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François Proulx

Profile picture for François Proulx

Contact Information

FLB 2150

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French literature
Gender and sexuality studies
Digital humanities
Québec and francophone literatures
Literary theory, translation studies
Marcel Proust

Research Description

My current research investigates Marcel Proust’s use of private codes and allusions in his manuscripts, letters, and drawings. I recently published (with Caroline Szylowicz) the first comprehensive inventory of Proust's drawings to the composer Reynaldo Hahn, documenting over 180 sketches (Bulletin d'informations proustiennes, 2022). Other articles related to Proust's drawings and letters have appared in Modern Language Notes (Fall 2018), Bulletin Marcel Proust (2019, 2021 and 2023), Bulletin d'informations proustiennes (2019, 2020 and 2021), and Nineteenth-Century French Studies (2020).

In Fall 2022, for the centenary of Marcel Proust's death, I co-edited "Proust to Other Ends" (with Hannah Freed-Thall), a special issue of L'Esprit Créateur. I also contributed four entries to the exhibition catalogue Proust, la fabrique de l'oeuvre (Gallimard / Bibliothèque nationale de France).

Victims of the Book: Reading and Masculinity in Fin-de-Siècle France (University of Toronto Press, 2019) shows how, in a cultural context of perceived national decline and contentious educational reforms, the adolescent male reader became a subject of grave social concern in late-nineteenth-century France. This research project was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The book was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2020 by Choice Reviews (Association of College and Research Libraries) and the chapter "Bourget, the Chambige Affair, and the Queer Seductions of the Novel" received the 2020 HRI Faculty Prize for Research in the Humanities. A webinar presenting the book is available on H-France Salon.

Victims of the Book has been praised as "intelligent, timely, and groundbreaking" (Choice); "ambitious and thought-provoking ... one of Proulx's great strengths is his ability to tell a historicist, contextualist story through sustained and sensitive close readings" (French Studies); "a thorough, scholarly work grounded in research that extends well beyond even the margins of the canon and pays rewardingly close attention to texts" (French Forum); "a refreshingly successful example of literary analysis that addresses both critical and historiographical concerns" (H-France Review).

I am Associate Editor of Nineteenth-Century French Studies, as well as a member of the editorial boards of Bulletin d'informations proustiennes and Bulletin Marcel Proust. I am also an affiliate of the Proust research team (Équipe Proust) at ITEM, the Institute for Modern Texts and Manuscripts, Paris (Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes, CNRS/ENS).

I am co-director, with Caroline Szylowicz, of the U.S. team for Corr-Proust, the new digital edition of Marcel Proust's correspondence, an ongoing international research collaboration.


PhD, Harvard University
BA, McGill University (First-Class Honours)

Awards and Honors

Visiting Professor, Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, France (May-June 2024)
Visiting Professor, Université Grenoble Alpes, France (November 2022)
Conrad Humanities Scholar (2020-2025)
HRI Prize for Research in the Humanities (2020)
Helen Corley Petit Scholar (2019-2020)
Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (2019)
NEH Fellowship (2015-2016)

Courses Taught

French 211: Introduction to Literary Studies
French 311: Nineteenth-Century Love Stories

French 319: Quebec Literature and Film
French 322: World Literature in French
French 336: French Cultural History 1789-1968
French 543: Gender, Race and Modernity
French 574: Reading in the Nineteenth-Century French Novel
French 578: Marcel Proust
French 579: French Literature meets Queer Theory
French 579: Reading with Roland Barthes

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, French and Italian
Associate Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Associate Professor, Women & Gender in Global Perspectives

Highlighted Publications

Proulx, F. (2019). Victims of the Book: Reading and Masculinity in Fin-de-Siècle France. (University of Toronto Romance Series). University of Toronto Press.

McDonald, C., & Proulx, F. (Eds.) (2015). Proust and the Arts. Cambridge University Press.

Proulx, F. (Guest ed.), & Freed-Thall, H. (Guest ed.) (2022). Proust to Other Ends. L'Esprit Créateur, 62(3).

View all publications on Illinois Experts

Recent Publications

Proulx, F. (2023). Trois dessins de Proust à Reynaldo Hahn retrouvés à Chartres. Bulletin Marcel Proust, 73, 22-35.

Freed-Thall, H., & Proulx, F. (2022). Introduction: Proust to Other Ends. L'Esprit Créateur, 62(3), 1-9.

Proulx, F. (2022). Céleste. In Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre (pp. 54-56). Editions Gallimard.

Proulx, F., Szylowicz, C., & Mauriac Dyer, N. (2022). Dessins. In Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre (pp. 78-80). Editions Gallimard.

Proulx, F. (2022). Informateurs. In Marcel Proust. La fabrique de l'oeuvre (pp. 122-123). Editions Gallimard.

View all publications on Illinois Experts