Department of French and Francophone Studies
A scholastic novel is a type of textbook particularly common at the end of the 19th century in France. Though they have been largely ignored by literary scholars, in her dissertation “Powers of Fiction: Scholastic Novels and Forgotten Women in Third Republic France (1870 to 1914)” Laurie focuses on a specific corpus of textbooks, those written by women, some of whom were highly prolific and successful. Her work builds on feminist theories that have not yet considered textbook writing as important literary and political sites of engagement for women. Her goal is to demonstrate that these authors provided critical interpretations of the national curriculum as they questioned “French republicanism” on issues of gender, class, race, and colonial expansion and produced a (subversive) political discourse. Reading their work enables us to rethink women’s role – as educators and authors – in republican politics past and present.