Faith E. Beasley

Academic Appointments

Professor of French

My work as a scholar and a teacher focused first on resurrecting the works and voices of French women writers primarily from the early modern period, a key period of French and western civilization, and putting these works and voices in dialogue with those of their contemporaries and situating them in their literary and historical context.  I then moved to interrogating the effect women actions had on the cultural field in general, and to analyzing how and why the historical record has been constructed to erase this influence.  Recently I have extended these questions in order to interrogate French engagement with the world, in particular India, during the early modern period.  In my most recent book, Versailles Meets the Taj Mahal, I examine the effect early encounters with India had on French literature, culture, and the history of ideas.  I locate the dissemination of the concept of India in salon culture, explores how one salon served as the focal point for the encounter between France and India during France’s Grand Siècle and the effect of this encounter on early Enlightenment thought, material culture, and literature.   

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201C Dartmouth Hall
HB 6087


  • B.A. Mount Holyoke College
  • Paris, L’Ecole Normale Supérieure
  • Ph.D. Princeton University

Selected Publications

  • Book Chapter: "De Grandes cultures se rencontrent: Conversations indiennes à l'époque classique" in French Global: Une nouvelle perspective sur l'histoire littéraire. Eds. Christie McDonald and Susan Suleiman. Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2014.

  • Book Chapter: “Versailles Meets the Taj Mahal” in French Global: A New Approach to French Literary History , eds. C. McDonald and S. Suleiman, (2010).

  • Book: Options for Teaching Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century French Women Writers, (ed.) (2011)

  • Book: Salons, History, and the Creation of Seventeenth-Century France: Mastering Memory , (2006)

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Works In Progress

  • Biography of Marguerite de La Sablière

  • Translation of François Bernier's travels to India