Formerly a piano performance major, Kathleen Hart (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) discovered her enthusiasm for literary and cultural studies during a semester abroad. Her publications include Revolution and Women’s Autobiography in Nineteenth-Century France and, with Paul Fenouillet (SUNY New Paltz), a new French edition and English translation of George Sand’s Gabriel, a play about gender and cross-dressing. She has lectured on “Musicality in Translation,” the topic of a segment aired on NPR’s The Academic Minute. Her current research focuses on neuroesthetics (using neuroscience to investigate esthetic experience) and the application of evolutionary, cognitive and developmental psychology to the study of literature and culture. See “Animal Humor and the Darwinian Absurd” (Contemporary French and Francophone Studies) and “Strangers to Ourselves: Animality and Theory of Mind in Honoré de Balzac’s ‘A Passion in the Desert’” (Style). She regularly participates in the annual Nineteenth Century French Studies Colloquium for which she organized a panel on ecocriticism.
Professor Hart is the recipient of two grants from the Vassar-Williams-Mellon Consortium to develop web-based French-language exercises and teaching material using songs. She is a member of the Women’s Studies Program, has taught for the Environmental Studies program, and frequently offers a first-year writing seminar.