the mondain novel

Melanie Conroy


Focal Group(s): 
Humanities Education
Focal Group(s): 
Philosophy and Literature
Focal Group(s): 
Workshop in Poetics
Curriculum Vitae: 

In September 2012, Melanie Conroy earned a Ph.D. in French at Stanford University, specializing in the literature and popular culture of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She holds an M.A. in comparative literature from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in French literature from the University of Paris VIII.

Current Website.


"Before the ‘Inward Turn’: Tracking Direct and Indirect Thought in the French Realist Novel," forthcoming in Poetics Today.
 “Comment se vendre: L’escroquerie et le marketing dans ‘La vie publique et privée de mossieu Réac’ de Nadar," forthcoming in Médias 19.
Spontaneity and Moral Certainty in Benjamin Constant’s Adolphe," Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 40.3-4.
Review of Femmes poètes du XIXe siècle: Une anthologie. Ed. Christine Planté. Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 39.3.

Conference Papers:

 “Comment se vendre: L’escroquerie et le marketing dans ‘La vie publique et privée de mossieu Réac’ de Nadar,” Presse, prostitution, bas-fonds dans l'espace médiatique francophone, Colloque international, Québec, Canada, June, 2012.
“Enrichissez-vous: Speculation in the comédies-vaudevilles and Balzac," American Association of Comparative Literature, Providence, Rhode Island, April, 2012.
“The Melodrama of History: Carlyle, Dickens, and Sand on the Morality of the Revolution,” Modern Language Association, Seattle, January, 2012.
“French Salons and Utopian Ideals,” French Culture Workshop, Stanford University, December, 2011.
“Above the Law: Reviving the Marquise de Brinvilliers,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies Conference, October, 2011.
“French Salons: Death or Renewal? The Case of Sophie Gay and Delphine de Girardin,” Humanities Education and Research Association, San Francisco, February, 2011.“Is Socialism the Opiate of the Masses?: Politics as Religion,” Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, December, 2009.
“The Cult of the Nobility: Nineteenth-Century Heraldry and Arms,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies Conference, S alt Lake City, Utah, October, 2009.
“Balzac and the Stock Market,” Nineteenth-Century French Studies Conference, Utah, October, 2009.
“Noble Signs, Bourgeois Readers ,” French Culture Workshop, Stanford University, May, 2009.
“Adolphe: The Necessary Destruction of Tradition, Spontaneity and Unreason,” University of Chicago, Romance Languages Graduate Conference, May, 2009.
“Anti-Romantic War Heroes: T.E. Lawrence and René Char,” Avatars: Personae, Heteronyms, Pseudonyms, Comparative Literature Graduate Conference, Stanford University, April, 2009.

Teaching Experience:

At Stanford, in spring of 2010, I taught "Nineteenth-Century French Fiction: Outsiders, Conspirators, and the Masses," an introduction to the realist and Romantic novel and nineteenth-century French culture. I also had the pleasure of being a teaching assistant for the "Philosophy and Literature" gateway course. I've also have taught the full range of French language classes at Stanford: the first-year course sequence, as well as first quarter of second-year French, and a part of the accelerated sequence.

Before coming to Stanford, I was a lectrice in France, first at the University of Paris VII and then at the École Normale Supérieure-Lettres et sciences humaines in Lyon. I taught graduate level courses in oral English, both academic and colloquial, as well as academic writing. In France, I had the opportunity to prepare students for the "Agrégation interne," as well as to teach English academic presentation skills to Francophones and to lead a French-to-English translation seminar.

Courses Taught:

Stanford University              

  • FRENLIT 148: Outsiders, Conspirators, and the Masses: Nineteenth-Century French Fiction. Looks at the emergence of new social types in nineteenth-century fiction: social climbers, dandies, amateur philosophers, impoverished students, master criminals, aspiring actresses, and political radicals. How do groups differentiate themselves in and by way of literature? Who belongs and who doesn’t? Which groups are heroized and which are villainized? Authors include Balzac, Stendhal, Sue, Nerval, Vigny, Flaubert, Zola. Taught in French. Spring 2010.
  • Philosophy and Literature. TA for Professors Lanier Anderson and Joshua Landy. Responsibilities included teaching a section, co-creating assignments, and reviewing undergraduate papers. Winter 2010.
  • French 1-3, 22, 5C: French language first and second year courses, including accelerated, taught in French. Responsibilities included helping intermediate novice speakers advance to the intermediate-mid level in French; use of the textbook Mais oui; use of multimedia, including films, online videos, computerized oral and written exams. Concentration on oral proficiency. 2007-2009.

École Normale Supérieure-LSH, Lyon, 2005-2006.
Lectrice d’anglais. Courses included academic writing in English and advanced oral English at the graduate level.

Université de Paris VII, Institut Charles V, Paris, 2002-2003.
Lectrice d’anglais. Instructor for courses including advanced oral English at graduate level; French to English translation (first year, thème 1 & 2); teacher preparation for English "Agrégation Interne."

University at Buffalo, NY, 2001-2005.
Instructor of English. Taught first-year composition (101 and 210, four semesters). Designed and taught: COL 160: Culture of Rebellion, on the pan-American Bildungsroman (Roy, Kerouac, Puig,  etc.).

Professional Activities:

2009-12: Graduate Coordinator, Philosophy and Literature, Stanford University
2009-10: Graduate Coordinator, French Culture Workshop, Stanford University
2009-10: Managing Editor, Republics of Letters, Stanford University
2008-09: Graduate Student Representative, Department of French and Italian, Stanford University
2008: Graduate Coordinator, Sports History and The Future of Sports, Stanford University
2008: Graduate Coordinator, The Republic of Letters, Stanford University
2007-08: Graduate Coordinator, Philosophical Reading Group, Stanford University
2007: Contributing Editor, Mantis: A Journal of Poetry, Criticism and Translation, Stanford University


2006: M.A. in French Literature, University of Paris VIII
MA Thesis: "Le cercle vicieux: sur Le Baphomet de Pierre Klossowski," advisor: Jean-Michel Rey, program: texte, imaginaire, société
2005: M.A. in Comparative Literature, SUNY Buffalo
2000: B.A. in English Literature (Honors) and Creative Writing, University of Alberta

Ph.D. in French 2011-12 Whiting Fellow, Stanford University

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