Jan Goldstein’s research and teaching focus on the history of Europe, especially France, from the 18th through the 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the development of the human sciences. She is interested in the multiplicity of ways that formal systems of thought, including the human sciences, are related to socio-political institutions that produce and make use of them. She has published a recent book titled The Post-Revolutionary Self which investigates three competing psychological theories — sensationalism, the philosophical psychology of Victor Cousin, and phrenology — which made intensive bids for institutionalization in 19th-century France and hence reveal a good deal about the politics of selfhood in that era.
- Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, 1987; paperback ed., 1990.
- Foucault and the Writing of History (Editor). Blackwell, 1994.
- The Post-Revolutionary Self : Politics and Psyche in France, 1750-1850. Harvard University Press, 2005.
- “Foucault among the Sociologists: The ‘Disciplines’ and the History of Professions.” History and Theory. 1984.
- “The Uses of Male Hysteria: Medical and Literary Discourse in Nineteenth-Century France.” Representations. 1991.
- “Foucault and the Post-Revolutionary Self: The Uses of Cousinian Pedagogy in 19th-Century France,” in Goldstein, ed., Foucault and the Writing of History (Blackwell, 1994)
- “Saying ‘I': Victor Cousin, Caroline Angebert, and the Politics of Selfhood in 19th-Century France,” in Michael S. Roth, ed., Rediscovering History (Stanford, 1994)
- “The Advent of Psychological Modernism in France: An Alternate Narrative,” in Dorothy Ross, ed., Modernist Impulses in the Human Sciences. 1870-1930 (Johns Hopkins, 1994)
- “Enthusiasm or Imagination? Eighteenth-Century Smear Words in Comparative National Context,” Huntington Library Quarterly 60 (1998): 29-49
- “Mutations of the Self in Old Regime and Post-Revolutionary France: From Ame to Moi to Le Moi,” in Lorraine Daston, ed., Biographies of Scientific Objects (University of Chicago Press, 2000), pp. 86-116