Department of French and Romance Philology  








Gita May



Professor Emerita of French

Eighteenth-Century French literature

Gita May. Ph.D. Columbia (1957), has published extensively on the French Enlightenment, eighteenth-century aesthetics, Diderot and Rousseau, literature and the arts, the novel and autobiography, the revolutionary and post-revolutionatry era, and women in literature, history, and the arts. She is a former Chair of the Department and past President of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. She has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She was also honored by the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies as one of the Society's "Great Teachers" and named "Outstanding Mentor" by Women in French Studies.

Selected Bibliography
Major Publications:

Diderot et Baudelaire, Critiques d'art (Paris and Geneva, Droz, 1957, second edition, 1957, third edition, 1973).

De Jean-Jacques Rousseau à Madame Roland, Essai sur la sensibilité préromantique et révolutionnaire (Paris and Geneva, Droz, 1964, second edition 1974).

Madame Roland and the Age of Revolution (New York and London,
Columbia University Press, 1970). Winner of the Columbia Univeristy's Van Amringe Distinguished Book Award, 1971.

Stendhal and the Age of Napoleon (New York and London, Columbia University Press, 1977). Selected among the best books published by University Presses in the United States.

Co-editor, Diderot Studies III (Paris and Geneva, 1961).

"Beauty in Context," A New History of French Literature
(Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1989).

"French Aesthetics: Eighteenth-Century" and "Diderot's Aesthetics,"
Encyclopedia of Aesthetics (New York, Oxford University Press, 1998).

Critical edition of Diderot's Essais sur la peinture for the
Editions des oeuvres complètes de Diderot, vol. XIV (Paris,
Hermann, 1984). Paperback edition in Salons I (same publisher).

"Rousseau, Cultural Critic," Rousseau, the Social Contract and the First and Second Discourses (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2002).

Critical edition of Diderot's Pensées détachées sur la peinture,
in Salons IV, paperback edition (Paris, Hermann, 1995).

Voltaire's Candide (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003).

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2005).

Extensive essays on Diderot, George Sand, Rebecca West, Anita
Brookner, Graham Swift, to European Writers and British Writers (New York, Scribner's, 1984, 1985, 1996, 1997, 1999).

Numerous articles, contributions to books and Festschrfits, as well as book reviews and review articles.

Columbia University in the City of New York
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