Elissa Gelfand's research interests encompass such topics as women writers of France and French-speaking countries, French feminist theory, representations of female criminality and creativity, and literary politics and social contestation. She is the author of two books, Imagination in Confinement: Women's Writing from French Prisons (Cornell UP, 1983) and French Feminist Criticism: Women, Language, and Literature (Garland, 1985), and numerous articles. Currently, she is examining the interwar period in France (1920s and 1930s), specifically the relations between ethnicity and gender in the works of French Jewish women writers. She is also studying representations of "women of a certain age" in works by Colette, Beauvoir, and Ernaux.
Gelfand brings her research interests into the classroom through such special-topic courses as: Mothers and Daughters; Childhood in French and Francophone Cultures and Literatures; Corporalités: Writing the Body in French; Lifeprints: The Ages of Women; Femmes, cultures, identités en France et dans le monde Francophone; and, Literature and Politics: Writing as Social Engagement.
In addition to teaching, Gelfand serves as a member of the editorial board of the journal Women in French Studies.
- "Gelfand Shares Insights into French Culture," Office of Communications, August 29, 2011