Licence, Maîtrise, Université de Haute Bretagne (Rennes); Ph.D., University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Catherine MassonProfessor Emerita of French
Catherine Masson is a specialist of theater. Her approach to theater is not only literary and theoretical, but also practical—she has performed with professional actors, and designed decor and costumes. She created a montage on Jacques Prévert, Pour faire le portrait de Prévert, which has been performed in the US and in various European countries in 1996 and 2001. Her play, George Sand - Gustave Flaubert, Echanges Epistolaires (2006) has been performed under her direction in France, Switzerland, Monaco, and the US in 2004 and 2006. She directed a production of Huis clos by Jean-Paul Sartre that has been presented in Europe and the US in 2005.
In her classes, students are introduced to techniques of acting and directing, the differences between narrative writing and writing for the stage in order to better understand what is at stake in adapting novels for the stage. She is also concerned with the influence of performance on spectators and has studied surrealists, 20th –century writers and woman playwrights from the 16th to 21st centuries. In a recently created course she addresses dramas’ ability to raise contemporary issues on stage through the readings of plays by Obaldia, Reza, Ndiaye, Schmitt, Dopagne, Chalem, and Vinaver. In 2014-2015, she will offer two new courses: “Two Women in Literature and Politics: Olympe de Gouges and George Sand” and “From Page to Stage: Candide, the Play.”
She is currently doing research on George Sand and Olympe de Gouges as playwrights. Her book L'Autobiographie et ses aspects théâtraux chez Michel Leiris, was published in 1995. She has done research on women playwrights at the Comédie-Française and has given presentations on the theater of Marguerite de Navarre, Olympe de Gouges and George Sand. She has written articles on twentieth-century theatre, and more recently 16 articles on George Sand's theater and on her adaptations of novels for the stage and of Shakespeare, Tirso de Molina, and Hoffmann. She has written an article on the reception of George Sand’s work in the US from 1837 to 1876. She co-edited eight plays by Marguerite de Navarre for the first volume of an anthology, Théâtre de femmes de l’Ancien Régime (2006). She also co-edited the volume George Sand, une écriture experimentale (2006). Her edition of George Sand’s first play Cosima was published in France by Le Jardin d’Essai in 2013. She is currently preparing a book, George Sand Dramaturge: Adaptation et Réécriture. She writes articles and book reviews for the journals George Sand Studies and Les Cahiers George Sand (former Les Amis de George Sand).
She has been elected President of the George Sand Association (www.hofstra.edu/georgesand) in January 2014. As the next President of the GSA, she will co-organized, the next international colloquium on George Sand that will take place in Verona, Italy. She is a member of the Reading Committee for the French journal Les Amis de George Sand (www.amisdegeorgesand.info). She writes articles and book reviews for the journals George Sand Studies and Les Cahiers George Sand (Formerly Les Amis de George Sand).
Apart from scholarly and professional interests, Catherine Masson is also an amateur of good food (http://www.boston.com/ae/food/articles/2007/01/03/in_paris_or_wellesley_the_best_food_is_local/) and fine wines, theater and opera, and travel.