Catherine Le Gouis


  • Reverend Joseph James Hilary Paradis Professor of French
  • Chair of French
Catherine Le Gouis

Catherine Le Gouis, a comparatist by training, teaches French language and literature. Her seminars have included “Nouvelle Vague” film, “The Detective Novel in France,” Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, and a first-year seminar, “Reading The New Yorker.” She has taught comparative courses on French and Russian literature, such as “The Influence of Anxiety: Dostoevsky and France” and also offers a course on the French newspaper Le Monde.

Her research areas include the Russian Silver Age, comparative studies of French and Russian literature, and 19th-century European literary history. Le Gouis writes and speaks on the fin-de-siècle decadent movement in Europe, on Proust, and on Russian women who lived in France, including Marie Bashkirtseff, Nina Berberova, and Elsa Triolet. She is the author of Positivism and Imagination (Bucknell University Press) and has edited, in collaboration with two colleagues from Smith College, Mon Histoire: Mémoires d’une femme de lettres russe à l’époque des Lumières (L’Harmattan, Paris), the autobiography of Princess Dashkova, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine the Great and one of the preeminent Russian intellectuals of the 18th century. Le Gouis’s work has appeared in Comparative Literature, The Romanic Review, The Russian Review, Брюсовские чтения (Briusov Studies), Russian Literature and The American Scholar.

Currently, Le Gouis is working on a biography of Nina Petrovskaya, a Russian essayist and muse to major poets of the Russian Silver Age. For this project she received two IREX grants, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to conduct research in Moscow archives and libraries. For her next project, she plans a multiple biography of six lesser-known but equally representative figures of the Silver Age.

Areas of Expertise

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and Russian literature


  • Ph.D., Yale University
  • License, Sorbonne-Paris IV

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Lectured on "The Russian Silver Age and its Impact on the West" at RGGU (The Russian State University for the Humanities) in Moscow on December 27-28, 2019.

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