Ann Blair is a Harvard College Professor and the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at Harvard University, and she co-organized the “Why Books?” conference with Leah Price. She specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe (16th–17th centuries), with an emphasis on France. Her interests include the history of the book and of education; the history of the disciplines and of scholarship; and early modern natural philosophy and its interactions with religion.
Blair has been awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship and was a Radcliffe junior faculty fellow at the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College in 1998–1999. She is the author of The Theater of Nature: Jean Bodin and Renaissance Science (Princeton University Press, 1997) and “The Rise of Note-Taking in Early Modern Europe,” Intellectual History Review, vol. 20, no. 3 (2010). Her new book, Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age (Yale University Press) was published in November 2010. Blair received her PhD in 1990 from Princeton University.