Julie Fette

  • Fette
Associate Professor
Ph.D., New York University, Institute of French Studies
Doctorat, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
Rayzor Hall 211
Research and Teaching: 

Focused on modern France and grounded in the disciplines of history, the social sciences, and cultural studies, my scholarship has always centered on “othering”—on strategies of differentiation and exclusion among social categories, whether national, religious, ethnic, or gendered.

I have worked on xenophobia in French law and medicine, from the 1920s to the end of the Second World War, examining how discimination affects social mobility and professionalization among middle-class professionals as well as public opinion and the rise of anti-Semitism in twentieth-century French society.

My current interests focus on two comparative studies of gender in contemporary French and American societies. One project explores how traditional gender stereotypes continue to be portrayed in contemporary children's literature. I analyze whether this profile of children's literature is generic or if gender concepts are fostered in subtly diverse ways in American and French children. Through textual analysis of a database of storybooks, and on the basis of fieldwork in the publishing worlds of the two countries, I investigate the creative processes and economic pressures for stories currently coming to market.

A second project examines gendered career trajectories in classical ballet. This research will compare choreographers, repertoires, and artistic decision-making in the Paris Opera Ballet and the New York City Ballet. Although it is a dynamic moment in dance (five of the nineteen new National Choreographic Centers in France are headed by women), the profession of choreographer in elite ballet companies remains male-dominated in both France and the United States.

Selected Publications: 
  • Exclusions: Practicing Prejudice in French Law and Medicine, 1920-1945 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2012).
  • “Putting the Studies in French Studies: Teaching History and Social Sciences in a French Department,” Contemporary French Civilization 40/1 (2015), 25-48. Co-edited with Brière and co-written with Bowles, et al.
  • “Acting the Dreyfus Affair: History and Theatre in the French Classroom.” PMLA 126 (2011), 737-45.
  • “Apology and the Past in Contemporary France,” French Politics, Culture & Society 26/2 (2008), 78-113.
  • “Pride and Prejudice in the Professions: Women Doctors and Lawyers in Third Republic France,” Journal of Women’s History 19/3 (2007), 60-86.
  • “Xenophobia in the Professions: From the Third Republic to the Fifth,” Contemporary French Civilization 21/2 (2007), 9-38.