B.A. Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2001 M.A. Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2003 Ph.D. Comparative Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, 2015
Michelle Lee’s research and pedagogical interests include nineteenth-century French literature and culture, Orientalism, travel writing and photography. More specifically, her work examines the impact of Orientalism and imperial practices on the development of French prose, poetry and photography in the nineteenth century. Her current book manuscript, Imagination, Mimesis, and Style: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century French Realism, Travel Narratives, and Photography, studies the influence of travel writing in the early works of Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Maxime Du Camp, and Charles Baudelaire from the 1830s to 1860s. It aruges that far from secondary to the development of nineteenth-century French literature and photography, romantic orientalist discourse and tropes have in fact shaped French artistic practices. Her article, entitled “Text, Textile and the Body in Baudelaire's ‘À une mendiante rousse’ and Devi's Indian Tango,” analyzes the interface of aesthetics and politics in the writings of Baudelaire and Ananda Devi. Lee received her PhD from the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA, where she also participated in its Program for Experimental Critical Theory.
Lee was most recently a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Bowdoin College. She also has taught at Sarah Lawrence College. Along with teaching a First-Year Writing Seminar at Gallatin this fall, she will be instructing French language at The New School.
Teaching and Research Interests
19th-century French literature and culture, Orientalism, travel writing, modern continental thought, postcolonial theory, 20th and 21st-century Francophone writing, the novel, realism, writing pedagogy