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Christie McDonald

Christie McDonald is the Smith Professor of French Language and Literature in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. From 2000-2006, she served as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. She is currently Co-Master, with her husband, Michael Rosengarten, of Mather House at Harvard.

McDonald is the author or editor of many books and articles on literature in an interdisciplinary context. A literary historian, as well as cultural critic and theorist, McDonald has worked in her research and teaching on eighteenth and twentieth to twenty-first-century French thought and literature in a comparative context. She has also published in the areas of literature and philosophy, anthropology, feminist theory, and the arts (music and painting). Rousseau and Freedom, edited with Stanley Hoffmann, was published in 2010. The volume French Global: A New Approach to French Literary History, edited with Susan Suleiman (2010), was published in French translation in 2014, French Global; Une nouvelle perspective sur l’histoire littéraire, and in paperback, 2015. McDonald’s other publications include The Extravagant Shepherd (1973, 2006), on Rousseau; The Dialogue of Writing (1985), on Rousseau and Diderot; Dispositions (1986), on the relationship between music and text; and The Proustian Fabric (1991). She is editor of The Ear of the Other (1982, 1988) and co-editor of Transformations: The Languages of Culture and Personhood after Theory (1994). She has also published books on American painters in her family: Images of Congo: Anne Eisner's Art and Ethnology, 1946-58 (2005); Painting My World: the Art of Dorothy Eisner (2009).


  • Smith Professor of French Language and Literature, Harvard University
  • Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, CES, Harvard University