graduate Student Workshop, "Gender, Experience and Memory, 18th-20th Centuries," May 2007.
  • "Citizen Warriors: French Perceptions of the American Military, 1775-1777," presented at the North Carolina Graduate Student Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 2006.

Invited Talks

  • “From Officer to Gentlemen: French Invention of George Washington and an American People,” presented at The Republics of France and the United States: 240 Years of Friendship conference, organized by Mount Vernon, presented in Paris, France September, 2019
  • “Playing with Fire: From American Revolutionaries to French Revolution,” presented at the Society for Cincinnati Library in Anderson House, Washington D.C.  June, 2019
  • "Entre L’Essai général de Tactique (1772) et la Défense du système de guerre moderne (1779) : deux visions du soldat par le comte de Guibert," presented as part of the Jour d’Etudes sur Guibert at l’Institut Historique Allemand in Paris, France,  January, 2019
  • “The Shot heard ‘round Europe: George Washington in the Seven Years’ War” presented as part of the George Washington Teaching Institute in Mount Vernon, VA., November, 2016
  • “18th Century Global Context” presented as part of the George Washington Teaching Institute in Mount Vernon, VA., August, 2015
  • American Nationality: A French Invention?” presented at The Marquis de Lafayette and the European Friends of the American Revolution conference in Mount Vernon, VA  June, 2015.
  • “Greatest Enemies to Greatest Allies: France and America in the War for Independence,” to be presented at the Annual Conference on the American Revolution,” in Williamsburg, VA., March 2015.
  • George Washington and France: The Bungler, the General, the Ally, and the Myth,” presented as part of the George Washington Teaching Institute in Mount Vernon, VA    July, 2014.
  • “The French-American alliance during the American Revolution,” presented as part of the George Washington’s Mount Vernon Teacher Workshop in Greenwood, MS., November, 2013.
  • "French involvement in the American Revolution," a series of four lectures prepared and delivered as resources for secondary school teachers and students through the Education program at the Society of the Cincinnati March, 2012
  • "In the Name of Honor: Officers of the French Army and their Participation in the American Revolution" presented at the Library for the Society of the Cincinnati. January, 2012
  • "Digitizing and Making Information Accessible for Arizona's 100th Birthday" presented at Arizona State University for the department of Public History April, 2011
  • Short-term Fellowship, Folger Institute, 2017
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2016
  • Gilbert Chinard Grant, Institut Francais d' Amerique, 2012
  • HARP Grant, College of Arts & Sciences, Mississippi State University, 2011
  • Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Academic Libraries, 2010-2011
  • Tyree-Lamb Research Fellowship, Library of the Society of the Cincinnati, 2009
  • Bourse Chateaubriand (French Embassy Grant), 2007
  • Faherty Military History grant, 2007
  • United Daughters of the Confederacy Scholarship, 2005, 2006
  • University of North Carolina Department of History Graduate Assistantship, 2004-2010
  • Ellen Monk Krattiger Award in History, College of William and Mary, 2004 
  • Martin Jurrow Scholarship, Theater Department, College of William and Mary, 2004
  • HI 1163 World History before 1500
  • HI 4363 Renaissance and Reformation
  • HI 4673 Nineteenth-Century Europe
  • HI 4773 Modern France
  • HI 4990 Early Modern France
  • Hi 8803 History of the French Revolution 
  • HI 8803 History of Atlantic Warfare
  • HI 8853 Early Modern Europe
  • HI 8893 International Security and Internal Safety Seminar
  • Instructor, William and Mary, History 216: From the Founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution, Summer, 2010
  • Instructor, UNC, History 151: Western Civilization, Summer, 2009
  • Teaching Assistant, UNC, History 369: Warfare and American Society, Spring 2008
  • History 151: Western Civilization, Fall, 2008
  • History 490: Global History of Warfare, Spring, 2007
  • History 151: Western Civilization, Fall, 2006
  • History 19: World since 1945, Spring, 2006
  • History 11: Western Civilization, Fall, 2005 
  • History 10: Native American History, Spring, 2005
  • History 55: Women in Medieval Europe, Fall, 2004
  • Invited Instructor, French 450, College of William and Mary, November 19, 2009 Discussion: Laclos s Les Liaisons 
  • Co-Organizer, French Film Festival, Mississippi State University, 2014-15
  • Social Studies Consultant and Presenter for Science and Social Studies Integration with Literacy and Technology for Teachers 2014
  • Member, Program Committee for the Society of Military History annual conference 2013
  • Mentor, Day One Leadership Community, Mississippi State University, 2012, 2013
  • Member, Institute for the Humanities Advisory Board, Mississippi State, 2012-2014 
  • Co-Organizer, Symposium for History Undergraduate Research Conference. Mississippi State, 2012-2014
  • Rapporteur, Triangle French Studies Seminar, National Humanities Center, 2009-2010
  • Graduate Representative, Steering Committee for History of Military, War, and Society Seminar Series, 2009-2010
  • Committee on Teaching, UNC-CH, 2006-2007
  • History Department Senator to the Graduate Professional Student Federation, 2005-2006
  • UNC-CH, Student Representative, Search Committees for History and French, College of William and Mary, 2004
  • Member, French Historical Society
  • Member, Society of Military History
  • Member, Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture 
  • Member, American Historical Association