Sarah Benharrech
Associate Professor
Sarah Benharrech (Ph.D., Princeton University) specializes in Eighteenth-Century French literature and culture. She has published articles in MLN, Eighteenth Century Fiction, Diderot Studies. In her first book, Marivaux et la science du caractère (Oxford, UK: The Voltaire Foundation, 2013), she explored moral classifications in Early Enlightenment literature in relation to 18th-century debates in the natural sciences.
She has prepared the critical edition of Enlightenment writer Tiphaigne de La Roche’s Questions relatives à l’agriculture et à la nature des plantes (Complete Works, Paris: Classiques-Garnier, 2019), in which he argued that plants were truly animals. She has recently worked on François-Joseph Hunauld’s vegetal imagery in The New Treatise on Physics (1742), his fictional narrative of a fantastical travel to the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. 
Prof. Benharrech has also earned a certificate in Botany at the Museum of Natural History in Paris after completing all four levels of the curriculum.
She has discovered the manuscripts of Mme Dugage de Pommereul (1733-1782), a previously unknown woman botanist student of A.-L. de Jussieu and assistant to André Thouin at the botanical garden of Paris, and published the first account of her life and work in Harvard Papers in Botany (2018). She has collaborated on the publication of the "promenades botaniques" a manuscript written by another woman botanist, Clémence Lortet (1772-1835) in the Bulletin de la Société linnéenne de Lyon (2018). Her English translation of this previously unpublished manuscript will appear in a forthcoming article in Huntia (The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation).
She is currently working on a book project, tentatively entitled The Dreams of Plants, where she is examining how modes of vegetative reproduction informed narrative forms in 18th-century French fictions at the crossroad of literature and science through an ecocritical lense. 

She also serves as a regular contributor and advisor for the digital repository of Saint-Domingue 18th-century pamphlets, A Colony in Crisis. (

Before coming to Maryland, she taught at The University of Chicago, Tulane University, and the University of Toronto. 

Prof. Benharrech is the current President of the Society for Eighteenth-Century French Studies, an affiliate of the national American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

S. Benharrech is a Chesapeake Project Faculty Fellow. 

For more information, please visit

Key words: 18th-century novel & drama. Marivaux. Science and literature. Botany. Women in science. Plant studies. Ecocriticism. 





Jimenez Hall
+1 301 405 3433