1999 - Ph.D., Free University of Berlin, Germany, French Literature
1989 - M.A., Free University of Berlin, Germany, French Literature
1987 - M.A., Indiana University, History
I specialize in nineteenth and early twentieth-century French literature. My research and published work focus on the novels and short stories of Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, a late nineteenth-century Catholic writer and notorious dandy. I look at how Barbey's dandyism shapes the aesthetic principles and the narrative strategies of his literary texts. Inspired by dandyism, Barbey's narrative act constitutes an artful disguise, a masquerade of sorts, that seeks to deceive, surprise, dominate, and seduce. Of interest to me are also questions of gender, since Barbey's dandy heroes and narrators are androgynous beings who seemingly challenge the bourgeois concept of gender polarity. I have also worked on French fascist literature of the interwar years (1918-39), focusing on representations of femininity and narrative violence in the works of Pierre Drieu la Rochelle.
My most recent research interests center on French women writers of the late eighteenth century. I am interested in how female authors reacted in their fictional works to a newly emerging ideology of domesticity that, spurred on by the popular ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, decried women's intellectual activities, praised female self-effacement, and eventually led to a redefinition of the role of women in post-revolutionary French society.
I enjoy teaching French at all levels. Here is a list of the courses I regularly teach: