Beatrice Guenther

Associate Professor of French
Romance and Classical Studies
Ph.D., Princeton University

215 Shatzel Hall

Research/Teaching Interests: 20th century Québécois literature and culture (multiculturalism, gender), 20th century Maghrebine culture (Algeria, intercultural relations, gender), 19th century French studies (education, gender, 19th century German women writers)

My teaching and research focus on diverse forms of interculturality—from Mme de Staël’s belief in a dynamic relationship between cultures in post-Revolutionary France (beginning of 19th century) to migrant writing in the 20th and 21st centuries, especially the intersections between the Mediterranean and Quebec. Theories of identity, such as Charles Taylor’s plural identities, Bourdieu’s theory of practice or Barthes’ myths—approaches that also impact on how we come to terms with the notion of gender—have been helpful to me for questioning and reshaping my assumptions in my teaching and research. Thinking about gender and interculturality is, to my mind, a helpful strategy for trying to think beyond one’s preconceptions.

Recent Publications:


Générations, a fifth- or sixth-semester composition/ conversation textbook with accompanying workbook (Cahier). Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2000.

The Poetics of Death: The Short Prose of Kleist and  Balzac. Albany: SUNY Press, 1996.

Book Chapters

“From roman du terroir to Urban Landscape: Representations of the Cityscape in Contemporary Québécois
Narratives,” included as a chapter in Land and Landscape in Francophone Literature: Remapping Uncertain Territories, edited by Magali Compan (College of William and Mary) and Kashia Pierprzak, (Williams College), Cambridge University Press (Newcastle-upon-Tyne), May 2007.

“Rewriting the National Paradigm: Mme de Staël’s De l’Allemagne and the “German” Defence of Geselligkeit [Sociability],” included as a chapter in Women Against Napoleon, edited by Waltraud Maierhofer (University of Iowa) and Gertrud Roesch (Universität Regensburg). Campus Press (Frankfurt),  2007, pp. 187-203.

"Re-constructing a Gendered Bildung: Mme de Staël and Sophie von la Roche's Epistolary Fiction" in Schulman, Peter and Brueggemann, Aminia (ed.) Rhine Crossings (former working title Paris/Berlin Connections). Suny Press, 2005, pp. 1-24.

"The roman du terroir au féminin in Quebec: Guèvremont's and Blais' Re-visioning of a Rural Tradition," chapter of Knowing Your Place. Rural Identity and Cultural Hierarchy, Barbara Ching, University of Memphis, and Gerald Creed, Hunter College, Editors. New York: Routledge Press, 1996, pp. 171-94.

Articles Published in Refereed Journals

“Trading on Cultural Capital: Madame de Staël’s Politics of Literature” Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 40 (Spring/Summer 2012).

“Refracting Identity in ‘l’écriture migrante:’Marco Micone’s Le figuier enchanté,” French Review in 84.6 (May 2011).

"The Crisis of Narrative Doubling. Balzac's La Comédie Humaine" in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 22 (1993-94), pp. 48-60.

"Letters Exchanged Across Borders: A Study of Juliane von Krüdener's and Sophie Mereau's Novels," The Comparatist  22 (May 1998), pp. 78-90.

Book Reviews

Solicited by Dr. Lisa Vargo, Associate Editor (North America) for Women’s Writing (a U.K. scholarly journal) to review for publication the article, “The Politics of the Sublime: Germaine de Staël’s Aesthetics of Social Change” [June 2013].

Solicited by Editor-in-Chief of France-H, to review Karyna Szmurlo, editor. Madame de Staël: Forging a Politics of Mediation. Voltaire Foundation, 2011., [#126, 9/12]

Reviewed Bernd Fischer, editor. A Companion to the Works of Heinrich von Kleist. N.Y.: Camden House, 2003 (258 pp.) for German Quarterly 77.1 [10/03]

Recent Presentations:

“Practicing the Cultivation of Self au féminin: Louise d’Epinay’s Histoire de Madame de Montbrillant and Conversations d’Emilie” ASECS [American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies], Williamsburg, VA [04/2014]
“George Sand’s Art of Transformation: The Dynamics of Educational Practice in Histoire de ma vie and Contes d’une grand-mère,” NCFS [Nineteenth-Century French Studies], Richmond, VA [10/2013].

“L’enjeu de l’éducation féminine entre l’Ancien Régime et la Révolution: la mise en jeu du capital social chez Louise d’Epinay et Anne de Miremont,” (Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’âge Classique et les Lumières (IRCL), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), l’Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier III (31 January 2013).

“Figuring Intersections of Algerian-Québécois Identity in Denis Chouinard’s ‘L’ange de goudron,’” ACSUS [Association of Canadian Studies in the US], Ottawa, Canada [11/2011]

“The Public/Private Staging of Feminine Fulfillment: Mme de Staël’s Dramatic Heroines, Agar, Sapho, Geneviève de Brabant, and Jane Grey,” ASECS [American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies], Vancouver, Canada [03/2011]

“Madame de Staël’s Dix années d’exil: Surviving on Cultural Capital,” ASECS [American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies], Albuquerque, New Mexico [03/2010]

“Revisionner le “chez soi”: Le fou d’Omar d’Abla Farhoud,” CIÉF [Congrès International d’Etudes Francophones], New Orleans [06/2009]

Re-imagining Community:Transculturality in Wajdi Mouawad’s Le visage retrouvé and Hédi Bouraoui’s Cap Nord ACSUS [Association for Canadian Studies in the U.S.], San Diego [11/2009]

“Performing Community: Staging the Agora in Wajdi Mouawad’s Theatre,” ACSUS/ACQS  (Association for Canadian Studies in the U.S./American Council for Quebec Studies), Quebec City [11/2008]

Recent Awards & Recognitions:

2009 Received (departmental) Outstanding Performance Award in Teaching

2009-2010 Institute of the Study of Culture & Society Fellow, “Trading on Cultural Capital: Madame de Staël’s Politics of Literature”