Main content start

Chloe Edmondson

Acting Assistant Professor of French
2020: Ph.D., French, Stanford University
2014: M.A., Communication - Media Studies, Stanford University
2014: B.A., French, with Honors, with Distinction, Stanford University

Dr. Chloe Summers Edmondson specializes in the literature and history of early modern France. Her research is situated at the crossroads of literary criticism, cultural history, and media studies. She currently holds the position of Acting Assistant Professor of French. She earned a Ph.D. in 2020 in the department of French and Italian at Stanford University. 
Her current book project, provisionally entitled Penning Personas: The Epistolary Culture of the Ancien Régime, charts the emergence of practices for building a socially-oriented persona through letters. Her research traces how letter writers used these practices to present themselves to society through their social networks, from the court society of seventeenth-century France through the Enlightenment. This history of letter-writing practices in the ancien régime thus not only provides a new perspective on early modern epistolary culture, but it also speaks to issues of mediated social expression today.

Her next book project remains at the nexus of these three fields, investigating notions of media privacy and surveillance in early modern France. From the embodied surveillance in Louis XIV’s panoptic court at Versailles, to the rise of institutions like the Black Cabinets for surveillance of the postal system, the study of ancien régime France is key to understanding the long history of the relationship of surveillance mechanisms to privacy and to personal media. Chloe will examine what cultural and social norms evolved that gave rise to the notion of privacy as a “right” with respect to communication media, and what that privacy entailed.

In addition, Chloe is the France-Stanford Center Fellow for the Roxane Debuisson Collection on Paris History. This fellowship supports archival work processing the newly acquired private collection on the history of Paris. She is developing a new research project on the history of the Palais Royal, from the ancien régime to the early nineteenth century. 
Previously, her interest in the social networks of the Enlightenment led her to work on several projects in the Digital Humanities. Most notably, she co-edited the volume Networks of Enlightenment: Digital Approaches to the Republic of Letters (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, Liverpool University Press, 2019). Her work in this field has also been published in the Journal of Modern History, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and in the edited volume Digitizing Enlightenment: Digital Humanities and the Transformation of Eighteenth-Century Studies (Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, Liverpool University Press, 2020).
Chloe’s research has been supported by the France-Stanford Center, the Centre de recherches historiques at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, the School of Humanities & Sciences (Stanford), and The Europe Center (Stanford). In 2018, she was a Visiting Scholar of the Voltaire Foundation at the University of Oxford.  
Recently, Chloe was elected to serve as a member of the executive committee of the Modern Language Association LLC 18th-Century French Forum (2023-2028).
At Stanford, Chloe teaches courses on early modern French literature from the Middle Ages through the French Revolution, as well as courses on French intellectual culture and the history of love and the genre of the novel in France, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. 
Following the completion of her Ph.D., she was a lecturer in the program Civic, Liberal, and Global Education (previously Thinking Matters) from 2020 to 2022, where she taught interdisciplinary courses in creative writing, anthropology, and the impact of technology in society. In AY22-23, she was a lecturer in the Department of French & Italian, and served as Chair of Undergraduate Studies in French. 



Office Hours

By appointment

Research Interests

  • Cultural History & Studies


  • Digital Humanities


  • French Languages, Literatures, and Cultures