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.

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.

An active mentor in the South Bend Community School Corporation’s “Dream Team for Unity” since 2009, a teacher in Notre Dame’s Upward Bound summer academy since 2012, and an ongoing student of Creole language and culture, Douthwaite seeks to explore the history of humanitarian thought and activism from the 18th century to the present (including gender relations), and connections between the French and Francophone history, literature, and art of the Antilles. Other interests include visual studies (book illustration, film, art history), style, political history, popular culture, and definitions of modernity.

Recent publications include:

  • “The Haitian Revolution Today: New Voices, Complications, Potentials,” review essay on Chris Bongie, Friends and Enemies: The Scribal Politics of Post/Colonial Literature; David Geggus and Norman Fiering, eds.,The World of the Haitian Revolution; and Jeremy Popkin, Facing Racial Revolution: Eyewitness Accounts of the Haitian Insurrection. Eighteenth-Century Life 36, 3 (Fall 2012) : 92-100.
  • “Pour une histoire de la lecture romanesque sous la Révolution” in Débat et écritures sous la révolution, ed. Huguette Krief and Jean-Noël Pascal, 103-118. Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, 2011.
  • “Le roi pitoyable et ses adversaires: La politique de l’émotion selon J.J. Regnault-Warin, H.-M. Williams, et les libellistes de Varennes," La Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France 4 (2010): 917-34.
  • “On Candide, Catholics and Freemasonry: How Fiction Disavowed the Loyalty Oaths of 1789-90," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 23, 1 (2010): 81-117.
  • "The Frankenstein of the French Revolution: Nogaret's Automaton Tale of 1790," European Romantic Review, 20, 3 (July 2009): 381-411 (winner of the best article of 2009 award from the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism and ERR).

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 (UCSD), The Interdisciplinary Century, SVEC 4 (2005); with Prof. David Lee Rubin (U of Virginia), 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 weblog:

On October 11-12, 2013, Notre Dame will host an international, bilingual conference called “Circulating French in the Classroom / Le Français bouge en classe.”  The event is being co-organized by Professor Douthwaite and Professor Alison Rice.  Information: http://www3.nd.edu/~circfr/index.html

Douthwaite's C.V.

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