Executive Committee:

Allison Margaret Bigelow, Jan. 2023 (2021-2023 chair)
David Alff, Jan. 2024 (2021-2022 secretary)
Eugenia Zuroski, Jan. 2025
Rachael Scarborough King, Jan. 2026

Nominee Statement for Forum Election (CLCS 18th-Century)

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    Sarah Benharrech

    Hello, my name is Sarah Benharrech and I would be deeply honored to be elected officer of the MLA 18th-c. Comparative Forum (CLCS 18th-Century).

    Stemming from previous work on the morphology of characters in drama and novels in light of contemporary debates on taxonomy in eighteenth-century France, my current research focuses on enmeshments of science and literature.

    I am interested in gender studies and worked extensively on women in science. I discovered the botanical manuscripts of an unknown woman botanist who worked in the 1780s, a discovery which led to reflections on the invisibility of women’s knowledge.

    Moreover, I am currently working on a book project on vegetal anthropology in the literature of the French Enlightenment. This project which I situate at the crossroads of science fiction, gardening treatises, and the environmental humanities, examines processes of acculturation of botanical knowledge in works of fiction: how plant science fertilized literary creativity, and conversely, how botanical knowledge drew from analogies, metaphors, and discursive images.

    Given the chance to serve on this Forum, I will be committed to fostering awareness of the looming ecological crisis that will worsen inequalities among populations, destroy our natural environment, and trigger instability among nations. As a scholar and a teacher, I strive for greater inclusion of the natural world within the classroom, and for deeper, more meaningful connections between disciplines in a more inclusive, more diverse academic ecosystem. As I have been a member of the MLA for several years I would be thrilled to take on a more active role in the intellectually vibrant community of scholars and instructors.

    This topic was also posted in: LLC 18th-Century French.
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