My interests cover a broad range of topics in nineteenth-century literature, art, and culture. I have written on the theory of parody, on Decadence, the city, and modernity; I have developped a special interest in the relations between the arts over their histories. In the nineteenth-century context, I have worked extensively on art criticism and art theory, notably Baudelaire's essays on caricature and their place in his theory of modernity, and Delacroix's Journals as an effort to develop a writing proper to painting, to a painter's response to the world. I am particularly interested in poetry.
I have recently published a major new edition, in French and with commentary, of Delacroix's Journals, a project which has led me to consider the relations between autobiography and history: how a personal, private diary can be a particular "écriture de l'histoire." Eugène Delacroix. Journal, 2 vols.(Paris, José Corti, 2009). This contains a long section on the painter's voyage to the Maghreb and southern Spain in 1832.
I am beginning research for a project on the importance of the visual arts in Michelet’s thought and work. I have recently completed an article on what the trial of Baudelaire’s “Fleurs du mal” can tell us about modes of reading in nineteenth-century France.
I am the faculty lead on the University's new Mediterranean studies initiative.