B.A., Rutgers University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California (Berkeley)
Assistant Professor of French
Specializes in early modern literature and culture, with a focus on theater and poetics, and how they intersect with royal discourses on power.
I specialize in the literature and culture of early modern France, in particular the relationship between 17th-century theater and contemporary political theories of sovereignty. My current book-length project addresses representations of the king-as-judge and scenes of royal decision-making in the works of Rotrou, Corneille, Racine, and Voltaire. Recent publications have focused on feeble and aging kings and the crises of dynastic succession they provoke on the tragic stage.
Other areas of focus include the historiography of the 17th century as France’s “Grand Siècle,” generic intersections of comedy and tragedy, and early modern rewritings of ancient texts. I am an active member of the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies in the French Seventeenth Century, the American Association for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the Northeast Modern Language Association. Along with a colleague from the English Department here at Wellesley, I organize a faculty working group, sponsored by the Newhouse Center for the Humanities, that promotes scholarly discussion between members of the early modern faculty on campus and beyond.
I enjoy teaching a variety of courses in the French Department, including introductory language, advanced conversation, and intensive writing courses. I also offer a survey course on literature from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, as well as seminars on representations of women in power under the Old Regime and another on the rise and fall of neoclassical theater in France. In the multimedia course on “Versailles and the Age of Louis XIV,” students and I examine the literature and culture of this period and we evaluate the Sun King's legacy for contemporary French culture and politics. In the classroom, I use the insights of visual arts, ceremonial fictions, and juridical and political writings to contextualize and enlighten literary texts. My favorite aspect of teaching is seeing how surprised students are when they find themselves debating, passionately, in French, the merits of Corneille versus Racine.
I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children, Flora and Anthony, especially when it comes to dining out on burritos, or going to the new Indian restaurant in Wellesley: delicious! I like to travel, especially by train and to the Atlantic coast of France. I love swimming in Wellesley's Morses Pond on a warm summer day.