Bio


Margaret Cohen’s most recent book is The Novel and the Sea (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), which was awarded the Louis R. Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the George and Barbara Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of the Narrative. She is also the author of Profane Illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of Surrealist Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) and The Sentimental Education of the Novel (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), which received the Modern Language Association's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione prize in French and Francophone literature. In addition, Margaret Cohen co-edited two collections of scholarship on the European novel: The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel with Carolyn Dever (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), and Spectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre with Christopher Prendergast (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995). She edited and translated Sophie Cottin's best-selling novel of 1799, Claire d'Albe (New York: Modern Language Association, 2003), and has edited a new critical edition of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary that appeared with W.W. Norton in 2004.

Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Comparative Literature
  • Professor, English
  • Professor (By courtesy), French and Italian

Honors & Awards


  • Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2017-2018)
  • George and Barbara Perkins Prize, International Society for the Study of the Narrative (2012)
  • Violet Andrews Whittier Faculty Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center (2011-2012)
  • Harry Levin Prize, Honorable Mention, American Comparative Literature Association (2011)
  • Louis R. Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2011)
  • Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione prize in French and Francophone literature, Modern Language Association (2000)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Yale University (1988)
  • M.A., New York University (1982)
  • B.A., Yale University (1980)
  • Student, Universität Konstanz (1981)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Throughout her career, Professor Cohen has explored the literature and culture of modernity. Her books include Profane Illumination (1993), which showed the impact of surrealist Paris on Walter Benjamin and The Sentimental Education of the Novel (1999), recovering the forgotten role of women writers in shaping 19th-century French realism. In her most recent book, The Novel and the Sea (2010), she revealed the impact of the ship’s log and the history of writing about work at sea on the development of the modern novel, foregrounding the importance of adventure fiction in the history of this form.

Professor Cohen is currently completing Spectacles of the Underwater Frontier, a book showing how the modern imagination of the depths has been shaped by science and technology enabling people to view a hitherto inaccessible realm, as well as to exhibit its conditions on land. From the first aquariums to underwater film and TV, popular spectacles have fostered for general publics an emotional relationship to the remote world of the deep. Even today, entertainment shapes our relation to an environment few experience directly, yet whose well-being is integral to life on our planet.

Professor Cohen is series editor for A Cultural History of the Sea, a six-volume series spanning from antiquity to the present, forthcoming from Bloomsbury Press.

Projects


  • A Cultural History of the Seas

    General Editor of a six-volume set surveying the global history of the seas, from antiquity to the present. Volume Editor of "The Age of Empire." Publisher, Bloomsbury Press

    Location

    Stanford University

    Collaborators

    • Elizabeth Lambourn, Editor, Medieval Volume, DeMontfort University
    • Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Editor, Antiquity Volume, Tufts University
    • Steven Mentz, Editor, Early Modern Volume, St. John's University
    • Jonathan Lamb, Editor, Enlightenment Volume, Vanderbilt University
    • Franziska Torma, Editor, Twentieth Century to the Present Volume, Technische Universitat, Munich
  • Ocean Cultures, Underwater Worlds, Sydney Environment Institute

    Location

    University of Sydney

    Collaborators

    • Iain McCalman, Co-Director, University of Sydney
    • Killian Quigley, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Sydney
    • Jonathan Lamb, Research Affiliate, Vanderbilt University
    • Maria Byrne, Key Researcher, University of Sydney
    • William Figuera, Key Researcher, University of Sydney
    • Ann Elias, Key Researcher, University of Sydney
  • Imagining the Oceans, Stanford University (2016)

    Colloquy, Arcade: a forum for disseminating current research in the marine and maritime humanities, using the multi-media possibilities of web publication and enabling conversations with different levels of formality.

    Location

    Stanford University

  • Visualizing the Oceans (9/9/2013 - 10/2016)

    Pilot project to promote collaborations among scholars and arts practitioners representing world's oceans

    Location

    Stanford University

    Collaborators

    • Anne Higonnet, Professor, Barnard University
    • Jonathan Lamb, Mellon Professor of the Huamnities, Vanderbilt University
    • Iain McCalman, Professional Research Fellow, Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney
    • Melissa Langer, Filmmaker , Stanford University
    • Catharine Axley, Filmmaker, Stanford University
    • Patrick Trefz, Filmmaker, Independent Arts Practitioner

2018-19 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • The Underwater Imagination From Environment to Film Set, 1954-1956 ENGLISH LANGUAGE NOTES Cohen, M. 2019; 57 (1): 51–71
  • A Feminist Plunge into Sea Knowledge PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Cohen, M. 2019; 134 (2): 372–77
  • The Aesthetics of the Undersea Cohen, M. 2019
  • Seeing Through Water: The Paintings of Zarh Pritchard The Sea in 19th-Century Anglophone Literary Culture Cohen, M. Routledge. 2017
  • Seeing Through Water: The Paintings of Zarh Pritchard Coastal Works: Cultures of the Atlantic Edge Cohen, M. Oxford University Press. 2017
  • The Bonds of the Sea, Review of William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days Cohen, M., Borius, H. Public Books, The Guardian. 2016
  • Atlantik/Pazifik: Die imaginäre Erschliessung der Ozeane im Zeitalter der Segelschifffahrt Handbuch Literatur & Raum, Cohen, M. De Gruyter. 2015
  • Underwater Optics as Symbolic Form French Politics, Culture and Society ohen, M. 2015
  • Reading the Book of Water WAX Cohen, M. 2015
  • In a Fish's Eye WAX Cohen, M. 2015
  • On Time: Kairos and the Arts of Action WAX Cohen, M. 2014
  • Denotation in Alien Environments: The Underwater Je Ne Sais Quoi Representations Cohen, M. 2014
  • "Artists' Blood" and "Interview with Patrick Trefz" Surfer's Blood Trefz, P., Cohen, M., et al powerHouse Books. 2012
  • The International Novel in a National Age The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 3, 1820-1880 Cohen, M. Oxford University Press. 2012
  • Literary Studies on the Terraqueous Globe PMLA-PUBLICATIONS OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA Cohen, M. 2010; 125 (3): 657-662
  • The Novel and the Sea Cohen, M. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. 2010
  • Narratology in the Archive of Literature REPRESENTATIONS Cohen, M. 2009: 51-75
  • The Right to Mobility in Adventure Fiction NOVEL-A FORUM ON FICTION Cohen, M. 2009; 42 (2): 290-296
  • Review of Open Secrets: The Literature of Uncounted Experience by Anne-Lise Francois Rmanticism and Victorianism on the Net (RaVoN) Cohen, M. 2009
  • Flaubert lectrice: Flaubert lady reader ('Madame Bovary') MLN Cohen, M. 2007; 122 (4): 746-758
  • Historical Fiction Oxford Book of Maritime History Cohen, M. Oxford University Press. 2007
  • Modernity on the Waterfront: The Case of Haussmann's Paris Locating the City Cohen, M. University of Minnesota Press. 2007
  • The Chronotopes of the Sea History of the Novel Cohen, M. Princeton University Press. 2006
  • Madame Bovary: contexts, critical reception Cohen, M. New York: W.W. Norton. 2005
  • Madame Bovary Flaubert, G. edited by Cohen, M. W.W. Norton. 2004
  • Modernity as Phantasmagoria: Benjamin's Arcades Companion to Walter Benjamin Cohen, M. Cambridge University Press. 2004
  • Complex Culture The Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture Reader Cohen, M., Higonnet, A. Routledge. 2004
  • Fluid States: The Maritime in MOdernity Cabinet Cohen, M. 2004
  • Traveling genres (Literary history, novel) NEW LITERARY HISTORY Cohen, M. 2003; 34 (3): 481-499
  • Claire d'Albe Cottin, S., Translated by Cohen, M. edited by Cohen, M. New York: Modern Language Association. 2003
  • Traveling Genres New Literary History Cohen, M. 2003
  • The literary channel: the inter-national invention of the novel Cohen, M. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2002
  • Sentimental Communities The Literary Channel Cohen, M. Princeton University Press. 2002
  • Empatia e sensibility nell’evoluzione del romanzo Storia del Romanzo Cohen, M., Alliston, A. Einaudi. 2002
  • Il Mare Storia del Romanzo Cohen, M. Einaudi. 2002
  • Claire d'Albe: an English translation Cohen, M. New York: Modern Language Association of America. 2002
  • The Literary Channel: The Inter-National Invention of the Novel edited by Cohen, M., Dever, C. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2002
  • Claire d'Albe: the original French text Cohen, M. New York: Modern Language Association of America. 2002
  • Les Mysteres de la rue et les mysteres du coeur La Modernite avant Haussmann Cohen, M. Editions de la Recherche. 2001
  • Mania, Melancholy and the Reproduction of the Dead Father Seductions of the Novel: Stael's Corinne in Critical Inquiry Cohen, M. Bucknell University Press. 1999
  • Walter Benjamin and Surrealism Encyclopedia of Aesthetics Cohen, M. Oxford University Press. 1998
  • Women and French Fiction in the Nineteenth Century Companion to the Modern French Novel Cohen, M. Cambridge University Press. 1997
  • Spectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre edited by Cohen, M., Prendergast, C. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1995
  • In Lieu of a Chapter on Some French Women Realist Novelists Spectacles of Realism: Body, Gender, Genre Cohen, M. 1995
  • Panoramic Literature and the Invention of the Everyday Rethinking 1895: Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life Cohen, M. University of California Press. 1995
  • Red Mothers, Wise Grandmothers: Women's Non-Realist Representations of 1789 Literature Women and the French Revolution Cohen , M. Summa Press. 1995
  • Spectacles of realism: body, gender, genre Cohen, M. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1995
  • Translation of Etienne Balibar, "Althusser's Object" Cohen, M., Robbins, B. Social Text. 1994
  • Review of Robert Alter's "Necessary Angels" Comparative Literature Cohen, M. 1994
  • Profane illumination: Walter Benjamin and the Paris of surrealist revolution Cohen, M. Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles, CA; London: University of California Press. 1993
  • Review article on Susan Suleiman's "Subversive Intent" and Maud Lavin's "Cut With the Kitchen Knife" Annals of Scholarship Cohen, M. 1993
  • The Homme Fatal, the Phallic Father, and the New Man Cultural Critique Cohen, M. 1992
  • The Most Suffering Class boundary 2 Cohen, M. 1991
  • Walter Benjamin's Phantasmagoria New German Critique Cohen, M. 1989
  • A Woman's Place: La Petite Fadette v. La Voix des Femmes L'Esprit Createur Cohen, M. 1989
  • Mysteries of Paris: The Collective Uncanny in Andre Breton's L'Amour fou Dada/Surrealism Cohen, M. 1988