I specialize in Enlightenment Studies, Gender Studies, Plant Studies, and Ecocriticism.
My first book, Marivaux et la science du caractère (Oxford, UK: The Voltaire Foundation, 2013), explored moral classifications in Early Enlightenment literature in relation to 18th-century debates on taxonomy in the natural sciences.
I am at work on my second book project, tentatively entitled The Dreams of Plants, where I am examining processes of acculturation of plants knowledge in 18th-century French fiction. Drawing from anthropology and the environmental humanities, my research questions early modern and early Enlightenment cosmologies as cultural mediations of vegetal alterity.
My investigations in the field of women in science led to the discovery of the manuscripts of Mme Dugage de Pommereul (1733-1782), an unknown woman botanist. I have published the first account of Mme Dugage’s life and work in Harvard Papers in Botany (2018) and recounted the obstacles encountered while doing archival research in an edited volume (2020) on the visibility/invisibility of women’s knowledge.
I have continued my work on women in science with a study of Clémence Lortet’s “Botanical Walks”, in collaboration with botanist Marc Philippe (Lyon I, France). My introduction and English translation of this manuscript have recently appeared in Huntia (The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, 2020).
I have two forthcoming publications: the first on Diderot’s plant blindness in regard to his zoocentric materialism in Diderot Studies; the second on the (in)dividuality of trees in a special issue of L’Esprit Créateur.
I have also published several critical editions: Crébillon’s Correspondance (2002); Bachaumont’s Memoires secrets (2010); Tiphaigne de La Roche’s Questions sur l’agriculture (2019).
I am past President of the Society for Eighteenth-Century French Studies, an affiliate of the national American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2019-21).
Upcoming Talks and Conferences
Sarah Benharrech (University of Maryland), “Culture, Misculture, and Acculturation: the Status of Cultivators’ Knowledge in Gardening Treatises.” Agricultural Knowledge and Practices in the Eighteenth Century 52nd ASECS Annual Meeting Baltimore MD March 31 – April 2, 2022.