Cosmopolitanism in Feminine Writing: The Queen and Us, or Why Cosmopolitanism Has Not Been a Force of Humanism


Location: DeBartolo Hall, Room 118

Julia Douthwaite, professor of French, author of “The Frankenstein of 1790 and Other Lost Chapters From Revolutionary France” (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2012)

Inspired by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s famous complaint that cosmopolitans “boast that they love everyone [tout le monde] to have the right to love no one,” Douthwaite will dramatize some ill-fated encounters behind the “cosmopolitans” of the Bourbon court and the newly emergent entity known as “the people” in the build-up to Revolution (1789). From burlesque and hilarious satires of female politicking that arose from the October 1789 women’s march on Versailles, to the chilling endgame of Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie-Antoinette, the author will demonstrate how animosity grew between the anxious populace who looked to the royals for succor, and the court society that saw itself as existing above time and space.

This is part of the Ph.D. in Literature Program lecture series.