Chelsea Elzinga

Chelsea Elzinga

Ph.D. Student in French, admitted Autumn 2018
M.A., French Literature, Florida State University 
B.A., Art History, Seattle Pacific University
B.A., French, Seattle Pacific University

Chelsea Elzinga is a Ph.D. candidate of French at Stanford University. Her research examines the senses in Francophone literature and culture. Chelsea’s interest in sensory studies has led to research areas as varied as the lexicon of smell in the novels of the French Caribbean, religious sensescapes in French-Tunisian cinema, and literature of the multisensorial medieval feast. Her dissertation focuses on memory, the senses, and Francophone autobiography from the contemporary Caribbean.
From 2019 to 2021, Chelsea taught the introductory French language sequence at the Stanford Language Center and developed a pedagogical approach to teaching culture in the language classroom through the senses. Most recently, she designed and taught a course titled Literatures, Revolutions, and Changes in 19th- and 20th-century France through Stanford's Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.
In the summer of 2021, Chelsea was accepted to speak at the international conference, Postcolonial Realms of Memory of the Francosphère. She also co-presented at the annual American Association of Teachers of French conference on the topic of experiencing Francophone North America through the senses.  
Chelsea received her M.A. in French Literature at Florida State University where she wrote her thesis on the sense of smell in Samuel Beckett’s novel, Molloy. While completing her master’s degree, Chelsea taught courses covering all levels of the elementary French language sequence. She also presented work at several international conferences including the International Colloquium for 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies where she gave her paper, “A Revolution in the Sensorium: La Galerie tactile du Louvre and the Politics of Intersensorial Engagement.” 
Chelsea received her B.A. in Art History and French from Seattle Pacific University. Her honors thesis explored urban isolation, the body, and gender identity within the oeuvres of contemporary French and American artists, Annette Messager and Nancy Spero. 
Before arriving at Stanford, Chelsea spent a year in Luxembourg as a Fulbright grantee where she taught English and French to multi-lingual students. 



Research Interests

  • Anthropology


  • Cultural History & Studies


  • French Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


  • Philosophy and Literature


  • Postcolonial Studies


  • Sociological Approaches to Literature