Margaret Cohen (Department of English)
Main content start

Margaret Cohen

Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature, and Civilization
Professor of English
Professor, by courtesy, of French and Italian
Professor, by courtesy, of Comparative Literature
1988: Ph.D., Yale University
1982: M.A., New York University
1980-81: Universität Konstanz
1980: B.A., Yale University

Margaret Cohen’s most recent book is The Novel and the Sea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), which was awarded the Louis R. Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of the Narrative. Her current research investigates the impact of innovations in science and technology on literary and visual fantasies of the depths, since the opening of the underwater environment as a frontier of modernity in the middle of the nineteenth century.

She is also the author of Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) and The Sentimental Education of the Novel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), which received the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione prize in French and Francophone literature. In addition, Margaret Cohen co-edited two collections of scholarship on the European novel: The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel with Carolyn Dever (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), and Spectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre with Christopher Prendergast (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995). She edited and translated Sophie Cottin's best-selling novel of 1799, Claire d'Albe (New York: Modern Language Association, 2003), and has edited a new critical edition of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary that appeared with W.W. Norton in 2004.


Recent Events

The Underwater Realm



Photo by Ved Chirayath


Recent Lectures



(650) 724-0106
Margaret Jacks Hall, Bldg 460, Rm 303

Office Hours

Tuesday 2:30 - 4:00PM

Research Interests

  • British Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


  • Literary and Cultural Theory


  • Literary Criticism (history of criticism, theory of literature)


  • Modernism


  • Transatlantic Studies