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 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 17th-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.
She is also working on a new project on emerging views of privacy and surveillance in Enlightenment France.
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 undergraduate courses on the history of love and the genre of the novel in France, French intellectual culture, and the literature and history of Ancien Régime and Revolutionary France. She also teaches an interdisciplinary graduate seminar on letter-writing as a media revolution in early modern France.
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.
- Cultural History & Studies
- Digital Humanities
- French Languages, Literatures, and Cultures