Boaz Vilallonga

Research

Boaz has spent 9 years conducting research in modern intellectual history in leading Spanish, French and American institutions. He started his PhD at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 2008. He embarked in a dissertation project on the intellectual origins of Spanish and Catalan nationalisms in the nineteenth century. With Christophe Prochasson and Ricardo García Cárcel as advisors, Boaz explored the influence of catholicism and liberalism in nascent Iberian nationalisms, from a comparative perspective. In a record time of 3 years—and several research stays in Italy and America—, Boaz earned his PhD in 2011. He only was 26 years old.

After the completion of the PhD, Boaz stayed in Paris as associate research fellow at the EHESS. He was determined to continue his academic career in America. In 2014, with the generous support of the Tikvah Fund, he started his postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, where he worked under the guidance of Samuel Moyn and Mark Lilla. There, he devised a new research project focusing on how Catholics were engaged in a modernization crusade during the nineteenth century. Following some British and American leading authors, Boaz decided to explore the way nineteenth-century Catholics were adapting and adopting modernity from a theologically conservative and orthodox point of view. Through an analysis of political and intellectual movements in post-revolutionary Europe, Boaz conceived a still ongoing book that intends to demonstrate the eruption of Catholic revivalism and the creation of a new form of imagining Catholicism under Pius IX and Leo XIII. Someday, the research is expected to expand the focus to the emergence of the “religious modernity” idea in biblical religions (Judaism and Christianity) in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe. So far, Boaz is still trying to ascertain why Chateaubriand made Solesmes possible in Restoration France.

When his Columbia position was over in 2015, Boaz moved downtown New York, to NYU—where he stayed 2 years as visiting scholar. There, he was still figuring out why Chateaubriand made Solesmes possible. The awakening of the black singing monks is going to endure as one of Boaz’s greatest personal mysteries, forever and ever. Amen.

During his time at NYU, Boaz began devoting more time to his journalism activities and to the publishing business.

After a hiatus, Boaz rejoined the academia in 2018, with a position at the Department of Classics of Columbia University.