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Janie Vanpée

Professor Emerita of French Studies and World Literatures

Janie Vanpee


Hillyer 308


Born in Belgium and educated there and in the United States, Janie Vanpée joined Smith’s French department in 1985 and the comparative literature program in 1987. She is the co-editor, with E. S. Burt, of "Reading the Archive: On Texts and Institutions" in Yale French Studies.

She teaches the writing intensive course Les Années Noires: Living through the Occupation, 1939-1945; the first-year seminar Re-Membering Marie Antoinette; as well as courses that highlight the literature and culture of the French enlightenment. She participates regularly in the comparative literature program, teaching a course on islands—real and imaginary—and a seminar on translating across borders.

She has twice directed the Smith Junior Year Abroad Program in Paris. From 2014 to 2018, she was the faculty director of the Lewis Global Studies Center, where she also directed the Concentration in Translation Studies and mentored the student online journal Global Impressions.

Selected Publications

With Christiane Métral, "Speaking (like the) French: The Success of a Three-Week Domestic Immersion Program," French Review, Vol 91:3, 2018.

"Reconfiguring Family Legitimacy: Olympe de Gouges’s L’Esclavage des Noirs," Women in French Studies. Eds. Beach and Joyce Johnston. Special Issue 2014: 106-116.

"Creating an Online Exhibit in a First-Year Seminar: “Luxury Objects in the Age of Marie Antoinette, ” ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830: Vol. 3: April 2013. 

"Etre(s) sans papiers et sans domicile fixe: la femme comme figure de l’étranger chez Graffigny." Françoise de Graffigny, femme de lettres: écriture et réception, Studies on Voltaire and Eighteenth Century 2004:12, Oxford, 2004 : 328-336.

La femme mode d’emploi: How to read the article FEMME in the Encyclopédie.” Using the Encyclopédie: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Reading. Eds. Daniel Brewer, Julie Hayes. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century (2002:05): 229-245.

“From the Lettres d’une Péruvienne to Lettres Parisiennes: Figuring Cultural Displacement.” Dalhousie French Studies, Vol. 61 (Winter 2002): 135-146.

“Performing Justice: The Trials of Olympe de Gouges,” Theatre Journal 51 (1999): 47-65.

"Leçons de lecture dans l'Emile: de la lettre à la fable." In Rousseau et la lecture. Ed. Tanguy L'Aminot. Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 369. (May 1999): 65-75

"Dangerous Liaisons II: The Laclos-Riccoboni Sequel." Eighteenth Century Fiction. Vol 9:1 (October 1996): 51-70.

"Reading Differences: The Case of Letter 141 of Les Liaisons dangereuses." Eighteenth Century Studies, Vol. 27: 1 (Fall 1993): 85-110.


Ph.D., M.Phil., Yale University
A.B., Smith College

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks