Rebecca Powers

Rebecca Powers


Rebecca recently finished her Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Representations of le travail under the July Monarchy (1830-1848)” at Johns Hopkins University under the direction of Professor Jacques Neefs. This project looks at the discourse surrounding the emergence and appropriation of paradigms of work in selected canonical works by Sand, Balzac, and Michelet, as well as other texts such as worker-run newspapers, moralist enquêtes, and panoramic texts. These works are greatly indebted to Saint-Simon and other social thinkers of the Restauration and Napoleonic periods and share a romantic nostalgia for the imagined stability of the First Empire. A full-text version of the dissertation can be found here:

Rebecca’s other research interests include journalism as literature, Francophone Louisiana literature, proletarian writings, and gender identities in the nineteenth century. For her next project, she plans to undertake research that will lead to a better understanding of the cultural networks between British and French working classes in the first half of the nineteenth century. More specifically, she will investigate how British worker-writers were perceived by their French counterparts. There are a number of excellent monographs on the international nature of nineteenth-century literary movements such as Romanticism and Realism, but the ties between working-class writers and journalists in France and Britain have been less studied. This research will contribute to current debates on worker identity and cultural interaction between England and France at the dawn of industrialization.


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