Digital Project: Mapping Decadence
As part of my research, I am currently working on a digital mapping project called Mapping Decadence. Using the digital tool ArcGIS, this project analyzes the role of location in shaping collaborations between several Decadent writers (Huysmans, Schwob, Lorrain, and Rachilde) and their publishers. The website now also features a timeline of all the books written by these authors as well as a graph representing all the connections between these writers and their publishers. I presented on this project at Penn State LASTS (Liberal Arts Scholarship and Technology Summit) in August 2013 and September 2014 as well as at the Western Society for French History conference in Atlanta in October 2014 and at the annual conference of SHARP in July 2015. For more information, visit Mapping Decadence.
Going forward, I intend to develop a platform to allow international scholars to contribute to Mapping Decadence in order to create an ever more extensive map of late nineteenth-century Parisian literary society.
For my next project, I plan on analyzing the relationships between images, the body, and cosmetics during the Belle Époque. In fin-de-siècle France, cosmetics assumed a new importance. Accepted, inexpensive, and widely available among a growing bourgeoisie, cosmetics transformed the bodies of a wide cross section of French women. They did so in conjunction with print, as advertisements and other forms of prescriptive text and imagery, helped new users navigate the use of these new products. Despite their importance and novelty, cosmetics have received little attention from scholars of late nineteenth-century France. This project would help fill that gap. Using methodologies from the history of the body, gender studies, and book history, I will study the ways in which the female body was portrayed and conceived in advertisements, books, hygiene pamphlets, and paintings.