Professor of French
email@example.com | Dey 143
At UNC since 2008
Ph.D University of Pennsylvania, 2008
M.A. University of Pennsylvania, 2003
A.B. Brown University, 2000
Professor Welch’s research and teaching focus on French literature and culture of the Ancien Régime, including theater and performing arts (especially musical theater and dance), prose fiction, travel literature, and journalism. Much of her work has explored the relationship between literature and France’s global engagements through translation, travel, imperialism, and diplomacy during this dynamic period of cultural history. Her first book, A Taste for the Foreign: Worldly Knowledge and Literary Pleasure in Early Modern French Fiction , examined how the exotic became a crucial aesthetic category for the early French novel, from Rabelais’s Quart livre to Galland’s Mille et une nuits. Her most recent book, A Theater of Diplomacy: International Relations and the Performing Arts in Early Modern France (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) investigates how multimedia theatrical entertainments (particularly ballet) mediated France’s diplomatic relationships within and beyond Europe from 1565 to 1715. This project received support from an ACLS Ryskamp Fellowship and a Josephus Daniels National Humanities Center Fellowship. Trained as a comparatist, Professor Welch has also published on literary relations between France and Spain (particularly French responses to Cervantes).
Professor Welch’s current research explores the figure of “noise” in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature. This project draws on media studies and acoustics to examine how authors captured the chatter, babble, murmurs, and rumors swirling around them during a period of social and political upheaval.
Promoting scholarly collaboration and exchange is another important aspect of Professor Welch’s work. She is a faculty adviser for the ROMS Colloquium Series and a co-convener of the Triangle French History and Culture Seminar.
- “La critique des spectacles par les diplomates au XVIIe siècle.” Littératures Classiques. Spec. issue: “Naissance de la critique dramatique.” Eds. Claude Bourqui and Lise Michel. 89 (2016) : 103-114.
- “Cervantes and the Domestication of Romance in Seventeenth-Century French Theater: Jean Rotrou’s Les deux pucelles, tragi-comédie.” In “Cervantes on the European Stage,” forum edited by Barbara Fuchs. Republics of Letters 4.2 (2015): 1-15.
- “Rethinking the Politics of Court Spectacle: Performance and Diplomacy Under the Valois,” in French Renaissance and Baroque Drama: Text, Performance, Theory, ed. Michael Meere. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2015.
- Intermédiaires culturels/Cultural Intermediaries. Études Internationales sur le Dix-Huitième Series. Co-editor with Vanessa Alayrac-Fielding. Paris: Honoré-Champion, 2015. Chapter: “Intermediaries and the Media: Diplomacy in the Early Eighteenth-Century French Periodical Press”
- “Constructing Universality in Early Modern French Treatises on Music and Dance,” in Music and Diplomacy from the Early Modern Era to the Present, eds. Rebekah Ahrendt, Mark Ferraguto, and Damien Mahiet. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
- “Risking Life and Limb: Commerce and the Value of Life in Caribbean Adventure Narratives.” Cahiers du Dix-Septième 15.2. Spec. Issue: “Life.” Eds. Holly Tucker and Jérôme Brillaud. (2014): 121-39.
- “The Specter of the Turk in Early Modern French Court Entertainments.” Esprit Créateur 53.4 Spec. Issue: “The Turk of Early Modern France.” Ed. Marcus Keller. (Winter 2013): 84-97.
- “State Truths, Private Letters, and Images of Public Opinion in the= Ancien Régime: Sévigné on Trials.” French Studies: A Quarterly Review 67.2 (April 2013): 170-83.
- “Dancing the Nation: Performing France in Seventeenth-Century Ballets des nations.” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 13.2 (Spring 2013): 1-23.
- “From Aesthetic to Ethical Cosmopolitanism in Scudéry’s Le Grand Cyrus.” Cahiers du Dix-Septième 14 (2012): 38-55.
- “Going Behind the Scenes with Le Bourgeois gentilhomme: Staging Critical Spectatorship at Louis XIV’s Court.” French Review 85.5 (April 2012): 26-38.
- “Performing a New France, Making Colonial History in Marc Lescarbot’s Théâtre de Neptune (1606).” Modern Language Quarterly 72.4 (December 2011): 439-60.
- “Adapting ‘The Liberal Lover’: Mediterranean Commerce, Political Economy, and Theatrical Form under Richelieu.” Comparative Drama (Fall 2011): 165-83.
Professor Welch regularly offers rotating-topic graduate seminars on Ancien Régime French literature and culture. Recent topics have included “Les arts du corps,” “Le théâtre et ses publics,” and “News, Media, and Culture in 17th-Century France” (co-taught with Duke University Professor Michèle Longino). Undergraduate offerings include FREN 371 (French Literature Survey 2:17th and 18th Centuries), FREN 330 (French Civilization I), FREN 315 (Imposteur!: Faking and False Identities in French and Francophone Drama and Film), FREN 397 (Paris/Versailles: La cour et la ville) and FREN 280 (French “Discoveries” of the Americas).
Awards & Honors
ACLS Charles A. Ryskamp Fellowship
Josephus Daniels Fellowship of the Research Triangle Foundation – National Humanities Center
Recently Directed Dissertations
Diana Garcia – Oeil, voyeur et écriture: Poétique visuelle et expérimentation dans la littérature du XVIIIe siècle
Andrew Gard – The Rise of the Coquette in Seventeenth-Century French Theater
Catherine Viano – Theater of Machines, Theater as Machine
Adrianna Beaman – Orientalisms in Pre-Classical French Drama (in progress)
Graduate Students Advised by Professor Welch
Professor Welch is currently accepting new advisees.