The History Department of Florida State University has been home to an active graduate program in Revolutionary and Napoleonic studies since the early 1960s. The Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution was formally established in 1990. As an interdepartmental and inter-college program, it has affiliated faculty in the departments of History, Art History, English, Geography, and Modern Languages, as well as in the College of Social Sciences, the School of Music, and the Schools of Theater and Visual Arts. Through the Institute's Scholarly Council, graduate students in the program also have access to some of the finest Revolutionary and Napoleonic authorities in the world.
To advance the study of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, Dr. Ben Weider - author of numerous publications on Napoleonic topics - granted the Institute a major endowment in 1998. Thanks to these funds, matching support from Florida State University, and additional private bequests, students in the program are eligible for full fellowships (including stipend and tuition waiver), as well as funding for research and conference travel in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Weider's generous bequest also made it possible to establish two endowed chairs, one in Napoleonic and the other in Revolutionary history. The first, the Ben Weider Eminent Scholar Chair in Napoleonic History was held by the founder of the Institute, Dr. Donald D. Horward, from 1998 until his retirement in 2005. Since 2006 it has been held by the Institute's current director, Dr. Rafe Blaufarb.