Sarah Benharrech
Associate Professor

Sarah Benharrech specializes in Eighteenth-Century French literature and holds a PhD from Princeton University. She has published, or has forthcoming articles in MLN, Eighteenth Century Fiction, Diderot Studies, and various proceedings. She also wrote chapters in books on automata maker Vaucanson, chemist Mme Thiroux d'Arconville, and journalism in Old Regime France. Her research explores personal identity theory in Early Enlightenment literature in relation to 18th-century debates in the natural sciences. She is the author of Marivaux et la science du caractère (Oxford, UK: The Voltaire Foundation) published in 2013. Researching the intersections between literature and science, her book links the anthropological, esthetic, and moral assumptions shaping the invention of fictional characters with the epistemology underlying the descriptions and definitions in natural history. With a focus on Marivaux's work, Sarah examines the sweeping changes in the representations of personal identity from La Bruyère 's fixist and essentialist rendition of humankind in his Caractères (1688) to the plastic and transforming notion of individuality in Diderot's Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature (1754). Her next book project will focus on the institutional and cultural exchanges between scientists and writers in the Early Enlightenment. Sarah edited Cl. Crébillon's Correspondence in the fourth volume of his Oeuvres complètes (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2002, revised in 2010). She recently also edited the 8th volume of the Mémoires Secrets de Bachaumont, a chronicle compiling anonymous reports on rumors, scandals, trials, book reviews, official decrees, etc. (Paris: H. Champion, 2010). Before coming to Maryland, she taught at The University of Chicago, Tulane University, and the University of Toronto.

 

 

 
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