Laurie M. Wood is a historian of the early modern world. Her research focuses on Francophone history in comparative and global perspectives, with special attention to themes of legality and risk. She teaches courses in Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Early Modern European, and World History that bring together the early modern and 21st century worlds.

She is an Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University and affiliated with the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. For the academic year 2017-18, she was a Fellow at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University.


Recent publications and works-in-progress have explored global networks of legal experts, crime and surveillance in Caribbean slave societies, and abandoned Indian Ocean fortunes. Her first book project, Archipelago of Justice: Law in France’s Early Modern Empireevaluates the interwoven trajectories of the people, such as itinerant ship workers and colonial magistrates, who built France’s first empire between 1680 and 1780. This empire spanned the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Her second book project, Risks & Realities: Death and Credit in the French Tropics, analyzes previously untapped cases of marital abandonment and accidental death to uncover the lives of the people, especially women, who maintained a global early modern economy one family enterprise at a time.


Dr. Wood holds a doctorate in History from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2013-14, she was the Law and Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her research has been supported by the Hagley Library, the Huntington Library, the John Carter Brown Library, the Newberry Library, the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, the Society for French Historical Studies & the Western Society for French History, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Wisconsin Law School, Princeton University, and Florida State University.

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The Art of Painting, Johannes Vermeer, 1666