Julia Douthwaite

Julia Douthwaite

Professor of French


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 French-English relations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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) is forthcoming with Classiques Garnier.

She has received grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, 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 May-July 2010. A companion volume, Art in the Service of Humanity: Rousseau and DIGNITY, is in progress.

She is currently launching a new project entitled: "Profiteers, Bandits, Atheists, and Whores: A Cultural History of France's Gilded Age, 1794-1804," and co-editing (with Catriona Seth and Antoinette Sol) a book for the MLA called Teaching Representations of the French Revolution.

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

An active mentor in the South Bend Community School Corporation’s “Dream Team for Unity” since 2009, Douthwaite has also taught Language Arts and writing for Notre Dame’s Upward Bound summer academy for the past three years. With former student Alexa Craig, she leads a weekly, free writing workshop for kids ages 7-15 at the Saint Joseph County Public Library, called "Write YOUR Story," since 2012.  

Recent publications include:

  • “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.

  • "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.

Forthcoming articles include:

  • "Objets de recherche de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique," Dix-huitième siècle 46 (2014): 131-146.  Special issue on "La Recherche aujourd’hui," forthcoming 2014.

  • "Is Charity for Schmucks?  The Legitimacy of Bienfaisance ca. 1760-82 and ca. 2013-14," The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. Forthcoming, vol 57, no. 1 (Spring     2016).

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 dedicated to 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 and a research faculty member of the Program in Gender Studies.

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

Douthwaite's CV

Contact Information

120 Decio Faculty Hall

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