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Maria Teodora Comsa


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17 and 18th century
women writers
Don Juan

Maria Teodora Comsa

Ph.D. Candidate in French

Maria Teodora is a Ph.D. Candidate in French, specializing in French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries with emphasis on theater. She earned a DEUG in Lettres Modernes from Université Lyon2 Lumière, a B.A. (Summa cum laude), and an M.A. in French from San José State University. Her M.A. thesis focused on Belgian author Suzanne Lilar: "Le Burlador de Suzanne Lilar: Mythe et tragédie féminine."

Before coming to Stanford, she taught French at SJSU and at Foothill College.

Maria Teodora is currently working on her dissertation on society theater, a popular form of private spectacle in 18th century France. Her project examines the interaction between private and public theaters from esthetic and social perspectives. This work is supplemented by a database of society theater people, places, plays and performances. Maria Teodora is also interested in the reception of Molière's works in the 18th century and in representations of Don Juan by women. She participates in the Mapping the Republic of Letters project and is the lab manager for Humanities + Design within CESTA.

Conference Presentations

  • “Society Plays as Testimony of Social Change,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Conference, Williamsburg,VA, March 2014
  • “Society Theater.db,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Conference, Williamsburg, VA, March 2014
  • “Love in French Society Theater,” Western Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, UC Davis, CA, February 2014
  • “French Society Plays and Playwrights in the Press,” American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) Conference, Cleveland, OH, April 2013
  • "Le Malentendu du Deuxième Sexe: Une attaque du livre guide du féminisme; Autrefois et maintenant,"Simone de Beauvoir Society's 17th International Conference, San José State University, San José, CA, June 2009
  • "Don Juan as Incarnation of the Feudal," Northern California Renaissance Conference, San José State University, San José, CA, May 2009


English, French, Romanian, Spanish


FRENCH 131 Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Revolution in 17th- and 18th-Century France

The literature, culture, and politics of France from Louis XIV to Olympe de Gouges. How this period produced the political and philosophical foundations of modernity. Readings include Corneille, Molière, Racine, Lafayette, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Beaumarchais, and Gouges. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.

Other Information

Courses Taught

  • Fall 2013: French 21C - Second-Year French: Cultural Emphasis, Third Quarter
  • Winter 2013: "French Theatromania: from the Great Classics to Private Theater in 17th and 18th Century France"
  • Summer 2011: Instructor for Frenlang 5A (Accelerated first year French)
  • Fall 2010: Instructor for Frenlang 23C (second year, third quarter French)
  • 2009-1010: Instructor for Frenlang 1, 2, 3 (first year French levels 1, 2, and 3)

TA for Faculty

  • Spring 2012: Head TA for Frengen 192E - "Images of Women in French Cinema" (TA for 2 Sections)
  • Spring 2011: TA for Frenlit 132 - "Literatures, Revolutions and Changes in 19th- and 20th- Century France"
  • Winter 2011: TA for Frenlit 131 - "Absolutism, Enlightenment, and Revolution in 17th- and 18th- Century France" 
  •                         TA for Frenlit 133 - "Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean"
  •                         TA for Frenlit 267 - "National Literatures, Litterature-monde: A New Comparatism"
  • Winter 2009: TA for Frenlit 132 - "Literatures, Revolutions and Changes in 19th and 20th Century France"