I am a scholar of French literature, history, and culture specializing in gender, women writers, feminist history, and trans identities. I earned my BA from Yale, my MA from Columbia and my PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. I’ve taught at both Barnard and Columbia and have been teaching at Yeshiva University in New York since 2007.
My first book, The Hysteric’s Revenge: French Women Writers at the Fin de Siècle (Vanderbilt UP 2006) considered how French women wrote about sexuality in their own novels during a time when male writers and doctors were obsessed with understanding the female body.
In my second book, Having It All in the Belle Epoque: How French Women’s Magazines Invented the Modern Woman (Stanford UP 2013), I explored how two innovative publications, Femina and La Vie Heureuse, constructed a new female role model who could balance femininity with feminism.
My most recent book is Before Trans: Three Gender Stories from Nineteenth Century France, which was supported by a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Before Trans was shortlisted for the American Library in Paris annual book prize and awarded a silver medal by the Independent Publishers Association for best LGBTQ non fiction. The book presents linked biographies of three writers, Jane Dieulafoy, Rachilde, and Marc de Montifaud, who pushed the boundaries of gender identity. Their intricate, personal stories provide vital historical context for our own efforts to understand the nature of gender identity and the ways in which it might be expressed.
While my books are well-researched scholarly works, I try to write them in a way that will be accessible to any reader. I love sharing my research finds in other kinds of venues as well. You can find fun images from the magazines on my blog Plus ça change…. My other blog, Bric-a-brac-o-mania, edited with Cheryl Krueger, features short essays on material culture from nineteenth-century France. Feel free to reach me by sending a message below!