I came to AUP after teaching in Penang (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania) and Paris (Université Paris 7). One of the things I like best about teaching here is that it combines elements of all of those very different experiences within a school that is small enough to allow people to know each other and to make things happen. Having written my doctoral thesis with input from French and American professors and institutions, I think there is much to be gained from combining approaches to research, as AUP necessarily does due to the international composition of its faculty and student body.
It doesn’t hurt to be in Paris, either. This semester I am teaching Paris as a Stage for Revolution, a course that traces the implications of historiographical debates about the French Revolution for how we read various 19th century novels. Next semester I’ll be coordinating a Paris Through its Books course taught with other members of the comp lit faculty. In both cases, the possibility of walking the streets, visiting the archives, and experiencing some of the places and phenomena discussed in class enriches discussion and provides site-specific opportunities for research and study.
My own work relies heavily on plays and ephemera which are mostly unavailable outside of Paris libraries. This has made me a great believer in using the resources of this city to cast new light on important questions about the role of literature (high and low) in society. I am currently preparing a book, provisionally entitled The Fourth Estate at the Fourth Wall: Performing Publicity in July Monarchy France. In the meantime, I give occasional talks (see official webpage), and teach a variety of EN classes, which tend to be influenced by my interest in the history of material texts and my affection for the press in general. The BNF is making steady progress towards the digitization of some of their periodical holdings. If you would like to read some nineteenth-century newspapers, look here.
Descriptions of the Paris courses I teach are here: