Mary Pickering

Mary Pickering


Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris, France.

Harvard University,1988.

Harvard University.

B.A., magna cum laude.
Harvard University, graduated in three years, Phi Beta Kappa.

Office: DMH 218
Phone: 408-924-5516

Areas of Interest

Modern European Social, Cultural, and Intellectual History
French History
European Women's History



  • Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography. Volume 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography. Volume 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography. Volume 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Auguste Comte."In New Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, edited by George Ritzer and Jeffrey Stepnisky. Forthcoming. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011.
  • "Auguste Comte." In The Literary Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Clark. 2010. Online publication.
  • "Saint-Simon, Claude Henri (1760–1825)." In Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. Blackwell Reference Online.
  • "Auguste Comte and the Académie des Sciences." Revue philosophique, 132 (2007): 437–50.
  • "Introduction" to Auguste Comte/Caroline Massin, Correspondance inédite: l'histoire de Caroline Massin, épouse d'Auguste Comte à travers leur correspondance. 5–41. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2006.
  • "Comte." In Routledge Encyclopedia of Social Theory, edited by Austin Harrington, Barbara Marshall, and Hans-Peter Müller. London: Routledge, 2006.
  • "Auguste Comte." In Fifty Key Sociologists: The Formative Theorists, edited by John Scott. 21–25. London: Routledge, 2006.
  • "Auguste Comte." In Encyclopedia of Europe 1789–1914, edited by Jay Winter and John Merriman. New York: Charles Scribner's, 2006.
  • "Comte" and "Positivism." In Edinburgh Dictionary of Continental Philosophers, edited by John Protevi. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.
  • "L'Art de la mémoire dans le système positiviste." In Auguste Comte Aujourd'hui: Colloque de Cerisy (3-10 juillet 2001), edited by Michael Bourdeau, Jean-François Braunstein, Annie Petit. 223–239. Paris: Kimé, 2003.
  • "Auguste Comte." In International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes. Oxford: Pergamon/Elsevier Science, 2001.
  • "Clotilde de Vaux and the Search for Identity." In The New Biography: Performing Femininity in Nineteenth-Century France, edited by Jo Burr Margadant. 137–170. Berkeley: UC Press, 2000.
  • "Auguste Comte." In Blackwell Companion to Major Social Theorists, edited by George Ritzer. 25–52. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.
  • "Auguste Comte et la Question du Genre." In Auguste Comte et le positivisme, edited by Zeïneb Ben Cherni-Saïd. 169–185. Carthage, Tunisia: Académie Tunisienne des Sciences, des Lettres et des Arts "Beït Al-Hikma," 2000.
  • "Auguste Comte e a esfera pública de Habermas" ("Auguste Comte and the Public Sphere of Habermas"). In O Positivismo: Teoria e prática, edited by Helgio Trindade. 59–69. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Editora da Universidade, 1999. This article was also published as "Auguste Comte et la sphère publique de Jürgen Habermas," In Auguste Comte: Trajectoires Positivistes 1798–1998, edited by Annie Petit. 229–237. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2003.
  • "Auguste Comte and the Revolution of 1848." In Proceedings of the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750–1850, XXIX, (1999).
  • "Comte." In A Companion to the Philosophers, edited by Robert L. Arrington. 193–195. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • "Auguste Comte and the Return to Primitivism." Revue Internationale de Philosophie 52 (1998): 51–77.
  • "A New Look at Auguste Comte." In Reclaiming the Sociological Classics, edited by Charles Camic. 11–44. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
  • "Rhetorical Strategies in the Works of Auguste Comte." Historical Reflections/ Réflexions Historiques 23 (Spring 1997): 151–75.
  • "Angels and Demons in the Moral Vision of Auguste Comte." Journal of Women's History 8 (Summer 1996): 10–40.
  • "Auguste Comte and the Saint-Simonians." French Historical Studies 18 (Spring 1993): 211–36.
  • "New Evidence of the Link between Comte and German Philosophy." Journal of the History of Ideas 50 (1989): 443–63.

Selected Achievements

  • College of Social Sciences 2009–2010 Austen D. Warburton Award of Merit for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement in History, April 2010.
  • Invited to speak at the Centre Culturel International de Cerisy-la-Salle, France (2001), the Académie Tunisienne des Sciences, des Lettres, et des Arts in Carthage, Tunisia (1999), and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (1998, 2007).
  • Elected to Society of Fellows of Dyson College, Pace University, in recognition of devotion to undergraduate education, 1992.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for College Teachers and Independent Scholars, 1991-92.
  • Exchange Scholar between Harvard University and Institut d'Etudes Politiques, 1983–84.
  • Fellowship from the French Government, 1983–84.
  • Gilbert Chinard Scholarship from the Institut Français de Washington, 1983.


A native of San Francisco, I received my B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Harvard University. I also hold an advanced graduate degree (D.E.A.--French equivalent to A.B.D.) from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, where I lived for over three years. Before coming to San José State, I taught for six years at Pace University in New York City. My academic specialties are modern European social and cultural/intellectual history, French history, and European women's history. I am the author of Auguste Comte: An Intellectual Biography. (A French philosopher, Comte was the founder of positivism, sociology, the Religion of Humanity, and the history of science). The first volume was published by Cambridge University Press in 1993. I received an NEH fellowship in 1991 to continue writing the biography. I finally completed the thirty-year project in 2009, when the second and third volumes were published. I have also written many articles for journals and chapters for books. My work is interdisciplinary, analyzing issues in history, sociology, and philosophy. It has attracted the attention of scholars in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. At San José State, I teach undergraduate surveys and graduate seminars in European history, methodology, and historiography. I enjoy teaching very much and like to have students read novels and primary sources to gain a deeper understanding of past issues that are still significant today.