Julia Douthwaite Viglione

Professor of French 

Julia Chez Geraldine Le 9 Janvier 2


B.A., M.A., University of Washington; Certificat de Maitrise, Faculté des Lettres, Université de Nantes, France; M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University

Research Profile

Julia V. Douthwaite, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, teaches and writes on the French Enlightenment, the Revolution, and 19th-century France.
Her most recent book, The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters from Revolutionary France (University of Chicago Press, 2012), shows how key events of the French Revolution took shape through newspaper and imagery produced during the turmoil, and how those same events were later retold by authors such as L. Frank Baum, Mary Shelley, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens.  A French edition, Le Frankenstein français et la littérature de l'ère révolutionnaire (translated with the help of former students Pierre André and Alexane Bébin) was  published in August 2016 with Classiques Garnier 

In the 2016-17 academic year, Douthwaite will be on a sabbatical funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This time away from the classroom will allow for the research and writing of a new book project entitled “Financiers We Have Known: A Capitalist History of French Literature.” She is co-organizing a related art exhibit and lecture series, “Money Worries” to be held at the Snite Museum of Art from January 21 to March 24, 2018.

She has also received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Lilly Foundation.

In 2011-12, Douthwaite organized the American début at Notre Dame of the exhibit entitled DIGNITY: Human Rights and Poverty, co-sponsored by Amnesty International France, which was first displayed at the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, in 2010. A companion volume, Rousseau and Dignity: Art Serving Humanity, is now available:  http://undpress.nd.edu/books/P03248

She is currently co-editing (with Catriona Seth and Antoinette Sol) a book for the MLA called Teaching Representations of the French Revolution with 30-some contributors. 

Other interests include visual studies (book illustration, film, art history), style, political history, cuisine and food history, popular culture, and definitions of modernity.
Recent publications include:

  • "Existe-t-il une collection ‘innocente’? La politique identitaire des livres rares à l’Université de Notre-Dame (Indiana)," in Collectionner la Révolution française, ed. Gilles Bertrand, Michel Biard, Alain Chevalier, Martial Poirson and Pierre Serna. (Paris : Société des études robespierristes, 2016), 245-56.
  • "Is Charity for Schmucks?  The Legitimacy of Bienfaisance ca. 1760-82 and ca. 2013-14," The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 57, 1 (Spring 2016): 1-21.
  • "How Bad Economic Memories are Made: John Law's System in Les Lettres persanes, Manon Lescaut, and ‘The Great Mirror of Folly’," L’Esprit créateur, special issue on Paris: Imagined Capital, ed. Andrew Billing and Juliette Cherbuliez, 55, 3 (Fall 2015): 43-58.
  • “Martyrdom, Terrorism, and the Rhetoric of Sacrifice: The Cases of Marat, Robespierre, and Loiserolles,” in Terrorism, Martyrdom, and Religion:  European Perspectives, ed.  Dominic Janes and Alex Houen.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2014, 109-130.
  • "Objets de recherche de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique," Dix-huitième siècle 46 (2014): 69-84.  Special issue on "La Recherche aujourd’hui."
  • "Les martyres de Marat et de Sebastião: Une légende révolutionnaire mise à jour," La Révolution française et le monde d'aujourd'hui, ed. Martial Poirson.  Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014, 451-63.

Recent book reviews include :

  • ”How to Collect Art and Influence People,” review of Rochelle Ziskin, Sheltering Art, in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 56, 3 (Fall 2015): 397-402.
  • Jonathan Israel, Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution. In The Review of Politics 77, 2 (Spring 2015): 312-15.

Forthcoming articles include:

  • "Teaching Les Misérables and the French Revolution, or How to Keep the 'Unfamiliar Light' Aflame," in Approaches to Teaching Hugo's 'Les Misérables', ed. Michal Ginsburg and Bradley Stephens (NY: Modern Language Association, forthcoming 2016). 
  • With Vincent Jauneau (ND MA '14), "Le Mariage et la tradition du conte chez Charles Perrault et Patrick Chamoiseau," in Entre-Textes. Dialogues littéraires et culturels, ed. Oana Panaité and Vera Klekovkina (NY: Routledge, forthcoming 2017).

Other writing:

  • The Pit Bull who would be President: Fables for our Time. This provocative collection includes 15 fables inspired by French poet Jean de LaFontaine: five on the American elections of 2016 ("Fables of the One Percent") and ten on the daily life of ordinary Americans ("Fables for the Rest of Us"). (38 pp. currently under review)
  • Native Daughter: The American Story of Marie-Angélique Leblanc (32 pp. currently under review)
  • The Frankenstein of the Apple Crate, illustrated by Karen Neis (ND ’16). 32-page retelling of the origins of Frankenstein, via Douthwaite’s 2012 book, for young readers
  • Le Frankenstein du cageot à pommes, illustrated by Karen Neis (ND ’16) and translated by Vincent Jauneau (ND MA ’13) (in production)

PDFs of recent publications  

Other books include The Wild Girl, Natural Man, and the Monster: Dangerous Experiments in the Age of Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and Exotic Women: Literary Heroines and Cultural Strategies in Ancien Régime France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992). Edited volumes include: with Prof. Mary Vidal, The Interdisciplinary Century, SVEC 4 (2005); with Prof. David Lee Rubin, two special issues of EMF: Studies in Early Modern France on Cultural Studies, vols. 6-7 (2000-01).

Douthwaite is author of articles in journals such as Annales de la Société Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Romanic Review, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, and chapters in books such as Etre dix-huitiémiste 2, ed. Blum (2007); Littérature et engagement pendant la Révolution française, eds. Brouard-Arends and Loty (2007); L’Engagement littéraire, ed. Bouju (2005), and Emile ou de la praticabilité de l'éducation, eds. Dupont and Termolle (2004).

At Notre Dame, she is a Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, a research faculty member of the Program in Gender Studies.  In 2013, she received the Sheedy Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Students may be interested to know that Douthwaite's writing on revolution and human rights also translates into an ongoing involvement with the South Bend community.  Inspired by the photographers she met while working on the DIGNITY project, she founded and teaches, with former students, a free weekly writing workshop for kids ages8-13 at the Saint Joseph County Public Library called "Write YOUR Story."  She also enjoys teaching Language Arts and writing for Notre Dame’s Upward Bound summer academy, each summer since 2012.


For more on her teaching and research, see Douthwaite's blog

CV: Julia Douthwaite

Contact Information

120 Decio Faculty Hall

Students: click here to schedule an appointment

Mailing Address:
University of Notre Dame
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
343 O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556