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Christie McDonald

Christie McDonald is the Smith Research Professor of French Language and Literature in the department of Romance languages and literatures and research professor of comparative literature at Harvard University. She is a faculty associate at Minda de Guzburg Center for European Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard. From 2000-2006, she served as chair of the department of Romance languages and literatures, and from 2010-2017, she and her husband, Michael Rosengarten, served as resident deans at Mather House. 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 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). Proust and the Arts, edited with François Proulx, was published in 2015; Rousseau and Freedom, 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 co-edited L'Oreille de l'autre: Otobiographies, transferts, traductions. Textes et débats avec Jacques Derrida (1982), English translation, The Ear of the Other 1988, and 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. She is the author of the 18th century section, 1715-1793, for Femmes, littérature. Une histoire culturelle, forthcoming at Gallimard, 2019, 150pp.


  • Smith Research Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Research Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University