Skip to:

Margaret Cohen

People

Contact:

Building 260, Room 211
Phone: 650 724 0106
macohen@stanford.edu

Office Hours:

Tuesday 3:00-4:00 (sign-up sheet at room 260-211) or by appointment

Focal Groups:

User is not a member of any group.

Research Groups:

User is not a member of any group.

Affinity links:

modernity
The novel
transatlantic
literary theory
marine humanities

Margaret Cohen

Andrew B. Hammond Professor of French Language, Literature and Civilization
Professor of Comparative Literature
Professor of English

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 coedited 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), andSpectacles 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.

Education

1988: Ph.D., Yale University
1982: M.A., New York University
1980-81: Universität Konstanz
1980: B.A., Yale University

COURSES

FRENCH 327 Genres of the Novel (COMPLIT 327, ENGLISH 327)

Provides students with an overview of some major genres in the history of the modern novel, along with major theorists in the critical understanding of the form. Novels might include works by Cervantes, Defoe, Lafayette, Radcliffe, Goethe, Scott, Balzac, Melville, and Woolf. Theorists might include Lukacs, Bakhtin, Jameson, Gallagher, Barthes, Kristeva, and Bourdieu. *PLEASE NOTE: Course for graduate students only.*

COMPLIT 327 Genres of the Novel (ENGLISH 327, FRENCH 327)

Provides students with an overview of some major genres in the history of the modern novel, along with major theorists in the critical understanding of the form. Novels might include works by Cervantes, Defoe, Lafayette, Radcliffe, Goethe, Scott, Balzac, Melville, and Woolf. Theorists might include Lukacs, Bakhtin, Jameson, Gallagher, Barthes, Kristeva, and Bourdieu. *PLEASE NOTE: Course for graduate students only.*

FRENCH 368 Imagining the Oceans (COMPLIT 168, COMPLIT 368, ENGLISH 168, ENGLISH 368, FRENCH 168)

How has Western culture constructed the world's oceans since the beginning of global ocean exploration? How have imaginative visions of the ocean been shaped by marine science, technology, exploration, commerce and leisure? Readings might include voyage accounts by Cook and Darwin, sailors' narratives by Equiano and Dana, poetry by Coleridge, Bishop and Walcott, novels by Melville, Verne, Conrad and Woolf. Visual culture might include paintings by Turner and Redon, and films by Jean Painlevé, Kathryn Bigelow, Jerry Bruckheimer and James Cameron. Critical texts will be drawn from interdisciplinary theorists of modernity and mobility, such as Schmitt, Wallerstein, Corbin, Latour, Deleuze + Guattari, and Cresswell.

FRENCH 168 Imagining the Oceans (COMPLIT 168, COMPLIT 368, ENGLISH 168, ENGLISH 368, FRENCH 368)

How has Western culture constructed the world's oceans since the beginning of global ocean exploration? How have imaginative visions of the ocean been shaped by marine science, technology, exploration, commerce and leisure? Readings might include voyage accounts by Cook and Darwin, sailors' narratives by Equiano and Dana, poetry by Coleridge, Bishop and Walcott, novels by Melville, Verne, Conrad and Woolf. Visual culture might include paintings by Turner and Redon, and films by Jean Painlevé, Kathryn Bigelow, Jerry Bruckheimer and James Cameron. Critical texts will be drawn from interdisciplinary theorists of modernity and mobility, such as Schmitt, Wallerstein, Corbin, Latour, Deleuze + Guattari, and Cresswell.

COMPLIT 368 Imagining the Oceans (COMPLIT 168, ENGLISH 168, ENGLISH 368, FRENCH 168, FRENCH 368)

How has Western culture constructed the world's oceans since the beginning of global ocean exploration? How have imaginative visions of the ocean been shaped by marine science, technology, exploration, commerce and leisure? Readings might include voyage accounts by Cook and Darwin, sailors' narratives by Equiano and Dana, poetry by Coleridge, Bishop and Walcott, novels by Melville, Verne, Conrad and Woolf. Visual culture might include paintings by Turner and Redon, and films by Jean Painlevé, Kathryn Bigelow, Jerry Bruckheimer and James Cameron. Critical texts will be drawn from interdisciplinary theorists of modernity and mobility, such as Schmitt, Wallerstein, Corbin, Latour, Deleuze + Guattari, and Cresswell.

COMPLIT 168 Imagining the Oceans (COMPLIT 368, ENGLISH 168, ENGLISH 368, FRENCH 168, FRENCH 368)

How has Western culture constructed the world's oceans since the beginning of global ocean exploration? How have imaginative visions of the ocean been shaped by marine science, technology, exploration, commerce and leisure? Readings might include voyage accounts by Cook and Darwin, sailors' narratives by Equiano and Dana, poetry by Coleridge, Bishop and Walcott, novels by Melville, Verne, Conrad and Woolf. Visual culture might include paintings by Turner and Redon, and films by Jean Painlevé, Kathryn Bigelow, Jerry Bruckheimer and James Cameron. Critical texts will be drawn from interdisciplinary theorists of modernity and mobility, such as Schmitt, Wallerstein, Corbin, Latour, Deleuze + Guattari, and Cresswell.

COMPLIT 199 Senior Seminar: The Pleasures of Reading

Senior seminar for Comp Lit Senior majors only.

COMPLIT 338 The Gothic in Literature and Culture (ENGLISH 338, FRENCH 338)

This course examines the Gothic as a both a narrative subgenre and an aesthetic mode, since its 18th century invention. Starting with different narrative genres of Gothic expression such as the Gothic novel, the ghost tale, and the fantastic tale by writers such as Walpole, Radcliffe, Sade, Poe, and E.T.A. Hoffmann, the course goes on to ask how the Gothic sensibility permeates a wide range of 19th century cultural phenomena that explore the dark side of Enlightenment, from Romantic poetry and art to melodrama, feuilleton novels, popular spectacles like the wax museum and the morgue. If time permits, we will also ask how the Gothic is updated into our present in popular novels and cinema. Critical readings will examine both the psychology of the Gothic sensibility and its social context, and might be drawn from theorists such as Benjamin, Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, and Zizek.

PUBLICATIONS

Other Information

Recent Lectures